I don't own these characters or profit from them.
By, Clayton Overstreet
Ryoko flew into the room carrying a few pizza boxes. She set them on the table and then teleported, appearing in Tenchi's lap and holding out a slice of pizza to him. "Get it while it's hot Tenchi," she purred, puckering her lips. Tenchi nervously glanced between her and the pizza as Ryoko wiggled in his lap.
"Ryoko…" He started. But he was interrupted.
"Ryoko! Get off of lord Tenchi this moment!" Aeka snarled.
"Sister don't," Sasami began, but Aeka did not notice.
At the other end of the table Mihoshi, Washu, and Noike ignored the whole thing and began passing out pizza. Noike said, "Here Ryo-ohki." And she gave the furry little girl next to her a slice.
Ryoko smirked at Aeka and then turned back to Tenchi. "Come on Tenchi, it's getting cold. The ice queen's personality must be rubbing off on it."
"You piece of trash," Aeka snarled.
Tenchi stood up, dumping Ryoko on the floor. "It's okay, I like cold pizza. I'll eat later, okay guys?"
"No problem Tenchi," Mihoshi said as he walked out of the room.
Ryoko stood up, rubbing her butt. "Tenchi, wait…" She frowned and turned on Aeka. "Now look what you did! You know princess if you would just mind your own business…"
"My business is keeping your filthy hands off of Tenchi."
"Just try it you spoiled brat!" They both began powering up.
"Ladies, outside," Washu said firmly. "You know the rules."
Turning up their noses the two girls turned and stomped out the door. Soon came the familiar sounds of the two of them battling and shouting insults at one another. The girls on the inside ate quietly. Finally thought Sasami picked up a plate of pizza. "I'll take this to Tenchi."
"Sure Sasami," Noike said and smiled at her.
Sasami stood up and carried the plate up the stairs to Tenchi's room. She knocked softly. "Tenchi?"
"Come on in Sasami," Tenchi said. She did. He was lying on his bed and staring at the ceiling.
"I thought you might be hungry." The house shook from a powerful blast. Tenchi sighed deeply. "Are you okay Tenchi?"
"I'm fine Sasami." He turned and saw her worried eyes. Smiling he sat up and took the plate, then gave her a hug. "Look, don't worry."
Tenchi shook his head. "I don't really know Sasami." He sat back against the wall and stared up at the ceiling again. "Are you happy here Sasami?"
"Of course," she said instantly. "You know we all love living here with you."
"But not with each other," he said. Outside there was another yell. "I was just thinking Sasami. Two years ago when I got the key from my grandfather and went down into Ryoko's cave, I could not help thinking that I wanted things to change. I was bored. And then all that crazy stuff happened and I met Ryoko and Aeka and you and the others and everything just fell into place. And we had one crazy adventure after another and almost died a dozen times. And all you girls came… even Kagato before Tsunami helped his… her… the ghost move on to the afterlife."
"I know," Sasami said. "It was scary."
"True. But now… I'm starting to get bored again." He smiled a little sadly. "It is kind of funny. I mean I've got the royal family from an alien empire living in my house. Right outside two of them are in a fight with lasers and weird powers. And somehow it's all gotten old."
"Do you hate us now?" Sasami asked.
"Of course not Sasami. I'm just… I'm tired."
"Maybe you should rest."
"Not that kind of tired Sasami." He shook his head and lay down. "Look, maybe you're right. I just need some rest." Another explosion shook the house. "I'll see you later Sasami."
"Alright Tenchi." She said. With one last glance at him she hurried out of the room.
Downstairs Ryoko and Aeka were coming in, bruised, battered, and slightly scorched. They sat down and Ryoko said, "Hey, where's all the pizza."
"You snooze you lose," Washu said.
"Damn it Washu, that's not…"
"We put the left overs in the fridge," Noike said. "But next time, maybe you should eat instead of fight."
"It's not my fault," Ryoko said. "She started it."
"You started it…"
"Hey guys," Sasami said, interrupting them. "I think there's something wrong with Tenchi."
Mihoshi said, "Oh no. Is he sick?"
"I don't think so," Sasami said. She told them what Tenchi had said.
Washu sighed. "I expected something like this."
"What? What is it?" Noike asked.
Washu said, "Sometimes we forget that Tenchi was raised here on Earth. Humans don't usually live as long as Juraians and other races, let alone gods like my sisters and me. So their concept of time is different than ours. They get bored easily. Most of them just live with it. But as time goes on it can lead to depression as the world for them moves so quickly and things get old fast."
"Get old?" Ryoko said. "You mean Aeka."
Aeka sneered at her. "You're older than me."
"I mean all of this," Washu said. "Every day the same thing. Even when a new enemy shows up Tenchi isn't always surprised any more. He's come to accept aliens and powers and everything else that we brought into his life."
"So he's bored with us?" Mihoshi asked.
"Not us exactly," Washu said. "But I suspect he's bored with the same thing happening again and again. There are things humans need to be happy and one of them that I don't think he's getting around here, but that he needs, is love."
"Love?" Mihoshi asked. "But we all love Tenchi."
"Damn right," Ryoko said.
"Of course," Aeka said. Noike nodded firmly and Ryo-ohki meowed.
"I know we do. But look at it from Tenchi's perspective. Each time one of us makes a move one of the others shows up and gets in the way."
"Can't he marry all of us?" Noike asked. "Like Seina did?"
"Seina's situation was different," Washu said. "If he had not been forced into a political marriage to eight people he'd probably be in the same boat Tenchi is. Since their lives are so short humans are usually monogamous. They aren't used to living for centuries and marrying two or three different women. Not at the same time anyway."
Aeka frowned. "Well that's just silly. Even if he is half human Tenchi is a prince of Jurai. Even when he was engaged to me Yosho had a wife already and here on Earth he's had several. After all it's hardly a coincidence that Noboyuki's last name is Masaki."
"True and normally you would be right. But combine Tenchi's need for companionship with the monotony of his life… it means Tenchi has a hole in his heart that's going to keep getting bigger."
"We need to help him," Sasami said.
"We can't. Not as a group." Washu said.
Ryoko slammed her hand down on the table. "Then I'll do it."
"Oh no you won't," Aeka said. "I'll be the one to help heal Tenchi's heart."
"Over your dead body!"
"Guys knock it off," Mihoshi whined.
"Stop!" Noike snapped. Everyone stared at her. "Don't you two get it? Things like this are why we can't keep going on the way we have."
Washu nodded. "Exactly. We're all family, but none of us really likes the others much."
"I like you all," Sasami said.
"Meow," Ryo-ohki said clearly.
Mihoshi said, "I'm okay with you guys."
"Same here," Noike put in.
"But do any of you want any of the others to be with Tenchi?" Washu asked.
"What do you mean?" Sasami asked.
Washu looked at her and grinned nastily. "Do you want to see me and Tenchi kissing?"
Sasami blushed. "Uh…"
"Hell no!" Ryoko snapped. "And if you lay one finger on him…"
Noike said, "And that's the point. We can all get along. Well, except you two." She looked at Aeka and Ryoko. "But the truth is none of us wants to see the others with Tenchi."
"Meow," Ryo-ohki said.
"She says she wouldn't mind," Washu told them.
"That's because she and Sasami are more like little sisters to him," Noike said.
Sasami frowned. "I love Tenchi as much as the rest of you. So does Ryo-ohki. Don't treat us like little kids."
"So from our end there can be no compromise," Washu said. "And giving Tenchi and ultimatum to choose one of us… well that's just as bad. Tenchi will feel bad for whoever he doesn't pick, guilty, and cornered."
"So what can we do Washu?"
"I do have one idea…"
"No," Ryoko said. "You are not allowed to brainwash him into serving you."
"Okay, I have another plan," Washu said, sounding disappointed. "We have to put him in a position to choose who he really wants without telling him. But we have to all agree and promise not to feel bad or blame him or the others for his decision."
They all looked at one another. Mihoshi said, "But what happens when Tenchi chooses? We can't all just stay here together after that."
"Why not?" Sasami asked.
Noike reached out and touched her shoulder. "Because it would be without hope Sasami. The ones Tenchi doesn't pick would know that they did not have a shot with him. So just staying here and not moving on… it would hurt everyone." She looked into Sasami's eyes. "Don't you want to fall in love some day? To have a family?"
"Yes," Sasami said. "I kind of always wanted to…"
"We all want it to be Tenchi kid," Ryoko said. "I've loved him longer than any of you, remember?" She clenched her fist. "But if he picks someone else… then I'm leaving. Maybe I'll throw myself into the sun or something, but I refuse to stay around and watch that."
"Is that why you're always so jealous Ryoko?" Aeka asked.
Ryoko snarled, "Of course it is you twit! Tenchi's my whole world."
"We all feel the same way, to some degree," Washu said. "We all think we could live happy lives with Tenchi." She looked down and put her hand over her abdomen. "We could all happily be his wife and have his children." The wistful tone to her voice struck everyone and all of them had their own image of living in the house, alone with Tenchi and anywhere between one and a hundred children.
"So what can we do?" Aeka asked softly.
Washu told them. The girls sat there quietly. Mihoshi said, "And whoever he doesn't pick…"
"Can still be his friend," Sasami said firmly.
"Right," Noike said. They all nodded, though none of them seemed to believe it very much.
"So we're agreed?" Washu asked.
"I guess," Mihoshi said sadly.
"I'm in," Ryoko told them. "And whatever happens…" She looked around. "It was good to get to know you all. I'm not… lonely any more. Knowing that I have friends now." She smirked. "Even the purple prude over there." Ryo-ohki meowed agreement.
"Same here," Aeka said. "Being a princess can be very lonely even when surrounded by people."
"Right," Sasami said.
"Tell me about it," Noike said.
Mihoshi said, "I never really had many friends either. With my luck and my career and my wealthy family a lot of people just… don't want anything to do with me."
Noike reached over and got her in a headlock. "Don't worry so much Mihoshi. I'll still be your partner. I mean we're both in the Galaxy police. So even when I marry Tenchi we'll still be friends."
"You mean you'll still hang out with me even after Tenchi picks me?" Mihoshi said happily and hugged her. "Thanks!"
"Hey!" Ryoko and Aeka said at the same time. "He's going to pick me."
"Why would he pick you two when he can have a real goddess?" Washu asked, taking on her adult form. "I mean come on girls you have to admit, I have all the good looks and the experience."
"Excuse me?" Sasami asked, the image of Tsunami glowing around her. Tsunami said, "But I am just as much a goddess as you Washu."
"That's just it," Noike said. "Tenchi is a nice boy who probably likes normal girls."
"Forget it," Ryoko said. "He's mine!"
"Mine!" Aeka snapped.
"Mine!" All of them shouted at once. Then they all settled down at once.
"So that's it then. We'll go with Washu's plan?" Noike asked. They all nodded. "In that case… it's been good knowing you all."
"You too," they all said.
Tenchi stared at the group in front of him. "You're all leaving?"
"We have to," Aeka said sadly. "We have a meeting with our family over the new treaty between some of the other empires. You are exempt because you're not officially a member of the empire even if you are a high-ranking member of the royal family. You're still considered an Earthling. But Sasami and I have to go. And negotiations like this can take months or even years."
Sasami hugged Tenchi's leg. "I'll miss you Tenchi." She looked up, eyes shining. "You could come with us anyway though."
"That isn't fair…" Ryoko started to mutter. Washu elbowed her in the ribs and she shut up.
"I have similar duties," Noike said. "Even though I am only an adopted member of the family. They're separate from the others. If you want to come with me I could use the help."
"Or you could help me," Mihoshi said quickly. "I am going to be on bodyguard duty."
"What about you three?" Tenchi asked, looking at Ryoko, Ryo-ohki, and Washu.
"I think I've located the other first generation Jurai tree," Washu said. "It's in a dual parallel world where I've detected some strange dimensional activity. I believe it's in a giant robot like Seina's and may have been activated by someone in that world. It's going to take me some time to locate them and decide whether to contact them or not."
She nodded. "Though it shouldn't be too hard. It's a guy with a Jurai tree on Earth." She winked. "I just need to look for someone with a half dozen girls hanging around him."
Tenchi laughed. "You have a point."
"I could use a research assistant, if you have the time."
"As for me," Ryoko put in quickly. "Ryo-ohki and I have been getting a little bored around here."
"Really?" Tenchi asked, surprised.
She shrugged. "Yeah. Besides, we never really went out to explore the galaxy on our own. And since the Jurai royal family forgave me for all the damage Kagato made me inflict on the empire maybe it's time I can go and apologize in person. Or something." She folded her hands behind her head. "Anyway I think it's time to get out of here."
Sasami said, "Ryoko, don't you want to ask Tenchi to go with you too?"
"Huh?" Ryoko said. "Nah. He's already got the rest of you." She looked at Tenchi. "I'm who Tenchi needs around when he wants someone to blow up his school and get him in trouble." She winked. "And we all know he doesn't need that. So… I'll just pack up and go."
"If that's what you have to do then I'll support you Ryoko." Tenchi looked around. "You all seem really busy. And I'm not really equipped to help out in political stuff. I don't know any of the Juraian laws and I think just being there would probably cause problems."
"You could keep us company," Aeka said. Sasami and the others nodded.
He shook his head. "No… I don't think so." He saw tears in their eyes. "Hey, don't worry. You're all free to come back any time you want. I'll keep your rooms ready for when you want to visit."
"Visit," Aeka said sadly. She forced a smile. "Well, okay then."
"And Washu, you know I don't know any of that science stuff."
Washu nodded. "I didn't think you'd be interested. But I had to try Tenchi. It could have been fun."
"Yeah, it probably would have been," he said. "Hey, I have an idea. Since this is the last time we'll see each other for a while why don't I make us all a big dinner?" He shook his head. "With you all gone I'll probably start living on junk food or something."
Sasami gasped, "Tenchi you have to promise to eat right!"
"Okay," he said. "So anyway you all want some of my cooking?"
"Yeah!" They said happily. Tenchi nodded and headed for the kitchen. Behind him all the girls sagged.
"He didn't try to stop any of us," Aeka said.
Sasami added, "He didn't even want to come along."
Ryoko nodded. "And now we know. We're all his friends." She sighed. "Come on everyone. I don't know about you, but if nothing else I'll take one last meal if nothing else." She wiped the tears from her eyes.
It was night. Everyone was sleeping one last time in their beds, planning to leave in the morning. Ryo-ohki was already in spaceship form waiting for Ryoko. She was sitting on the roof, staring up at the full moon. "Only one moon on this planet. And it's such a unremarkable color." There were moons on other worlds. Some were different colors, or made of gas. Others had people living on them and many planets had more than one. Some of them did not even have the same sorts of shadows and eclipses as this one. "But still, this one is my favorite." Around her the silver light reflecting off that single white rock turned the world into a new place. A place of shadows and strange dark colors.
"I think I'll miss the moon the most." She smiled. "Right after you Tenchi." Standing up she floated gently into the air. A moment later she was in Ryo-ohki's control chair. "Come on, let's get going."
"Where are we going?" A voice said behind her.
Ryoko jumped up and turned, staring in shock. Tenchi was sitting against the back wall. On the floor next to him was a duffle bag. "Tenchi? What are you doing here?"
"I saw Ryo-ohki and had to hurry to get on." He shook his head. "It was close too. I thought we weren't leaving until morning."
"Well yeah. I told you that if you had to leave I'd support you, didn't I?"
Ryoko was still in shock. "So you thought you'd just invite yourself along? I didn't ask you to come you know."
"I know. But I couldn't let you just go off alone, even if it is with Ryo-ohki."
"So that's why you're here? You didn't want me being lonely?" She looked away. 'I have friends now Tenchi. I don't need you to keep me company."
"I know," Tenchi said. "But I… I need you Ryoko. I don't think I could stay here alone. It would be too quiet. Too lonely."
"Then go with one of the others. They all invited you along."
"I know," Tenchi said. "And I won't pretend it's not tempting. I… I care about them. A lot. But you're the one I need Ryoko." He smiled and said, "You're the one who changed my life. Everyone else is… family. You're more than that."
"You mean that Tenchi?" Ryoko said.
He frowned. "I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it."
She looked back at him, tears flowing down her cheeks, but she was smiling hugely. "You know it… it could be a long time before we come back here."
"Are we going or not?" He asked.
Ryoko nodded. "Sure. Lets go Tenchi." She reached to the controls. Then she quickly moved forward, throwing her arms around him tightly and gave him a kiss. It took a moment and she felt his indecision, but then Tenchi kissed her back. Ryo-ohki meowed loudly and in a streak of light, lifted off and vanished into the sky.
Gee, a Tenchi fic where Ryoko gets him. I've never done THAT before, right?
To tell the truth it's just been a long time since I wrote one of these. Thought I'd give it a shot, see if I still have it. In the mean time I've published a few books. If anybody is interested. I've got all kind of stuff going on. Superheroes, vampires, monsters, dragons, magic… all kinds of things. And if I could get some reviews on my actual books I'd appreciate it.