A/N, Tenchi Muyo is owned by AIC and Pioneer and not at all by me, RingPrincess....I just like it.

however the ideas in this story are mine, if you wish to use them contact me FIRST at either ring_princess@hotmail.com or ring_princess2001@yahoo.com the worst I'll say is no.

I have people screaming at me for more...

Ryoko's Sacrifice

Chapter Eleven

Mending Walls

by RingPrincess

last time, Ayeka found out that Tenchi loved Ryoko and fell apart, refusing all help.

Ayeka's head hurt from crying so much, her throat was scratchy and nose puffy. She didn't feel anything like a princess. She felt like a woman who had just gone a crying jag, a long crying jag. She felt so tired, she no longer had the energy to cry.

So, it was time to think rationally again.

'I don't want to think rationally.' Was her first thought, pouty and young sounding. Ayeka managed to brush that voice away. 'No. I have too; I have to be able to face them again.' She sighed and wrapped her arms around her knees, hiding her head in the crook of her legs, and tried to organize the thoughts in her head. Most resolved themselves into questions, questions that burned for answers. 'Do I really love Tenchi? Did I even love Yosho? Do I know what love is? I know I'm jealous of Ryoko, is that all it is? I resigned myself to her pregnancy; can't I resign my self to this? I even felt happy for Ryoko after a while because of her pregnancy! Could Ryoko be a friend? or even closer, like a sister who is my age?'

Ayeka lifted her head up and looked over the pond surrounding Funaho. The night was kind to her puffy, warm face and red eyes, making her look devastatingly beautiful. Dew dripped off the leaves into the pond, creating ripples in the water.

'Questions, questions always questions, are there any answers?' She thought and buried her head again.

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Washu couldn't sleep.

She lay there and stared at the ceiling, her eyes wide open, red-magenta hair spilling over the pillows.

'I shouldn't have done that... I had too, there was no other way. Yes, there was you were just so caught up in playing goddess that you didn't look for another way.' Her thoughts circled each other, snarling. Her mind was so wound up she couldn't settle herself properly to sleep.

She sat up in bed and ran a hand through her hair, her other hand tying it back with a ribbon. She stared at the floor between her feet, idly noticing the sheets she had pushed off in her tossing and turning to find a comfortable position. Standing up and walking out of the bedroom seemed the only option since she sat up.

Her feet took her to the kitchen and towards the fridge.

Washu whirled as the sliding door swished open on well oiled treads, but even that slight noise seemed unbearably loud in the stillness of the night.

"Princess Ayeka," Washu whispered. The young woman who entered seemed nothing like the composed and shy princess.

"Little Washu," Ayeka whispered back. "What are you doing up?"

Washu's lips twisted into an ironic smile, "Couldn't sleep."

"Ah, I see. Try a glass of warm milk, it always helps me."

The princess began to steal towards the living room, stairs and the sanctuary of her room.

"Princess, do you want to talk?" Washu called after her quietly.

Ayeka turned around for a moment and violently shook her head. "Thank you for the offer." She whispered back.

Washu sat down at the table, listening at the creaks as Ayeka made it up the stairs and the hum of well oiled rollers as she opened and closed the door. She didn't sigh until she knew Ayeka was well out of hearing range. She placed her chin on her hands and stared down at the table. Losing whatever motivation had brought her up to the kitchen in the first place. She shifted as her prior thoughts returned to her.

'I shouldn't have taken away Ayeka's power either. I... I' Washu sighed heavily.

"Washu?" Mihoshi blinked in the doorway.

"Mihoshi! What are you doing up?"

"Oh, I heard the door open and saw the light from the fridge and I just thought I'd see..."

"I understand." Washu interrupted and the stared at each other in silence for a while.

"Washu?" Mihoshi tentatively sat down across from her. "Why are you up?"

"Too many thoughts, not enough sleepiness."

"You were inventing something!" Mihoshi bubbled.

"Shhh..." Washu hissed. "No, I was just thinking."

"About what?"

Washu closed her mouth and looked down at the table, eyes tracing the patterns in the wood.

Mihoshi giggled. "Oh, I know, you're feeling guilty."

Washu's head snapped up and she her eye's widened.

"Don't worry Washu, I've forgiven you." Mihoshi said it so blithely that Washu was taken aback.

"I shouldn't have done that to you, I meddled in your brain! How can you forgive me so easily?" Washu tried to yell quietly.

Mihoshi laughed and patted her hand. "I knew that you regretted it." Then she winked and Washu fell backwards in shock.

"It didn't work." She whispered.

Mihoshi shook her head. "Well... yes and no."

Washu's shoulders sagged. "Explain."

Mihoshi took a deep breathe. "Well, the brain is a not really a..."

"Stop," Washu held up a hand. "Sum it up. I want to sleep tonight."

"Okay, I found them again!"

"Huh?"

Mihoshi giggled. "Memories aren't linear, they're web like so I just went along the web until I found the broken threads and..."

"You found another way to them!"

"Lucky, you got it."

Washu's eyes lit up and her brain began to race. She pushed herself away from the table and ran towards her lab.

The locked clicked behind her.

Mihoshi shook her head yawning. "I wonder what that was all about. Oh well."

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"Ayeka, I was so worried about you." Sasami wrapped her sister into a hug and buried her head in Ayeka's chest. Ayeka's hand patted her sister's back and she stared down at her.

"I'm sorry, Sasami. I needed to work some things out. " She paused, "actually, I am not sorry for working them out, Sasami. I am sorry that you felt bad about it." Sasami looked up at her, her cheeks stained with tears, her large pink eyes sad.

"When you didn't come in," She began.

Ayeka nodded. "I understand Sasami, let's sit down." Ayeka took her sisters hands and led her to a futon. "There are times Sasami when in life you need to be alone for long periods of time."

Sasami wiped her eyes, "like Washu."

Ayeka nodded, "yes, for different reasons."

"And this was one of them?"

"Yes, it was. And I love you all the more for worrying about me, it shows that you love me." Ayeka hugged her. "I love you Sasami."

"I love you too Ayeka." Sasami sniffled, then looked up at her. "Will you tell me what you thought about?"

Ayeka blinked, "Now, Sasami that is very private information."

"Please?"

"Maybe later," Ayeka caved in, looking into her younger sister's eyes.

Sasami began to smile and it turned into a fit of giggles.

Ayeka raised her hand and began to laugh a bit as well. "Oh, Sasami, we need to sleep." Her words were broken by a large yawn.

Sasami grinned. "You were the one who stayed out late." She replied as she scrambled to her futon.

Ayeka gave a lop sided smile. "You're right," she said as she tucked Sasami in. "Good night sister."

"Night Ayeka," Sasami yawned and fell asleep.

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Tenchi held Ryoko closer, her cyan hair tickled his nose and she murmured something at him.

"It's too early, Tenchi."

Tenchi groaned and held her closer. Then realized that was a mistake.

Ryoko's eyes snapped open. "Tenchi," she purred.

Tenchi loosened his hold on her and hid his burning face in her hair.

"I believe it, but I don't." She sidled back close to him and he gasped.

"Ryoko!"

"Well, Tenchi it is only a natural human reaction." She lay perfectly still, intent on teasing him some more.

Tenchi lifted his head out of her hair. "I know you are right," he sighed.

"I hear a but," Ryoko teased, her voice light.

"Do you have to pry?"

She laughed. "Yes Tenchi, I love too."

There was a rap on the door.

Tenchi sighed, 'Saved by the knock!'

Ryoko pouted for a moment and then let up.

"Tenchi, Ryoko, may I come in?" Ayeka called from the other side of the door.

Ryoko looked at Tenchi, his face was paling back to its normal hue and there was no other physical evidence of his prior state.

"We're descent." She called and then remembered the door was locked. "Just a moment," she reversed her statement. "Get the door," she poked Tenchi.

"You."

"Hey, I'm the one who needs their beauty sleep, and besides a gentleman always gets the door for a lady."

Tenchi sighed, and rolled out of bed, unconsciously looking down to make sure there wasn't a bulge in his boxers. He unlatched the door with fumbling fingers and pushed it aside to reveal Ayeka, also dressed in her night clothes.

"Come in, Miss Ayeka."

"Tenchi, please, just Ayeka." She murmured and entered the room, taking a seat on the edge of Ryoko and Tenchi's now shared futon. She looked around the room, her heart hurting, yet as she looked between Ryoko and Tenchi the hurt faded and she couldn't help but smile.

"It still hurts, you know." She whispered and changed her focus to mainly Ryoko, "Knowing that he loves you and that I won't have him. Yet I know that it will one day heal." She took a deep breathe and looked at Tenchi. "I wish you had the courage to tell me yourself. It might not have hurt any less, however it would have been more kind."

Tenchi flushed embarrassed now for a different reason. "I'm sorry, Ayeka."

Ryoko placed a hand over Tenchi's, "We're sorry, Ayeka." She looked flustered for a moment, as if she wanted to say something and then just couldn't.

"We don't have any good excuses," Tenchi added, divining with the ability of a good friend what Ryoko had wanted to say.

"No. You don't," Ayeka looked a bit testy, her back stiffening and her face twitching. Then she relaxed and gave a tremulous smile. "I wish to apologize for my behavior yesterday. Was it only yesterday?" She mused for a moment, her eyes looking up and away before coming back to the couple. "It was not only rude, but unbecoming."

Ryoko's amber eyes lit up. "Now Ayeka, I would have acted quite more unbecoming than that."

"Yes, however you are a pirate and I am a princess."

Tenchi rolled his eyes.

Ryoko's finger sneaked out and poked him in the stomach.

"Oof!" Tenchi collapsed inward.

The girls laughed.

"Oh dear, now I've interrupted a slumber party." Washu tapped her chin from the open doorway.

"Good morning, Washu!" Ayeka said cheerfully. "I was just about to leave; I assume you need to see Ryoko this morning."

"Hmmmm.... no.," Washu smiled. "I wanted to see you."

Ayeka froze halfway up from the futon, then fell backwards onto it as her legs couldn't keep their balance in that position. "Me," She squeaked, staring at the ceiling.

"Mmmmm....hhhmmmm," Washu raised a thin red eyebrow as Ayeka tried to rearrange her legs and night clothes in some semblance of order.

Ayeka managed to stand up. "Of course then, Miss Washu, I'll be right down."

"This won't take long, Princess Ayeka." Washu strode down the hall, "No need to get dressed."

Ayeka blinked and went after her. "Miss Washu, what exactly are you up to?"

Ryoko and Tenchi just looked at each other and shrugged.

Ayeka paused at the open door of the lab; Washu was sitting on a red cushion inside, her laptop already out.

"Don't worry; I won't tie you up this time." She wrinkled her nose and tried to smile reassuringly. It wasn't working very well.

Ayeka tentatively stepped over the threshold, the door closing behind her and disappearing with the unnerving shroom.

Another cushion of magenta appeared next to Washu.

"Sit down, Ayeka." Washu looked over at Ayeka, who while obeying her was caught by the piercing green of her eyes.

"Miss Washu, what is this all about?" She took a breathe, and it was long enough for Washu to interrupt her.

"I am re-instating your powers, Ayeka."

Ayeka's mouth had been open to speak, but now it closed with a snap.

The leaves on the trees rustled, and the water trickled in the fountains and ponds. Ayeka wasn't sure what to say, so training took over. "Thank you, Miss Washu."

Washu waved her hand and hit a few more keys on the board. "Don't mention it. All done."

Ayeka felt a tingling along her nerves and she shivered, her skin standing up in goose bumps. She stood to go, the door appeared in front of her but she paused for a moment before opening it. "Miss Washu," she turned, hair flying. "Why?"

Washu's forehead narrowed and she gazed at Ayeka carefully for a few moments.

"You're not on my list."

Ayeka blinked, "A list." She shook her head and decided perhaps it would be better not to know and took her escape while she could.

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A/N AHHHH!!! This took so long, because I got so completely STUCK! I mean, I had this really twisted chapter and then, I couldn't resolve it. (sniffs) It was so depressing. I mean, Ayeka wasn't really even a main character at that point and she got a whole chapter almost reserved to her!

Yes, the title is a reference to Walls by Robert Frost of the "there is something that doesn't like a wall" fame.

Okay, shameless plug time... A few other writers and I have started a website for Fair Tenchi Fan Fiction Reviews, it is just getting started, so please do not expect perfection! it is located at http://www.thetenchireviewer.net

okay, later dudes (ahh... Finding Nemo)

RingPrincess

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