Demoness Space Pirate sits sulking before her computer, Camellia approaches her: What's wrong with you?

DSP: Camille Sumter yelled at me. Some people just don't appreciate a good cliffhanger and angst.

Camellia: Can you blame the readers? I mean you did just end the last chapter with Ryoko dead.

DSP: I didn't mean dead DEAD I meant as in dead-like. Come on now Ryoko's been through worse and she came out alive.

Camellia: Just get on with it.

Disclaimer: I DO NOT own Tenchi Muyo or any Tenchi related series and plots. All I own that deals with Tenchi Muyo are a few lovely mangas, a Ryoko figurine (I finally got one), some Ryoko pics, and this fanfic which is the result of my imagination. I am not making any money from this. I do this only to entertain. I also do this for those of the Ryoko+Hotsuma legion.

Final Chapter: If Life Were Only A Fairy Tale

Hotsuma sat at Ryo-ohki's control cradling the cold and limp body of his beloved wife. It was barely an hour ago she was alive in his arms victorious after the battle with Suzuka, he thought nothing was wrong except for the fact she seemed rather worn and her body ached of extreme pains. He had only left her for a moment to put the twins into one of Ryo-ohki's lower dimensions to play, within that tiny moment she was gone. Or so he thought she was gone at first, he had cried out to her mentally to find her asleep somewhere deep within the recesses of her mind. Try as he might he couldn't pull her out of it, she was beyond him now. When the twins asked to see their mother he had told them in half-truths that the fight had made her very tired and she was resting. Hotsuma wasn't quiet sure if his children knew already that their mother was in a bad condition, Washu had told him before that they were exceptional children.

Ryo-ohki cried reporting to Hotsuma that they had reached the Yagami.

Hotsuma ran his fingers through Ryokos hair as he looked down on her pale face. Thank you Ryo-ohki. He said.

Washu paced the halls of Yagami, she knew something was wrong long before Ryo-ohki appeared. Oh Ryoko, what's happened to you? Washu asked aloud.

I don't believe it! Kiyone yelled. She ran from the cockpit almost ramming into Washu. Oh Lil' Washu I was looking for you! I just got word from Ryo-ohki; i-i-it seems that H-Hotsuma and the twins are alive!

Everyone shouted running towards them.

Hotsuma's alive? Yugi asked.

And the twins? Added Sasami.

Kiyone nodded her head. Yes, I just finish talking to him. Lil' Washu it's about Ryoko.

What's wrong with Ryoko? Washu asked. She did not give Kiyone the chance to finish, she ran down the halls until she came to the large windows out looking the distant stars. She focused until she saw the growing shape of Ryo-ohki. Within a few seconds Ryo-ohki had vanished.

Cried a small but happy voice. Washu turned to see her darling granddaughter running towards her. Washu opened her arms entrapping the small child in a firm embrace. Mommy sick. Akira said sadly.

Washu held Akira at arm's length. Where's mommy? Washu asked.

Hotsuma said walking towards her with Ryoko caringly cradled in his arms. Beside him young Yosho stood unwilling to leave his parents' sides.

Washu quickly reverted to her adult form as she took Ryoko away from Hotsuma. She looked down into Ryoko's pale face and began to look deeply into her mind. She's alive. She said near tears.

She walked off into the house towards her lab.

There was no time for joyful reunions, please do not mistake that everyone wasn't happy to see Hotsuma, Akira, and Yosho alive, it was that their dear Ryoko was in ill-health.

Hotsuma paced before the lab door as everyone else sat in the living room of the Masaki home. The ever-active twins went from one person to another hugging them showing how much they missed them during their nine months of separation.

Washu stepped out of the lab with her head hanging low. So what's wrong with Ryoko? Asked Tenchi. Is she going to be all right?

Washu looked around then sighed. Follow me. She said disappearing into her lab once again this time followed by the rest.

As they made their way through Washu began to explain Ryokos condition to the others. The gem's power was too much for her body, as I feared she had not matured enough. Washu frowned.

They stepped into the medical dimension of Washu's lab to find Ryoko resting peacefully in a greenish blue glow of a stasis chamber with a heart monitor recording her faint heartbeat. When I created Ryoko I designed her so that the gems provided her with all the energy she needs. This means she has no need for food or water, the same goes for Hotsuma. But without Ryoko being fully matured it is dangerous for her to take the full power of the gems. When Ryoko took in too much of the gems' energy it caused her body to... how do I say this? The overflow of power caused her body and mind to shut down. Washu said.

So it's like Ryoko is a fuse and too much power caused her to blow. Mihoshi said.

Washu stared openmouthed at Mihoshi. That's an amazingly accurate example! Except she hasnt blown just stopped. Ryoko's in a mild coma right now.

The news made everyone lower their heads. Washu touched her hand to Hotsumas shoulder. I've done all I can; we can do nothing more for her. She will either continue to fade or she can regain consciousness it can go either way.

It was silent until Hotsuma asked the question that was on everyone's minds. How long do you believe it should take for her to regain? He asked unwilling to say the latter of the chances.

Washu shook her head from side to side. I don't know. She said. Just give her time.

Hotsuma didn't want to give her time he wanted her awake and about so that he could hold her and tell her how much he loved and missed her. Can't you do anything? What about Tsunami? Surely she can do something to save the live of her own niece.

The symbol on Sasami's head changed into two dots. This is up to Ryoko Hotsuma. Said Sasami in the adult voice of Tsunami.

Hotsuma bit into his trembling lower lip with his fang. Frustration, anger, and sadness whirled about his mind. Ryoko laid before him in a deep sleep that he could not bring her out of. Hotsuma only sunk to his knees as he looked at her.

In less than two weeks they had returned to Earth and still Ryoko had not recovered, she still laid dormant in the cool green glow of the rectangular stasis chamber. When they had arrived it was spring. Everyone remembered how much Ryoko enjoyed the spring. The gentle breeze of spring blew the cherry blossom blooms from the trees to shower down onto the ground. It looked like the sky was crying tears of cherry blossoms for Ryoko.

In the days that follow their return Hotsuma sat beside the stasis chamber in Washu's lab looking down of the peaceful face of his beloved wife.

Brash, impulsive, determined and self-centered yet totally loyal to those around her that had been the Ryoko he knew. Having Lil' Washu tell them that there could be a chance of her reviving, and when even though it would take some time... Hotsuma wasn't sure; it worried him in a strange way. He knew from the day he met her that Ryoko was strong, a great fighter, no doubt she couldn't pull herself out of this one. But for the first time he doubted. He felt like maybe, maybe she'd never wake up. Six weeks would turn into six months. Then nine months would pass and then a year. Perhaps two years will go and still she would be asleep perhaps long gone, unable to heal herself. Her body just wasn't mature enough for the power she used. He wouldn't listen to Lil' Washu if she told him to let her go, that she won't be coming out, that she will not pull through and there was nothing anyone could do. Move on, she will tell him. By then he wouldn't care about their jobs to Jurai or practically anything else, he would just want to see her alive and smiling again. So, hoping that someday she might awaken, he'd stay by her side, never moving, just waiting loyally for her like a puppy. He would tell her from day to day what was happening in the household, how the children where doing, and how they all missed her and the little things. His words would fall on her deaf ears hoping that perhaps she would hear him and one day wake up.

A voice called shaking he from his dismal prediction of the future.

Hotsuma turned to see Princess Sasami standing in the doorway holding a plate in her delicate hands. Food? What time was it? Hotsuma asked himself as he looked around. He noticed the clock to see he missed both lunch and dinner.

Sasami sat with him as he ate another one of her good meals that seemed to be lacking with the grief of Ryoko settling about everyone.

We all miss her. Sasami said running her hand over the smooth surface of the glass chamber. To Sasami Ryoko looked so deathly in the sickly green light. Ryoko made everything so fun here with her constant fights with my sister. She's the life of this place.

Hotsuma nodded, the blue eyed princess seemed the wisest of them all. Maybe it was the cause of Tsunami assimilated with her, or perhaps the fact that she was much older than what seem appeared to be.

Sasami sighed. I remember how we got stuck at home that one time and all that was on the TV was a marathon of Barney and Friends. She chuckled to herself. And afterwards she made that pizza that was in the shape of Barney and cooked it making a high-pitched sound of him screaming to be let out. Or how she played with Yugi and me all the time.

To their left a door materialized moments before Mihoshi popped her head in. Oh there you are Sasami. Her head disappeared as she shouted out to someone. Ayeka, I found her! Mihoshi then entered the room followed by Ayeka.

There you are Sasami. It is time for both you and Yugi to get to bed. Ayeka said.

Hotsuma looked towards the women. Akira and Yosho? He asked.

Lil' Washu and I put them down just a few moments ago. Mihoshi chirped.

Ayeka took a glance at her love-hate friend. For so many years they had fought over Tenchi's affection, but when Tenchi wasn't around they seemed to be the best of friends though neither one would admit it openly. She suppressed her tears. Come along Sasami. Ayeka said with a sadden face.

Coming Ayeka. Goodnight Hotsuma, try to get some sleep. Sasami said before she and her sister vanished through the door.

Ryoko always says that I'm smarter than I let on. Mihoshi whimpered drawing Hotsumas attention to her. She always said thing like how me and Kiyone are the only Galaxy Police detectives that she likes. I miss the pranks she always pulls on me. She sniffed.

I hope you aren't giving up on her Mihoshi. Hotsuma said in an almost disappointed tone.

Mihoshi shook her head. Oh no, I know Ryoko can make it out of this. But have you seen Washu lately? She hasn't been sleeping or eating much. And when she thinks no one is around she starts crying. The both of you are starting to look very bad.

Hotsuma continued to look at Ryoko the many monitors and beeping machines surrounding her. How long had it been since he last slept? He wondered.

And Akira and Yosho are beginning to miss you. Remember they only have one parent that's asleep in a machine. Goodnight Hotsuma. Mihoshi chimed as she too left him.

Hotsuma looked back at Ryoko. What pranks would she be up to now?' He wondered. Most likely something that would annoy Ayeka and give herself and the twins a good laugh. All for fun that's what Ryoko was all about.

Everyone misses you. He said to her. The twins and me most of all. Young Yosho is acting like you everyday. And Akira, she has your spunk. She goes around as if she can handle anything, just like you.

Ryoko laid unresponsive to his words. He removed his eyeglasses to knead his closed eyes with the tips of his fingers. You know Suzuka sent a woman to seduce me? He chuckled. I guess you could say she was beautiful but a far cry from my lovely wife. That would have made Ryoko happy. No matter how hard she tried I only though of you. I told her there was nothing she could do to make me be unfaithful to you or abandon my family. She didnt understand. My only reason for being is because of you. And because of you and Washu Im alive, Im real.

Called a soft voice. Hotsuma turned to see Akira and Yosho in their pajamas walking towards him.

He had been so engrossed in his one-sided conversation that he did not hear the door materialize. He picked up Akira and sat her on his lap. Now what are you two still doing up? He asked chiding them softly.

Yosho dragged his toy rabbit by the ears as he handed his father the book. He said before taking a seat next to the stasis chamber.

Hotsuma looked down at the green book with gold curvy letters. Sleeping Beauty, Akira's favorite story now Yosho's ever since that Ryoko wrote in a part where the prince fought of an army of evil walking skeletons and dragons. Okay but after this the two of you are off to bed. In times past there lived a King and Queen, who said to each other every day of their lives, Would that we had a child! and yet they had none.' Hotsuma read carefully captivating his children in his voice as he had once held their mother as he read.

...after giving Princess Rose a breath-mint he kissed her awakening her from the spell of sleep. The prince took Princess Rose back to his palace and married her. And they lived happily ever after. Hotsuma said closing the book.

Kiss mommy. Akira said.

Kiss momma. Wake momma up. Yosho said still towing his rabbit by the ears.

How about you guys try; I bet it will help. He said taking Akira out of his lap. Akira and Yosho floated to Ryoko. They placed their heads into the green light and in union kissed their mother.

Look at how much control they have over their powers now. He sent his thoughts to Ryoko.

Akira flew towards Hotsuma. She said.

Hotsuma laughed lightly as he walked over to Ryoko and kissed her forehead, nose, then lips.

If only life were just a fairy tale, then a kiss would be all it took to wake Ryoko. Hotsuma thought to himself.

***

As Hotsuma left to put the twins back to bed Katsuhito entered the lab. It was a rare moment indeed when Katsuhito actually traveled into Washu's lab. For he feared Washu would discover his secret.

He looked down on Ryoko's still body the slow rise and fall of her chest showed her only sign of life. He was still alive thanks to Ryoko, the power of her replica gem worked just as well as her true gems in the hilt of the Tenchiken. As self-centered as she presented herself she was amazingly thoughtful to others.

Hotsuma said as he walked into the lab. He looked down at Ryoko, he had actually hoped that she would be awake when he returned.

Katsuhito could hear the deep sigh escape Hotsuma he turned towards him to see the physical fatigue on Hotsumas face. He placed a hand comfortingly on Hotsuma's shoulder. You should get some rest. He said his frames reflecting the green glow of the chamber. Washu may have said that Hotsuma had no real need for food and water didn't mean he didn't need sleep. He had just moments before convinced Washu that she needed to rest. The Hakubi family were all stubborn people.

Go get some sleep, I'll watch Ryoko for you. Katsuhito said taking a seat beside the unconscious woman.

***

Hotsuma entered the living room to see it no one was about, the only sounds he could hear was the spring winds and the soft creaking of the house. He sat down on the couch looking out the window, if Ryoko were awake right now she would have him on the roof with her gazing at the stars. As Hotsuma thought about it he slowly began to drift asleep on the couch. He'd get a few hours sleep then check on the children before he went back to Ryoko.

***Hotsuma's dream***

Hotsuma laid in the grass staring up at the beautiful stars shinning brightly against the black and navy blue sky. For a moment he thought he saw Tsunami looking down on him but she was gone the moment he blinked. Hotsuma stood and looked around to find himself near the house.

A soft voice called out to him.

Ryoko? Ryoko! Hotsuma began to fly in the direction of the voice. He stopped short when her voice called out again only this time from all directions at once.

Where was a place Ryoko enjoyed relaxing? He closed his eyes as he thought. Where, where, where? He asked, a certain urgency taking over him. He had to find her and quickly, he felt as if he were pressed for time and he had to find her before that time ran out. An image flashed before his closed eyes, something pink. Sakura. Cherry blossoms. Of course Ryoko loved to sit in a cherry tree on warm spring nights.

He flew quickly until he saw one tree in particular with its pink blossoms glowing brightly. Among the glows sat Ryoko.

Hotsuma called with relief in his voice the certain feel of urgency gone.

Ryoko looked down at him and smiled. There you are. Come on up and sit with me. She said.

Hotsuma complied with her request. Together the two sat on the branch. Hotsuma, with his head resting on Ryoko's lap, looked up at her. I wish life were a fairy tale.

Ryoko's golden eyes locked with his blue orbs. So you can be my knight in shinning armor and rescue me from evil dragons and whatnot? Sorry but I'm not the damsel in distress. Ryoko said.

Hotsuma chuckled. No. So that all I have to do is kiss you and you'd wake up. He said.

Ryoko laughed as her fingers twined gently through his gold locks. It takes a kiss to wake a princess, but for a demon pirate it takes just a little bit more.

Hotsuma reached up until his fingers brushed against Ryoko's locks falling before her oblong ears. Gently he pulled Ryoko's hair until she bent down low enough for their lips to meet. Come back to me Ryoko. Hotsuma said before everything vanished.

***End dream***

Hotsuma's sleep was disrupted as he heard footsteps. Shouldn't we wake him up and tell him? A male, most likely Tenchi, asked in a soft whisper. Hotsuma was too tired to decipher voices.

Someone removed his glasses from his face. A female voice said. Hotsuma felt a sudden warmth envelope him, someone must have put a blanket over him. Let him wake up before tellin' him anything.

But doesn't he deserve to know? Tenchi asked again.

He's had a long day and he needs some rest. Now I'm going to check on the twins and remember Tenchi let Hotsuma rest! Someone said firmly.

Hotsuma didn't move. What were they debating on telling him? Was Ryoko's health improving? Failing? Or was she dead? Hotsuma felt a bitterness rise within him. It wasn't fair, and for now he just wanted to escape it all. With that decision made he slowly fell into a deep and much needed sleep hoping that he would dream of Ryoko again.

Feel the wind, feel the sun
And a new day in paradise has only begun.

Hotsuma smiled at those words, the voice was so lovely and soothing. He sat up removing himself from any thoughts of sleep. He sat back on the couch with his eyes closed listening.

On the sand by the sea
It's a peaceful oasis made for you and for me
Take my hand

This place was always waiting
This beauty all around us
The air intoxicating
Just like the love that found us
Let's forget who we've been
And give in to the dream
Maybe life is a song
That's how it seems.

Who was that singing? Hotsuma wondered standing up he followed the voice upstairs until he came to the hall were everyone stood at the door looking inside.

Yugi was the first to notice Hotsuma was awake, her pale face lit up as she tapped Sasami on the shoulder. Sasami, holding Ryo-ohki in her arms, looked at Hotsuma and she too smiled. Both girls waved for Hotsuma to join the group as they made room for him.

Hotsuma looked inside. His heart skipped a beat and his breath was caught in his throat at what he saw.

And forevermore we'll hear the music play
Yes, forevermore I'll take you in my arms this way And forevermore we'll know the melody
We will sing forevermore just like the peaceful sea
Past the clouds, past the sky
We can only imagine what great mysteries lie
Other moons, other stars
Close your eyes and together we'll go wandering far.

Washu stood in the twins' bedroom tears filling her emerald green eyes giving them a glassy look as she stared at her daughter.

Ryoko sat in the wooden rocking chair singing as she slowly rocked back and forth. Akira sat in her mother's lap resting with laden eyes against her mother's stomach. Young Yosho sat opposite his sister already asleep.
Hotsuma slowly waked towards her as if he were to move to quickly she would fly away like a frightened bird.

Ryoko looked up at Hotsuma and smiled.

Take my hand
This miracle's undying
It never will forsake us
We'll always keep on flying
Wherever love may take us
Let's forget who we've been
And give in to the dream
Maybe life is a song
That's how it seems.

Hotsuma sank to his knees before his wife. How beautiful she looked. How kind and soft her eyes looked lovingly back at him.

And forevermore we'll hear the music play
Yes, forevermore I'll take you in my arms this way
And forevermore we'll know the melody
We will sing forevermore just like the peaceful sea.

Washu took the twins out of Ryoko's arms so that husband and wife could have a proper reunion. Hotsuma laid his head down on Ryoko's lap; her warmth and sweet scent of cherry blossoms enveloped his senses. Ryoko tenderly ran her fingers through his hair as she looked down on him.

Hotsuma looked up at his wife, it was almost like the dream but he knew this to be real, she was alive and recovered looking down at him with such love no one else in the universe could possibly mimic.

Their lips met massaging gently together but the kiss was still searing with passion. Hotsuma wrapped his arms around Ryoko without any intentions of letting her go anytime soon. Ya see Hotsuma; it just took a little bit more to wake me up. Ryoko sent into his mind.

THE END!

DSP: Yeah I finished this before my summer vacation ended! Oh yeah, oh yeah!

Camellia: You are hopeless. Please review!