Through the Eyes of Heaven and Earth: from the Diaries of Tenchi Masaki

§1 "Have Diary...will write"

"Dear Honorable Diary...Today nothing out of the ordinary happened around the house. For once. And for some reason that worries me"

"No, that's not right...arrrgh"

Tenchi closed his diary, leaned back, and sighed. Keeping a diary, he was learning, was hard work. Almost as a hard work as training with Grandfather, albeit for a different purpose (although grandfather would surely say that both are paths to discovering yourself, and so are both equally necessary. Or something like that). Forcing yourself to make time for daily entries was demanding, and he often found himself having to squeeze it in right before going to sleep, or during breaks in between training bouts with Yosho, sometimes even sleepily on the bus to and from school, or sneaking moments when he should be tending the carrot patch.

The hardest part, though, was learning to be completely honest with yourself, especially on the days when you didn't feel like writing anything. Like tonight. But, again, it was a discipline, and one he did not intend to shun. So, he set his pencil down again and began to write characters, only to shortly, vigorously erase what he had attempted to write.

No use, his head was swirling around with thoughts faster than his hands could blur the ideograms, and his heart just wasn't in it tonight. He decided it was best to stick to the facts, and not attempt commentary, because it usually ended up with him second guessing himself, and second-guessing oneself was not good either in analyzing one's motives in life in relation to his house-guests (or family, as they in effect have become), or for his training in the Art of the Sword.

Girls. Lots and lots of girls. He was surrounded by them all day, at classes, and again at home. So, he should be used to them, should be comfortable around them, should know how to act around them. Being around girls day and night, he should know what his feelings are, and know when his feelings are being truthful. But, when one of the girls you _live_ with is a real princess, with a younger sister who's also a princess, and another girl is a space-pirate -both of them very much older than you, and very much in love with you- life gets a little more complicated. 'Welcome to my life' Tenchi thought to himself.

He always seemed to be in the middle of them. It was a constant struggle between Ayeka and Ryoko, and he was beginning to feel less like a person around them, and more like a prize to be won. This was not how he wanted to be seen He had brought his concerns to his grandfather, but all he would say was "wait and see. wait and learn" Well, what was he expected to learn by being in the middle of a two or three-way cat-fight? Couldn't the Girls see what they were doing? He wished he had a way to make them see that the more they tried, the harder it became to make sense, to even know what they wanted

Tenchi cleared his head for a minute. He knew the problem he was experiencing. His mind was stopping on one subject, fixating on it, It was like looking at one red leaf on the tree, it prevented you from seeing all the leaves on the tree (and all the leaves in the forest)And that way was the quickest toward defeat. Unfettered Mind, grandfather called it. Self-understanding be damned, he snarled.

He knew from many sources, that Ayeka loved him. He knew that Ryoko loved him. 'If you go by her account, Ryoko has loved me more, loved me longer, and loved me better [than Ayeka] and thus has a better claim.' Tenchi had written one day. However, Ryoko was given to exaggeration, and Tenchi had learned to take her more grandiose claims with a dose of skepticism.

He began to doodle on the page, drawing stick figures representing himself and the girls.

§2 "How many Girs is "too many" Girls, afterall?"

How many girls are too many girls? One girl? Two girls? Three? What about five? Tenchi marveled at the suggestions his sempais often put forward about the number of girls they could "handle". It was obvious just from listening to them that they had never lived under the same roof with one girl other than perhaps a sister, yet alone 5, like he did. They had no conception of the delicate balancing act that was life with women, like pins and needles every day,

He actually had the Girls to thank for this "project", as Little Washu insisted on calling it. {He had a feeling that Washu had the desire to collate all their diaries together for some research project of hers, but he couldn't prove it, and it wouldn't do to confront Washu without proof anyhow] He had needed some way to deal with the onslaught of conflicting emotions the Girls had brought into his life, but other conventional methods (those open to guys) simply were not available to him, and he certainly did not care for the slightly ecchi ideas of his dad. Then Washu had suggested keeping a journal, and after a little hesitation, Tenchi had agreed, and bought a suitable purple composition book.

Looking back over the past few months worth of entries, he wished he had thought to keep a journal from the beginning, as there were large gaps in his self-understanding, but as Washu had pointed out "We never have the benefit/luxury of complete understanding, Tenchi, we can only fill in the gaps as best we can.: so, while he still didn't understand everything, he was beginning to "fill in the gaps"

Naturally, the hardest thing for him to write about, or understand, was the Girls' feelings for him -what about him attracted them, why they stayed, why they fought, why they didn't listen too well to him. And within this, the hardest (and probably most complex) target to deal with was, of course, Ayeka and Ryoko, but that did not mean that the others were therefore easy to understand. Mihoshi and Washu -correction, Little Washu- (just in case she had found a way to spy on him over his shoulder) themselves had complicated reasons for staying here And even little Sasami, with perhaps the simplest reasons for staying here, was possessed of complex motives -she could have gone back with Azusa and her mother when they came to check Tenchi out, yet elected to stay ostensibly to cook for her sister and new family,- and there was always the shadow of Tsunami coloring everything.

He mentally shrugged his shoulders, this was not a set of problems that admitted of easy, or quick solutions or answers. In matters of the heart, affairs could drag on for years without resolution -this much he had learned from Ayeka's soaps, and his father's manga- so who was he to think he could solve everything in just a few short months?

He knew most of his senpais (well, the boys at least) would laugh/snicker at the suggestion that Tenchi still kept a journal. But then again, it was pretty much a sure thing that none of his classmates had to deal with the things he did on a daily basis. (Of course it was a sure thing that some of the same boys who snickered the loudest kept their own journals) They certainly had never lived with 5 alien women from outer space. He needed some one to talk to, yet no one at school, adult or student could possibly understand his problems. And for good reasons, he couldn't confide with anyone at home. So, instead he wrote to himself. And strangely, it had become a comforting source of strength to see his thoughts and his emotions on paper. It made them concrete entities, made them easier to face as opposed to nameless, fleeting whispers occupying his waking moments. It was becoming a ritual almost to write out the day's events before turning in, he had finally discerned that right before bedtime was when he was most composed (except of course for the night before a test.), and it was easier to gather his thoughts together here, than in hurried snatches during the d ay. Though he still did that on occasion when the situation demanded it.

He looked over the small stack of volumes he had written -he hadn't realized a person could write so much about themselves over the course of a day until he rifled through the pages- and wandered if the carnival would ever end. Life just wouldn't be the same if it did end, but then again, Tenchi told himself, life hadn't been the same from the moment he had released the "Demon" from the Cave Shrine.

Looking for inspiration, he idly flipped through some of his earlier journal entries. By chance one of the journals opened to the entry for 14 September

14 September 199x

Sometimes its still hard to believe the Girls are what they are -what they say they are, what my senses tell me they are. But its when I look into their eyes that I see the truth about them (and about me). They say that the eyes are a window to the soul. That is certainly true of the Girls.

All the things they can do -all their in-human powers and abilities, and yet the fact that they can laugh, that they can cry, that they can even break dishes upon occasion -this makes hem all so human in ways I can't explain, even to myself. And then there's this whole alien heritage thing Grandpa's got going.

Ayeka hopes, no expects, me to take Yosho's place on the throne of Jurai, but I have enough trouble with Japanese history, not to mention less human civilization as a whole. How am I supposed to deal a whole galactic empire?

Ryoko hopes, no expects, that I'll just up and take off with her one day to the stars, leaving everything behind. She doesn't understand that I cannot simply run away from responsibilities because I dislike them. 'Course I couldn't tell her that, she'd take it the wrong way.

Washu wants, no expects, me to be her guinea pig. But I don't think any amount of prodding on her part is going to make me produce Light Hawk Wings for her to experiment on

Mihoshi wants...[illegible doodling] neh? I don't know what Mihoshi wants. I think she just likes being around people. Well, that and the whole "observe the aliens" thing she does, doubtless orders from the GP.

Sasami hopes, wants, expects me to just be myself. And as for Tsunami, I think she wants what Sasami wants, though I'm not sure I could explain that to anyone. Yet at the same time I can't help felling there is more to Tsunami's interest in me than the joy she shares with Sasami...something she is unwilling to reveal. Well, she is a kami after all, and who knows the mind of a kami-sama?

They think I don't know all this, but I do. I can see it in their eyes. "

He kept coming back to the Girl's attitude toward him again and again in his notes, which made their attitude toward each other a littler easier to understand, when compared to a similar situation at school, two girls warring over the affections of a schoolmate

He knew both of the Girls had at least a "crush" on him, possibly more than that. He sensed, and confided as much to his journal on numerous occasions, that the Girls desired Tenchi to reciprocate feelings in kind. There was more than an age gap, however. What he would like to do was to get each girl alone and talk to them, really talk to them, so he could get to know them a little better, away from their rival. Not about love, but about the other Girl, but about Life. Their life, their hopes, dreams, ambitions. The things they liked to do during the day, Things that made life special to them. That would be the ideal way, the way you were supposed to fall in love, in, and through, all the myriad details of knowing another person, the way it was done (or should be done) on Earth -not by falling in love from afar, not by some impulsive decision driven by emotional state, or happenstance event, and certainly because the stars might happen to be in a certain alignment one day versus the next, not love by proxy– which he felt was the origin of the Girl's "Love" for him- and definitely not because you happened to be part of the Royal Family, or the first person to have a kind word or thought toward you This was what Grandfather taught him was the proper way.. He could be wrong, and he hoped he was, but without more information to go on (gaagggh, he was beginning to sound like Washu, or his father) he saw no other explanation for their behavior.

Ryoko, he now knew, had watched over him from the time he was a baby. This gave the basis of a claim to his affections, and perhaps an expectation of a similar recognition on his part toward her. But he wasn't able to verbalize, much less talk about, how this made him feel. He knew that it made him vaguely uncomfortable, to hear Ryoko go over this part of her life, in her more serious moments, he wasn't sure he liked the idea of being watched unawares for most of his life, it led up to all sorts of heightened expectations he couldn't possibly deliver on, and that was just on her part. Ayeka, had searched far for her brother Yosho (his grandfather), only to learn he had settled on Earth, -it felt like she was merely transferring her affections from one to the other just so she could have affection in her life. But how to explain this to the Girls? He _knew_ he'd never be able to explain it properly without major histrionics and hysteria on the part of one or both of them. He was neither as loose or as guarded in his affections as the Girls gave every sign of being, yet, He had begun to wonder of late, if this did not have something to do with Tsunami's presence, part of some hidden super plan of Hers.

All this he kept in his journal, locked up safe from prying eyes, for added security he used a privacy device which utilized an anti-teleportation field in his room developed by Washu, and which also served as a dampening field against telepathy and telekinetic forces. He was pretty sure that Ayeka kept a journal as well, and had been keeping it far longer than he had, and perhaps Sasami. About Ryoko, however, he didn't have a clue. Except that maybe her empathic link with Ryo-ohki was useful for more than simply controlling the ship, Ryo-ohki had a prodigious memory recall.

Washu had tried to convince him of the importance -the necessity- of recording each and every detail in his journals, because -she said- the more information given, the more accurate the conclusions to be drawn. He had a sneaky suspicion, however, that Washu had other motives. That she would occasionally read the journal entries he had no doubt, as she betrayed herself in subtle ways only he would notice, by her reactions to him the morning after a reading (hey, even geniuses slipped up once in a while)

§3 "Coda"

Still, he had to hurry, and finish this night's entry: Dad would be peeking in shortly, on his nightly quest to see if his son had learned any new lessons *sigh* ; Sasami would be calling them to dinner or a late snack -her cooking was truly incredible; and he could never tell when Ryoko would pop in unexpectedly, or Ayeka would pass by and just happen to look in to see how he was doing. No one knew he had this journal, and he'd like to keep it that way for a while yet.

He looked down and grimaced, he'd managed to write a paltry two paragraphs. A shopping list really, not a proper journal entry at all. It deal with none of the problems he had begun the journal for in the first place. He had to try again.

"Honorable Diary: today was a day not unlike other days in my life. I woke up I gathered my things for school and readied myself, physically, hygienically, and emotionally. A half-hour's meditation and shadow-fighting with the bokken. I ate Sasami's delicious breakfast. I wasn't especially late or early to the bus, and the trip to school was uneventful. I went to school. The only unpleasantness at school was the announcement of an upcoming project in world religions. I can see this is another headache in the making. Just how much time do teachers think we have to do all this stuff anyway? [marginal note: rhetorical question, btw]

"Upon coming home I was met by Ryoko at the Masaki Prayer Gate, by Ayeka at the door to our house, and in the kitchen, Sasami with an after-school snack. I changed and headed to the carrot garden for the afternoon weeding, followed by additional training with Grandfather. He's been asking questions again. I think he and dad have a conspiracy against me. Back to the house to shower and change again, then sat down to another scrumptious dinner of Sasami, with the usual banter and table-talk. After which it was time for my homework, and a new weekly tutorial session with Washu covering galactic culture and politics, economics, and history. Plus a hint about a Imperial Civil Service Exam, and externship, or something.

"Well, as stated above, simply another day among days. Maybe tomorrow I'll write more about the Girls and their recent antics. Good night, honorable Diary."

He exhaled softly as he wrote his last sentence and closed the book. Ending an entry was almost as difficult as beginning it. "If only I had the courage to Be what each of your want me to be. If only I could let you know how I feel, if only I *knew* what I feel..

Owari

Important Information and such.

Copyright disclaimer:

As expected, all the characters , and any actual dialogue from the Tenchi Muyo! series are the property of AIC/Pioneer, and the creative team behind Tenchi Muyo! Only the immediate inspiration and story line are mine, and I'd like to keep it that way. This fanfic was written for the sheer enjoyment of the story with no commercial intent (public or private) or economic value proceeding thereunto. Distribution is encouraged, as long as you don't change anything and give credit where credit is due. 8=) This is a work of fiction, though some of the themes touched upon are real enough.

Other acknowledgments and credits:

I wrote this fic to the glory of God and the Great Mother of God, Mary most Holy. It is written about, for, and in appreciation of of his courageous Highness the First Prince of Jurai Tenchi Masaki, and the whole cast of Tenchi Muyo. It is dedicated to the AFC and Tenchi fans everywhere.

These -mostly context-less- musings about Tenchi, his inner feelings, and his relationships with Ayeka, Ryoko, Sasami, Washu, and Mihoshi serves as a non-linear, non-sequential follow-up to "The Night I First Loved You", and "Ayeka's Loves"(a fic still in process), and is a way of continuing my exploration of the characters' feelings one for another, and the possible permutations thereof. This is, kind of, a rebuttal to K'thardin and his anti-Tenchi rants, concerning the lack of a backbone of our erstwhile hero. (Then again, reading the manga, produced by one of the Tenchi creators and his less than courageous treatment of Tenchi, I can see where the dislike comes from) I wanted to write a story from Tenchi's point of view, about what *he* thought about life with 5 beautiful women from outer space. I hope I have succeeded, even if only a little. One caveat to keep in mind, I wrote this before the events of the third Tenchi OAV series came out with it's revelations about Noboyuki's own heritage, so some of my meanderings may seem OOC, but I always strive to maintain respect for the characters.

Once again, I thank Horosha for his valuable insights into Nippon. I thank my fellow back-slapper Duane for leading me on to even bigger flights of Tenchi fancy that. Special thanks this time around go "the Zorch" for his playful egging me on to write more in this vein.

Any spoilers for other fanfics are purely intentional.

Thanks for reading! See you next fic