Tenchi Muyo: Choices and consequences
I do not own Tenchi Muyo, or any of its characters or ideas, but I wish I did. As for this story, it was written as a sort of what if, while I wait for OVA 3 and GXP to be released stateside. I started on this after wondering, what if he actually did make a choice? For those that have read the "True Tenchi Novels" that detail the backgrounds on the characters, I have not read those. I guess you could say that this is an AU as I have made certain decisions on their backgrounds to fit my story. And if the Character appear OOC, there is a good reason.
I want to send a very BIG THANKS out to Doug Dennis, Top Quark (Shadow Quark) and Chendzeea Li for helping me with this story.
Tenchi Muyo: Choices and consequences
Tenchi knew that when sparing with his grandfather he had to keep all of his attention on what he was doing. However today he seemed to be having a lot more trouble doing that than normal. Normally he could walk away from these lessons with only a few minor bruises and such, but on days like today, he'd be lucky if he could walk away at all. Ayeka and Ryoko, who were watching from the bushes, also wondered what shape he'd be in, but they kept quiet for now. Ryoko knew she could teleport to him faster than Ayeka could run to him if he got hurt which would show that she cared more. However, none of them could have guessed that today's lesson would not go the way any of them had thought it possibly could.
"Tenchi, you're getting sloppy," his grandfather scolded. "Something else on your mind?"
"Grandfather, you…" Tenchi started to say but stopped abruptly as a bokken hit his head.
"When training you will address me properly."
"Yes Sensei," He said bowing quickly.
"Where is your mind wandering?"
Shrugging he simply said, "The girls." The training stops as both relax their stances to talk about it.
Tenchi did not know that Ayeka and Ryoko were watching him again. This time they were not hiding behind the Log guardians, but from behind two large trees close enough for them to hear and see what was going on. They listened intently when he mentioned them and Ayeka whispered to Ryoko, who was nearby, "I bet he has Tenchi say he loves me."
"You're on, but he loves me!" She replied trying not to yell, as she didn't want him to know they were nearby yet. Ayeka growls but hearing a voice again she quiets down.
"What about them?"
With a bowed head and slumped shoulders, Tenchi says quietly, "They want me to choose again, but it's not fair."
"And why not choose instead of stringing them along, or don't you have feelings for them."
Tenchi looks up slightly annoyed at his grandfathers' accusations; "Of course I have feelings for them. That's what makes it harder." He then adds in a softer voice, "I couldn't live without them." This surprises Ryoko as with her superb hearind she could hear what he said, but Ayeka could not.
"Tenchi, you're shaking. Tell me what do you feel?" Katsuhito asked trying to calm the boy.
"Scared?" Katsuhito, Ryoko and Ayeka all say at once, though the two females voices are barely above a whisper.
"Yes, the way they fight all the time. I'm scared I'll lose one." Tenchi looks up at his grandfather with tears brimming in his eyes.
"One? So you feel for more than one." Tenchi just nods his head at his grandfathers question as Ayeka and Ryoko stare. "Well then, what do you feel for Ryoko? Is it lust or desire?"
This made Ryoko a little upset, but she softened when she heard Tenchi speak "Anytime I'm around her I fell like… Like I belong, and I never want to loose her."
"Then why do you run away?"
He laughed though it didn't sound like he was being funny, "If I tell her, she'll flaunt it in front of Ayeka and it'll hurt her." Ayeka was hurt, and depressed that he was not making a choice to protect her feelings, but Ryoko was also hurt as well. Ryoko's hurt stemmed from how Tenchi thought she would react, though sadly, she had to admit that he was right.
"Yes, choosing Ryoko would have, interesting, consequences. So, you love her?"
"Yes." He said it, he could barely believe it, but he said it.
Ryoko could barely believe it as well, and she was beaming! "He loves me!" She said just barely above a whisper. Though she wanted to scream it, her voice was stunned into silence partially by his admission and by the fact that he was holding off saying anything because of how he thought she would react.
"You should not string them along then, if your heart lies with one and not the other," Katsuhito reprimanded.
"But, I love her too." All of them looked at the boy with wide eyes. "I love them both, Ryoko and Ayeka. If I ever lost them my life would be over."
"I think you are overstating that a little." If it had not been for the graveness in Tenchi's voice, his grandfather would have been laughing.
The two girls could not believe what he just said! He loved them both! "Every time they fight, I'm scared that I might loose one of them or both! I'm scared sensei." The two girls noticed the tears welling up in his eyes and the realization that they are only making things worse on him hit them hard.
"What do you plan to do about it?"
"I don't know," he said looking back down at the grass. "I can't choose them both."
"And why not? My father has two wives."
Ryoko had a sudden sinking feeling; she knew where this was headed as did Ayeka. "But Earth doesn't recognize that type of thing." Tenchi looked so sad and defeated that Ryoko herself wanted to cry, not over having heard that he loves her but that he is torn so much by this.
"Then why stay on Earth?" All eyes turned to Katsuhito as he said that.
Again Tenchi laughs, this time he doesn't even attempt to hide his feelings, "Oh and what go to Jurai?" Ayeka was surprised at him, as he seemed so against it, but she didn't know why. Ryoko though did not want to go back there; it would be too painful.
His grandfather shrugs, "And why not?"
"Think about it," he said with his voice heavy on the sarcasm, "how would the people of Jurai feel about me coming there with not just Ayeka, but Ryoko?" Katsuhito hit Tenchi over the head showing his displeasure in his tone. Holding his head Tenchi replied with an even worse attitude, "I heard what the Emperor said about Earthlings, he doesn't like them, much less Ryoko. How can I force her to go back there? It'll start a war!"
Katsuhito was more than slightly annoyed at what his grandson was saying, "I think you are letting your imagination get away from you."
"You told Ayeka that the people would never accept you! So why would they accept me." Anger was building in Tenchi's voice. "So you ran away and never looked back. And furthermore how could they…."
"ENOUGH!" He screamed slapping Tenchi. Katsuhito had never seen Tenchi so adamant about anything. Nevertheless, when he had said that about running away it had hit a sore spot, and he had reacted not even realizing he had. The slap however was much more than he intended, as he was still holding his bokken.
Ayeka and Ryoko had heard the exchange and had seen the wooden sword Katsuhito was holding hit Tenchi on the side of the head, and now he was lying motionless on the ground. Rushing to him, they began trying to get Tenchi to wake up while Katsuhito remained frozen in his position.
A sudden thought hit Ayeka, and she looked at Ryoko, "Take him to Washu."
"Right." She cradled the unmoving Tenchi in her arms and teleported down the stairs and into the house, without even realizing that Ayeka had just sent her away with Tenchi.
"Brother what happened?"
"He's right." His eyes and face had lost their gentleness; instead, they held an anger and coldness that she had never seen in him before.
He glared at her causing her to recoil from him. "They would never accept him, or her. It would cause a war."
"No, it wouldn't! We'll tell them the truth, she's not that bad she…"
"And since when have you defended her? And what good is the truth. Tenchi told me how you attacked them without provocation, although you knew the Statue of Limitations had taken effect. Your guardians even knew better."
She looked down in shame, as it was true. "We can make then understand," she said meekly with her eyes downcast.
"Oh, and how?" His voice was becoming harsher and colder.
"I don't know, but if he loves us both we can make them understand," she looked up at him defiantly.
"How many will you kill to make them see your point?"
"What?!" She shrieked.
"If they don't understand how will you make them? And if they rebel against your rule like some did against father, how many will you kill to force them to understand?"
"People rebelled against him?" It did not seem possible; that couldn't have happened. Her mothers had never told her about that, 'could it be true?'
His voice softened slightly, "Yes, because mother was not of Jurai. Many lives were lost before those that opposed her left Jurai. She was not even given any power at that time; she was merely his wife. How many will rebel against Tenchi?" Ayeka could not answer him, the truth hurt too much. "So you heard our conversation, so you know how he feels about you." She just nodded her head in shame though not over what Tenchi had said, but over eavesdropping. "Then you know he loves her too." Again, she just nodded. "What do you think the people will do if an Earthling returns to Jurai to claim the throne with the very one that nearly destroyed them?"
"But that was a long time ago!"
"Did that make any difference to you? Will you force him to choose between you and live with a man whose heart is so torn? Can you force him to tear his heart out just so you'll be happy?"
Her face downcast, "No, that… that's not right."
"Then what do you suggest? He cannot stay here and choose you both, and he cannot go there and choose you both."
"Then, we'll go away! All of us! To a place that will accept us, all three of us."
"And what of your responsibilities? Will you turn your back on your people?"
Ayeka slapped him across the face. "You have no right to talk to me about that."
"You may be right." His voice returned to normal though this time it was his eyes that were downcast. In his mind he couldn't believe that he had struck down Tenchi like that, nor could he believe how he had just talked to his sister. Clearly, he knew that this was going to be a very touchy subject for them all.
Ayeka turned away from him and stormed off down the stairs. But she could not get his questions out of her head.
"Then what do you suggest?"
"I don't know…" She responded angrily.
"And what of your responsibilities?"
"I don't know…" Her voice lowered as she tried to think of an answer.
"Will you turn your back on your people?"
"I don't know…" Tears began falling down her face as he kept asking things she did not want to know the answers to.
"Will you force him to choose between you and live with a man whose heart is so torn?"
"I don't know…" Her voice failing and her answers coming much slower than before.
"Can you force him to tear his heart in two just so you will be happy?"
"I don't know…" This time her voice was near non-existent.
"No, I do know…" She turned to the side, purposefully went to the Space Tree Funaho, and sat there to think about what to do. In her mind, she heard his questions repeatedly.
'Can you force him to tear his heart in two just so you will be happy?' He had asked, though she knew the answer now, "No, I can't." Again, his voice was heard in her mind, 'will you force him to choose between you and live with a man whose heart is so torn?' To which she replied "No, if it comes to it, I will leave, so he can be happy with at least one of us." The answers to those two were easy, but Tenchi had said that he did not want to loose either of them, so she had to think of something else.
In the lab, Ryoko and Washu had set Tenchi on a medical bed so the scientist could examine him. "What happened to him? Did he get caught between you two again?"
Washu looked up at her, "What do you mean?" Ryoko tried in vain to relay to Washu what had happened while the scientist checked him over, but she could not even begin to explain it all. Finally out of frustration she opened her mind and let Washu see for herself. "I see, so he chose you both."
"Yes…" Ryoko's eyes held a dreamy state for a moment as she remembered hearing that Tenchi loved her. She then remembered what he had said about Ayeka and her mood soured slightly. "…He chose us both."
"I see, well then…" Washu continues examining Tenchi and is able to stabilize his condition. "He had a nasty hit on the head; if it wasn't for you getting him so fast he might have had a serious problem."
"What… what kind of problem?"
"Possible brain damage, but the swelling seems to be going down before any permanent damage was done. He will be out for a few days though."
She said it with such a monotone and emotionless voice that Ryoko nearly decked her. However, she held her anger in check for the moment, as he was not awake yet. And despite her wanting to swat Washu for this, she had to let the scientist continue, for his sake. Katsuhito was another matter though as she screamed, "DAMN HIM! I'm not gonna let him kill Tenchi!"
"Whoa! Hold it! Who are you talking about?" The eccentric scientist said while waving her arms about trying to get her daughters attention.
"Katsuhito, he hit my Tenchi after Tenchi said the old man ran away."
"Hum that doesn't sound like him," Washu said putting her finger to her chin.
"You calling me a liar?" She hissed back.
"No! I just don't understand." Washu went back to working on Tenchi again. She didn't want to tell Ryoko that there is a possibility that he won't remember a thing. The severity of the hit has a possibility of giving him amnesia. Despite her trying to comfort her daughter, Ryoko would not leave him. She stayed beside Tenchi for what seemed like hours before Ryo-Ohki and later Ayeka joined her. Mihoshi and Sasami stayed outside the lab waiting to hear from them.
"How is he?" Ayeka asked when she entered the lab. Washu had stepped outside to tell the others but Ayeka had to see for herself. Plus there was something she had to do.
"He's sleeping now. Washu's stopped the swelling, but he was in bad shape."
Ryoko did not look or act like she had in any of their previous encounters which only furthered Ayeka's need to talk to her, but how? "I see," she said timidly walking over towards the bed Tenchi was in.
Several minutes of absolute silence pass before both look up and say in unison, "We need to talk."
"You first," they again said at once earning a growl from each of them in frustration.
Ayeka holds up her hand in front of her signaling Ryoko to wait a moment. For once Ryoko actually let her get away with this. "Ryoko, about what he said today," she began softly.
"Yea, about that," Ryoko said quietly as well.
"I, I can't force this on him, but I have responsibilities on Jurai."
The ex-pirate looked at her a little nervously, "Does that mean you're leaving?"
"I might. Tenchi will not be accepted on Jurai."
"What do you mean?"
"Yosho…" She began only to have Ryoko growled at the name. She continued though, as this was very important, "…ran because he was not accepted. Funaho also is barely accepted. If Tenchi were to attempt to claim the throne, it would send Jurai into a Civil War that may destroy the empire."
"So why are you leaving?"
"Are you saying you want me to stay?"
"Um, no…" She didn't sound convincing though, not even to herself.
"I see. Well, I was raised to take the throne… and… 'Can I force him to tear his heart in two just so I'll be happy?'"
"Sorry, um, I will be leaving so he can stay here… and be happy." Ayeka looked down in utter defeat and sadness seemed etched in her every feature, even Ryoko felt badly for what was happening.
Ryoko notices that Ayeka is near tears and she remembers what Tenchi said earlier. 'The way they fight all the time. I'm scared I'll lose one,' he had said. 'I love them both, Ryoko and Ayeka. If I ever lost them my life would be over. Every time they fight, I am scared that I might loose one of them or both! I'm scared sensei.' Ryoko realizes that in order for Tenchi to be happy, truly happy, then Ayeka will need to stay, but she's spent so long fighting the princess over him.
Ryoko then says something that she had never thought she would say, "No, I… I won't let you go…"
"What?" Ayeka asked and stared at her dumbfounded and utterly shocked.
"Tenchi said that he's scared to loose even one of us, and…" her voice breaks up as she admits it, "…if you left, he wouldn't be happy." This took a lot on Ryoko's part to admit, but she loves Tenchi, and wants him to be happy, even if that means sharing him with Ayeka. The princess looks down at the realization as well, if she stays it will just hurt him, if she goes it will hurt him more.
"Then we are back where we started. Neither of us can go, but we both can't stay."
"And we can't go to Jurai. I… can't go back…" Her body convulses at the images in her mind of the last time she was on Jurai.
"I know," Ayeka says in way that Ryoko finds strangely comforting.
Both girls take positions on either side of Tenchi. One took his right hand, while the other his left, but neither had any qualms about the other. Washu watched the interaction between them, and even now, as the two of them sit on either side of him, holding his hands, they are not fighting over it. "If I didn't know better, I'd say they were friends."
Washu creates a portal and steps through it to talk to Katsuhito. The old Shinto priest had been sitting in his office sipping tea, though it was not helping him. Instead, he sat brooding over how he had hit his grandson. "There you are." Katsuhito looked up from the table, but remained silent. "Hum, I see you're busy. I came to talk about Tenchi." His eyes returned to looking down at the table, unsure as to what he should say, and he knew that she was the one that took care of him. "I see, does this mean that you are responsible for his condition?" Again he remained silent, but he nodded his head. "Oh-Kay, well you did quite a number on him, he's gonna have a headache for weeks, but nothing too serious." The cup he was holding shattered as his whole body trembled. "You know I like having my guinea pig in my lab, but not like this."
"I'm sorry," he nearly whispered.
"Oh so now you talk. What the hell happened!?"
"I have never hit him like that before. Never. I just…" he looked so lost and confused that she could not help but feel sorry for him.
"So it is true, Ryoko told me that you hit him because he said you ran away."
He jumped up from his spot on the floor. "I had to!" Washu was intrigued about this new side of him showing. He had always been very calm before, why had things suddenly changed? "People were already uneasy that the only male heir to the throne didn't have pure Juraian blood. Sentiment was already against me. So, when I chased her off the planet I didn't care if I lived or died. That's how I beat her; my fear of death was gone." She looked at him strangely, as this made no sense as to why he had done that. For once, confusion on the scientist's face when he actually looked at her during his tirade.
"My father was not far away from naming me heir, but the people began to complain. Several systems even threatened to leave. But Ryoko's arrival gave me a way out. After I left, Funaho told me that the systems returned to the Empire when it was revealed that I was missing. So, I couldn't go back."
Though she looked confused, she actually did follow his logic, albeit slowly, "So you left everything to keep everyone happy?"
"Yes. Now Tenchi will destroy what I tried to save."
"But that was no reason to hit him!"
"I know! I know, and I'm sorry." He sat back down heavily, and defeated.
She thought about it for a moment, "What if he stayed here? He doesn't have to go to Jurai does he?"
"He doesn't 'have' to go anywhere. Ayeka will return though as she is next in line."
"So, what's the problem?" She shrugged and looked at him trying to understand.
The old man grins slightly, "He wants them both, but he can't have them both, not here, and certainly not there."
"Why not let him go somewhere else then?"
"And what about Jurai? They need another ruler; father wants to step down. Ayeka would never turn her back on her people. And the people would never accept Tenchi, much less Ryoko."
Washu began to see the problem, "Hum, I see your point."
The two sat there thinking and brooding about what could be done for Tenchi, Ayeka and Ryoko. They knew that he loved them both, but could the girls be happy with it? Washu knew from what she had seen in the lab that they were already forming a friendship over this but would that be enough? And what could be done about their future? The easy answer was to have Sasami become the next ruler and Ayeka could go to another planet with Ryoko and Tenchi and be happy. However, both knew that Ayeka was not the type to just run away from her people permanently. She may be fickle and a number of other things, but she has always talked of going back, and with him. But he would not return without Ryoko and that would be dangerous.
In space near the planet Jurai a secret meeting was being held, one that could seriously affect those on Earth. Two men have met in secret. Shrouded in shadows they talk quietly hoping to avoid the attention of others. "How's the construction?" The first man asked.
"Almost complete, we are ahead of schedule right now and it should be ready in just a few days."
"Excellent, then you found all the missing pieces?"
"It was not easy but we have found them all. Some we had to um… acquire… from the Galaxy police."
"Did you find 'the parts'?"
"Yes, it was difficult to locate some of them but we have been able to get the blueprints and enough of the parts to rebuild it. One was severed and we were unable to repair it, but the other two were in near perfect condition."
"That's good, and what of the Emperor? Does he or his family know of this?"
"No, while the Emperor was busy dealing with his wayward daughters on that planet we were able to salvage the parts from both ships."
"Good, good. Once completed I want it moved to the Sol system and hide it in the rings of the planet they call Saturn. They will not be able to discover it till it's too late."
While the first man leaves, a voice is heard from behind the second one. "Good work. No one must know of my involvement."
"Thank you," he says bowing and then leaves.
Several days pass as Tenchi sleeps in Washu's lab. Her machines keep a constant watch over his heart rate, breathing, brain activity and any other thing Washu could come up with. Ayeka and Ryoko have scarcely left his side during the time he has been unconscious.
"Ryoko, its time for dinner," Ayeka calls as she nears the Pirate who was anxiously watching Tenchi for any movement or sign of life other than his breathing.
"Ok," she calls back then moves from a chair beside him. Over the past few days, one or both of them had always been beside him. When mealtime would come, like today, one would leave the lab to go eat, then return to allow the other one to go eat.
"Any change?" She asked hopefully.
"Not yet, but Washu thinks he should wake up anytime. How are the others?"
"Sasami still won't talk to brother, and Mihoshi… she's just herself." The princess hated to admit it but of all of them, Mihoshi seemed to be the one, who was least affected. At least on the outside, as the blonde still watched her shows and was just as ditsy as ever.
"Yea I bet; Ryo-Ohki's been kinda quiet lately."
"Really? I would've thought she'd ask you to get her some carrots or something." She tried to laugh, although the thought of who normally gathered the carrots currently unmoving stifled her humor.
"SHHHH! Don't remind her!" Ryoko said a little louder than she wanted to as she jumped up trying to hush the princess while looking around wildly making sure Ryo-Ohki was not close by. Ayeka couldn't help it seeing Ryoko act like that just seemed funny, and so she laughed. "Hay! What's so funny?" The way Ryoko was acting combined with her confused and angry expression only served to make the princess laugh even more. She laughed so hard she nearly fell over.
"Could you hold down the noise?" Both turn around nervously but very excited over the voice they just heard.
"Tenchi?!" They both cried in a mix of fear, confusion and joy.
"Yes … my head hurts…"
"Oh Tenchi! We've missed you!" Both girls proceeded to hug him, oblivious to the fact that they had to slightly hug each other to hug him.
"Is this heaven?" He asked cautiously.
"Huh?" Ryoko asked perplexed.
"Why do you say that?" Ayeka asked, as she too was confused.
Though his arms hurt from their extended non-use, he placed them around the girls to hug them both. "I just thought that in order to get you two to be nice to each other we would have to be in heaven." He offered a weak grin as they just blushed slightly. "What happened anyway?"
Washu had come in when her sensors picked up something unusual from him and she was there to see the girls hugging him and each other. She was very happy in that not only was he finally awake but he seemed to remember them, which was good. "Well Tenchi I see you're finally awake, tell me how do you feel?"
The two girls were startled to hear Washu's voice but they were so happy to have him back that they didn't let go of him. He answered weakly, "Like a truck hit me."
"I'm not surprised," she said snickering a little. She was relieved to see that he was ok, and that he didn't seem to have any permanent problems.
"How long have I been out? A year or two?"
"What makes you think that?" Washu looked at him strangely, but he just gestured to the two holding on to him and not fighting each other off. "Ah yes, well you've actually only been unconscious for … almost a week I guess."
"Only a week huh?" He said softly, "I should've had him do this to me a long time ago."
"Watch it bub. I heard that." Ryoko put in. Ayeka and Washu just snickered as he looked at them nervously.
"Lord Tenchi, we need to have a talk."
"About?" He looked at her worriedly.
"Actually, I need to sit in on this too as I have a few ideas." Washu stated that in a way that left little room for arguments.
Ryoko however tried to think of at least one to keep her away, "What kind of ideas could you have about this!"
"Well I am the Number One Scientific Genius in the Universe, so I think I have a few ideas." All of them rolled their eyes at this comment. "But for now you need your rest," she said pointing to him, "so this will have to wait for later."
"Actually I want to talk to someone…" He said nervously.
"And who is that?" Washu inquired. Though all three of them looked at him expectantly.
"I need to talk to Tsunami… I've…"
"Tsunami!" They all nearly yelled; they were surprised that of all people he wanted to talk to her.
He began "I've had a strange dream… but it felt more real than a dream… I… I'm…" His whole body began to tremble.
Ayeka had not seen him like this before, "You're what?"
Ryoko though realized it; "He's scared…"
Washu looked at her curiously then him, "…about what?"
"As I said, it was a dream, but it felt…" He did not even realize that he still had his arms around Ryoko and Ayeka but they felt him pull them closer as his eyes closed tightly. It was obvious to all of them that this was not one of those good dreams and he was scared of something happening. And that something was bad.
While he held onto the two girls, Washu left the lab to find Sasami, 'Hopefully she will know how to reach Tsunami.' She did not have to go far as the little girl was in the kitchen absently stirring something. It was obvious she was not thinking about what she was doing. "Hay Sasami?" The girl did not respond. "Oh Sasami?" Washu began waving her arms around and finally got her attention.
"Huh? Oh hello Little Washu… Um…" she looked down at the bowl. "Oh no! I must be late. You're out of your lab and dinner's still not ready!"
If it had not been for what she just witnessed in the lab and then here she would have laughed, but Washu was not about to just pass off both things as funny. "No, you're not late. I'm early."
"Huh? Really, why'd you come out so early?"
Incensed she retorted, "What, can't I come out more often?"
"Well… you don't normally." Sasami said meekly.
The little scientist was bout to launch into a tirade about this when she felt Ryoko asking mentally, 'Have you found Tsunami? Tenchi's… um… still upset.'
'I just found Sasami. She was just staring off into space. Something is wrong here.' Diverting her attention back to Sasami she asked, "Sasami I need to you to come into my lab for a little bit."
"But I can't! I've got to finish cooking, I'm late already!"
"That can wait; Tenchi needs to talk to Tsunami."
"He had a disturbing dream, at least that's all he'll say." She was slightly annoyed that of all people he wanted to talk to Tsunami and not to her, but she will find out what's wrong soon enough she was sure of it.
"What's so strange about that?"
"Well nothing unless you consider the fact that he's been holding onto Ryoko and Ayeka for the past five minutes and he's not let got of them yet and he's shaking and crying."
"He's what!" She all but shouted forcing Washu to cover her ears.
"Here I'll show you." Bringing up her floating keyboard, she typed a few buttons and a screen appeared where Tenchi was sitting in a bed in the lab, with Ryoko and Ayeka on either side of him. He still had his arms around them as they too had an arm around him trying to comfort him. Both of them were surprised to see both Ayeka and Ryoko comforting him and holding him without fighting. For now, he had stopped trembling.
"What… what do I do?" the little princess asked quietly not sure what could have caused this to happen.
"He asked to talk to Tsunami; do you know how to contact her?" The little girl nodded and the two of them went to the lab, leaving dinner to be fixed later.
In the lab, the scene had not changed much. Now Ayeka and Ryoko were sitting on either side of him, actually sitting on the bed with him! What really surprised the little princess and Washu was that the two girls were not fighting. In fact, it looked like they were both holding him and each other! Ayeka was telling him that Tsunami would be there soon, while Ryoko was whispering something to him trying to soothe him. Her tone did not have a trace of her normal seductive nature.
As they approached they could hear what she was saying, "Shhh, Tenchi it'll be ok. We're both right here, we're here for you."
Ayeka added to what the pirate was saying, "Yes, we're both here, we're here for you, just relax. Tsunami will be here soon, don't worry."
Having seen the two holding on to him through Washu's screen in the kitchen had not prepared for this; it was beyond what she had thought. Tenchi seemed to be hanging onto them as if his or their life depended on it. Sasami did not want to admit it but she was getting scared. "Tenchi," she asked quietly, not quite sure she wanted to find out what was wrong. She like everyone else had known Tenchi was hurt, but this was new and not comforting though it looked like it should be.
"Sasami!" Ayeka cried out surprised that she was here.
"Miss Washu came and got me saying that… that Tenchi wasted to talk to Tsunami."
"Yes, I need to talk to her." His voice sounded hollow and sad even though he was happy to have the girls here and not fighting over him.
"Do not burden Sasami with this Tenchi." A voice caused all to look to the side where a ghostly image of Tsunami stood.
"Tsunami! What's wrong with Tenchi?" Ryoko demanded.
"Yes, I am curious too." Ayeka added trying to sound polite but still very nervous.
Tsunami walked to in front of Tenchi and placed her palm on his forehead to see his thoughts. She smiled at first then the images turned very dark and disturbing. Those watching could see her face reacting to something that seemed to terrify her. She finally let out a gasp as she pulled her hand away from him as if it were burned. Her eyes were wide open and Ayeka was surprised to see that Tsunami was scared. "How… how long…. The dreams… how long have you had them?"
"I'm not sure when they first started," he said looking at the floor not daring to look at anyone else.
"WHAT! What about his dreams!" Needless to say, Ryoko was not taking any of this very well.
"Well, you see…." The goddess began.
"I killed," he said softly.
"So what's wrong with that? You've done it before."
Had this been on any other subject he might have laughed or at least been able to handle it. "No, not just one, millions."
"Actually Tenchi the population of Jurai is in the billions." Ayeka's head snapped up at Tsunami's mention of Jurai. Ryoko unconsciously took a step back away from them.
Ayeka was scared, she knew where this was going, but she hoped she didn't. "What… what do you mean…"
"Tenchi…" Ryoko's voice sounded like she was scared or nervous, "why would you go there?"
"I wish I knew." He said hanging his head. All other eyes went to Tsunami.
"All of your dreams seem jumbled and confused, but at the end…." Her voice trailed off.
"He destroys Jurai?" Washu put in, to which the goddess nodded.
"But, but, but why?" Ayeka stuttered out, she could not understand why he would just go there and destroy her home, her family, everything!
Tsunami just shook her head sadly, "That is not revealed in his dreams, but I sense that they are becoming more common and lasting longer right?"
He nodded his head and Ryoko spoke up, "Is that why you haven't been sleeping very well?" Everyone looked over at her. "I've been watching him, as he sleeps… it, it calms my fears. But he's been tossing and turning more… I, I didn't know what to do."
Ayeka looked at her curiously, "Did you do anything?"
"Ryoko, what did you do?" Washu was worried what the answer might be; it could be anything from trying to seduce him to joining her mind with his.
"I," Ryoko blushed as everyone was looking at her; "I would sing to him… Sometimes he seemed to calm down… when he didn't I'd…." She looked up to see everyone starting at her with their mouths hanging open, even Ayeka. "Um, what?"
"That was you… I heard someone singing softly and it helped some nights, but… I kept thinking about the cave when I heard it."
"Your grandmother and mother used to sing that to you when you were a child. When you would pass by the cave with them, they would be singing it. It helped me… as it seemed to help you." Ryoko was beyond nervous, she had just exposed to everyone that she has been scared before and that she gets nervous now. And not only that, but that she sings him to sleep as well. Baring her soul and fears to others was something that she hated to do, but she was forced into it this time.
"Ryoko," she turned back to Tenchi and was at first scared to look him in the eyes. "Thank you, for watching over me." Tenchi had been so surprised over it all and genuinely touched that he knew he had to do something, and as he said that to her he saw her smile and in her eyes, he could see a happiness that they had not held in a long time. He reached up and stroked her cheek gently and as everyone watched, he pulled her closer to him. For a moment he forgot about anyone else being in the room, instead he was focused on her. She had been there for him when he did not even know it, trying to help and not taking advantage of him. As she had said what she did, he was amazed that she did it, and that she would confess it before others. Before he himself knew what he had done, or was doing, he had pulled her close to him and kissed her, not on the forehead, or even on the cheek, but on the lips.
The feeling was very exciting to them both, to be able to express the long hidden feelings on love that they shared. Slowly her arms wrapped around his neck as he held her close. Washu, Sasami, and Tsunami smiled on as Ayeka looked on with a decidedly different reaction.
Inside Ayeka she felt jealously, hate, fear, envy and joy. It was such a wide range she didn't know if she should laugh, cry or congratulate them. She wanted him; wanted him to love her, but even though he had said he loved her, she still wished she could have been Ryoko at that moment. She had never known that he was having trouble sleeping or that Ryoko had been in his room singing him to sleep as he was having these nightmares. If she had known, she would have done something to help. She didn't know what but she would have. As she watched them pull away, she was surprised to see that Ryoko had tears in her eyes, but not from being sad or hurt but from being happy.
When his eyes turned from Ryoko to the rest of those watching he blushed a little but said no apologies, though no one expected one. Then his gaze turned to Ayeka and she looked down ashamed. Ashamed for not knowing, not helping, and for being jealous. She did not know of a way to help; she had never been the one that anyone really had gone to for that kind of thing. Instead, she had been the one to always go to others. Ayeka suddenly felt like he could see through her, see through her skin and tell that she felt ashamed for not knowing or helping.
"Ayeka," he called to her and she looked up, but still not into his eyes. "Are you angry with me?"
Her head snapped up, "Oh no Lord Tenchi." He then caught her gaze and she looked at him, in the eyes this time. He was not ashamed of what he did, and he looked to be worried, possibly about her and she felt even worse because of it.
He held up a hand to her and she slowly took it and he pulled her closer to the edge of the bed he was still sitting on. "I need to tell you," he looked between Ryoko and Ayeka for a moment, "both, something very important."
"Tenchi," Ryoko interrupted. "We know. We heard you talking to Katsuhito before."
He nodded, "Then you know, but I have to say it… to both of you." He paused a moment and Ayeka felt herself preparing for the worst though she knew what he would say. "Ayeka, you have been someone whom I have admired and cared for, for a long time though I didn't know how to show it. Only recently did I actually realize how deeply I felt. I, I don't truly think my life would be complete without you in it, but not as a spectator or a friend. I love you," She gasped as he said it and tears flooded her eyes. "It has taken me some time to acknowledge it and I guess even longer to act on it. I'm sorry, for hurting you and putting you through that." Tenchi then did something that he had only done before once, he reached up to her cheek, brushed away a tear that had fallen and pulled the princess into a loving kiss.
Ryoko watched from beside him and she was still feeling the aftereffects of him finally expressing his feelings for her. The kiss had been everything she had hoped it would be and more, especially since he had kissed her, and she had not forced him into it. Actually at the time she had not even thought about that, as she was too preoccupied with what was happening. Now as she watched, he had told Ayeka that he loved her and was now kissing the princess just as he had kissed her. She smiled as she knew he loved her too, not from what he had said before but from the kiss, 'there is no way to kiss someone like that and not love them,' she thought. One thing surprised her though; she didn't feel jealousy, envy or even anger at seeing him kissing the princess, though she didn't know why. 'Shouldn't I be upset? Shouldn't I beat her to a pulp for kissing him?' But the anger and resentment just was not there.
When he pulled away from Ayeka, she sat heavily on the bed beside him with stars in her eyes. He chuckled lightly as he turned to his space pirate who was looking at him in wonder and love. Smiling he touched her face again, "I guess I have already made my feelings know for you. Since the day we met at my school, I have felt something for you. At first I… I didn't think it was good, but the more I got to know you the more I fell." He sighed wistfully; "When you were kidnapped I had to bring you back, not just because I had to, but because I wanted to. When you were taken from me again I was ashamed of myself for not realized you were in trouble, but in both cases I got to hold you in my arms, if even for a short time and… and it was like we belonged. I have wanted to hold you again like that many times, to tell you how I felt." He shook his head sadly and looked at Ayeka, what he was about to say may hurt them both, so he grabbed both of their hands in his. "But I was scared to act. I was scared that if I came forward about my feelings that Ayeka might be hurt or try to hurt you, and then when I realized that I cared for you both I was scared even more. Choosing one would mean loosing the other… and… I just…." Tears were falling from his eyes as he was trying to form the words. "I never want to loose either of you. I love you Ryoko. To me you have never been the demon or killer that others have tried to make you out to be. You were wild, playful and energetic, though I came to understand that you have never been given a chance to just live or even know how to live with others."
Ayeka suddenly looked down again, shame and sorrow filled her as she realized that she had been the one that had tried to point out every one of her old rival's faults. Instinctively she tried to pull her hand back, but he held it tightly. Slowly she began to cry as he talked to Ryoko. Ryoko had noticed Ayeka trying to pull away from them, she knew why, and she too felt a bit guilty, as she had not made things easy on Tenchi, especially with her attacks on the princess.
"I want you two to understand. I love you both, and I can't loose either one of you. This contest that you two think you're in, it's over." He paused and smiled weakly, "The only contest or challenge I have is for you both." This got their attention away from trying to pull away from him. "I will no longer push either one of you away, but that also means that I don't want you to fight or argue over me. Can you two get along, and live together, for me?"
The two girls swallowed heavily and then looked at each other. Already this week they had not fought once and have even split up time with him without fighting. The only way they could describe it was, a friendship, was growing between them. However, what he was saying was that they would be around each other more. Ryoko looked back at him, "You… you said we can't fight over you… but what if we disagree about other things?" She smiled at him and he could not help but grin.
"I don't guess saying that I want all fights to end will be possible, at least not yet." Ryoko only chuckled as Ayeka gasped. "As I said, you two will no longer be fighting over me, as for other things I would like you to work them out, peacefully."
"Damn." This time Ayeka laughed, as Ryoko looked on a little disappointed that she no longer had someone to fight. Then a thought occurred to her, "Oh Tenchi," she purred sweetly; "since you know that I've been helping you sleep at night do I have your permission to join you?"
He gulped and Ayeka looked startled, "Miss Ryoko! That is highly inappropriate!"
"Oh you can join us too…" she said just as sweetly as before though Tenchi got the feeling that Ryoko was trying to get Ayeka on her side to convince him of it.
The thing neither of them was expecting was to have Ayeka suddenly laughing. They both looked at her confused as she tried to calm herself. "I must be crazy for thinking this but you are saying that a princess and a pirate will be sharing the same bed!" The others who had been watching this laughed as well. Not at it's absurdity, but because that is exactly what she was saying.
"Well you can sleep on the floor while we take the bed." Ryoko retorted though she was getting slightly upset that everyone was laughing. Everyone that is, but her and Tenchi. She looked at him and he seemed to be thinking about something, something very serious until he finally shrugged.
"She won't have to take the floor." All laughter and breathing stopped as he spoke and they waited for what he was going to say next. Ryoko's eyes were nearly as big as saucers as she looked at him while Ayeka looked confused. "I guess it will only be a matter of time anyway, but… I would not force either of you out of my…" he gulped, "bed."
"REALLY!?" Ryoko nearly screamed and he just nodded.
"Though I would ask you to wear something, I'm not ready for… Um, you know yet. I want us to wait."
Ryoko looked a little sad, but her saying, "damn" just did not seem to convey that she was all that upset.
Ayeka though looked very perplexed. "You mean, that we can join you… and you would not force us out?"
"Yes," he then thought of something, "can you two share not only my love but me?" He asked in a hushed whisper so that only they could hear him, at least he thought.
Both nodded yes when Washu suddenly spoke up for the first time in what seemed like ages to her, but watching this had been fun. "Ya know Tenchi you might want to talk to your dad about that… something tells me that your little bed will need to be made bigger."
"Ah come on mom!" Ryoko called out sounding as if she had just been denied what she always wanted.
The suddenness of being called mom, by her and without her usual sarcasm touched Washu and she began to tear up. Tsunami noticed this and touched her shoulder. "I… I didn't say you couldn't… you will just need to talk to him. Though I doubt he will say anything against it, he's been trying to get Tenchi to do this for a long time."
Something happened then that surprised everyone, though they enjoyed it. Ryoko suddenly disappeared and reappeared with her arms around Washu. "Thanks mom. Now, about that bigger bed…" She started as those around her laughed.
"Tenchi," a voice called turning everyone's attention to the Goddess Tsunami. "The dreams may well get worse before they get better. It may be advisable to have both Ayeka and Ryoko with you in case they do get worse. However, in doing this you are pledging your life to them both. Are you sure about this?"
"Huh! What do you mean?"
"She is a princess and is not allowed to be in the same bed as someone that is not her intended. By inviting her to join you, you are thereby pledging yourself to her." He gulped and looked at Ayeka, who looked away nervously.
"So you are saying that I would be engaged to her then?"
"Yes, but it comes with great responsibility. Will you return to Jurai to claim the throne? With her as your bride and your birthright, it is your right."
He suddenly lost his smile and his body visibly slumped, as did Ryoko's. "My right, but would they accept an Earthling as Emperor or would they accept Ryoko as a Queen." Everyone gasped and looked at him, none more than Ryoko. He looked at Ayeka then Ryoko. "I can't loose either of you. If I am pledging myself to one, then I will do the same to the other."
"So you intend on going to Jurai?" Sasami asked.
"I will have to talk to both of them about it." Ryoko suddenly had tears forming in her eyes though she did not start crying. He knew that this was a big step for them all. Especially Ryoko who has lived with people hating her.
"Ya know Tenchi, this is what I wanted to talk to you about as well." Washu said diverting his attention away from Ryoko for a minute. "Since you're talking about marrying them both, that sort of thing is not allowed on Earth. If you stay here, you will still have to choose one. But!" He could almost hear the fanfare as she drew everyone's attention to her. "But Jurai is not the only planet to allow multiple marriages!"
"But… but what about Jurai?" Ayeka asked though she did not seem as interested in going there as she had in the past.
"That I can take care of," answered Tsunami as she got a grin on her face.
"What do you mean?" Tenchi asked.
"Actually Tenchi there is something you need to do to help me." She got a sly grin and a light formed in her hands. The light extended out about a foot and then some more before forming a shape. Tenchi recognized the shape immediately as his sword. It then appeared where the light had been and he saw the two remaining gems in it and he understood.
Reaching out for it Ryoko gasped as he bowed his head and pointed it at her. "Tenchi, you don't… I mean you…."
She suddenly stopped as she heard him say, "I trust you, with my life and my heart." With the words said the two remaining gems disappeared from the sword and re-appeared on her wrist and neck. The result was something that they had not thought she would do. She began crying and threw herself at him.
As she cried he rubbed her back, though the force of the impact had knocked him down and he was lying on his back. Ayeka put her hand on Ryoko's back and began rubbing it trying to sooth her new friend, and co-fiancée.
"Tsunami," Ayeka said, "I don't see how this is going to help Jurai?"
"Wait and see what happens. I am sorry my child but you were never intended for the one your mothers picked out for you." She then turned to Sasami; "Do you trust me?" The little princess just nodded her head. Ayeka was reeling in the revelation that she had been given. Not only that she was confused as to what the goddess was meaning. "Good, you will need to make something special tonight. To celebrate their engagement." This brought grins and blushes from Tenchi, Ryoko and Ayeka. "One will be joining the party late as he will not want to come, but he will be led here by me."
"Ok!" The little princess jumped up and started racing for the door.
"Why did you tell her she had to cook?" Washu asked, as the other three were still tongue-tied.
"She loves to cook for all of you, and she was wanting to make something special anyway, this only gave her an excuse to do what which she already wanted. Besides I will be helping her." Tsunami suddenly disappeared from the lab leaving only four remaining. Tenchi, Ryoko and Ayeka were still sitting on the bed with Washu standing beside them wondering what to do before she remembered that Tenchi needed a new bed.
"Well I have to get busy, I have to make your room bigger if I'm going to put a bigger bed in it!" She cackled as she walked away.
"She's crazy." Ayeka said softly.
"Yea, but I guess I'm gonna have to get used to calling her mom instead of Little Washu." Ryoko's head snapped up to look at Tenchi as he said that. "That is if you will still want me… to… um…." He stopped and moved off the bed sitting Ryoko on the edge beside Ayeka. Ayeka knew what he was doing, but Ryoko seemed lost. "I love you both and it would be a great honor if you, both, would… um… would you marry me?" He looked up at them almost pleading them to say yes.
"Of course!" Ayeka nearly shouted and she lunged at him.
"You couldn't get rid of me! Of course I will!" Added Ryoko before she too lunged at him. He hugged them both fiercely and kissed them both which was no easy task.
He turned with them and headed for the door when Ryoko suddenly stopped; "Since we'll be married does that mean you'll have sex with us at the same time?" Tenchi suddenly started sputtering as he tried to think up an answer while Ayeka gasped and looked at her amazed before turning very red. Ryoko just continued to laugh and for once, she was looking forward to the future.
To be continued, I mean it… I really will continue it… I promise…
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