Author's Notes:

Hey all you Tenchi Muyo fans! Dream-chan here with another attempt to write a fanfic about those crazy characters we love sooooo much! As for the purpose of this fic, I was thinking what could I write about my favorite space pirate that hasn't been done before. Unfortunately, my brain couldn't come up with original ideas, so I decided to use a familiar plot, but to put my own (hopefully) twist on things. I think that it is time for Ryoko to change...just not for Tenchi! So I hope you enjoy this and if you do tell me! If you don't, then, tell me anyway ^_~



Before I would like to take this time to thank Dreamr, because if it wasn't for his great fic "Invader", this wouldn't never been created ^_^




Disclaimer: Tenchi Muyo! and all related characters are the property of AIC and Pioneer Inc.



Important Notes:

This fic will contain elements from the OAV, television series, and is set about three years after the third Tenchi movie. Some of the characters may appear OOC, but I'm taking into account that they mature a little bit.


"dialogue"
/thoughts/


Soul Decision-Prologue
by Dream-chan
Rating:PG (for now....)
Editor: still on the lookout ^_~
Email:dream_chan@hotmail.com



One Step Forward






"So, are you sure this is really worth it?" an anxoius voice called out, the sounds echoing off the cavern-like walls of the multi-dimensional lab.



"Yes." came the confident reply.



"You know that there is no turning back from this." came another warning, flexible hands twirling and pushing various knobs and buttons.


"Yes."



"This is PERMANENT Ryoko." the child-like scientist stressed, trying to make the young woman before her understand all the consequences of her actions.


"I know this already! Just do it already DAMMIT!" the spiky haired woman bellowed, fangs bared and foot tapping in impatience.


"Are you sure that I-"


"NO! We are going to do it now! I'm tired of stalling Washu. You said that you would help me..."


Accepting that she wasn't going to win this battle, Washu motioned Ryoko to the examination table on the side of the room.


"Now this may sting a bit, but after the initial shock you should be fine."


"I don't care. Just do it!" came the swift command, telling the woman to get a move on.


Sighing, the scientist typed a bit on the holo-laptop in front of her, and immediately began the steps that would change the ragtag family forever, although she didn't know it yet.



INITIATING OPERATION PROTOCOL

Soon, the sounds of machines whirring could be heard, various monitors showing information on the young woman laying on the bed. Pulse, heart rate, and all vitals were recorded and the breathing mask soon began to administer the drug to sedate the patient. Once it was concluded that Ryoko had fallen into a deep sleep, Washu began the main procedure of the operation.




INITIATING GEM REMOVAL



Giant mechanical arms lowered towards the exposed wrist, accurate movements gently prying the remaining gem from it's mistress. Once it was lifted from the pale skin, Washu felt a sharp pain, feeling as if she was being ripped apart. Once the horrible sensation passed, she reached out with tentative mental hands, finding an empty space that was previously filled with her daughter's presence.


Goodbye my Little Ryoko.


Hearing the clink of the gem falling into the power containment box she constructed, Washu already knew what would be displayed on the monitor.



GEM REMOVAL COMPLETE


Looking at the still woman on the exam table, Washu couldn't help feeling anger and bitterness towards her. Anger because she was giving up the only connection that Washu had between her, and bitterness because she knew that in some roundabout way, she was part of the cause of it. Wiping away tears, she pushed some more keys, and within seconds Ryoko began to stir from the deep sleep that she had been in. Blinking, she sat up slowly, looking over to see an adult Washu taking readings from the machines above her.


"So, how do you feel?"



"I know that this is going to sound stupid, but I guess 'naked' would be a good choice." Ryoko muttered, rubbing her temples a bit to get rid of the fuzzy feeling that had taken up residence there.


"That's because you are missing a vital part of yourself. You really think that Ten-"


"Don't bring him into this. I didn't do this for him. I did this for me." she said forcefully, giving her 'mother' a baleful glare.


"Did you really?" the scientist asked, her disbelief coming through loud and clear.


"Yes. I've come to realize that I am never going to have peace as long as I am thought of as the 'demon-pirate' or as a puppet for someone to use. These powers that you have given me have been more of a burden than a blessing, and I am tired of carrying it. If that makes me 'normal', so be it, but this is not to increase my chances of getting Tenchi. This is so that I can live...for me. Besides, if Tenchi can't accept me for who or what I am, then I can't make him, and he can't change me. He deserves to love someone who acts like they really are, not who they think he wants. " Ryoko finished, taking in the shocked expression on her mother's face.


Taking in her look for confusion, she smirked, "Don't tell me that the GREATEST SCIENTIFIC GENIUS IN THE UNIVERSE can't figure out what I just said."


"Smart-ass." her mother snapped back, the smile on her face taking the heat out of the reprimand. Letting her smile fade a bit, she began the speech that she had been practicing for this moment. "Ryoko, I know that I have been somewhat of a lackluster example of what a mother should be, but I would very much like to somehow polish up that image."



"Washu, why can't you just say 'let's kiss and make up'?" the former pirate asked sarcastically, smoothing down the new dress she stepped into.


"I'm a genius. I can only use big words, but how about it? Is it possible that we can ever be mother and daughter again?" Ryoko could hear the hope that her mother held for a reconciliation between them, and decided to meet her half-way.



"I don't know Washu. How about we take it one step at a time and see what happens, okay?" Ryoko asked, placing a tentative hand on Washu's shoulders, giving her a comforting squeeze. Knowing that was going to have to work for now, she nodded in agreement. Thinking of another important topic, she asked, "So, are you going to tell anyone goodbye?"


Shaking her head, Ryoko looks down to avoid the probing look being thrown in her direction. "I've already taken care of that."


"Well, I guess there isn't anything stopping you...." the redhead replied softly, her shoulders slumping in defeat.


Trying to comfort the distraught woman, Ryoko touched the sleeve of the mad scientist, not sure how to "Washu...Mom. Don't cry."



"Why shouldn't I?!?!? Why do I always have to lose my children?!?" she exploded, shrugging the hand off in her anger.


Not wanting to make the situation any worse, Ryoko took a calming breath and patiently replied, "Wa...Mom. You're not losing me. The reason I have to do this is because I have to find myself. I can't define what I am by other people anymore. Ryoko has to define Ryoko." she explained, determination lacing her tone.


"You're right."


"Of course."


"You better or I'll turn you into a kappa!", the woman warned sternly, her eyes shining with a mixture of mirth and sadness. Turning serious again she asked her daughter, "Do you have everything I gave you? Money? I.D?"


"For the thousandth time Washu, I got it. Anyway, I think it's time I get going before everyone gets up."


"Ryoko, before you go, I want you to know two things."


"What?"


"I love you and you have made me very proud." she said steadily, trying hard not to breakdown in front of her daughter.



Looking over her shoulder, Ryoko genuinely smiled at the woman who brought her into this world and replied with sincere words of her own.




"I know Mom. I know."





And with that, the Infamous Space Pirate Ryoko left everything behind.





Hours later at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, A handsome man stood in front of a gate watching the crowds of people for the person that he held a ticket for.


Jaden Tanaka, son of Japanese CEO Hiroshi Tanaka and English scientist Kathrine James, is a successful young man in his own right. At the age of twenty-four, he already owns an image consulting firm and is returning to England after an extended vacation of visiting his father's family. Visiting the Japanese countryside had been a great experience for Jaden, not because of the fresh air and natuaral beauty, but for the people that he met...well one person in particular.


Snapping out of his thoughts, he notices a familiar head of cyan and begins to smile, happy that the woman he had been thinking about since he met her, didn't change her mind.


Smiling, he met her a few feet away and gave her a brief hug. "Hi."

"Hey." the woman said, returning the embrace and giving him a small smile in return.

Stepping back a bit, he looked at the young woman in front of him and said, "I'm glad to see you made it. After you running off the other day, I thought that you wouldn't take me up on my offer."

Lifting her gaze to his, she replied hurriedly, "No...I just had to settle some personal matters, but if you don't want me to go-"


"No no no! I didn't mean that! I want you to come with me, but I don't want you to go if you're going to have regrets." he explained, placing a gentle hand on the small of her back, steering her to the departure gate.


Handing the tickets over to the agent, they were both allowed to board and escorted to the first-class section of the plane. After being shown their seats, they both went through the regular procedures of preparing for takeoff.


"Well then, I say we get comfortable. It's a long eighteen hours to London." the man said, smiling at the way his companion was yawning.


Before closing her eyes, she shifted in her seat, glancing at the man beside her. "Jaden, if I haven't said it before, thank you."


Reaching across, he grabbed the hand closest to him and gave it a comforting squeeze. "Not a problem, Rei. Now get some sleep. Dark circles under your eyes doesn't suit you."


"Okay." and with those words fell asleep, knowing that when she woke up, she would be someone new and with this new life she would become the person that she had played for these past few weeks with the man sitting beside her.





Hoshishiro Rei.









tbc......



I know that with my first Tenchi fic I wasn't sure if I was going to add more to it, but I know I will with this one! I always thought it would be great for Ryoko to explore possibilities other than marrying Tenchi and I hope that is what I can portray in this fic. Now, I'm sure our favorite couple will end up together, but be prepared for a lot of drama to come your way.