Disclaimer: AIC and Pioneer LDC, Inc. owns Tenchi Muyo and all characters.

So please don't sue me I'm just a poor college student. This is actually my second fan fiction. The first one "A Trial of Friendship." (Shameless plug) is still being written.

Send all C&C to arcaj@planetjurai.com or arcaj@hotmail.com

******WARNING This Fic Contains Some Lemon Content!!!******

If you are under 18--STOP READING IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!

Special thanks to my pal and pre-reader, juliuscm, who kept me honest.

Special thanks to fellow FF writer Chris Davies helped with the update.

Note: One character or another may be more insightful than usual. So don't get upset when you see it.

P.S. Look for extended Author's notes in the Special Section "X" after the story. ^_^

 

Tenchi Muyo!

Every Lesson Learned - Version "X"

Episode 1

By Arca Jeth

The late spring morning at the Masaki Shrine was glorious as usual. Many of the flowering plants were in full bloom and the others were well on their way. Trees, full of green leaves swayed

gently in the breeze while small woodland creatures nursed their young.

One thing, however, was out of the ordinary. The house which was built by Nobuyuki Masaki was strangely silent. No peals of laughter or shouts of anger escaped the walls. There were no sounds of television programs nor were there explosions of battle. The house was empty save one young lady.

Aeka, First Princess of the Jurai Royal family, stood up from her labors on the large front porch. Her long amethyst hair was tied back and placed in a hair net. She placed her hands in the small of her back for a good vertebra-popping stretch. Bending down once again, she retrieved her bucket and scrub brush.

A week of menial labor had finally cleared her conscience. She was now convinced that Ryoko's condition wasn't really her fault as everyone had tried to assure her. Aeka walked into the house to a broom closet where she shed her rubber gloves and apron, placing the latter into a

clothes hamper.

Upon entering the living room, she found that Sasami had set out some tea, and snacks for her before leaving. She sat down and unleashed her long ponytails and poured herself a cup. As she brought the fragrant cup to her lips, her mind wandered back to the events of the previous week.

 


[One week ago]

It had been a normal day for Aeka. She got up, took a bath, dressed in her usual stylish, yet modest fashion, and helped Sasami clean the breakfast dishes. Kiyone and Mihoshi had the weekend off and dropped by to discuss their plans for their upcoming vacations. Katsuhito had taken Tenchi to the Shrine for sword practice, so Aeka sat with Nobuyuki and listened in.

"I have a great idea," Mihoshi beamed. "Let's take our vacations at the same time Kiyone. Then we can spend the whole time together."

"Like hell we will!" Kiyone bristled.

"Well I think it's a great idea," Nobuyuki added. "Spending time together away from the stress of work can really bring you two girls closer together. That's why I attend my company retreat every year."

"Getting closer is just what I want to avoid." Kiyone said deadpan.

"Oh it'll be fun Kiyone; you'll see." Mihoshi cheerily continued. "I heard about this great amusement park in France. It has a lot of cool rides and shows and a big talking mouse. Don't you think that's great? And we don't have to worry about big crowds or anything because hardly

anybody goes there!"

Mihoshi failed to notice the group face fault.

Later that day, Aeka sat next to Ryoko, who had slept in--again, watching a rather torrid soap opera. Both girls leaned closer to the screen as the devoted, yet sexually-deprived, housewife was about to kiss the ruggedly handsome mail carrier. Just then, her husband walked through the door catching them in the act, and the ending credits started to roll.

"What?! that's it?" Ryoko exclaimed flailing her arms in exasperation. "I just wasted my whole afternoon on this!"

The space pirate's wild movements managed to knock a glass of sake right into Aeka's face, totally drenching her.

"Ryoko you ungainly klutz! This is my favorite kimono!" She screamed quickly getting up.

Seeing the Princess dripping wet with her fists clenched tightly at her sides, Ryoko burst out laughing. Aeka was not amused.

"You did that on purpose, didn't you?"

"Of...of...of course not Princess," Ryoko tried to catch her breath. Then in a quieter tone, "Hey accidents do happen."

Aeka's temper cooled slightly, considering this.

"But they're never this damn funny!" Ryoko doubled over guffawing.

Instead of answering her with a swift, violent death, Aeka stalked upstairs to change.

That Ryoko is so immature. She probably hasn't got a serious bone in her body.

Aeka fumed as she searched her closet for an appropriate change of clothes. Something that would accentuate her eyes perhaps. Or maybe her hair. Something to make Tenchi notice her more than that demoness's gaudy outfits; or lack thereof. To show that much cleavage had to be illegal somewhere in the galaxy. Aeka laughed to herself, imagining that was the real reason for Ryoko's Most Wanted status.

Her mood turned sour as she disrobed and saw her body in her full-length mirror. She wondered how long it would take her figure to completely fill out, or if it already had. Not that she had no figure, but for all her bluster about understated beauty, she wished that she could have just a little more of a bust line.

Deciding to get back to dressing, Aeka began to pull out an ornate, violet kimono when she noticed a slight bulge in the stack of blankets on the closet shelf. Annoyed at the slightest imperfection, reached out to smooth it but found some resistance underneath. Curious, Aeka reached under the blankets until she extracted a smooth wooden box. Upon further examination, she noticed that it had a silken ribbon around it and a tag bearing her name.

Where could it have come from, she thought, removing the lid.

Inside, she found a card that read:

"Hello sweetie! It's your Mommy! I saw this on

my last trip to Alzoc 3 and I knew it was just

perfect for you. I just know it will help you

get a certain young man's attention, and quite

possibly a proposal. I know you can do it.

Love,

Mommy."

Aeka face faulted. Why couldn't her mother stop meddling? She loved her but it was starting to get embarrassing. Apprehensively Aeka parted the tissue and lifted out and article of lingerie so sheer it made her blush even to touch it. It consisted of a white lace teddy with the lace in all the right/wrong places. Also there was a white garter belt, with matching stockings, and long gloves.

I couldn't ware this under my clothes, much less for Lord Tenchi.

She started to replace the items and close the box when a thought occurred to her.

Maybe it wouldn't hurt if I just tried it on. Mother did go through all that trouble getting it here.

Deciding to be adventurous for once, the princess set about figuring out how to don the undergarments. ^_^

Tenchi Masaki tiredly dragged himself down the Shrine steps, exhausted and sore from sword practice.

"I know Grandpa's just trying to teach me to be a better swordsman; but does he have to be so good at it," Tenchi wondered aloud as he rubbed one of the numerous lumps on his head.

Steeling his nerves, he entered the house. Almost immediately Ryoko materialized with her arms around him and started rubbing against him provocatively.

"Tenchi! Why did you leave me alone? It was so mean, I missed you!" She said.

"Well sorry about that Ryoko but you know how Grandpa...Hey! Cut that out!"

Tenchi pulled Ryoko's hand away from his crotch.

"But Tenchi, I thought I'd relieve all that stress from practice. It's not good for you to keep it all inside," she said, going for his pants again.

Tenchi was saved when Sasami called, "Hey everyone, dinner's ready!"

"All right, I'm famished. How about you Ryoko?" Tenchi asked hopefully.

At first, he thought she would persist but the promise of a home-cooked meal won out and Ryoko headed for the dining room. Relieved, Tenchi started for the bathroom to wash-up.

"Hey Tenchi," Sasami called after him.

"What is it Sasami?"

"Could you tell Aeka that it's time to eat?"

"You haven't seen her?" Tenchi inquired.

"No, but she's probably in our room."

"Okay, sure!" Tenchi headed upstairs.


The room was dark; lit only with the occasional flashes of light when the full moon cleared the clouds in the undraped window. Tenchi looked lovingly into her eyes. She felt so naughty in this outfit. The tight-fitting fabric was so sheer it was nearly transparent. Aeka was straddled atop the bare-chested Tenchi, pleased to feel the proof of his love pressing against her abdomen. Feeling her urgency and readiness, Tenchi pulled her down into a long embrace. Tears sprang to her eyes as she told him all of the things she'd been too afraid to say during the day.

"Lord Tenchi," she whispered. "I've wanted to tell you how much I love you for so long; but..."

"Hush Miss Aeka." He placed a finger on her lips. "No words are needed. Your beauty has opened my eyes. I declare my love for you my Princess. For tonight, I exist only for your pleasure."

The lovers moved closer for a tantalizing kiss.

"Miss Aeka."

Aeka stood before the mirror dreaming of her "first time" with Tenchi while the object of her affection was gently knocking on her door; wondering why she didn't answer.

"She must be asleep or something." Tenchi said to himself. Deciding to be a bit bold, Tenchi reached out and slowly slid the door open.

Aeka's hand slid from face and trailed over her hardening nipples. She began a slow turn admiring her reflection, when she looked up.

A pair of Ruby eyes met a pair of dark brown eyes the size of dishpans. A full 60 seconds passed as the two stood petrified. They might have remained that way indefinitely had Sasami not chosen that moment to yell:

"Hey, are you guys coming down or what? Your food's getting cold!"

That finally broke Aeka's paralysis and she let loose a window shattering scream.

HOW DARE YOU!?

"Miss Aeka, I...I...I..." Tenchi stammered backpedaling.

GET OUT NOW!!!

Acting from pure instinct, Aeka scooped up a book from a near-by shelf and hurled it most accurately at Tenchi's previously injured head; knocking him out-cold. As he slid to the floor Aeka ran up to him in a blind rage, unaware that she was still half-naked, and began throttling him. ^_^

After that Aeka's memory got fuzzy. All she could clearly recall was Tenchi's bobbing head, Nobuyuki's huge eyes, and Ryoko's raucous laugh.


Two hours later, Sasami had finally coaxed Aeka out of her room for a late dinner and a trip to Washu's lab.

"Come on Aeka!" Sasami tried to sound extra cheerful. "Washu has a new experiment wants us to see."

"I'm not really in the mood for this Sasami," Aeka protested. But the blue-hared girl would hear nothing of it and Aeka allowed herself to be ushered into the cavernous confines of Washu's sub-space lab.

The princess barely registered the pint-sized genius's lengthy explanation.

Lord Tenchi won't even look at me. How can I face him now?

Aeka wanted to go to him and take back the hateful things she'd said but couldn't bring herself to do it. The way he'd stared at her; without the common decency to avert his gaze. No one had looked at her like that since...

But that was in the past. And she's been dead for years now.

A poke in the ribs snapped Aeka's train of thought.

"Hey Princess, I never knew you had it in you." The golden-eyed pirate said into her ear.

"Just what is that supposed to mean Ryoko?"

"Just what it sounds like Princess. To tell you the truth, I probably couldn't pull off that little number. Think Tenchi got an eye-full?"

Ryoko said, winking suggestively.

"I do not give shameless displays of skin just to please males, unlike some manner-less harlots," Aeka retorted loftily.

Ryoko grabbed her shoulders and whispered once more. "I think you enjoyed it. You felt that same sexy thrill I get when he notices my body."

Ryoko failed to notice Aeka's face growing redder by the moment.

"Tell me Princess; did it make you hot Tenchi seeing you that way? Did it make you feel all wet in your little, sacred, royal..." SLAP!!!

The force of Aeka's backhand slammed Ryoko into a console.

"Hey, no fighting in the lab!!" Washu bellowed, making her way across the lab.

Meanwhile, Ryoko pulled herself out of the crater she'd made in the console with a grin and a feral gleam in her eyes. Aeka belatedly realized that this was exactly what the pirate wanted (not that she

cared at the moment).

"Good, I needed a workout today."

After cracking her knuckles Ryoko hurled an energy ball at the princess.

Aeka's miniature log shield was at such a high level that the ball reversed course and smashed into the pirate, who happened to be hovering one foot off the ground. Ryoko was thrown backwards and abruptly vanished. Aeka crouched in a combat stance anxiously awaiting a counter attack. But none came. Washu, finally making it to that corner of the lab, began fiddling with the console sporting a Ryoko-shaped dent.

"Gotta get her back, gotta get her back!" she repeated to herself.

"'Get her back' from where?" Tenchi said coming over.

"Weren't you listening to what I just said about my experiment?"

"Well...uh...not really. I was kind of...preoccupied."

Throwing him a disgusted look, Washu began pulling the guts out of the machine.

"My experiment was on the effects that a black hole's event horizon might have on a near by pulsar. Since the nearest pulsar is three sectors away, I created both it and a black hole in an alternate

dimension."

"What does that have to do with Ryoko disappearing?" Tenchi asked, scratching his bandaged head.

"It means that Ryoko must have tried to teleport away from that energy blast. But when she smashed my machine, the black hole's event horizon collapsed causing an energy feedback loop in the sub-space network! That made my pulsar unstable and it began generating large amounts of

Zeta-band radiation which overloaded the Dimension Tuner's control circuits!"

"Huh?" everyone said simultaneously.

Washu was still poking at the machine's innards.

"What I mean is Ryoko's stuck in that dimension and this thing won't turn off because of the power surge.

"Oh! I get it now." Mihoshi said walking towards a power conduit.

"You do?" Kiyone asked incredulously.

"Sure. If too much power is your problem then all you have to do is shut off the power." And she pulled the machine's plug.

"NOOOOOOOOO!" Washu wasn't quick enough.

Ryoko dropped in from the ceiling.

"Whew. Glad that's over!" Ryoko said getting to her feet(not noticing her strange, green glow). "What's with you guys?"

All Washu had time to say was "DUCK!" before a massive explosion shook the lab.


When they all woke up, aided by Washu's chibi mecha puppets, they were shocked to find Ryoko inside of a clear, cylindrical chamber.

"Why is Ryoko locked up?" Sasami asked worriedly. "Is she in trouble for picking another fight with Aeka?"

"Not at all Sasami." Washu said, still picking bits of glass and wire from hair. "Though it would serve her right. She's in there for her own protection. It turns out, that she came in contact with that wild pulsar and now her energy levels are all screwed up. To be blunt, she's leaking worse than Chernobyl!" Washu chuckled.

"How can you make jokes at a time like this Washu!?" Tenchi said angrily as a Washu puppet applied another bandage to his head. "Will she be all right or what?"

"Of course she will. I am the Greatest Scientific Genius in the UniverseÔ !"

"You're the best Washu!" "A" said pulling Tenchi's bandage too tight.

"Greatest in the universe!" "B" said hopping up and down on his bruised shoulder.

"Ow! Watch what you're doing!"

"She'll be fine Tenchi. The power regulation process is time-consuming but not difficult. Especially for a genius as cute as me!" Washu exclaimed with large eyes.

"Um...Little Washu." Aeka spoke up. "How long will she have to stay in that contraption?"

"Oh a week or so, give or take a nano-second." Washu said off handly.

But Aeka didn't look at all convinced. After Washu tended to everyone's wounds and shooed them out of the lab, Aeka still fretted. Even after everyone agreed that the fight wasn't her fault but was indeed instigated by Ryoko, the princess sat by the door for hours.


[The Present]

Back in the living room, Aeka set down her cup and stared, once again at the empty house. It was strange how the place had emptied out over the past week.

Tenchi was, of course at school during the day. And since Aeka had taken on most of her chores, Sasami had begun taking Earth history lessons from Katsuhito at the shrine. And Kiyone and Mihoshi would have been starting their vacations today. Washu, meanwhile was still in the

lab attending to Ryoko.

Sighing her loneliness, Aeka picked up one of Nobuyuki's architecture magazines to thumb through when the doorbell rang. And continued to ring as if someone were leaning on it. Aeka made her way to the door getting more irritated with each ring.

How impolite! to keep ringing the bell like some ill-mannered child. I've got half a mind to...

Her thoughts broke off as she composed her face in her most polite smile. She slid the door open to Mihoshi standing there, staggering under the weight of several travel bags.

"Mihoshi, what are you doing here? I'd thought you'd be on vacation with Kiyone." Aeka said as

Mihoshi stumbled in starting a small avalanche of luggage.

"I think I missed my ride." She said in a quivering voice.

Aeka noticed for the first time, that Mihoshi's knees were trembling and there was moisture at the corners of her eyes. She looked as if she was barely holding herself together and at any moment she might...

"WAAAAAAA! She left me behind!" Mihoshi cried out, her knees buckling.

She wrapped her arms around the princess's legs and sobbed into her kimono. Unsure of how to comfort the distraught blonde, Aeka sank to her knees and drew her into her arms, rubbing the back of her head.

Well, this always works when Sasami has one of her nightmares.

After about five minutes of encouraging words and hugs, Mihoshi finally told her story.

"Last night I was so excited about vacation that I stayed up late packing our clothes and stuff. I was so tired that I must have overslept because when I woke up she was gone and so was her suitcase. The Yagami was gone too and I couldn't trace her communicator. Now I know she hates me!"

Mihoshi began sobbing anew.

"Now Mihoshi, you know Kiyone doesn't hate you. You're just being silly."

Aeka tried not to sound patronizing--Sasami was a little girl but Mihoshi was a grown woman...sort of.

Thinking quickly she added, "Maybe she just had plans of her own and forgot to tell you."

"Really? You think so?" Mihoshi sniffed, happily grasping at any straws available.

"Yes I'm sure that's what it was, just a big misunderstanding."

Mihoshi brightened instantly, hugging Aeka tightly.

"Thank you so much Aeka. I feel so much better now!"

"You're very welcome." Aeka managed to say, after gulping some air. ^_^

Half an hour later Aeka sat on a beach towel on the roof wondering how she'd gotten herself into this. Next to her, Mihoshi was busy spreading out another large beach towel. the detective was wearing a pink bikini with ruffled edges. As for Aeka, she was wearing a purple, two piece

bathing suit that exposed more skin than she was comfortable with. She wondered how anyone could sit outside for hours on-end like this without dying of embarrassment.

Seeing that Mihoshi shouldn't be left alone in her condition, Aeka had offered that she stay at the house pending Nobuyuki's approval. Mihoshi then commented that it would be a great day for sunbathing and insisted that Aeka come along. Deciding that looking after Mihoshi was probably more exciting than sitting around feeling sorry for herself, Aeka relented.

Now she was on a roof, exposing her sensitive skin to the sun in one of Mihoshi's old swimsuits. One she had outgrown at the age of 14.

Aeka looked sadly from the detective's full figure and then at her own small breasts with a pang of envy. Mihoshi, meanwhile, was laying out the instruments of her favorite hobby, like a doctor would in surgery. The large beach towel, portable radio, three types of sun block, skin moisturizers, a large hat, sunglasses, and a copy of the latest shoujo manga. Aeka looked on in growing amazement at the blonde's precise movements. It was as if they were some kind of religious ritual.

"How dark do you want it?" Mihoshi asked.

"Huh?"

"Your tan silly. How dark?"

Aeka paused in thought.

"Well I've never seriously tanned before so... Just a shade I guess," she answered.

Mihoshi smiled. "That's okay. Here, this is an spf 30. Just remember; one hour on each side."

Aeka took the offered bottle and began applying the sunblock. While she was doing this, she noticed Mihoshi removing her bikini top.

"What are doing Mihoshi? Put that back on!" She said anxiously.

"But Aeka I can't tan with this on, I'll get lines all over." She said folding the top neatly to the side. Strange as it was, Aeka saw her point. The detective's large, round, breasts were the same uniform

bronze as the rest of her body. But having a half-naked detective on the same roof as her made Aeka nervous. What if Sasami came home early and asked embarrassing questions? Or worse what if Washu came out of her lab for something, she'd never hear the end of it.

Aeka's problems were compounded suddenly when Mihoshi started to pull off her bikini bottoms.

"Uh Mihoshi how about you keep those on if...I..." Aeka thought quickly. "If I take my top off." Aeka said quietly.

"You'd do that for me?"

Aeka nodded.

"Okay sure!" Mihoshi pulled her bottoms back on.

Aeka meekly pulled off her top while blushing furiously, wondering if Mihoshi would burst out laughing. Wondering why she'd care if she did.

"Thanks so much Aeka," Mihoshi said laying down. "I would have felt really self-conscious laying out here naked on a roof with someone else!"

Had she not been in danger of falling off, Aeka would have face-faulted. ^_^

Aeka laid down guiltily enjoying the feel of a cool breeze on her nipples. Feeling more at peace than she had in days, she decided to start a conversation. Mihoshi was more than accommodating, going on about her various jobs, home-life, hobbies and how she was adjusting to life on Earth.

Annoyed at first, by Mihoshi's monologue, Aeka realized that the blonde's chattering was forming a pattern. Every other sentence was a small anecdote about Kiyone. Aeka also noticed that whenever Mihoshi said her partner's name her voice softened, and a far away, dreamy look came to her eyes.

Mihoshi must have deep feelings for Kiyone.

Aeka began to get a deeper understanding of Mihoshi than she'd ever thought possible. Mihoshi must have tried to bury her feelings for fear of rejection, but they kept surfacing at the worst times. This tended to push Kiyone even further away.

"Aeka," Mihoshi said after a moment of silence.

"Yes?"

"I...I really miss Kiyone." Tears started flowing down her cheeks. Aeka reached out and grasped her hand. At this gesture Mihoshi turned and offered a grateful smile.

Aeka was suddenly very angry with a certain teal hared detective.

Where are you Kiyone? How could you leave her like this?


Interlude 1.

[The Oseon System: The Trader's Luck Saloon]

Half-way across the galaxy, Kiyone sat in a dimly-lit bar throwing back suds as fast as the barkeep could tap them. Her hair had been put up in a complicated style that was incandescent in normal light, but in this dank illumination it looked flat and sickly. Kiyone wondered if it had all been worth it. Leaving Mihoshi behind, coming to this system, famous for its casinos and resorts, partying two days straight.

Probably not. She was honest with herself. But how else was she to get away from that walking disaster area she called a partner? It wasn't enough to ruin her career, wreck all of her jobs, and spend her every waking moment making Kiyone's life a living hell. But now she wanted to go on vacation with her. That had been the last straw.

She had to get out. Away from those lifeless eyes.

Those questioning big blue, innocent eyes that hadn't done a bit of harm to

anyone.

Those eyes which were probably flowing with tears of loss and

betrayal this very...

"Stop it!!"

Kiyone slammed down her mug, shattering fragments across the bar's surface.

"Hey! You'll have to pay for that." the barkeep said.

"Put it on my bill." Kiyone snarled giving him a venomous look.

"All right then."

Having made his point the barkeep hastily tended to another customer at the far end of the bar.

"Looks like you need another drink." Said a deep, but feminine voice behind Kiyone.

"What do you care?" Kiyone said as she heard the barstool next to her creak with the weight of its new occupant.

"I just hate seeing a good drink go to waste." She snapped her fingers. "Hey barkeep, two ales over here."

Turning irritably, Kiyone began, "I thought I said..." and broke off when her eyes met the cold red stare of Nagi, the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. Kiyone gasped her surprise.

"Yeah, I get that a lot. Don't worry, I'm not on a job or anything."

Nagi turned to receive her drink and Kiyone was surprised for the second time that night. Nagi didn't seem to recognize her.

It must be the hair, she's never seen me like this.

"I'm sorry if I..."

"It's alright," Nagi cut her off adjusting her cloak. "You get a reputation for being ruthless and people tend to assume all sorts of things about you. I'm used to it."

Kiyone decided to start over.

"So what brings you to the Oseon system?" she asked after a sip of her ale. "A convention or something?"

"Nothing so formal," Nagi paused for a sip of her own drink. "I'm here for R&R. Got my 300th bounty this month and I thought I'd treat myself. She opened her cloak exposing a turquoise sequined, strap-less evening gown.

"Wow that's beautiful!" Kiyone said, truly impressed. "Was it very expensive?"

"Yeah, it set me back some but money isn't really high on my list of priorities. I live for the hunt. So what do you do Miss..." She paused expectantly.

"Ki...Ki..." Kiyone stammered, almost giving herself away. "Kiki! That's my name."

"Kiki." Nagi repeated. "Interesting name."

"My parents were free spirits. "Kiyone covered.

"Obviously."

"I...um run a private detective agency with my partner Mi...mi." She winced inwardly at the weak cover story.

"You know I've had to work with private detectives on occasion. Which sector do you work?"

"Oh nowhere you'd know." Kiyone dodged.

"You never know, I've been around."

"This is surprisingly good ale." Kiyone changed the subject.

"Yes it is, but I was hoping for something stronger myself." Nagi commented.

"Yeah me too. The bar looks pretty well stocked but that bartender can't mix a drink to save his life."

Kiyone got up looking to her right. The barkeep was still at the far side chatting with a female Chadra-fan. Satisfied, Kiyone raised the gate and went behind the bar.

"What are you doing?" Nagi inquired.

Kiyone rummaged through the shelves until she pulled out two unlabeled bottles.

"I'm going to make us some 'Cardiac Surprise.'" She opened one and sniffed it.

"Never heard of it. Is it any good?"

"See for your self."

Kiyone expertly mixed the drinks and poured them into two medium sized glasses. Eyeing it skeptically, Nagi took a sip. And immediately coughed.

"Wow, it's strong!" she exclaimed. "What's in it?"

"Gin," Kiyone grinned.

"And?"

"Some kind of Nolandian vodka I think." Kiyone answered after a sip. "You sure you can handle it?" She said bantering.

"I haven't met a liquor I couldn't handle." Nagi raised her glass in salute.

Both women commenced drinking.

Thirty minutes and three drinks later, Kiyone was more than halfway in the bag. So when Nagi asked her about her partner she totally forgot her cover story.

"So now I'm stuck at a post in the middle of nowhere and on top of that I have a partner who could test clinically brain-dead!" cried Kiyone, not realizing that she got overly emotional when she was drinking.

"Sounds like hell Kiki," Nagi sympathized. "Why not just push her out of an air-lock and say the ditz forgot her space suit?"

"No! It's not like that!" Kiyone said too loudly. "I don't want to see her dead or anything; just out of my life."

"Tell me something." Nagi poured herself another drink, Kiyone didn't seem to have the motor control left.

"What?"

"How well do you two work together, on a job I mean?"

"Well, planetside it's like she can't do anything right. She just can't comprehend how to do everyday tasks. But when we're on patrol she's all business. She can track down and cuff a most wanted criminal if she had a mind to. It's all so infuriating!" Several patrons turned their heads toward the sound but seeing the bounty hunter they wisely sought out business of their own to mind.

"So this woman has done something to you personally?" Nagi asked.

"It's not that simple." Kiyone tried to find the words to explain herself. "She's the most kind, gentle person I know, but every time I'm in line for a commendation or promotion, she does something to screw it up. And they're always accidents with her. So when I yell at her about it I end up feeling guilty and have to apologize."

"So why don't you just quit? Leave it all behind?"

"And miss the chance for promotion? I don't think so." Kiyone said resolutely.

Nagi started chuckling, then burst out laughing.

"Just what's so funny?"

Nagi finally caught her breath.

"It's just you. So young and thinking you know exactly what you want from life."

"Young? I'll have you know that I am 23 years old and am capable of making

my own decisions," said Kiyone, wondering why she was defending her life to this woman.

Nagi looked at her, suddenly serious.

"You have no idea what you're opening yourself up to. When you leave everything behind for your job, even if it gives you all the prestige and accolades in the universe, if there's no one to share it with it doesn't amount to much."

Kiyone was about to interject but Nagi went on. "I gave my life to the hunt. The thrill of the chase, the satisfaction of bringing a criminal to justice. I live for that and I have no regrets about my life. But some times..."

She broke off, a far away look came to her eyes that was almost wistful. Then they hardened once more.

"I've been alone for longer than I care to remember.

"When I'm sick nobody hovers over me to see if I'm doing well. Nobody worries if I stay out too late or drink too much. In fact, Ken-Ohki's probably the only one who'd show up at my funeral if I died. Well there is one other, but she'd probably be there just to make sure I'm dead."

She turned and looked Kiyone straight in the eye.

"What I'm trying to say is; when you've got someone in whose eyes you can do no wrong, and no matter how badly you've treated them they'd still walk through hell and back just to be with you..." Nagi's voice wavered...then strengthened again. She grabbed Kiyone's shoulder.

"Don't you let go of that. If you forget everything else I told you remember this. Sometimes when you lose, you win."

Kiyone was dumbfounded. Not because she was surprised by Nagi's insight--which she was--but because of how close to the heart she had hit.

Nagi just might be right. I could have been passing up the one thing in my life that could bring me true happiness...

A loud thump broke her train of thought. Nagi lay sprawled on the floor of the bar, apparently passed out.

Bullshit Kiyone thought; her resolve once more hardening. No way some drunk bounty hunter's going to tell me how to live my life!

But even as she thought this, a voice in the back of her mind cried out LIAR!

Kiyone shook her head and stood up. She thought to leave Nagi to the kindness of strangers but some of what she had said came back to her. No one would care. So after paying both their bar tabs, Kiyone hailed a hover taxi and took Nagi to the space port, making sure that she was

secure aboard Ken-Ohki before leaving for her own vessel. ^_^

Early, the next morning, Kiyone set off away from the Oseon system, hoping that Nagi hadn't awakened and tumbled to her true identity. Traffic control came on-line with requests for her docking pass, passport, etc. Kiyone quickly gave all the requisite responses. She had just cleared the outer planets when the Yagami lurched backward and she was thrown against her restraints. Alarm klaxons sounded while Kiyone fought to get control of the bucking ship. She brought up the scanner and was stunned to find Ken-Ohki's crystalline shape in the rear sensors.

A screen popped up on the main viewer featuring Nagi's cowled visage.

"Hello Kiyone, you didn't say good bye last night." While her voice mirrored her, amusement Kiyone wasn't lulled into a false sense of security by her mirth.

"How did you find out who I was Nagi?" she asked nervously.

"I had a hunch when you started talking about your partner. There's only one person in the galaxy that accident prone."

"Yeah guess you're right."

"Besides Ken-Ohki recognized your scent." Kiyone cringed slightly.

"So what do you want with me?"

"Nothing much, I just wanted to say thanks for last night. Ken-Ohki could have gotten me himself but thanks just the same."

Kiyone thought she saw a slight smile on the bounty hunter's face.

"Yes, well you're welcome. You're really not going to..."

"Try to use you to get to Ryoko?" Nagi finished for her. Kiyone could only nod. "I told you. I'm taking a break...For now. And how about you? Going back to find what you've been looking for?"

"I don't know what I want right now," Kiyone said quickly. "I just know that whatever it is, I won't find it at the bottom of a glass."

The ship jolted again as the tractor beam disengaged.

"Well you'd better get moving, she's waiting for you!" Came Nagi's wry reply.

Kiyone shot back, "I said that I don't..." she broke off, realizing that she was alone. Kiyone couldn't get Nagi's words out of her head. It just couldn't be true. She knew Mihoshi cared about her but... In any case, she had to see this through. Sighing her resignation, Kiyone set the Yagami's course for the Sol system.


[Back on Earth]

It had been two days since she'd been there and Mihoshi had already been banished from Washu's lab, had nearly burned down the kitchen, and was very close to convincing Aeka to sunbathe nude. For Aeka's part, she was mostly over the trauma of the previous week, but she still couldn't

bring herself to meet Tenchi's eyes. Even when he complimented her on her light tan, she could do nothing but blush shyly.

But how strange this is. Why am I not more worried about this? She thought as she lay on her stomach on the roof. Next to her, Mihoshi giggled quietly at the manga she was reading. A smile touched Aeka's lips.

Yes that must be the reason.

Her new found friendship with the ditzy, yet sweet detective had taken her mind off of her own problems. Though she could be taxing at times, Mihoshi had really grown on Aeka.

"Um Aeka," Mihoshi said hesitantly.

"Yes Mihoshi?"

"I just wanted to thank you for...you know putting up with me this week."

"Think nothing of it Mihoshi. It's been a pleasure having you here with us."

"You really mean it?"

"Of course I do. And to be totally honest, Kiyone doesn't know what she's missing with a friend like you."

Mihoshi gasped, suddenly sitting up.

"Do you mean that you and I are friends?" Mihoshi cried her eyes brimming with tears. Also sitting up, Aeka looked Mihoshi in the eye.

"Why yes, we are friends Mihoshi."

The next thing Aeka knew, she was having the breath crushed out of her in an embrace that would have done her mother proud.

"I...I...I'm so happy," Mihoshi managed to say. Aeka continued holding Mihoshi even though she felt uncomfortable with the blonde's bare breasts pressing against her. But she wouldn't have let go for all the world.

"Well, I'd heard all the rumors but I didn't think that it was true."

Aeka's head snapped up at the sound of her archenemy's taunting voice.

"Ryoko! What are you doing here?"

"Washu gave me a clean bill of health." said the cyan-hared pirate, floating just off the edge of the roof. "Gee, I guess Tenchi will be heart-broken over this. I'll just have to console him during all those cold, lonely nights."

"Ryoko I'm so glad to see you're feeling well again," Mihoshi said cheerfully, while still clinging to Aeka.

"And not a moment too soon. So Mihoshi how long did the Princess here wait to put the moves on you?"

"Oh Aeka's been so nice to me the past two days," Mihoshi beamed, entirely missing the point. "She's made sure I ate well, helped me wash my hair, kept me company; oh, and she's even going to try sunbathing nude tomorrow!"

Ryoko's sly grin widened at this new ammunition.

"Looks like you're taking real good care of her Princess. But once you get the goods will you call her in the morning?"

Aeka's embarrassed flush turned into crimson fury.

"Miss Ryoko! Just what are you insinuating? I am not, nor have I ever been a...ah...that is...of that persuasion."

"Come on Aeka, you don't have to be embarrassed about your new lifestyle," Ryoko continued. "Come on out of your royal closet, it's the 'in' thing to do nowadays."

"Humph!"

Deciding to ignore the pirate, Aeka finally disengaged herself from Mihoshi and laid back down. Annoyed at not getting the reaction she expected, Ryoko decided to up the ante.

"You know, this all reminds me of a rumor I herd from Jurai some years ago," she said, landing on the roof. "I don't remember all of the details but it had something to do with a 15-year-old princess, some serving girls, and the Royal Baths."

Aeka bolted upright. "That's a lie! Where did you hear that Ryoko?"

"It was in all the news. The Jurai Informer, the Stool Pigeon, the Galactic Tattler,"

"Those are all tabloids, all they peddle is gutter trash and vicious lies," Aeka yelled into Ryoko's smiling face. Ryoko went on as if she didn't hear her.

"I can see it all now. The lonely princess and her devoted servant:

'Oh your highness I'll do anything you say.' The princess feels so horny because she's just starting to get that special feeling...,down there.

'Why don't you come bathe with me? Then I can ravish you repeatedly to get my first royal orgasm.'

'But Your Highness! I'm not like that, I don't...'

'Hush now my servant. give your princess her pleasure.'"

Aeka was speechless, so Ryoko went on.

"You liked it; didn't you? Did it feel good, touching all that young, soft, innocent skin? Did you get all hot and wet in your tight little..."

"You have no idea what you are talking about!!!" Aeka screamed shaking Ryoko violently.

"It wasn't like that at all! I didn't start it! She made me..."

Aeka froze, realizing she'd said one word too many. She looked back and forth between the twin shocked expressions of Mihoshi and Ryoko. After a moment of silence that lasted several lifetimes Mihoshi tried to put a hand on the princess's shoulder.

"Aeka I..."

"No." Aeka shook her off getting to her feet.

"But..."

"NO!"

Aeka gathered her towel and made for the window but seeing Ryoko standing there she nimbly leapt to the ground below. Ryoko thought she heard her gasp, but the amethyst-hared girl had disappeared into the house without another word. Ryoko turned back toward the window only to

meet a pair of angry blue eyes.

"What?" she asked innocently.


Aeka sat in the bath with a glass of sake in her hand. It had been almost half an hour and she still wasn't drunk yet. All that she wanted to do when she ran inside was to forget. Forget the past, the present, even the future. She just wanted her life to evaporate like the vapors from the hot water.

But she couldn't. She'd been a fool to think she could live a normal life.

Chat with a friend about nothing at all while lazing about under the sun.

Happily dream about the man she loved.

Just be.

Exist.

She'd been wrong. The reality of it came crashing down upon her like the waves of the ocean. There were elements of her life that would forever separate her from normal folk. Her royal status, her inherited Jurai powers, the mystique surrounding the Royal Family. But most of all her inability to share her feelings with others. Aeka thought she had finally cleared that blind spot in her personality. But today, it had all turned out to be a cruel joke. She would be forever alone.

"Hello Aeka."

Ryoko's voice was noticeably lacking its usual mocking tone. Aeka winced in pain as she turned to face her adversary.

"Why can't you leave me alone? Haven't you tormented me enough already?"

Ryoko looked on the princess, fighting down the urge to make an angry retort. She couldn't forget the hurt/angry expression on Mihoshi's face. The usually timid detective had demanded that Ryoko apologize to her friend and mean it. Surprising as this was, what was more so was that Ryoko was already thinking along those lines herself. She'd been cooped up in that energy chamber for a week and when she finally got out she was feeling rather irritable. Seeing a golden opportunity to make Aeka squirm was just too good to pass up.

But now, remembering her 'conversation' with Mihoshi and her time spent with a certain redheaded scientist; Ryoko resolved herself to be civil. Winning the inner battle, Ryoko approached Aeka again.

"Aeka I don't want any trouble, I just want to say I'm sorry."

"What? You apologizing to someone? Did Ryo-Ohki just ascend to the throne of Jurai?" Aeka said scornfully.

"Hey, I came in here to say I'm sorry, but if that's the way you..."

"Fine! Your apology is accepted. Now please leave." Aeka painfully resettled herself in the water. Ryoko stood there in silence.

I don't know what this is all about, and I won't find out if I go.

"How'd you hurt your back?" she inquired.

"I must have wrenched something when I jumped off the roof," Aeka answered, not turning around. She heard a rustle of fabric and a soft splash, and next two hands on her shoulders.

"What are you doing? I thought I made it clear that I want to be alone."

Ryoko began rubbing the shoulders slowly.

"I'm trying to help fix your back," she answered while maneuvering Aeka's towel to expose her back. "It is sort of my fault you're hurt."

"Oh alright," Aeka gave up.

Ryoko began running her hands over Aeka's spine. As her hands moved lower, Aeka sighed in relief. After a few minutes, Aeka asked,

"How did you learn to do this?"

"Massage you mean? Well back when I was on the run, I always needed money so sometimes I had to do something...ugh, legit," she said disdainfully. "So one time I worked at a massage parlor. Found out I was pretty good at it."

"But Ryoko, aren't those places just a front for...?"

"Hey I got paid for massage and that's it. If some guys thought they were getting something else well they'd just have to live with the disappointment, if at all." Ryoko replied with an evil grin.

"I must admit then that your skills are, oohh!"

Aeka stopped mid-sentence as Ryoko's talented hands performed their magic.

"So you gonna tell me what all that was about earlier?"

"I have no idea what you are talking about," Aeka dodged.

"Come on Princess, it's not like you to pass up a good fight. What gives? Does it have something to do with you and those serving girls?" Ryoko prodded.

"That's a lie!" Aeka tried to get up but hissed in pain.

"So why does it bother you so much?"

Ryoko resumed her work. "If it's a lie, why not set the record straight?"

Too tired to argue and in too much pain to get up and leave, Aeka decided to just tell the demon woman what she wanted to know. Leaning back into Ryoko's nimble fingers Aeka told her story.

"When I was 15, my royal tutor took ill and had to return to her planet to convalesce. Since I had virtually no contact with males except those in the royal court, my mother took it upon herself to hire a governess for me.

At first, I argued that I was much too old for a governess but mother prevailed and that's when I first met Lady Shiori. She was of the planet Telmar, which pledged its loyalty to Jurai and is now a

protectorate world of the Empire.

She was one of the most striking women I had ever seen. Her hair was silver and shined, even in darkness. Her skin was golden in hue and she was tall with fine bone structure. She also had turquoise eyes that sparkled with an inner light; like there was some private joke that she alone knew. I was taken aback by her beauty and grace. Even though she was from a minor House on her planet, she carried herself with the bearing and refinement of any Juraian queen. And when she spoke to me her voice was like a symphony that tantalized my ears. At first, I was intimidated by her. But her warm gaze always put me at ease.

"I learned more than just grammar when I was with her. She also had a great deal of worldly knowledge. She taught me how to read people, to know when they are being dishonest, or when they want something from you. Especially men. Lady Shiori had a way with men in which she could get anything she wanted from them. Even the palace guards were not immune from her charms, as she snuck me out of the palace many times to explore the city. She always thought up new and interesting ways to teach my lessons. The most memorable was with songs. The Telmarines are famous throughout the galaxy for their singing. She composed several teaching songs just for me. Those months we spent together were among the happiest I remember.

But then, things changed.

Lady Shiori became distant. As if something else had her attention. She took me out less and less, and her lessons became few and far between. By that time I had grown quite attached to her, we were more like best friends than student and teacher. So when she began distancing herself from me I was horrified. I thought that I'd done, or said something to offend her. I tried everything, from sending letters, to expensive gifts but I got no responses.

I was at my wit's end when I finally received a message from her through a servant to meet her in my private bath. I was so excited I nearly ran into the bath fully clothed.

When I arrived, she was there, waiting for me in the water; completely nude. She was even more beautiful than I remembered, so much that it brought tears to my eyes.


Interlude 2. [Imperial Palace, Jurai: Aeka's Private Bath]

The pretty, young girl approached the golden skinned woman, who held her arms open for a deep embrace.

"Dear one; why are you so troubled?" the woman asked in a deep, sultry voice.

"I...I...I thought you hated me," came the girl's tear-choked reply.

"Aeka, I could never hate you."

"But Lady Shiori, why did you...?"

"It's a long story. But that is not important right now. What is important is that you're here."

For the first time, the girl felt a bit uncomfortable with her teacher's breasts pressing against her. They were large and soft with the slightest hint of firmness in the nipples. Aeka suddenly stiffened

as she felt her towel removed.

"It's all right Aeka I won't hurt you," Shiori whispered running her hands along the girl's back.

Aeka blushed deeply, not knowing what else to do when Shiori held her chin up and drew the girl into a passionate kiss. Aeka had never kissed anyone like this in her life and she was both frightened and delighted when she felt Shiori's tongue enter her mouth. Aeka started feeling a

warmth between her legs when Shiori moved her hand over her young breasts.

"Ahh!" she cried out as the woman pulled her sensitive nipples. Shiori then broke the kiss and began kissing her way down the girl's front until she got to her breast. Taking the hardened nipple in her mouth, she suckled it gently.

By this time Aeka was writhing in pleasure, but a feeling that something was seriously wrong also plagued her. Why was she reacting this way? Had she always been like this?

Was she a lesbian now?

"Ohhh! Wha...what are you doing Lady Shiori?" Aeka cried out as Shiori's hand trailed down and touched the entrance of her tender young sex.

"Don't be frightened dear one. This won't hurt. I'm sure you will find it most enjoyable."

"But what...?"

"Shh. Aeka, please do this for me if you love me. You do love me don't you?" Aeka nodded earnestly. "Good."

Shiori's finger found and entered the princess's tight sex. Aeka gasped as it began sliding in and out in a steady rhythm. Aeka's eyes began to close but popped open again as Shiori's finger brushed her clit.

"Ugh...oh...Lady Shiori it feels so...so..."

"I know Aeka."

"No...it feels so...Wrong! I can't do this, please let me go!" Aeka began to struggle but the gold-skinned woman held her fast.

"I know you're enjoying this Aeka so I won't stop. And I know you won't make me stop."

Shiori released Aeka's arms and slid her hands over her backside while kissing her way to the princess's dripping wet core. Upon reaching the violet covered nexus of Aeka's sex, Shiori gently parted the nether lips with her tongue. Shivering involuntarily with pleasure, Aeka's protests faded away as she was transported to a world of shameful ecstasy.


[Earth: The Women's Bath]

Aeka hadn't noticed that Ryoko had stopped her massage. She barely even registered the fact that Ryoko had put her arms around her in a comforting embrace. She continued to stare blankly forward as she finished her tale.

"Someone found out of course." Aeka said. "There is a saying in the palace that says 'within these walls lay no secrets.' And I guess that's true. It was probably one of the servants who told my mother but I never found out who. The look on her face sad, furious, and disgusted at the same time. I'll never forget that.

Then my father was informed. I'd never seen him like that before; out of control. He raged about, knocking down guards and servants alike. He then ordered lady Shiori's immediate execution." Aeka paused feeling a pair of large, firm breasts pressing against her back.

"Ryoko?"

"What else happened Aeka? I have to know," came the golden-eyed woman's quiet reply. Though confused Aeka resolutely continued.

"I was so distraught that I threw myself at his feet and begged him for her life. I knew even then that what she did to me was wrong, but I didn't care. I couldn't let go of the woman I loved. When Father refused me...I screamed at him. I told him that I would go to the Holy Council and reveal my shame publicly if he didn't relent. It was the first time I had ever defied my father. Ryoko," Aeka's voice began to falter. Ryoko remained silent.

"He...he looked at me as if I were a stranger. Like I was a creature from some alien world. But he granted my wish. Lady Shiori was instead, exiled from the Empire. She was not to set foot upon any planet housing a Royal Tree, not even her homeworld. I never saw her again."

"Do you know what happened to her?" Ryoko asked while stroking Aeka's hair. Then, for the first time, tears began to form at the corners of the princess's ruby eyes.

"The official story is, that when the transport ship was underway, she committed suicide. At least that is what the investigations concluded. She shut herself in an air-lock then depressurized it."

Ryoko's eyes widened as she began caressing Aeka's cheek.

"Do you really believe that?" she asked.

"I have to," Aeka answered. "Because if I don't..." her voice finally broke and the tears fell creating wet tracks down her cheeks. Ryoko caught one of the tears on her finger and brought it to her lips,

savoring the bittersweet taste of memories. Aeka continued sobbing for nearly 10 minutes. When she finally, regained control she noticed Ryoko's embrace for the first time.

"Ryoko, why are you..."

"No reason," Ryoko gently cut her off, still stroking her cheek. "I just want to hear this."

"After Lady Shiori died, I fell into despair. I refused all food except that of Telmar and stopped speaking, even to Sasami. All of the best counselors and psychiatrists came to see me. They and my parents all tried to convince me that what had happened was not my fault. That I had been the victim of a sick and depraved woman's perverse appetites."

Aeka paused and touched Ryoko's hand, seeming to gain strength from the contact. "But they were mistaken Ryoko.

I knew what she did was wrong but what truly disturbed me was that I enjoyed it. Deep down, beneath my fear and revulsion I liked it. She'd taken something from me that I could never regain yet I didn't mind in the least.

And for that, I was ashamed. I felt that I had betrayed my family, my crown by wanting her. She was the first person that I truly desired and for it to turn out like that... I decided to bury those feelings. I hid behind protocol and tradition, determined to keep my true feelings a secret like a princess should.

To all who met me I was a paragon of genteel grace and beauty. I stopped being a person and became a symbol of Jurai's crown. Loved by the people but not truly known to them. Like the layers of clothing I wear, I've spent years building barriers around my heart.

"But when I first met Lord Tenchi, all my walls were stripped away. I stood naked before him with my emotions bared and..."

Aeka began to tremble once again, but her eyes remained dry.

"It was like a physical force that hit me. It knocked the crown from my head and for the first time in my life, I was an ordinary girl with a maddening crush on a sweet, handsome boy. My feelings for Lord Tenchi are so strong sometimes that they frighten me. All I've ever wanted was for him to return my love, but now I fear that I'm not worthy of his love. That it's just my own lustful urges that...ugh wha?"

Aeka was suddenly hauled out of the water and turned to face a pair of intense golden eyes.

"Don't you ever say that again Aeka. Don't even think it because it's a lie." Ryoko almost whispered.

"But how do you know?"

"Because I love him too that's how," Ryoko retorted. "Tenchi has a way of changing people for the better. He changed me. Or at least made me reevaluate my life. I actually *want* to be a better person. And I've seen it in you too.

You're not the same stuck-up princess I remembered from before. The Aeka I knew would faint if she had to touch a broom or a mop, but here you are. Cleaning, washing laundry, and even trying to cook." Ryoko drew the princess into another hug.

"Why are you being so kind to me?" Aeka asked into Ryoko's shoulder.

"Oh it's just something Washu said and something you did." Ryoko said, still stroking Aeka's long, violet hair. "When I was in that energy chamber of hers, Wahsu kept talking to me about what I did. I guess she was trying to make a mother-daughter moment out of it. But some of what she said started to sink in. About how I never care about anyone else's feelings when I go after Tenchi, not even his. Then I saw you, coming in every day to check on me, thinking it was all your fault. Then you go and help Mihoshi (she told me) and become her friend when you could have been spending time with Tenchi."

"I couldn't." Aeka dropped her eyes. "Not after what happened."

"After Tenchi saw you in that lingerie I'm surprised he remembered his own name," Ryoko chuckled.

"But when you were laughing at me I thought..."

"I wasn't laughing at how you looked, I was laughing at your reaction to him seeing you. Honestly! How could anyone be bashful in that outfit?"

"When I put it on, I fantasized about he and I together. Yet, when I saw him looking at me I panicked. I didn't want him to see me like that. With thoughts of..."

"Sex?" Ryoko supplied. "You're afraid of it, aren't you? Because of what happened to you."

Ryoko's face moved closer to Aeka's. She tried to turn away but the cyan-hared woman held her face. In the next instant, Ryoko's lips were pressed upon her own. When the kiss finally broke, Aeka took a step back from the space pirate.

"Why?" was all she could say.

"Why not?" Ryoko advanced on her once more. "You shouldn't be afraid Aeka. It's a beautiful thing." She placed her arms around the princess's waist.

"But it won't be like the last time. I'm giving you a choice," Ryoko spoke into her ear as she began kissing her neck. "You can just walk away, and we'll forget this ever happened. Or you can stay, and experience sex the way it's supposed to be."

Aeka shivered as Ryoko worked her way back to her mouth.

"All you have to say is, 'I don't want it.' Can you say that?"

Aeka slowly shook her head "no" then closed her eyes in anticipation. Ryoko's lips once again met hers, this time with more urgency. This time, Aeka relaxed and leaned into the kiss opening her mouth slightly. Sensing the invitation, Ryoko's tongue entered and entwined with Aeka's. Not knowing what else to do with them Aeka plunged her hands into Ryoko's luxurious hair.

This caused her to moan sensuously into Aeka's mouth. Getting excited, Aeka deepened the kiss, while moaning in response. A warm, tingling sensation began in the pit of her stomach. The feeling intensified as her hands roamed freely, exploring Ryoko's exquisite curves.

Abruptly, Ryoko pushed her away. Gasping for air, Aeka wondered when she'd started holding her breath.

"Wow, that was something." Ryoko said curiously eyeing Aeka. "So are you gonna take that towel off or would you rather I work around it?"

Aeka's lips curved up in a suggestive grin as her towel slid slowly from her body. Taking her hand, Ryoko, guided Aeka back into a sitting position; behind her, Ryoko began her massage anew. Starting at the shoulders, Ryoko's hands slid down to Aeka's round breasts. As she began rubbing them, she felt the sensitive nipples stiffen against her palms.

"Oh yes! Keep touching me like that, Ohh!"

Encouraged by this, Ryoko took both nipples between thumb and forefinger and began rolling them back and forth. Aeka's back arched in pleasure as Ryoko's tongue found her neck once more. Removing one hand from Aeka's breast, Ryoko felt her way between her thighs eliciting a

moan of delight as she brushed the princess's clitoris.

"M-Miss Ryoko ah!"

"Don't say anything Aeka, at least not yet."

Ryoko's finger found the violet covered core and quickly slid in, her passage eased by the moisture within.

"Oh it feels so good! Please don't stop!"

Aroused by Aeka's words Ryoko's pace quickened her fingers sliding in and out at a frantic rate. Hot fluid rushed around her fingers and she brought them to her lips.

"Mmmm! Tasty!" She said, savoring Aeka's sweet nectar. She then shifted around until her face was between Aeka's legs.

Pausing, Ryoko looked up, straight into the princess's eyes, which were burning with desire. In that moment, Ryoko understood all that she would ever need to about the true Aeka. The one she kept carefully hidden away.

Her desperate need to express her feelings and her frustrating inability to do so. Her passion, her shyness, her strengths, weaknesses, selfishness, and generosity. And then she closed her ruby eyes and it was gone.

Thankful for this glimpse into the soul of her chief rival, and most likely, her greatest friend Ryoko determined herself to give her the experience of a lifetime.

Breathing in the scent of Aeka's arousal, Ryoko attacked her soft petals with fervor. Every moment, Ryoko's long tongue found a new position sending jolts of pleasure to the princess who punctuated each new sensation with a hard tug on Ryoko's mane of cyan hair. This aroused Ryoko even more and she proved it by redoubling her efforts. She began teasing Aeka's clit with one hand while tweaking a nipple in the other. All these actions were quickly pushing Aeka toward the edge. And then suddenly, she'd reached it!

"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!"

Aeka's high-pitched scream echoed through the infinity of sub-space. Then Ryoko felt Aeka's thighs clamp around her head like a steel trap. So great was the force of her grip that Ryoko felt her ears pop. A flood of hot fluid rushed into her face and dripped down her chin and chest, but all Ryoko could do was lap at Aeka's insides because of her immobilized state. Slowly Aeka's leg muscles relaxed as she came down from her second-ever orgasm.

Using her hands and tongue, Ryoko took a minute to clean Aeka's cum off like a cat.

Turning back to the princess, Ryoko was startled to find her two inches from her face. Before she could utter a word, she was locked in a passionate kiss that took her breath away. Ryoko felt herself being guided to a laying position but allowed it to happen; interested in where this was leading. Aeka took her time as she began covering her partner's body with kisses. Her forehead, the bridge of her nose, chin, shoulder, collar bone, and down between her heaving breasts. She continued down Ryoko's rib cage, pausing to find each rib, then gave a lick to the area immediately surrounding the navel.

At first Ryoko thought Aeka's lack of experience caused her to miss all of her pleasure centers. But she then realized that it was by design that Aeka did this. Each time she came tantalizingly close to an area, it burned with anticipation causing Ryoko to moan. The pirate moaned again as Aeka circumvented her already dripping cunt, leaving a trail of saliva around her inner thighs.

Deciding that she'd had enough, Ryoko said, "Aeka don't do that, don't tease me...Aahh!"

Her plea was cut short as the ruby-eyed princess closed her lips around her protruding clit. Aeka had succeeded in surprising Ryoko, causing a great wave of pure pleasure to envelop her. Once more Aeka resumed her random kissing, each time zeroing in on a different pleasure source. As the ordeal continued, Ryoko was lost in a world of sensation where she teetered on the fine line separating agony and ecstasy. Used to getting what she wanted, when she wanted it; Ryoko was thrown totally off balance by the princess's indirect approach. When Aeka started thrusting three fingers into the eager cunt, Ryoko was almost too late to press the princess's face between her legs when she came explosively.

After drinking of Ryoko's warm juices, Aeka accepted the pirate's warm embrace.

Able to endure the silence no longer Aeka raised her head from Ryoko's shoulder.

"I want to thank you." She paused, collecting her thoughts. "I never knew it could be this way. It was so..."

"Hot and spicy?" Ryoko supplied, once again.

"I was thinking wonderful, but I guess that will do as well." Aeka said bemused. The two lapsed into an awkward silence.

"Hey princess," Ryoko spoke up. "You know this doesn't have to be a one-time thing between us."

"Do you mean you want to try this again?" Aeka asked.

"Well sure but only if you want to."

"Of course I do but it's just that I..."

"You what?"

"I'm still in love with Lord Tenchi." Aeka waited for Ryoko's reaction but was caught off guard when she laughed out loud.

"Now what is it?" Aeka said getting annoyed.

"I'm still in love with Tenchi too Princess. But that shouldn't have anything to do with this. It's just between us."

Aeka took her hand. "If Lord Tenchi, or anyone else were to find out...well we'll just have to be discrete."

"Fine with me Princess. We can get together like this until one of us wins his heart for good," Ryoko thought for a second. "And maybe even after that."

"Only if I'm free on weekends." Aeka replied with a smile.

"What makes you think he'll choose you?" Ryoko questioned with mock indignation.

"Why would Lord Tenchi want a Most Wanted criminal when he can have a beautiful princess on his arm?"

"Because the princess is a stuck-up brat!" Ryoko shot back. They stared daggers at each other for a moment before collapsing in a giggling fit.

Just then, Mihoshi walked in with Sasami and Ryo-Ohki in tow.

"Hey look they're laughing!" she said joyfully. "Did you make-up?"

"Yes I guess we did Mihoshi." Aeka grabbed a towel and started drying off.

"Does this mean you're friends now?" Sasami asked hopefully.

"Sorry but no," Ryoko apologized. "But we did have mind blowing, soul shaking, funky monkey sex!"

"MISS RYOKO!!!!"

Aeka turned three shades of red in as many seconds, and was one second away from turning the space pirate into a smoldering pile of ashes when she noticed something. The others were laughing. Ryoko caught her eye and gave her a wink.

"Really Ryoko," she said as she donned a kimono and headed out. "You have such a crude sense of humor."

"You know me Princess, I just love to have fun with you." ^_^

End Episode 1


Preview of Next Episode:

TENCHI: Well it looks like things have finally returned to normal around here. Plus Kiyone's back!

MIHOSHI: Yeah! I missed you Kiyone. But there was something I was supposed to tell you. What could it be?

NOBUYUKI: Has anyone noticed Aeka and Ryoko acting strange lately?

TENCHI: All this and more on the next episode of Tenchi Muyo! Every Lesson Learned

KIYONE: It's uncharacteristically insightful!

 


Special Section "X": [Author's Notes]


Well it's been a long strange trip, hasn't it? When I first started this series, I had no idea I would meet with such an overwhelming response. While not all of it was favorable, I'd like to take time out to thank everyone who wrote in their comments.

That said, let's take a trip into the shadowy corners of my mind and find out why I wrote this in the first place.

The original premise for "Every Lesson Learned" was to be a Miho-Kiyo fic about daily life for the two GP detectives. This was all going well until I met with a terminal case of writer's block. For two weeks, I could write nothing at all. So, instead of trying to force it and ruin the story, I decided to change projects. The new idea came to me in the form of a dream. Aside from all of the blurry images, one scene was completely clear: Aeka was crying for some reason and Ryoko was there

comforting her.

This was strange enough--given that at the time I thought they hated each other's guts--but so intriguing was the image of Ryoko wiping away Aeka's tears that I could not get it out of my mind.

Finally giving in to the pushy little muse I put pencil to paper and began writing (When I started out, I first wrote the entire thing on notebook paper for later transcription to computer).

Now, I'd like to say that I had this whole grand tale completely mapped out in my mind; but the truth is, I didn't know what the heck I was doing, half the time. I just let the pencil go until my hand started cramping. When that happened, I knew it was time to quit for the day. Of course, this made for multiple revisions the next day, but this was the way I wrote most comfortably.

[Why I wrote a Lemon]

One of the most frequent comments I get--besides "ryoko an aieka havn sex is kewl"--is that "Every Lesson Learned" is really good, even without the lemon scenes. So why, oh why did I write a lemon?

The truth is, I don't really know. I hadn't planned on it at first, and I certainly don't have lemon on the brain. As I said, I just let my pencil go wild and this story sprang up out of nowhere. Of course, it's a little more complicated than that. I was going through a lot of changes at the time and that probably had an effect on my writing.

Whatever the reason, by the time I had the thing finished, and reread it

I realized that I'd better put a warning at the top or I'd be in serious trouble.

Wait!

I have to be truthful.

There is one other thing. When I started reading fan fiction, I was surprised and saddened at the lack of good writing in the lemon section(Except "Aikan Muyo" bless you Happosai). After reading the fine works in the regular section, it angered me to see the mindless and barely legible stuff in the lemon division.

So, when I realized that my fic was becoming a lemon ( against my will, of course), I resolved myself to make it a tale of sensuality instead of mindless, mechanical sex, poor characterization, and zero plot.

[The End Product]

After about three months of writing and revising and procrastinating, I ended up with about 49 double-sided, sheets of notebook paper and a big, goofy grin. Then I found out, that I needed to type it.

After another week of sitting in a painfully bright computer lab and sending drafts to my prereader (thanks juliusmz!) I finally had something I could be marginally proud of. All I needed was a pen name.

[Who is Arca Jeth?]

When I first delved into the shadowy world of lemon fan fiction, I found two truths. 1) Most lemon writers are guys. 2) Most lemon writers are adolescent guys with a hard-on for Ryoko.

Although I was proud of my little fan fiction, I felt that people just weren't ready for a female with such a free way of writing and thinking about sex. So I became someone different. I took on the persona of a 4,000 years-dead Jedi Master. I must admit to being half-right in my choice. A few (and by few I mean a lot) over zealous fans, who disagree with my views on Ryoko and Aeka's relationship chose to attack me indirectly--on Leon-san's "Ryoko and Aeka's Shrine of Love, guestbook"--and personally, in e-mails. I must admit, while everyone is entitled to his, or her, opinion, the vehemence in some of the messages surprised me.

While I'm not trying to convince TM! fans one way or the other, it does sadden me that people--especially anime fans--would be so close-minded even to the possibility of alternate lifestyles.

That said, I am dropping the sharade as of now. While I keep my name, I maintain that I am a woman--some say I'm pretty but I fail to see how--and a college student, majoring in Journalism. While I pretend to be such a hentai on IRC I'm actually rather shy. Ah! That's much better!

[And in Closing...]

This is all I've got for now. I hope you've enjoyed this little trip. This "Version X" goes out to all of the people who wrote in and encouraged me during the writing process. Don't worry folks, I'm still on the job! Expect an "X" version of Episode II soon.

Thanks for reading,

Arca Jeth