All "Tenchi Muyo" references are copyrighted by AIC and Pioneer LD. All “Excel Saga” references are copyrighted by ADV, Koshi Rikdo, Shonen Gahonen Gahosha, and Victor Entertainment. This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders.
Let the writer assure everyone that Koshi Rikdo never once even considered giving his permission to turn Excel Saga into a crossover fanfic. But I did it anyway. So there. Nyah nyah nanny nanny foo foo.
There were few things that could raise Ryoko to extreme levels of insane fury. One was a combination of the words “Ayeka”, “Tenchi”, and “marriage.” A second was the word “applesauce” (no one knew why). But certainly the one thing that would get the somewhat-reformed pirate’s full attention and drive her to murderous rage was a small note that read:
Now, upon arriving in F City Ryoko could have simply teleported to the mysterious Ilpalazzo’s underground lair, or she could have quietly phased through the streets and sewers without too much fuss. But neither action would have adequately expressed how truly pissed off she was, so Ryoko chose instead to just blast her way down to the secret headquarters and hope that some of the rubble might just hit whoever was behind this. “Okay, so who wants to die?” she screamed as she plunged into the huge chamber.
“Ah. Ryoko Hakubi. I’m pleased you could make it,” said a refined, mildly effete voice. She whirled around, spiky cyan hair snapping around like a whip, to find a tall fellow with silvery hair, yellow eyes and an incredible set of long, flowing robes. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is…”
Ilpalazzo hesitated. “I beg your pardon? My name is Il…”
Ryoko blinked. “You’re Kagato. I’d know those eyes and bishie features anywhere. What the hell are you doing here, and where is Tenchi?”
“I assure you, young lady, I have no idea who this ‘Kagato’ fellow might be, and as for the whereabouts of your young man, that knowledge is unknown to me as well.”
“But this note…!”
Ilpalazzo smiled. “Simply a means to lure you here. My agent, Excel, actually managed to succeed in her task for a change.” He nodded toward the highly energetic young woman nearby, who was bouncing on her heels (causing her reddish-blond hair and other attractive attributes to dance about as well). “Well done, my dear.”
“AHHH! CAN IT BE? CAN IT POSSIBLY BE THAT EXCEL HAS PLEASED HER BELOVED LORD ILPALAZZO? CAN IT BE TRUE THAT EXCEL HAS AT LONG LAST FOUND FAVOR IN THE EYES OF THE DARK, MYSTERIOUS LORD OF ACROSS, OUR TOP SECRET ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO THE OVERTHROW OF F CITY AND THEN QUITE POSSIBLY THE WORLD? EXCEL IS SO VERY VERY VERY PLEASED AT THIS PRAISE THAT SHE ALMOST HAS FORGOTTEN THAT SHE HASN’T EATEN IN THREE DAYS AND MIGHT HAVE TO RESORT TO EATING MENCHI TONIGHT…”
“Like hell you’re going to ‘eat’ Tenchi!” Ryoko snarled, willing her energy sword into existence.
“Excuse me,” Ilpalazzo said from his throne. “You misheard her. She said ‘Menchi’, not ‘Tenchi’.”
“Oh.” The energy sword vanished. Ryoko turned away from the annoying young woman and faced Ilpalazzo again. “So where is Tenchi, and why on Earth are you dressed like that and hiding in the sewers, Kagato? I mean, sheesh, not that it isn’t fitting, but I thought you had more class than this! And for God’s sake, who’s been cutting your hair? You used to take better care of yourself!”
“IT’S ME! YES, I, NONE OTHER THAN EXCEL EXCEL HERSELF, MOST LOYAL AND FAITHFUL SERVANT TO LORD ILPALAZZO EXCEPT POSSIBLY FOR HATCHAN ALTHOUGH SHE KEEPS ON DYING ON HIM SO THAT MAKES HER LOSE BROWNIE POINTS AT LEAST IN EXCEL’S VIEW THAT IS, IT IS I WHO HAS THE GREAT HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO RUN MY FINGERS THROUGH THE SOFT SILKY SILVER THREADS OF LORD ILPALAZZO’S HAIR AND SNIP IT OH SO TENDERLY, SAVING EACH STRAND IN A SPECIAL BOOK KEPT UNDER LOCK AND KEY IN EXCEL’S APARTMENT SO THAT EVERY NIGHT EXCEL CAN RUN HER FINGERS THROUGH IT AND REMEMBER JUST HOW VERY MUCH SHE LOVES ADORES AND MOST IMPORTANTLY WORSHIPS HER LORD ILPALAZZO…”
A long cord appeared beside Ilpallazo’s throne. He grasped the cord with one hand and gave it a good tug. The floor beneath Excel’s feet vanished and the girl went plunging south to who knew where. Oddly enough, at no time during her descent did she stop talking nor even stop to catch her breath.
“Thank you,” said Ryoko.
“Now…” Ryoko’s energy sword returned. “Where is Tenchi?”
“I have no idea. Perhaps he’s getting his hair cut…”
* * * * *
“Uh, hello!” Tenchi said to the pretty, sad-eyed young woman in the skimpy outfit. “I was hoping to get my hair cut, but I guess Yuriko isn’t in today?”
“No, I’m afraid not,” she replied in a very soft, almost squeaky voice. “I’m filling in for her today. My name is Hyatt. May I help you, sir?”
“Well…okay!” Tenchi sat down in the barber chair and tried not to focus on the reflection of Hyatt’s considerable cleavage in the mirror. “Just a nice trim today…oh, and don’t cut the ponytail, okay?”
“I’m working on it. Sheesh. Everyone’s a critic.”
* * * * *
“So, out with it, Kagato. What the hell are you doing here?”
“I assure you, my dear, I am not this person you claim I am. I am Lord Ilpalazzo, supreme commander of ACROSS, and I have asked you here in order to offer you a place in my organization…”
“Oh yeah,” Ryoko snorted. “Like I’d ever work for you again.” She looked around disdainfully. “Wow, the mighty have really fallen, huh? Where’s your big old organ, Kagato? Tenchi destroy that too when he defeated you?”
“HE DID NOT DEFEAT ME! I LET HIM WIN BECAUSE THEY MADE ME!” Ilpalazzo roared. “I COULD HAVE TAKEN HIM EASILY, BUT NO, THAT BASTARD KAJISHIMA SAID HE HAD TO WIN! AND THEN, WHEN I WENT TO HIS OFFICE AND DISCUSS MY APPEARANCE IN THE SECOND OAV, HE LAUGHED—LAUGHED AT ME AND TOLD ME TO HIT THE STREETS! DAMN IT ALL, HAYASHI HIROKI WOULDN’T HAVE TREATED ME LIKE THAT!” Suddenly the silver-haired overlord realized what he’d been saying, and with a defeated sigh he flopped back into his seat. “Damn.”
Ryoko flashed a wicked smile. “Gotcha.”
“Hmph.” Ilpalazzo’s shoulders slumped. “Aren’t we so very cocky. Just wait until you’re out on the street and nowhere to go.”
“Won’t ever happen,” she replied smugly. “Not only am I signed for the next OAV, I even got a couple cameos in GXP. Sucker.” Ryoko floated up into a lotus position and regarded her former master with disdain. “So, what did happen to you?”
Ilpalazzo sighed. “Oh, it’s terrible out there. The auditions, the promised callbacks that never materialize…Hayashi was able to get me a part on an El-Hazard series, but it was so awful they cut it short. I was so good as an insane ruler, too…” He waved a hand around the empty room. “I tried out for a role in Neon Genesis: Evangelion, but they said they already had enough megalomaniacs, and I was too ‘bishie’ for the part of Kaji.” He sighed even more deeply. “Eventually I ended up working here. It’s not too bad. I’ve got a guaranteed contract and I get to torture Excel as much as I wish. Hopefully this will lead to better things…”
“LORD ILPALAZZO, YOUR BELOVED EXCEL HAS RETURNED!!!!”
“…or maybe not.”
“AND NOW, MY BELOVED LORD AND LEADER, EXCEL WILL PROVE HER UTTER DEVOTION TO YOU BY BATTLING THIS IMPOSSIBLY POWERFUL FOE AND TEACH HER THAT YOU ARE NOT TO BE RIDUCLED EVEN THOUGH EXCEL NEVER WENT TO BARBER SCHOOL AND ISN’T REALLY ALL THAT GOOD WITH SHARP INSTRUMENTS!” The crazy girl lunged for Ryoko, who instinctively brought up her energy sword…
“Oops.” Ryoko winced and shut her sword off. Excel, now doing a stunning imitation of a Life Saver, fell to the floor with a thud. “Well, Kagato, I’d like to say this has been a little piece of heaven, but let’s face it, I’d be lying. So I’m going to leave now, and if you’re smart you won’t come calling again. Okay?”
“Wait!” Ilpala…Kaga…whatever rose to his feet, desperation in his face. “Ryoko…”
She paused in midair and looked down at him. “Hmmm?”
“Could I…Could I possibly use you as a reference on my resume?”
The echo of her laughter rang through the empty headquarters for fifteen minutes.
* * * * *
It took her a while, but Ryoko finally found Tenchi. He was walking down the main street of town, his expression dark and concerned. “Tenchi?” she called, running up to him. “Tenchi, are you okay?”
“Oh…hi, Ryoko.” Oddly, he didn’t object when she wrapped her arm in his. “I…I think I’m okay, but I’m not sure. Something really odd just happened to me.”
“Well…” He rubbed the back of his head. “I went over to the barber for a trim, and Yuriko wasn’t there, but they had a really sweet temp in her place, you see? And she did a great job on my hair, y’know…she didn’t snip my ponytail off like Yuriko always does. And when she’s done I go to pay her…and there she is, stone cold dead on the floor!” He shook his head. “Isn’t that crazy?”
“It sure is.” Ryoko smiled and tugged at his arm. “Tenchi, let’s just go on home and stay there until we get called for the third OAV, okay?”
“Yeah, I think you’re right,” he agreed as he let her lead him away. “These crossovers are really hitting a new low.”