All "Tenchi Muyo" references are copyrighted by AIC and Pioneer. 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. And so it goes…
It was time to make a stand.
Ayeka and Ryoko were sitting on opposite ends of the sofa, waiting expectantly for Tenchi to speak. He was standing directly in front of them, trying his best to achieve a confident, no-nonsense stance. Grandpa had given him a great deal of advice when he’d gone to the old man earlier, and it had all started with appearances. Stern expression, he’d suggested. Look understanding, but firm. Make it clear you expect them to comply with your decision. You are the man of the house, Tenchi. Make sure they know that.
“I suppose you’re wondering why I asked you here,” he started. Two heads nodded in reply. “Well…it’s about Valentine’s Day next week,” he said, trying to keep the hesitation out of his voice. “You see, last year you two got into this big competition about who was going to give me the most chocolate, and then you each expected me to eat it all in one sitting.” Tenchi’s stomach groaned at the memory; he’d been sick for two days and couldn’t bear to so much as look at a candy bar for a month after. “As much as I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t want you to go overboard giving me chocolate this year, okay?”
Tenchi was pleased with his handling of the situation. Firm, yet considerate. Gentle remonstration combined with acknowledgement of their feelings for him. Yes, he’d done a good job, all things considered…
Ayeka said sharply. “Aren’t we the confident one, Lord Tenchi?”
He snapped back to reality. “What?”
“Yeah,” Ryoko said, a frown on her lips. “Kinda cocky, aren’t you?”
“Now wait,” he stammered, lifting his hands to plea for peace. “Just a second, I was only…”
“What makes you think we were going to give you any chocolate this year?” Ryoko demanded. “Why should we?”
“There’s this thing in business called ‘rate of return’,” Ayeka pointed out. “I would say that neither Ryoko nor myself received much of anything in return for our expression of affection, Lord Tenchi. No quiet walks, intimate dinners, no gentle handholding at tender moments…”
“No snuggles, no kisses, no hot action in the futons!” Ryoko jumped in. “And yet you think we’re just going to fall all over ourselves and shower you with our love and objects of affection, Tenchi? Sheesh,” she said in disgust, “you sure do think a lot of yourself, don’t you?”
“Did you know, Ryoko,” Ayeka said loudly and distinctly, “that I read an article about how they celebrate Valentine’s Day in America? It was quite interesting. Why, over there the BOYS give the GIRLS chocolate and other presents to demonstrate their affection!”
“Really?” Ryoko gasped. “Are you serious?”
“Oh, very much so,” Ayeka assured her. “Cards, chocolate, jewelry, intimate apparel…it’s quite the thing. Isn’t it a SHAME that WE don’t adopt THEIR ways for a change?”
“Wait.” Ryoko closed her eyes, lifted a hand as she carefully considered a new idea. “What’s stopping us from adopting that tradition, Ayeka?”
Ayeka’s eyes widened. “Why…Ryoko, that’s brilliant! Simply brilliant! What a lovely idea!”
“Yeah, I thought you’d like it.”
Tenchi felt all of his resolve, determination and manhood go crawling on all fours out the door and toward the lake, never to return.
“So it’s settled, then.” Ayeka clapped her hands decisively. “This year, Lord Tenchi, you are expected to provide us with…let me see…” She lifted a magazine up and consulted the pages. “Ah, here we are. You will provide us with cards…chocolates…flowers…a nice dinner at a good restaurant…”
“Don’t forget the naughty nighties,” Ryoko reminded.
“Yes, we mustn’t forget the intimate nightwear,” Ayeka nodded. She looked up and flashed Tenchi a very predatory smile. “You have one week to fulfill your obligation to us. I suggest you get to work, hmmm?”
“Don’t forget, I like cherry blossoms,” Ryoko noted.
Tenchi’s shoulders slumped as he turned away and stumbled out the door. Hopefully Grandpa would know what to do about this…once he got through laughing about it, that was.
“Well, that worked very nicely,” Ayeka commented. She and Ryoko were standing at the back door watching Tenchi make his way toward the shrine. “Wouldn’t you say?”
“Yeah. That was fun,” Ryoko conceded. “Nice of the old man, warning us about Tenchi’s little lecture.” She reached over to a nearby table and retrieved a large sake bottle. “So, you think he’ll make good on all that?”
“Oh, I think he will, especially after we turned the tables on him so completely.”
Ryoko opened the bottle of sake and poured Ayeka a small cup; the princess returned the gesture. “To Valentines Day, the way it should be celebrated, eh Princess?”
“Indeed. Oh yes, indeed!”