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No Need for a New Job!

[Notes and Disclaimers: The cast of Tenchi Muyo! is copyrighted by AIC. This fanfiction is not written for commercial purposes. This story takes place in the Tenchi Universe/Tenchi Muyo! TV continuity, hence Mihoshi's unfortunate vapidness. I need to write an OAV Mihoshi fic to make up for this. But I hope this provides some amusement value at least, in the meantime.]

"Mihoshi? What a nice surprise... what made you decide to come here this evening?"

The blonde alien stood in the front doorway of the Masaki house, regarding those who greeted her, Tenchi, Ayeka, and Ryoko. She was dressed casually in her pink sweatshirt and gray pants, indicating it was a day off for her, from both Galaxy Police Patrol as well as from whatever part-time jobs she and her partner held this week. Mihoshi regarded the trio with very wide, sad blue eyes.

"I'm lonely," she said in her most piteous whimper.

"Lonely?" Ayeka peered to see behind Mihoshi. "Where's Kiyone?"

"She has a new job... and she won't let me come with her," Mihoshi sighed. "I don't know why."

Tenchi smiled warmly at Mihoshi. "Well, I'm sure she has a good reason," he said in his most sincere tone. "Come in. We'll be having dinner soon."

Mihoshi's pout turned into a sudden smile. "Oh, thank you, Tenchi. You're so kind."

Tenchi moved back to let Mihoshi enter, and then she followed him to the living room. Ayeka and Ryoko were a few steps behind them.

"You know," Ayeka whispered cattily to Ryoko, "It's amazing how Mihoshi has no sense of time-"

"Unless it's dinner time," finished Ryoko, chuckling slightly. "Ah well. At least she has a sense of something."

Both women giggled as they walked along. As they joined the others in the living room, Ryoko's body faded and reappeared next to Tenchi on the couch, between him and Mihoshi. She leaned back and put her feet up on the coffee table.

"So, Mihoshi, what do you think this 'mystery job' of Kiyone's might be?" Ryoko asked.

"Yes," Ayeka said, moving toward them and perching on the arm of the sofa so she could be on the other side of Tenchi. (Tenchi simply rolled his eyes.)

"Did you say Kiyone got a new job?" Sasami joined the conversation as she entered from the kitchen, wiping her little hands on her apron with the giant carrot emblazoned on it.

"Y-yes," Mihoshi nodded. "I don't know what it is, but she told me I was absolutely not able to come with her. I tried to follow her once... but I got lost. I think maybe she's ashamed to be with me." Mihoshi hung her head low.

"You don't say!" Ryoko gasped melodramatically, earning her a sharp glare from Tenchi.

"Don't say that, Mihoshi," Sasami tried to reassure the officer.

"Well, after our job at the ice cream parlor, when I accidentally hit that button that caused the freezer to defrost..." Mihoshi sighed. "Maybe she doesn't want to get jobs with me anymore."

"But don't you two get jobs together so you can leave in case you have an emergency call?" Ayeka pointed out.

"Usually," Mihoshi nodded. "But she told me I shouldn't worry about it. She said we'll both get an emergency signal on our bracelets, so as long as we both respond, it doesn't matter where we are."

"Well maybe that's good, Mihoshi!" Sasami said.

"Huh?"

Sasami smiled. "Maybe it means she trusts you to respond to the call by yourself!"

Mihoshi smiled slightly. "Maybe... you think so?"

"Nah," Ryoko said, waving her hand. "More like she's got a job she doesn't want us to know about."

"You mean she's undercover or something?" Ayeka suggested.

"That would make sense," Tenchi added.

"Or... it's just a job she doesn't want people to know about for... other reasons... you two have been pretty hard up for money lately, haven't you, since you had to pay for all that melted ice cream?"

"Well, yes..."

"Ryoko, just what are you talking about?" Ayeka raised an eyebrow at the space pirate.

"I mean," Ryoko giggled, "Maybe she's gotten a not-so-respectful job...?"

"Ryoko!" Tenchi scolded. "That's ridiculous."

"Not Kiyone!" Ayeka said.

"Of course not," agreed Sasami.

"What do you mean, Ryoko?" Mihoshi blinked at the cyan-haired woman, obviously and genuinely confused.

The rest groaned in frustration.

Ayeka tried to change the subject. "Mihoshi... you are a trained detective, are you not?"

"Yes."

"So... now I know this might be a long shot... but why don't you try using your detective skills to find out what this job is?"

"But Kiyone's not a criminal..."

"She could be," Ryoko giggled, earning her another glare from Tenchi. "Just kidding," Ryoko grumbled.

"It couldn't hurt, Mihoshi... and you could prove to Kiyone you have at least some skills anyway," Ayeka urged. Tenchi shot her a glare as well.

"Maybe..." Mihoshi sighed with indecision.

 

A week after Mihoshi's visit with the Masaki household, Kiyone once again left the apartment to go to her "mystery job." This was the fourth Saturday in a row she'd done it. Mihoshi bit her lip. Was it wrong to follow her friend? But what was she doing? Was Kiyone really mad at her? Was Ryoko right about her doing something "not-respectable"? Mihoshi still wasn't quite sure what Ryoko had meant, but Kiyone always wanted to be respected, so the idea of Kiyone doing something which wouldn't get her any respect seemed all wrong.

"I have to save her!" Mihoshi said, pounding her fist determinedly into her other hand.

She bounded out of the house and down the street and to the bus stop. She just managed to notice Kiyone getting onto a bus heading toward downtown.

"Wait!" Mihoshi cried, but as she ran for the bus, she stumbled on a uneven part of the pavement and crashed to the ground. Looking up, Mihoshi saw that the bus was already moving away. Not letting that daunt her (after a whimper or two), she picked herself up, brushed herself off, and waited for another bus. A lot of buses went downtown, so surely another one would come along soon&3150;and it did. Mihoshi showed her bus pass to the driver and found a seat.

As the bus entered downtown, Mihoshi realized she didn't know where she should get off, so she looked out the window, trying to see if by any chance Kiyone happened to wander by. No Kiyone appeared on Main Street, although Mihoshi did spy their favorite noodle shop.

"Noodles!" She cried, yanking the cord that alerted the driver to stop.

A few minutes later, Mihoshi emerged with a take-away cup of noodles, which she nibbled on pensively as she scanned Main Street. On a whim, she turned to her left and wandered down the sidewalk. Walking a little way, she came to an intersection; one two corners were restaurants, on one was a shop, and on the fourth was a bar called "The Happy House." The bar looked busy, as many people were going inside. One–yes! One had the tell-tale dark blue-green hair of Mihoshi's partner.

Mihoshi dropped her noodles and ran across the street, barely (unknowingly) dodging an oncoming taxi cab. She made it to the door, but a very tall, large man held out his hand. "Cover charge, please."

Mihoshi's heart sunk. She'd spent all the money she'd had on the noodles. "But... but my friend is in there," she protested.

The bouncer shook his head. "Your friend ain't here with any money, is she?"

"No."

"If you don't have the cover, then scram!" he barked the last word rather loudly, causing Mihoshi to back off several paces.

"Gee, you don't have to be so loud," Mihoshi muttered as she backed away and turned around, dejected. Still, she had found out where Kiyone had gone. She would go tell the others and see what they had to say about it.

 

"She's going to a bar?" Ryoko chuckled. "See? I told you it was something-"

"Enough, Ryoko," Tenchi said warningly.

"Do you think it's something bad?" Mihoshi grew worried.

"I'm... I'm sure nothing is wrong," Tenchi said. "It seems like an... unusual place for Kiyone to work, but I'm sure she has a good reason."

"Oh, I've got to see this," Ryoko was still giggling. "The Happy House?"

"Oh, could you come with me, Ryoko?" Mihoshi smiled at the pirate. "Maybe we could figure it out together! And if it is something bad, you'll help, right?"

"Er-"

"If you go with Ryoko, Ryoko will probably cause more trouble rather than end it," Ayeka said.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"So I'll just have to go with you as well, Mihoshi–and Lord Tenchi will join us of course."

"Waitaminnit, I will?"

"I wanna come too!" Sasami volunteered.

"It's a bar, Sasami, you're too young," Tenchi reminded her.

Sasami frowned but nodded, "You're right."

"I wanna come too!" shouted Washu, startling the group. The pink-haired scientist had been standing behind them, listening to the conversation.

Tenchi frowned. "But Little Washu, you're also too... you look twelve-years-old! You can't come!"

Washu examined a fingernail critically before returning her gaze to Tenchi. "Let me remind you, dear Tenchi, technically you're under age as well... and all of you will need ID's to get into the bar. Now where do you think you're going to get those?"

"I don't know, where?" Mihoshi asked.

Washu suppressed a groan. "From me, the greatest genius scientist (and ID forger) in the universe!" she shouted. Little puppet A appeared on one shoulder, shouting, "Washu is the best!" Puppet B also emerged and added, "Washu will get you in!"

Tenchi sighed. "I guess we're all going. Sorry, Sasami."

"It's all right, Ryo-ohki can keep me company."

"All right, we're gonna see the 'serious' police officer like we've never seen her before!" Ryoko laughed.

 

The next week, Mihoshi, Ayeka, Ryoko, Tenchi, and Washu made their way toward "The Happy House" downtown. After getting past the bouncer with the correct cover charge and seemingly legitimate ID's (how Washu got past him with her adolescent looks we will simply chalk up to the wonders of Science!), the pushed their way into the crowded building. Sounds of laughter filled the room, bursting every few moments after someone said something on a microphone. As the gang made their way into the main room, they saw before them, up on a small stage just what Ryoko predicted: Kiyone, as they'd never seen her before. It wasn't quite the risqué situation perhaps Ryoko (and others) had mischievously hoped, however.

Kiyone, dressed casually, held a microphone in her hand, smiling at the crowd before her. "So he smiles at me and says, 'Officer, I took down his license number, see?' I looked at it and said, 'That's your license plate number.'" She rolled her eyes, prompting further chuckles to roll through the room once more.

Bewildered, the five friends of Kiyone sat down at a table in the back of the room.

On stage, Kiyone sighed melodramatically at her audience. "But of course, as stupid as some perps can be, there are even dumber people."

"Like cops?" one guy in the audience dared to tease her.

Kiyone rolled her eyes again. "I wish I could say no... but, you sir, you've obviously met my partner, haven't you?" More chuckles.

"My partner Mihoshi," Kiyone said with another big sigh. "She isn't a even a dim bulb... more of a wet matchstick.

"Don't get me wrong, Mihoshi's a really nice girl. But I've had to tell her three times now, the bank robber isn't going to stop robbing the bank just because you say 'pretty please with sugar on top.'"

As the routine went on, Tenchi looked at Mihoshi, who was just staring in Kiyone's direction, blankly. "Are you all right, Mihoshi?'

Mihoshi shrugged, frowning intensely at Kiyone. "Mmm-hmm," she said absently.

Eventually, Kiyone stopped turning the antics of her partner into a laughing stock. Then she began to tread more treacherous waters.

"So this guy, two pretty women hanging all over him because he's this brave martial artist type, right?" Kiyone shook her head. "And him, he wouldn't know where to stick his bokken if you drew him a diagram."

Uproarious laughter. Ryoko and Ayeka alternated glaring at Kiyone, the audience, and Washu, who was also laughing. Tenchi just sort of gaped nervously.

"'Course, I have to cut him some slack, I guess," Kiyone added.

"Yes you do,"Ayeka muttered, feeling very defensive of her poor Tenchi.

"I mean, the women who are after him are very nice looking, but one–can we say ‘princess' with a capital "P"? She expects the red carpet rolled out for her every time she walks to the rest room!"

Ayeka growled, as Ryoko joined her guffaws in the laughter as well.

"And the other one, Ryoko?" Ryoko stopped laughing as Kiyone continued, "Well... I have to say her behavior is better than it used to be. If she's lucky, her parole will be over in just a couple more months!"

Tenchi, with Washu's help, barely managed to keep Ryoko causing the bar to explode. He was grateful when Kiyone finally said, "Thank you and good night."

A man, probably the bar's owner, came out and encouraged the audience to give one more round of applause for the Comedy Cop, Kaptin Kiyone! He promised more fun after a brief break.

"Maybe we should just leave," Tenchi suggested.

 

"Good show," Hiro, the bar's owner, clapped Kiyone on the shoulder as she and he left the stage. "Better than last time, even."

"Thanks," Kiyone said. "I have to say, it isn't something I imagined myself doing. But... I find it's really... relieving, in some ways, I guess."

"You're a natural, kid. I got a friend of mine who thinks you could probably go on the road with this. I mean, I'd hate to lose ya, but you'd come back for a few shows, right?"

"Um, well, sure. I mean, I don't know if I want to go on the road," Kiyone stammered.

"Sure you do," Hiro said. "You're great."

"But my job... it would be hard." Kiyone nodded. "Thank you."

The woman moved her way through the crowd, nodded her thanks to those who complimented her although trying to avoid conversations. It was so easy, up there, but she couldn't just talk like that in real life. She enjoyed the act–she got to bring out another side of herself–but her humor quickly retreated to the form of her occasional dry comments.

Kiyone stopped. She could have sworn she saw a flash of cyan hair out of the corner of her eye. Slowly, she looked up, and over at a table, standing up, it was who she feared it was. Tenchi. Ryoko. Ayeka. Washu. And Mihoshi. Kiyone sighed. *What do I do? Do I go talk to them?*

"Hey Kiyone, great show!" Washu's piercing voice carried over the buzz of the bar. Washu was waving to her brazenly, grinning ear to ear with that mysterious glint in her eye. Kiyone thanked the fates she had not decided to use her "wacky inventor" jokes tonight, or she imagined she'd currently be about two feet tall with a turtle beak about now.

Washu had of course also brought the other's attention to Kiyone. Ryoko and Ayeka were obviously not pleased. Tenchi looked stressed out and possibly hurt, as he had a right to be. Mihoshi just stared.

Kiyone bit her lip. Better just go over and get it done with.

"H-hi guys," she said, "How'd you find out about this?"

"Mihoshi told us about your secret job and she went looking for ya. And this is what we found! You're holding out on us, Kiyone–you're a real laugh riot!" Washu grinned.

"Yes," Ayeka said through her teeth, clearly not echoing Washu's enthusiam. "A real fine act."

"A laugh a minute," added Ryoko, snarling slightly.

"Well, it was all just... in good fun..." Kiyone rubbed her had nervously. *Oh god.* "Come on guys... you don't want killing a police officer on your record, do you?"

"We should just go," Tenchi said, placing his hands on the arms of the two glowering women. Fortunately, his touch, so rarely dared, was enough to distract them.

"All right," Ayeka consented, although she still glared at Kiyone. "We'll talk to you more later."

Kiyone swallowed.

"Good night, Kiyone. It was a funny show," Tenchi said politely–with no other expression. Washu gleefully followed the other three out of the room.

Leaving Mihoshi there, staring at Kiyone.

"Say something, Mihoshi," Kiyone urged her partner.

"You're not mad at me, are you?"

"Um... what?"

"I'm sorry I followed you, Kiyone. I just wanted to know what it was you were doing. And Ryoko said you might be doing something bad, and everyone wanted to know, and... and... I'm sorry. Please don't be mad, all right?"

That was it? "Um... no, Mihoshi. You're... you're practicing those tracking skills, good for you."

Mihoshi's face broke into a smile. "Thanks! By the way, you were really great! Well, I didn't get some of your jokes, but everyone else was laughing, so I figure you must have been great, right? Congratulations!" Mihoshi threw her arms around her partner. For once, Kiyone was relieved. Working with Mihoshi was hard enough–but what made it easier was the fact that the two were friends. She didn't want to hurt Mihoshi–or anyone, for that matter. The jokes just sort of... came out, as she was on stage, her frustrations de-pressurizing in a non-violent manner.

"Thanks, Mihoshi." Kiyone patted her partner on the back and pulled away. "I'm tired–whaddya say we go home, eh?"

"Sure! Say Kiyone, how did you get this job, anyway?"

"It was just one of those weird things... I'll tell you on the way home, all right?"

"Okay!" The two exited the bar together. "Oh, Kiyone? I think you got that one story wrong..."

"Hmm?"

"I just said, 'please' to the bank robber, not 'pretty please with sugar on top.'"

"I was exaggerating."

"Oh." Mihoshi frowned in thought. "Do think it would have helped if I said that instead?"

Kiyone rolled her eyes and shook her head, a smile forming on her face regardless. "Mihoshi..."

[Author's notes: This is just a silly sort of idea I had and thought I'd share it. It may be sorta weird, but with her dry sense of humor, I think Kiyone would make a good stand up comic, don't you? By the way, if you can come up with any better jokes than the ones I have here, feel free to offer your suggestions, along with any other comments/criticism, to me]


Death Quaker's Realm All original materials © 2003 R. Pickard. Tenchi Muyo! and all related concepts belong to AIC.
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