I don't own these characters or profit from them.

Kiyone gets sick
By, Clayton Overstreet

"Mihoshi I can not believe you!" Kiyone yelled. "How could you get us fired from three different jobs in a week?"

Mihoshi bit her lip. "Well you kept yelling at me and I got distracted." Kiyone shook her head. "I was yelling because you kept trying to tell me how to do my job instead of doing your own."

Mihoshi shook her head, "I just thought you should put on a rain coat so you didn't get sick."

Kiyone yelled. "And what makes you think I'll get..." Suddenly her eyes rolled up into her head and she fell forward.

Mihoshi ran to her and shook her shoulder. "Kiyone... Kiyone wake up." Kiyone let out a moan. Mihoshi put her arm under her partner and picked her up. "I have to get you to Washu right now." Carrying Kiyone on her back she hailed a cab and gave him the last of their money to get them to Tenchi's house.

Mihoshi came running into the lab, "Washu?"

Washu turned around and started to yell, "How did you get in... what's wrong with her?"

Mihoshi shook her head. "I don't know. She was working in the rain all day and I told her to put on a coat. She was yelling at me and then she fell over." Washu got up and helped Mihoshi carry Kiyone to one of her tables. "Will she be alright Washu? I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to her."

Washu nodded, "I know Mihoshi." Washu's machines worked their way over Kiyone's body, trying to isolate what the problem was. Washu told Mihoshi to wait out in the living room.

Two hours later Washu came back. The others were all there with Mihoshi who was crying. She looked up as Washu came out. "What's wrong Washu? Is she going to be alright?"

Washu nodded. "You got her here just in time. She had a disease called pneumonia. It's hitting her hard because she's not from this planet. I suggest you keep her someplace warm and dry until she wakes up and them make sure she eats plenty of soup."

Mihoshi shook her head, "But they said they were going to kick us out of our apartment this week if we couldn't pay and I spent all of our money getting us here." Tenchi put his hand on Mihoshi's shoulder. "It's alright Mihoshi. You can live here with us. There's a room up in the attic that's very warm."

Mihoshi smiled and hugged him. "Oh thank you Tenchi! You have no idea what this means to me."

Ryoko growled. "Hey watch that. He's mine." Tenchi smiled and took Ryoko's hand. They had been officially engaged since she and the others had come back. Aeka had accepted it as had the others.

Sasami looked at Washu, "How long will it be before Kiyone wakes up?"

Washu checked her computer." About three days with that bump on her head. Mihoshi if you don't mind I'll teleport your belongings into the attic while you take Kiyone to bed alright? I've already vaccinated you from the disease and I have to do the others now alright?" Mihoshi nodded and followed Washu into her lab.

Once there she saw Kiyone laying on the table where Mihoshi had left her. Mihoshi looked at her and ran a hand down her cheek. "I wish you had just listened to me Kiyone..." Gently she reached under and picked the green haired officer up. Washu watched this all with interest. So, she thought to herself, Mihoshi's feelings for Kiyone are that strong. I wonder how Kiyone really feels.

Mihoshi carried Kiyone up the stairs making sure to keep her partner's head up. Azaka and Kamidaki offered to help but she waved the guardians off. Once they were in the room she set Kiyone gently onto her bed and sat down next to her. "Please get well Kiyone." She put a hand on Kiyone's forehead. "Oh you are warm." She went downstairs and got a bowl of cold water and a washcloth. When she got back she dunked the cloth in the water and put it on Kiyone's head. Kiyone let out a slight moan then settled down.

Later that night Sasami brought Mihoshi some food but she was so worried that she barely ate any of it. Her eyes never wavered from Kiyone's face. Eventually she fell asleep, but she kept waking up every few hours and changing her partners wet cloth.

Three days later Kiyone's eyes fluttered open. Her throat was dry and her head was throbbing. She started to sit up but her stomach lurched and she had to lie back down before she threw up. She let out a small moan and suddenly Mihoshi was there. "Kiyone, please lay still. You've been very sick." Kiyone weakly looked up at Mihoshi. She saw that her partner's eyes were bloodshot and had bags around them. She tried to say, "Don't tell me what to do." But all that came out was a ragged cough and some flem. Mihoshi pushed her down. "Don't worry Kiyone. You've been out for three days. Wait here and I'll get you some water."

Kiyone shook her head. Three days? What about her work? She had to be fired from every job she had now. She tried to sit up again but didn't get very far before throwing up onto her blanket. Mihoshi came running back with a glass of water. "Here, drink this." Kiyone opened her dry lips and swallowed the water. It burned her throat. She coughed again and lay down. Mihoshi sat there holding her hand. Finally Kiyone turned to her. "What about... what about our work?" Mihoshi smiled and shook her head. "Washu already told the GP that you were sick, don't worry. And Tenchi's letting us stay here." Kiyone wanted to tell her that they shouldn't ask him that, but she felt dizzy and closed her eyes. "Don't try to talk Kiyone. Just sleep now." Kiyone nodded slightly and passed out again.

Sometime later she woke up and found Mihoshi sitting next to her again with a bowl of soup and some more water. She helped Kiyone sit up slowly, but told her not to try to talk yet. Kiyone nodded and leaned against the wall. Mihoshi gave her a drink of water Kiyone tried to do it herself, but she could barely move her arms. After that Mihoshi began slowly giving her sips of soup. Kiyone recognized it as the type Sasami made. Once they were done Mihoshi insisted that Kiyone lay back down. Kiyone nodded and slid back into her covers giving Mihoshi a quick smile. She closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep again. Mihoshi smiled and sat back on her own bed to watch Kiyone, but after a while she too fell asleep.

The next day Kiyone woke up feeling a lot better. She flexed her arms and stretched a bit. Looking over at Mihoshi's bed she saw the blond asleep against the wall. Was she with me the entire time? Kiyone asked herself. She didn't want to wake Mihoshi up. So instead she lay there thinking. Why does she care so much about me? All I ever do is yell at her. Oh I feel like shit. I really should be nicer to her.

After another hour Mihoshi's eyes opened. "Oh Kiyone you're awake again. Are you hungry?" Kiyone nodded weakly, her throat still hurt too much to talk. Mihoshi got up and ran downstairs. She came back a little later with more soup. Kiyone wrinkled her nose. Soup was alright, but she wanted something solid. Mihoshi picked up on it immediately. "Sorry Kiyone but at least until your throat is better Washu says you have to have lots of soup and water. Nothing else." Kiyone frowned and shook her head. Mihoshi grinned and held out the spoon. "Come on Kiyone. If you don't eat you might get sick again." Kiyone sighed, then flinched at the pain in her throat. Opening her mouth she took the spoon in it and sipped the soup. She looked up at Mihoshi who smiled back pleasantly. Clenching her teeth she managed to get out a single ragged word. "Why?" Mihoshi's smile softened and she reached out to Kiyone's cheek, rubbing it softly. Then with no warning she picked up the bowl and spoon and turned to leave the room.

Kiyone stared after her in shock. Mihoshi's actions were... they went beyond friendship. She shook her head. No... no she was imagining things. Seeing things that weren't there. She was sick so of course she was hallucinating. She felt weird... not dizzy this time. She took a deep breath and covered up again, laying down in her bed. She closed her eyes, but didn't fall asleep for a long time.

Washu had seen it all of course. She saw Mihoshi reach out and rub Kiyone's face. She had seen Kiyone's confused look. And her sensors had picked up the slightest change in both girls hormones. Not much... but it was definitely there. Washu decided to watch and see how this played out. It was an interesting way to observe rare social interactions. Maybe she could find out how love really worked. After all if there was no possibility for breeding and two people felt attracted to each other then there must be more to it than that. But the big question was, did Kiyone feel the same way as Mihoshi?

Does she feel the same way? Mihoshi asked herself. Even if Kiyone didn't Mihoshi would stay by her side. But she couldn't figure out why she had done what she did. Why had she tried to show Kiyone how she felt so openly? She stood up and picked up another bowl of soup. Either way she still had to make sure Kiyone got well. That was what mattered now. The rest could wait.

Walking up the stairs she passed Sasami and Ryo-oki. "How is she doing Mihoshi?"

Mihoshi smiled at the little princess. "Oh you know Kiyone. Nothing keeps her down."

Sasami smiled and nodded. Ryo-oki rubbed against Mihoshi's leg. "Well if you need to take a break I'd be happy to take her soup up to her."

Mihoshi almost refused, wanting to see Kiyone again. But then thought better of it and handed Sasami the bowl. "Thanks Sasami. I need to sleep anyway." Sasami smiled and took the bowl up the stairs. Mihoshi sighed and fell back on the couch, almost immediately falling asleep.

Upstairs Kiyone heard someone coming and thought it was Mihoshi. She sat up ready to eat. Sasami came in and smiled at her. "Hi Kiyone." Kiyone raised an eyebrow and gestured with her hands. "Mihoshi? I thought she could use a break. She's been watching over you nonstop." Kiyone looked surprised. "Yeah, would you believe it? She spent the first three days you were asleep just sitting by your bed holding your hand. We all tried to get her to sleep and let one of us do it for a while but she flat out refused. Open up." Sasami gave her a spoon full of soup, which Kiyone absently swallowed. "Anyway Mihoshi just sat right here. She wouldn't even really eat that much she was so worried about you." Kiyone looked down guiltily and Sasami shook her head. "Now don't be like that. Nobody blames you, least of all Mihoshi. How did you get so sick anyway? She wouldn't tell us." Kiyone looked a bit guiltier.

After Sasami left Kiyone stayed where she was and thought. If she had just listened to Mihoshi she wouldn't be in this mess. She wondered what it was about Mihoshi that was so annoying. It wasn't like she did most of the stuff she did on purpose. And all things considered most of her mistakes turned out to be better than they were worse. Nobody had really wanted two Washu's running around the place. Maybe it was because Mihoshi didn't seem to have a care in the world. It was frustrating that she seemed able to do whatever she wanted without suffering the repercussions that the rest of the world did. But just because of that did she have the right to blame her partner for everything? No... no she had to stop putting everything on Mihoshi's shoulders.

As she sat there she thought about what Sasami had said. Mihoshi had stayed with her holding her hand for days. Had refused to tell them that it was Kiyone's own fault she was sick. All actions that supported her earlier suspicions. Mihoshi cared for her deeply. That much was obvious. But how deep was it and did she feel the same way? Kiyone didn't know... she had had the chance to get rid of Mihoshi. Could have stayed as a high-ranking official at headquarters. Why had she given it all up to come back to this small out of the way planet with the person she had always claimed to despise and want dead? I need to talk to her, she thought. Need to find out why Mihoshi did the things she did.

Mihoshi woke up on the couch twelve hours after she had fallen asleep. She tried to go up to Kiyone again, but Sasami stopped her and made her eat first. After that Mihoshi hurried upstairs. Kiyone was asleep on her bed. Ryoko had fed Kiyone her dinner and had left a while ago. Mihoshi sat down next to Kiyone's bed and looked down at her. Tears feel from her eyes. "Please just get better." She held Kiyone's hand and sat there looking at her.

The sun rose many hours later, but Mihoshi hadn't moved. The light started coming in through the window and slowly crossed the room to Kiyone's bed and fell across Kiyone's face. Her eyes fluttered open and she saw Mihoshi sitting over her. She looked down and saw the blonde's fingers wrapped in hers. Mihoshi smiled and absently ran her fingers through Kiyone's hair. "You know, in this light... you look like an angel." Kiyone blushed trying to think of something to say. Finally she looked up and managed to whisper out, "Thank you..." Mihoshi smiled with tears in her eyes. "Are you feeling any better Kiyone?" Kiyone stretched and took a deep breath. Her throat seemed to hurt less and her hands felt stronger so she looked up and nodded. Mihoshi smiled and squeezed her hand. "I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to you Kiyone. You are the only thing that matters to me."

Kiyone looked up at her startled. "You... you mean that?" She said. Mihoshi nodded and a tear fell down her cheek. "Always. Now don't say anything else. I'll go get your breakfast alright?" Kiyone bit her lip and nodded. Once Mihoshi was gone she lay her head back onto the pillow. "She really does love me..." Kiyone smiled thinking it over. She decided that yes... she loved Mihoshi too. She had never had a boyfriend or girlfriend in her life. She had been too busy. And in her wildest dreams she had never imagined that it would be Mihoshi.

Mihoshi came back with the soup and fed Kiyone. Kiyone meanwhile willingly took the food and ate quickly. Mihoshi smiled and turned to take the food away when she felt Kiyone's hand on her arm. Mihoshi set the food down and turned back. "Yes Kiyone?" Kiyone blushed and reached up tracing a finger down Mihoshi's cheek. Mihoshi held Kiyone's hand to her cheek and smiled. "I know Kiyone... I know." She turned to leave and Kiyone smiled after her.

When Mihoshi came back Kiyone was standing by the window watching Ryoko and Aeka fighting. They no longer fought over Tenchi of course, but they still managed to find other things. Kiyone had noticed that over time their fights looked more like a dance. The same moves over and over again until it was perfect. Of course Kiyone knew that if she had ever wanted to Ryoko could have vaporized the princess in a second.

Mihoshi came up behind her and put a hand on Kiyone's arm. "You should still be in bed Kiyone. It's not healthy for you to be up yet." Kiyone nodded and walked shakily back to her bed and let Mihoshi cover her up. "Mihoshi..." Mihoshi pushed her finger against her lips. "No. Not until you get better Kiyone. I want you to think about this first alright?" Kiyone nodded and lay back. Mihoshi was right. If she wasn't absolutely sure about her feelings for Mihoshi it could really hurt them both. "When... did you get so... smart?" Mihoshi smiled and shook her head. "Sorry that's classified... and I mean that literally." Kiyone looked at her closely. Apparently Mihoshi had some secrets of her own. "Um... Mihoshi. I need to use the bathroom. This bedpan is killing me." Mihoshi laughed and helped her up.

A week later and Kiyone was almost back to normal. She was doing morning exercises to keep herself fit and her throat had stopped hurting. Washu estimated four days before the virus was purged from her system entirely. Mihoshi had been there every day taking care of her until Kiyone had finally gotten sick of it and taken the spoon herself. From then on Mihoshi had let her feed herself and she had been getting stronger every day.

What Mihoshi had refused to discuss their feelings for each other until Kiyone was completely better and not a second sooner. However something that Kiyone was keeping a tight control on was her temper. She had only yelled at Mihoshi once when she spilled some hot tea on Kiyone's lap. Aside from that when Mihoshi made a mistake Kiyone had been trying to explain what she had done wrong in a calm voice so that she understood. After that Kiyone noticed that Mihoshi never seemed to make the same mistake twice.

While she was exercising Kiyone looked around the room and realized how messy it was. If they were going to live at Tenchi's place the least she could do was keep it clean until she could pay him some rent. Mihoshi had told Tenchi about Kiyone's desire to pay and Tenchi had stead fastly refused, but after a while he said yes, but would only take a few hundred yen a month and not until she was better and had a chance to work. So anyway, Kiyone started picking things up. For a second she was thinking that Mihoshi was a slob, then realized that most of these clothes were her own. "Nagi was right... I spend too much time blaming others for my mistakes." She picked another shirt off of the stereo and a tape fell off.

Kiyone reached down and picked the tape up. It was a recording she and Mihoshi had made of their karaoke night about three months ago. Smiling she plugged it into the tape player and listened to it while she worked. She remembered how Mihoshi and she always felt when they sang together. Staring into each other's eyes... she wondered just how long Mihoshi had been in love with her. How long had she just ignored Mihoshi's feelings like that? Kiyone sat down on her bed suddenly tired. She lay there listening to the music and thinking about Mihoshi. "Oh this is confusing. No wonder she's so absentminded." Sighing she grabbed her pillow and hugged it to herself.

She lay there until the tape ended, trying to think of some way to make it all up to Mihoshi. Just then Mihoshi came in with her food. She was finally allowed to eat something solid for lunches. This time Sasami had made grilled cheese sandwiches and sent up a glass of grape juice with it. "Hey Kiyone. How are you feeling?"

Kiyone smiled up at her, "A lot better. Thanks for taking care of me all this time Mihoshi, I really appreciate it."

Mihoshi blushed and sat down next to her. "It's nothing Kiyone. I'd do it again in a heart beat." Kiyone smiled at her and took her food.

She took a bite out of her sandwich and her eyes got big. "Ow! That's hot." Mihoshi looked at her worriedly and quickly handed her the glass. "Quick, drink this."

Kiyone took the glass and gulped it down. When she was done she smiled at Mihoshi. "Thanks." Mihoshi reached out to take the glass away and her fingers brushed across Kiyone's sending a tiny shock through them both. They sat there for a minute neither letting go of the glass.

Finally Kiyone bit her lip and let Mihoshi take the glass. Mihoshi sat there for another minute then sat the cup down and looked at her. "You know Kiyone... I know I make you mad sometimes. I'm sorry I do. I never meant to make you hate me..." Kiyone gasped. That's what she meant this entire time. That she thought I wanted to tell her I hated her? Kiyone thought. Shaking her head she tried reaching out to Mihoshi, "Mihoshi I don't..." She was cut off when Mihoshi slapped her hand away and backed off. "Don't try saying that you don't hate me Kiyone. You've said that you do too many times. You tried to eliminate me from your life when you had the shot. When you were promoted you were going to leave me behind you yell at me and tell me how I mess up all the time. If you hadn't been sick you probably would have been yelling every minute I was trying to help you, so don't you dare try saying that you don't hate me!" She turned and ran out of the room crying leaving Kiyone staring after her in shock. "What have I done..?"

She heard the front door slam and ran to the window. She saw Mihoshi run away from the house and into the woods. Kiyone watched her go, pressing her hand against the window. From behind her she heard the door open. She whirled around and saw Sasami standing there. "Kiyone, why did Mihoshi run out of here?"

Kiyone shook her head sadly and lay down on the bed. "I made some mistakes Sasami... so many mistakes."

Sasami sat down on the bed next to her. "Do you want to talk about it?" Kiyone looked at her, and cried for a minute. Then slowly she nodded. Sitting up and took and deep breath and told Sasami what had happened.

"Wow! You and Mihoshi... well I guess it's not that hard to picture. But why does she think you don't like her?"

Kiyone shook her head. "That's my fault. I told her I didn't so many times without thinking. I was just mad at her all the time and I blamed her for everything."

Sasami put her hand on Kiyone's. "Don't worry Kiyone. I'm sure if you talk to her she'll understand."

Kiyone shook her head and turned to bury her face in her pillow. "I don't even understand. I tried talking to her... but she wouldn't listen." She pushed her face into the pillow and cried. Merea appeared next to Sasami and put her hand on the princess's shoulder. Sasami looked at her and nodded. Together they walked out of the room and left Kiyone alone.

Mihoshi ran through the woods crying. She couldn't believe she had done that. Kiyone hadn't done anything. Why had she been so mean to her? She stopped running and sat down on a rock underneath a cherry tree. She was there for a long time, crying to herself when she heard something moving in the bushes next to her. Mihoshi jumped back and saw something furry run past her. "Ryo-oki is that you?" She called. The furry thing jumped out onto her lap and said, "Ciao?" Mihoshi smiled and scratched behind the cabbit's ears. "Oh it's you Ken-oki. Does that mean Nagi is around somewhere?" Ken-oki nodded and turned towards the path ahead of her. Mihoshi looked up and saw Nagi walking along it towards her and quickly wiped the tears from her eyes.

Nagi arrived a few minutes later, "Hello officer Mihoshi."

Mihoshi smiled. "Hi Nagi, how's it going?" Nagi smiled and looked around. She had been coming by for visits ever since she had given up chasing Ryoko. Anytime she finished collecting a bounty or something she stopped by, then she and Ryoko would go out for the evening and get tossed out of every bar in town.

Mihoshi really didn't have an answer to Nagi's question though so she simply kept quiet. The bounty hunter stopped and looked down at her. "What's wrong Mihoshi?" Mihoshi looked up at her and tried her best to smiled like she always did, but a tear feel from her eye and landed on the end of Ken-oki's nose causing him to sneeze. Nagi sat down on a rock on the other side of the path and looked at her. "Do you not want to talk about it?"

She shook her head. "No... yes... I don't know. It just hurts so much..."

Nagi nodded. "It's a love thing then? I take it you don't like it that Ryoko got Tenchi any better than Aeka does?" Mihoshi let out a laugh. It was so rueful that it almost seemed to Nagi that it couldn't possibly have come from Mihoshi. "Tenchi? Ha! He's like a brother to me. No... no. If it were about Tenchi there would be no problem."

Nagi's eyes widened. "You aren't in love with Yosho or Noboyuki are you?" This time Mihoshi laughed louder and almost fell off the rock. Ken-oki jumped out of her lap and landed on Nagi's. When Mihoshi was done laughing she looked up, "Thanks for the laugh. I needed that." Nagi was confused. "If it's not a guy then what is it?"

Mihoshi took a deep breath and shook her head. "It's Kiyone... she hates me." Mihoshi whispered the last and Nagi blushed a bit. She'd heard about these kind of relationships of course, had even heard rumors that she had a similar thing for Ryoko. But in her entire life Nagi had never met anyone who felt that way about another girl. "I don't know what to say Mihoshi. I'm not exactly an expert on love... but are you sure she hates you? Has she ever actually said she hated you?" Mihoshi thought about it for a minute. Kiyone had said she wanted her dead, wished she was never born, had yelled and screamed at Mihoshi at the top of her lungs, but... no she'd never said she'd hated her. "No I guess not... not really."

Nagi nodded and tried to keep the fact that she was blushing hidden by her hood. "Well has she ever said she loves you?"

Mihoshi shook her head, "Well there was that one time... but we were singing a song at a karaoke bar. It doesn't count."

Nagi pulled her hood closer to herself. "Then I don't think I'm the one you need to talk to." With that she got up and began walking towards the house, leaving Mihoshi to (believe it or not) think.

'Are you going to be alright Nagi?' Ken-oki asked. Nagi nodded and looked down, 'Yeah, I just need a drink.'

Mihoshi thought for a long time. She knew she wasn't exactly the brightest star in the sky. Kiyone was so much smarter than she was. And so pretty... Oh why couldn't she stop thinking about her? Mihoshi sighed and leaned back. After she picked herself up from falling off the rock she sat back down. Maybe Kiyone didn't hate her. But it was clear to Mihoshi that she would never love her. She had known that for a long time. Had decided that just being around Kiyone was enough. But could she keep doing that now that she had shown Kiyone how she felt? She didn't know or care. All she knew was that she had to be with Kiyone. And if Kiyone wanted her gone... well then she would cross that road when she came to it. Suddenly her watch beeped. "Oh my gosh it's time for my show!" She took off running for the house all else forgotten. She didn't even notice that she knocked Nagi off the path or hear he bounty hunter's curses as she disappeared inside.

Kiyone looked at her watch. Mihoshi would be watching her cartoon shows right now. Kiyone could picture the look on Mihoshi's face as she cheered the hero's on and hear the sounds of Mihoshi's voice as she laughed. The last part was actually true since Mihoshi's voice was drifting up from downstairs. Sasami had promised not to tell anyone what they had talked about, so Kiyone wasn't worried about that. But it took every ounce of will power not to run down there and try to talk to Mihoshi again. The only thing stopping her was the idea that she might ruin something that Mihoshi enjoyed. One of the few things she hadn't taken from her partner was he love of those shows. So instead she lay there quietly.

Kiyone's eyes were closed when Mihoshi came up carrying her dinner. "Kiyone... are you awake?" Mihoshi whispered. Instead of answering or opening her eyes Kiyone just nodded. Mihoshi put her tray down next to her bed and turned to leave the room again. She had just reached the door when she felt a hand on her shoulder. "Kiyone... please. You should be in bed." She tried to walk away again but the hand tightened and wouldn't let go. She turned around to look at Kiyone. She met her partner's eyes and saw something there.

Meanwhile Kiyone thought about everything she wanted to say. I don't hate you Mihoshi. I never hated you. I love you. Please don't leave me. Mihoshi looked at her confused, "Kiyone I..." Without warning Kiyone leaned forward and kisses Mihoshi on the lips and wrapped her arms around her. Mihoshi's eyes got wide and she stiffened up. Oh, I hope I'm right about this. If I am wrong this will seriously... She stopped thinking when she felt Mihoshi suddenly hug her back and begin to return the kiss. Kiyone opened her eyes and saw Mihoshi crying. The blonde's tears fell onto Kiyone's cheeks, surprisingly warm. Mihoshi's eyes fluttered open to and she seemed to realize what she was doing for the first time. Breaking away from Kiyone she pressed herself against the wall. "Why... why did you do that?"

Kiyone reached out and ran her hand along Mihoshi's cheek, just like Mihoshi had done to her. "I wanted you to know Mihoshi... I don't hate you. I think... I think I love you Mihoshi."

Mihoshi bit her lip and closed her eyes. More tears went down her cheeks. "No you don't. You can't. You hate me. Don't try to pretend you don't. I can live with that. But you pretending that you love me... that's not something I can live with."

Kiyone stepped forward and looked into Mihoshi's face. "I'm not pretending Mihoshi. I love you. I'm sorry for all the things I've said, I didn't really mean them. But this... I mean it Mihoshi."

Mihoshi sniffled slightly and shook her head. "Kiyone... you don't know what it's like. I... I had given up. I knew you couldn't love me and had accepted it..." She closed her eyes and her knees buckled under her falling forward. Kiyone caught her and held her close. "I'm sorry Mihoshi... I'm so sorry." Slowly Kiyone lowered to her knees.

They sat like that for a very long time. Neither one of them moved so much as an inch. Both of them cried and held each other closely. Then, just as the sun went down, Mihoshi looked up into Kiyone's eyes and reached her hand up to caress her partner's cheek. "I love you Kiyone... I have for so long." Kiyone put her hand over Mihoshi's holding it to her cheek. "I know Mihoshi... I love you too." Mihoshi's hands slid behind Kiyone's neck while Kiyone's wrapped around her waist. Slowly they both leaned in and kissed.

The End

Author's note
Ok, you may praise me now. Admit it that was a terrific story. I'll admit there was no sigh of Aeka , while Ryoko and Tenchi himself only made a quick cameo. What can I say? I was in the mood for something different. I find that when I run out of Tenchi/Ryoko stories Mihoshi and Kiyone are always there to bail me out. If you wish to tell me what you thought of this story or any others I have written feel free to email me at clayton_n@hotmail.com

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