Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 Fan Fiction ❯ A Goddess Comes to Call ❯ Chapter 12

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Part Nine

Mara sat hidden in the shadows, watching as Priss pulled Urd to her feet, held her close, and begin to gently sway along with the soft music. She still wasn't quite sure why she was here, following them. The limo had pulled out from the Silky Doll, and Mara had fallen in behind it on her motorcycle, concealing herself from human eyes.

Seeing Urd with someone else, it should have been filling her with anger, but strangely, it wasn't. The feeling she had was more like regret, or maybe sorrow, for what might have once been between them. She got up, and prepared to leave the restaurant as quietly as she came, when she saw a familiar figure standing not too far away.

Sylia Stingray stood just out of the loving couple's line of sight, but she could see them both easily, a small smile teasing her lips. The corner spot she had claimed also gave the silver hared woman a clear view of the other patrons of the restaurant. Realizing that she'd been spotted, Sylia raised her half full glass to Mara in a toast.

Without giving herself any time to think about it, Mara quietly made her way through the crowd, in a few moments reaching Sylia's side. "What are you doing here?" Mara asked her quietly, meeting Sylia's gaze.

"I could ask the same of you," Sylia answered her calmly in return. She swirled the amber liquid in her glass, before gently placing it back on a nearby table. "I suppose I'm out playing fairy godmother tonight," Sylia said with a small, self-mocking smile, "and I want to make sure that things turn out all right."

Mara looked over at Sylia, and for just a moment saw something else in Sylia's eyes, the hint of a deeply buried pain. "There's something else," Mara asked her softly, "isn't there?"

Sylia looked at Mara in surprise, and then she obviously put her defenses back up. "Maybe so," Sylia said dryly in reply, not really answering her question. She continued, "So what are you doing here, then?"

Mara looked over at Urd and Priss for a moment. Both had relaxed after the initial stiffness of dancing with a new partner had passed, and both looked like they were having fun. Urd laughed as Priss twirled her gently, then pulled her back in close to her. Mara wasn't sure she had ever seen Urd look so completely happy.

Speaking softly, so that Sylia could barely hear her words, Mara said "I planned to cause a little trouble. I wanted this date of theirs to go up in flames." She shook her head a bit, "But now..." she trailed off, realizing who she was talking to.

Sylia smiled softly at her, the same sadness back in her expressive eyes. "And now?' she prompted Mara gently. Sylia wondered if the enigmatic demoness was here for the very same reason she was here.

"I guess," Mara said with a sad sigh, "I just came to say good-bye to her." She looked over at Urd one more time, a single tear glittering on her cheek, before she simply faded from view, until she completely disappeared.

Sylia finished her drink and prepared to go as well. She looked across at Urd and Priss, looking so good there as they danced slowly together. "I guess I had to say my good-byes too," she sighed, and left before Priss could see her.

Belldandy hummed to herself happily as she knitted away. A large pile of completed cloth lay at her side, showing that she had been at it for awhile. Skuld walked by and stopped, frowning. "Why are you doing that the hard way?"

Belldandy smiled serenely, "I'm making a gift for Linna, a new sweater." She went back to concentrating on her knitting.

"So why don't you just use your powers?" Skuld asked irritably, instantly cross at the mere mention of Linna, the girl she blamed for corrupting her big sister. "Or I could make you a machine to do it!" she then suggested eagerly.

Belldandy just gently shook her head, as if Skuld was completely missing the point. "This way, every single stitch of this sweater will be filled with my love for her," Belldandy sighed dreamily. "My love itself will be wrapped all around her, keeping her safe and warm this winter," Belldandy concluded cheerfully.

Skuld looked at her big sister and sweatdropped. Only Belldandy could say something that was so totally sappy and fill it with such absolute sincerity. She sighed and shook her head before heading downstairs to talk with Nigel. At least he was rational, mostly.

Linna ducked back in the hallway, wiping at her eyes. She stumbled back up the hall to give herself a few minutes to regain her composure, she was so touched by what Belldandy had just said! A deep, steadying breath or two later, and Linna made her way into the room to be greeted by Belldandy's always sunny smile.

Not long after, Skuld sat on the floor by Nigel and passed him his tools even as he worked on completing the latest set of hardsuit upgrades. "Is it me, or are they all crazy?" Skuld finally asked him out of nowhere.

Without missing a beat, he calmly answered her, "They're all crazy. Hand me that wrench, will ya?"

Urd flopped into her seat, fanning herself with a handy napkin. "All right," she conceded with a laugh, "you really are a good dancer."

Priss laughed softly, taking a napkin herself to wipe her brow. "You're not so bad yourself," she said, grinning across the table at her. They had pretty much danced everybody else on the dance floor into the ground, not to mention the band.

Urd picked up her half full wine glass and finished it in one big gulp. "Ah, that's so nice," she sighed to herself happily. She then quickly polished off what food was left on her dinner plate, and Priss soon joined her.

"Come on," Priss said with a smile, offering Urd her hand, "this night's just getting started."

Urd took it and rose smoothly to her feet, smiling at Priss curiously. "So what else do you have planned?" she asked.

Priss led her out of the restaurant to the limo, "You'll just have to wait and see." She grinned at Urd impishly.

Urd gave a mock pout. "I feel like a prisoner being ferried off to an unknown fate," she complained with a smile.

Priss laughed evily, "Just you wait, my pretty!" They shared a laugh as the Limo doors popped open automatically.

"Where to next, Madam?" Mackie asked with his own version of the fake British accent. Nene rolled her eyes over how bad his was.

"The club, I think," Priss said after taking a moment to pretend to think about it. Mackie raised his eyebrows at that.

"Are you sure, Priss?" Nene asked.

"Yep," Priss answered her calmly. She then looked over at Urd, adding, "They're worried about the club we're going to. We can leave as soon as you wish, though."

"It sounds like a interesting place," Urd remarked Priss with a wolfish smile. Priss returned it in equal measure, and Nene was struck by how similar they could be.

The divider rose silently, and they were off to their next destination. Urd looked out the window and watched the buildings change as they drove, the polished, well maintained structures giving way to older buildings in clear disrepair.

"Not the best part of town," Priss remarked quietly, "but I started out here, all those years ago, and I used to sing at the club we're going to." She smiled wryly, "I like going back there. It reminds me of where I've been, and where I might end up."

Urd reached across the seat to put her hand on Priss'. "You won't end up here, not if I can help it," she vowed to her softly.

The limo slid to a stop before Priss could form a reply.

The divider that separated the front and back seats rolled down, and Nene smiled at them nervously as she said, "This is your last chance, Priss. If you want to change your mind about this, now's the time."

Urd grinned and Priss laughed at her friends nervousness. "I'll call you when we want to be picked up," Priss said with a smile. She looked at Nene and Mackie, adding, "Why don't you two go for dinner or something?"

Mackie grins at her in obvious relief, "Thanks Priss. I don't want this limo sitting around this neighborhood too long," Several hoods walk by, giving the vehicle speculative looks. Mackie pales, and Priss laughed.

She got out and went around to help Urd, then they walked over the nearby club as the limo peeled away hastily. A large flashing neon sign is visible, reading "Arisugawa's Locket" and a locket opening to reveal a sexy girl beneath it.

"Charming," Urd commented dryly, and Priss snorted with laughter.

"The club's changed hands and names a few times since I last sang here," Priss commented as she held the door open. Urd walked in to meet the appreciative gazes of the well dressed crowd of women as Priss added, "It's been a lesbian club for the last few years."

"And the outside?" Urd asked with a delighted smile. She looked around the club in no little awe, the soft carpeted floor, old fashioned long bar, karaoke stage, a library and some couches to read on, even! It looked like a gentleman's club of a bygone age, nothing like what you'd expect to see from the total squalor outside.

"Protective coloration," Priss answered with a grin. She spotted a friend in the crowd and waved at the woman, "Hey, Juri, how's it going?"

Urd laughed softly. "Your friends don't know, do they?" she stated more than asked.

Priss chuckled, "I have asked them to come in, before. It's not my fault they wouldn't, is it?" Priss tries her best to look innocent, and mostly fails.

In another bar, in another part of the sprawling city, Sylia Stingray downs another tall drink, calmly and deliberately. She looks well on her way to being drunk, surrounded by businessmen and executives working to attain that very same state.

"Another, please," Sylia said quietly to the bartender. The pretty young woman looks at her nervously before pouring her yet another drink.

"It can't be that bad," the lady says to her softly, trying to give Sylia an opportunity to talk about what was troubling her.

Sylia gives her such a look that it silences her almost instantly. "I just helped set up the woman I used to love with a new girlfriend," she said it calmly, if just a little bit slowly so as to not slur any of the words, "and it only just occurred to me that I'm very unhappy about it." She slugged back the remainder of her drink, before setting the glass back on the counter with a loud thump.

"Get me a drink too," the woman's voice said as a figure settled into the stool beside Sylia's. She looked over, and Mara smiled at her.

"Have you been following me?" Sylia asked mildly, tipping her glass to Mara with a little smile on her face.

"Sorry, no," Mara said calmly. She raised her glass to the bartender and then downed it in one shot. She smiled and asked Sylia, "Would you mind if I join you?"

Sylia looked at her thoughtfully a moment. "Sure, why not," Sylia finally said with a shrug, lightly tapping her glass to Mara's.

"Cheers," Mara agreed with a smile.