Outlaw Star Fan Fiction / Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction ❯ Of Princesses and Space Pirates ❯ Chapter 3: No Need for Close Calls ( Chapter 3 )

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

I do not own the rights to any of the copyrighted characters in this fanfic, nor do I claim them. The idea, however, is mine. Enjoy!
AN - There's a little bit more violence and language in this part. ^_^* It's a fair warning, so please don't take offense!
Of Princesses and Space Pirates
Chapter 3: No Need for Close Calls
The cigarette smoke filling the hazy bar room made Sasami's eyes burn and water. As she blinked away the moisture that gathered in her eyes due to the atmosphere, she stifled a sigh and absently petted Ryo-oh-ki, who rested in her lap. Her surroundings made her uncomfortable, and the shady characters didn't help matters much, however she pushed her feelings aside. She had promised Ryoko that she wouldn't be a burden, and she intended to keep her word.
Sasami looked over at Ryoko, who was finishing her drink, and she smiled. Although she felt uncomfortable in the bar setting, she felt completely safe around the older woman. When they had landed on the satellite planet days earlier, both of them had taken an immediate liking to the place. Ryoko insisted that Sasami needed a new look, and so she had gotten a complete makeover. Now Sasami wore an outfit that made her look more like a space adventurer, instead of the outfit she had worn on Earth. She had on a black, one-piece short suit, and matching ankle boots. She wore a short, red vest over that and a gold chain-belt, which hung loosely around her hips, finished her outfit. She had also changed her hairstyle. Instead of twin pigtails, her hair fell down the middle of her back into a single, looped braid.
Ryoko tilted her head back, finishing off the rest of her whiskey. As she placed the glass back down on the countertop, the barkeeper refilled her glass and looked at her. "How do you plan on paying for it this time," he asked.
"You're not gonna ride me, are ya," she asked, waving a dismissive hand in the middle-aged man's direction. She grabbed her drink, turning around in her seat as she drank the contents in one gulp. She eyeballed a heated poker game in a smoky corner of the room, and a slow smile spread across her face.
"The stakes in that game are high," the barkeep commented, following Ryoko's gaze as he dried a glass. Ignoring his statement, Ryoko stood from her seat and turned towards the Juraian girl.
"Sasami, why don't you run and get us something to eat," Ryoko suggested, handing the girl a few wong. Without waiting for an answer, she began walking in the direction of the card game. "Oh, and Iris," she stated, turning towards the waitress, "bring a round of drinks for the table."
"Sure thing," the young woman replied, as she busied herself with the drinks.
"Let's go, Ryo-oh-ki," Sasami stated, as she stood from her seat. She headed towards the door, turning once to watch as Ryoko approached the table. Waving as Ryoko looked up in her direction, Sasami turned and walked out the door, allowing Ryo-oh-ki to jump down to the ground. "I sure hope she knows what she's doing, Ryo-chan," she stated.
"Meow, mreow," the cabbit murmured, as she bounded down the street after Sasami. She followed the Juraian princess down the street in that fashion, as the duo made it to a take-out restaurant. After placing the order, Sasami sat down to wait.
"I miss cooking," she stated softly, as she rested her chin on her knuckles. "I wonder how the others are doing? I miss grandfather... father… Azaka and Kamidake. I even miss hearing Mihoshi and Kiyone's fighting." She paused, and tears threatened to form in her eyes. She looked down, as Ryo-oh-ki rubbed against her leg. Shaking her head, she forced a smile onto her face. "I'll just have to cook for Ryoko one of these days," she exclaimed, causing the cabbit to murmur happily. "This is the life that I want, and I'm not going to complain!"
Soon, Sasami's order was ready. After paying at the counter, and taking the food, she left the restaurant and headed back in the bar's direction. As she and Ryo-oh-ki walked along, a man began to follow them. They weren't too far from the bar, when the cabbit stopped suddenly, growling as her fur stood on end.
"What is it, Ryo-oh-ki," Sasami asked. A shadow fell over her, and as she spun around, she gasped.
"What's a girlie like you doin' in a place like this," the man slurred in a raspy voice. Sasami looked up at him, and fear filled her eyes as she slowly began to back away.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
"No offense Mel, but it's never any fun going out with you at night. All I end up doing is drink myself into a stupor." Gene Starwind walked with his hands laced behind his head, and he looked over towards the shorter, dark-haired woman. She returned his look, smiling at him.
"If I didn't know any better, Gene, I would think you didn't want me here," she teased. "Jim just doesn't want you to get too drunk. Besides, he-"
"He could have sent Aisha," Gene interrupted, finishing Melfina's sentence as she laughed softly. "If I've heard that once, I've heard it a million times before." He sighed, making a face. "Jim always tries to ruin my fun."
"He means well."
"A man's gotta have a good time! If Jim would just grow up a little, he'd understand that." He paused, slyly wrapping an arm around Melfina's shoulders, causing her to blush slightly.
"It's our last night here on Sentinel III, but we can still have some fun tonight," he stated suggestively. "I have this one fantasy you can help fulfill, Mel. Me, you, and-"
The rest of his sentence was cut off, as a scream filled the night air.
"Gene," Melfina gasped, looking up startled. "Someone's in trouble."
"Unless it's a paying job, it's not our problem," he replied with a shrug.
"But Gene…"
"No, please! Don't come near me," the voice screamed again, this time sounding closer.
Gene and Melfina walked in silence, and Gene kept his gaze straight ahead, even though he sensed Melfina looking at him. As the two drew nearer to Clyde's bar, Gene's eyes narrowed as two figures came into view. He watched as a drunken man hassled a young girl, and Gene quickened his pace slightly as their conversation drifted in his direction.
"C'mon, girl," the man drawled. "Why don't you show me a good time?" The girl slowly shook her head, and as she turned to run, the man grabbed her roughly by the arm, pulling her back towards him. The bag she held flew out of her hand, spilling food all over the ground.
"Someone help me," she cried, struggling against the man's grasp. "No, let me go!" She smacked the man, but that only angered him. He tightened his grasp on her arm, causing her to whimper in pain. The girl's pet spat angrily, and then jumped towards the man, biting him on the arm. He cursed in surprise, shaking the animal off.
"Stupid animal," he slurred. She struggled against the drunk some more, gasping as her pet let out a low growl.
"Ryo-oh-ki, don't do it!"
The small cabbit ran back towards the man once again, and the drunk raised his boot, kicking her away. The animal bounced across the ground, rolling to a stop. She struggled to stand back up, however fell to the ground.
"Oh no, look what you've done," the girl exclaimed. "You've hurt her!" The man scowled, and wrapped an arm around her, crushing her body to his. As he lowered his face towards hers, she began to cry. "Please, mister, don't." The man pulled back from her angrily.
"I was trying to be nice," he screamed, grabbing her roughly by her chin. She felt sick, as his rank breath invaded her senses. He raised a fist into the air, and she squeezed her eyes shut, waiting to be hit.
However, when the offending blow never came, she cautiously opened her eyes, and saw the man looking at someone or something behind her. Her eyes shifted towards his hand, and she saw that another person had a hold of his fist.
"I don't think she wants your company, friend," a man spoke from behind her.
"This is none of your damn business," the drunk spat. "Now get outta here!"
"Let her go," the man stated, ignoring his comment. He squeezed the drunk's fist tightly, causing him to flinch in pain and release his hold on the girl. "Mel," he stated, placing his free hand on the girl's shoulder and pushing her to the side gently. "Take the girl."
"Come with me," Melfina spoke quietly, stepping towards Sasami. She nodded her head silently, stepping away from the two men.
"Who the hell are you," the drunk demanded, struggling to get out of the other man's grasp.
"Gene Starwind." He narrowed his eyes, and pulled the man towards him, punching him swiftly across the jaw. The drunk stumbled, falling to the ground. Scowling, Gene turned around, looking back towards Melfina.
"Gene, watch out," Melfina screamed suddenly.
Gene spun around and ducked out of the way just as the man took a swing at him, pocketknife in hand. Shaking his head in disgust, Gene ran towards the man. He ducked underneath another failed attempt to stab him, and brought his fist upward, punching the man in his stomach. Gasping for air, he fell to his knees, dropping the knife.
"H-how…?" Gene brought his foot back and kicked the man in his chin, sending him sprawling to the ground.
"Like I was saying," Gene stated, walking over to the man, and crushing his hand underneath his boot. "My name's Gene Starwind. I'm an outlaw, so remember this face asshole." Gene stepped back, moving his foot from the man's hand. "Now get the hell out of here, and sober up." Cradling his injured hand to his chest, the man scampered to his feet, and ran off. Smiling in satisfaction, Gene brushed his hands off, and turned back towards Melfina.
"Gene," she stated. "The girl." They both looked to where Sasami was, and watched as she knelt down next to her strange pet.
"Hey kid," Gene called in her direction, causing her to look at him. She studied his face, and then gasped in recognition.
"It's you," she exclaimed, standing up with Ryo-oh-ki gently cradled in her arms. "I think I've seen you somewhere."
"Have we met before," he asked, scratching the back of his head in confusion. "I'm sorry you had to see that, uh…"
"I'm Prin-" She cut off her own sentence, scolding herself silently for the slip-up she almost made. "My name is Sasami," she began again. "Thank you for your help, Mr.-"
"Call me Gene," he interrupted. He smiled, nodding his head to the side. "And this is Melfina."
"Hi," Melfina stated with a smile.
"It's nice to meet you both," Sasami stated, returning the woman's smile. "Thank you, Gene."
"It's no problem! Besides, that jerk deserved it." He paused, looking at the strange animal in her arms. "Hey, is that… thing gonna be okay?"
Sasami looked at him strangely, and then a smile appeared on her face. "Now I remember you," she exclaimed. "I saw you once before, on Planet Tenrei."
"Hey, you're that girl from the train," Gene stated, snapping his fingers as he, too, recognized her.
"Is she the girl Jim was talking about," Melfina asked curiously. Gene smirked, nodding his head.
"Yep," he exclaimed. "Jim's gonna flip when he hears about this! I can't wait to rub it in his face!" Both Gene and Melfina looked over at Sasami, as she laughed happily.
"Oh, Ryo-oh-ki, you're okay," she exclaimed. The cabbit murmured, licking the girl's chin. "This nice man saved us," Sasami continued. "You should thank him, too, Ryo-chan!" The cabbit jumped from Sasami's arms onto Gene's shoulder. Her nose twitched as she learned his scent, and then she licked the side of his face in greeting.
"Okay, okay," Gene laughed, taking Ryo-oh-ki from his shoulder and handing her to Melfina. He wiped his hand across his cheek, and then looked back at Sasami. "Will you and Ryo… Ryo…"
"Ryo-oh-ki," Melfina supplied.
"Will you and Ryo-oh-ki be alright, now?"
"I think you should be more concerned with yourself, Gene Starwind," a voice stated. Gene's body went rigid, as he recognized the voice. Ryo-oh-ki jumped down from Melfina's arms, her fur once again standing on end as she uttered a low growl. Two figures stepped out from the shadows, and Melfina's hands flew to her mouth.
"Hello, Melfina," the second figure spoke. "I've come back for you."
"Harry," Melfina gasped.
"MacDougall," Gene spat, clutching his hands into fists.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Ryoko sat with her chair tipped back on two legs, not bothering to hide her smirk. Her hand was damn good, and most of the other players had already folded. A lot of money was on the line in this one game, but still one stubborn bastard refused to admit defeat. Her eyes shifted towards the clock, and an uneasy feeling settled in the pit of her stomach. Where was Sasami? Shaking her head, she looked at her would-be opponent. "Well," she demanded.
"She's bluffin', Rod," one of the men stated.
"Don't let her fool ya," another encouraged him.
Swallowing noisily, the man laid down his cards with a shaky hand. Ryoko stared at his cards, and then looked down at her own hand once again. "S-show me your cards," Rod stuttered slightly, wiping at his sweaty brow with a handkerchief.
Ryoko put the chair back down on all four legs, and then looked over at him. She sighed, and then smiled triumphantly. "Ha! I've got a Royal Flush," she exclaimed, slamming her cards down onto the table. She laughed and then began collecting her prize money. She looked back over towards her opponent, whose face had turned red, and she shook her head. "Now don't be mad," she stated.
Rod stood up, slamming his fists into the table angrily, sending chips flying every which-way. "You're a cheatin' bitch," he yelled, causing the entire bar to suddenly grow silent. Ryoko slowly stood up, putting her hands on her hips.
"Now that wasn't very necessary," she mock-scolded. She took a step towards him, and disappeared, causing him to blink in surprise. He took a step back, gasping as an arm went around his throat tightly. His eyebrows shot up in surprise as he realized it was Ryoko.
"How did you-" Rod's sentence was cut off, as she pressed her arm further into his throat.
He swallowed nervously, as she spoke quietly into his ear. "Many men have called me bitch before, but none of them are alive today."
"I-I-I'm s-sorry," he stuttered, as her beam sword appear in her hand, and she put it close to his face. "Just please! Please don't kill me!" She scowled, pushing him away from her.
"I won the game fairly," she stated, as her beam sword disappeared. "You can pay for the tab." Ryoko finished taking her money, and walked back to the counter as the other patrons in the bar went back to their conversations. Clyde looked at her, shaking his head. "What," she asked innocently.
"You're a strange one," he commented. "You're a lot like one of my regulars. He's just as reckless as you are."
"Here's for my drinks," Ryoko stated, placing a few wong on the countertop. "If I'm ever through here again, I'll stop in. For now, I need to go and find my partner." She turned to leave the bar, and a huge explosion occurred, throwing her off balance. Glass shattered and women screamed as the lights flickered in the bar. More, much smaller explosions took place, coming from outside.
"What was that, Clyde," Iris asked, clutching her tray to her chest.
Ryoko regained her balance and her knees felt weak, as one thought ran through her mind. "Sasami," she screamed. She ran towards the door and flew up into the air, phasing out of the bar.
To Be Continued . . .