Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Arisugawa's Locket ❯ Before we open ( Prologue )
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from this fanfiction, nor do I profit from it in any way. Don't sue me, you won't get anything worthwhile out of it. Comments and corrections are welcome, flames and bad language will be totally ignored. Enjoy!
The small two story building was in a slightly disreputable part of Tokyo, but it stood out from the buildings around it. Unlike the run down buildings that were all around it, it was very well maintained. On the front of the building a newly erected pink neon sign glows in the fading daylight, reading in elegant script "Arisugawa's Locket." Hanging just below it, a animated sign shows a locket opening and closing, revealing a cartoon of a pretty girl inside of it.
Standing nearby the main entrance, Arisugawa Juri looked around the large room calmly, hiding any signs of the nervousness she might be feeling on this opening night. She took a quick walk around the bar to make sure that everything was all right for the grand opening they planned for later that evening.
She slid her hand along the top of the bar to check for cleanness, and gave a smooth smile to her two new bartenders. The twins were cleaning glasses and sorting the liquor bottles, Ryouko at one end, Minagi standing at the other. They were like night and day in their personalities, but both could sling drinks with the best of them.
She cleared her throat to get their attention. "How's the setup we built for you?" Juri asked the two of them pleasantly.
Ryouko snorted disagreeably, and Minagi gave her a scolding look. "What my nasty elder sister means," Minagi said with a small smile, "is that the bar's great. I don't see us having any problems." She stopped talking and looked at Juri with a bit of concern, "Would you like me to make you something?"
Juri shook her head even as she reassured her with a small smile. "I'll just get myself a cup of coffee from the kitchen," she said as she left them there with a casual wave of her hand. She walked along the length of the bar to the mostly concealed door at the far end, pushing it open to reveal the pantry just beyond. She did a casual check of the shelves, then went through another door there into the busy kitchen itself.
Sasami calmly directed the several cooks in preparing the various dishes, never raising her voice or losing her sweet looking smile. Juri had been a bit dubious about hiring a young girl like her, but once she was reminded of Sasami's cooking skills, not to mention her true age, she decided not to worry too much about it.
"Hey, Sasami," Juri said to her with a easy smile. Sasami turned to her and without any prompting from Juri handed her a fresh cup of coffee, prepared just the way she liked it. "How did you know.. ?" Juri started to ask her, honestly surprised.
Sasami smiled, pointing to a phone that was mounted up on the wall nearby, "Minagi just called me to let me know." As Sasami said this, little hearts throbbed in her eyes. Juri felt a bit relieved that Sasami wasn't suddenly becoming telepathic or something. Before Juri could say anything more, Sasami was back at work orchestrating the meals for the evening.
Deciding not to disrupt Sasami's hard work any more than she might have already done, Juri headed back out to the bar, and then out across the large dance floor itself. The hardwood floor was smoothly polished, all ready for the feet of any patrons who might want to trip the light fantastic later tonight.
"Music," Juri called out quietly, and the high quality sound system she'd ordered installed came on, the music seemingly coming from all sides. "Thanks," she said with a grin, and it cut off again as smooth as silk. It was an effort to force herself to return to her normally cool appearance as she continued onward.
Several dining tables were set up on once side, informally arranged with chairs and settings that were able to be switched around as needed. Juri had originally thought of having a more 'fine dining' set up, but Sasami and the other restaurant staff had convinced her it didn't go with the feel she wanted in the place. A group of the barmaids were over there, making sure that everything was all right.
Keiko blushed under Juri's gaze, her two ponytails swinging as she gushed out, "Hello, Juri-sama!" Juri sighed at that, but she didn't try to correct her. It didn't do any good anyway, as Keiko just ignored her and kept calling her that.
Cyberdoll May smiled over at her cheerfully, "Hello, Ms. Arisugawa."
"Juriii!" Excel yelled happily, glomping Juri and sending the taller woman staggering about helplessly before she finally slid down Juri's back and released her. Juri again found herself wondering if Excel and Wakaba were related somehow.
Hyatt gave Juri a languid wave from where she had collapsed into a nearby chair. Not for the first time did Juri wonder where the two of them had come from, but they did seem to work well together. Besides, she needed the help.
Just beyond the tables was a group of chairs and couches nearby a fireplace, and a feature that Juri knew would make many of the guests talk. The library was four tall bookcases, all well stocked, and each carrying a variety of both lesbian fiction and nonfiction. She noticed someone sitting quietly in one of the couches reading a Naiad publication, and chuckled softly.
"Did all the invitations get delivered?" a smiling Juri asked the brown hared girl lounging there. Hitomi scrambled out of the chair and up to her feet, hiding the book behind her back as she blushed fiercely. She was wearing her old school uniform, despite her being out of school for quite a while. For just a moment, Juri saw what looked like white wings shimmer around the girl, though they disappeared just as fast.
"Don't worry," Hitomi said with a smile, "I hand delivered them all." She stopped, and looked at Juri a bit anxiously, "Is it still OK if my friend Merle comes tonight?"
"It should be fine," Juri said with a nod.
She opened a door not too far from the library and walked into the medium sized sound proofed room. She smiled a bit as she looked around, she might have felt she had to install the karaoke machine, but at least this way it wasn't inflicted on everybody else.
As stepped back out into the main room to take another swing around the large interior, she saw a light on upstairs, in her business office. She took the back stairs up, past the several for rent rooms and to her office.
She swung the door open quickly, and saw Tendo Nabiki sitting at Juri's desk, going over her papers with a calculator in hand. "If we keep spending money like this, we'll never be able to make a profit," her accountant complained to Juri sourly.
"Would it surprise you to learn that I'm not in this for the money?" Juri asked her with a impish smile on her face, knowing how the young lady would react.
Nabiki looked up at her like she was totally insane. "OK, fine, whatever you say," she said, throwing her hands up with a melodramatic sigh.
As Juri walked out she added over her shoulder, "Oh, if you try selling any more pictures of us from the community showers again, I'll fire you on the spot."
Nabiki grinned back at her, "Just trying to make some spending money. Besides, weren't you complimented that your pictures went the highest?"
Juri quickly decided not to answer that particular question. Instead, she went right back downstairs, and returned to her position standing guard by the main entrance. Juri took a final look around as she said to herself softly, "It looks like we're all ready to go."
Our Cast: The bar's owner is Arisugawa Juri, from Revolutionary Girl Utena. Minagi, Ryouko and Sasami are from the series Tenchi Muyo. Keiko is also from Utena. Cyberdoll May is from Hand Maid May. Excel and Hyatt are from Excel Saga. Hitomi and Merle are from Escaflowne, the movie. And finally, Tendo Nabiki is from Ranma 1/2.