Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Arisugawa's Locket ❯ Slow Night ( Chapter 8 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Slow Night

Juri looked around her quite disapprovingly. The bar was deserted, the dance floor empty, and only one or two of the regulars were sitting at the tables for dinner. 'Where is everybody?' she thought to herself somewhat worriedly.

Nabiki had a frown on her face as she walked over to Juri's side. "If it stays like this," Juri's accountant sighed, "we'll be closed in a month or so." She looked rather mournful as she said, "It's too bad, I was starting to like it here."

"I'm sure things will pick up," Juri said, forcing herself to sound more confident than she really felt. She frowned, noticing something else was amiss.

Excel smiled sweetly to the young lady in front of her, "I'm sorry, I don't know how to make that. But we have some great beers!" She delivered the last with an endearing perkiness that seemed to win the lady over. Beer in hand, she left.

"What are you doing tending bar?" Juri walked up to ask her with a frown on her face. "And where's Ryouko and Minagi, anyway?" she continued.

"They asked Hyatt and I to watch the bar while they took their odd friend in back," Excel explained, pointing towards the pantry door. She blushed suddenly, putting her hand over her mouth as she blurted, "I wasn't supposed to tell you that!"

"I won't mention you told," Juri growled. A little frown, "You said Hyatt's helping you, but where is she?" Then Juri noticed Hyatt lying prone on the floor at Excel's feet, passing up beverages as necessary. With a sigh, Juri pushed the pantry door open and went in.

Minagi, Ryouko, Sasami and another figure were gathered to one side of the pantry, bent over a softly glowing object of some kind. Juri took a few steps into the room and instantly recognized the other woman there as Washu! "What have you done to my bar?" Juri demanded, quickly assuming the worst.

"Don't interrupt a genius while she's working," Washu snapped back, then the little red headed scientist bent back to work. Minagi and the others looked at each other, silently debating who would get to explain to Juri.

"If I don't get an explanation in five seconds," Juri said to them quite calmly, "I'm going to go get my sword. Understand?"

Ryouko walked over to her and took her arm, teleporting them both out of the room and in front of the long bar on the other side of the wall. "I'll explain everything," Ryouko said, leaping over the bar to pour out a stiff drink, "once you drink this." She carefully sidestepped Hyatt and jumped back over to stand beside Juri,

"Why...?" Juri started to ask even as Ryouko slid the drink in front of her. She looked quite dubiously at the nearly clear fluid in the glass.

"Because after hearing Washu's techno-babble I really needed to go have a drink," Ryouko wisely explained. Juri looked at her a moment before picking up her drink and then downing it all in one shot before visibly shuddering at the taste. "Way to go!" Ryouko congratulated her with a slap to the shoulder.

"Now that I'm sufficiently medicated," Juri said fiercely, "what on Earth is that thing and what's it doing in my bar?"

"It's a variation on Washu's Time and Space device," Ryouko said, and had to suppress a smile at the panicked look that passed over Juri's face. She remembered Washu had activated it once while Juri was training at the shrine. "It's a lot more harmless device than the original one," she rushed to reassure her.

"I don't think any of Washu's inventions are harmless," Juri said dryly. "So what does this variation do, exactly?"

"Putting it simply," Ryouko smiled a bit, "it lets the bar exist across multiple dimensions, and allows people from those dimensions to visit the bar."

Juri's eyes went wide, "That's why we've been so crowded up until now?" She sounded more than a bit disappointed that a machine had made the bar so popular.

"The machine may have helped get them in the first time," Ryouko reassured her, "but our service has been what's been keeping them coming back."

Juri smiled a bit, nodding as she said, "Good point."

Minagi stuck her head out the pantry door, a smile on her face, "Would you two mind coming in here?"

Juri and Ryouko filed in, noticing the broad smiles on Minagi and Sasami's faces. "It's fixed," Washu announced, and pressed a switch on the device's side. It flared brightly a moment, then dropped down to merge seamlessly with the pantry floor.

Juri tensed a bit, looking around a bit nervously. "Nothing feels any different," she said a little nervously. She half expected something strange to happen.

"Let's look at the bar, shall we," Ryouko drawled, leading the charge to the pantry door. She opened it and gentlemanly gestured the others out to the bar itself.

A bar that was rapidly filling up with people. Many third or even fourth time customers shouted their greetings to Juri and the others before taking their favorite places. Old and new friends cried out greetings to each other, and up at the long bar itself, poor Excel looked like she was going to be overwhelmed by drink requests.

"Lets go," Minagi said calmly to Ryouko. The other woman nodded in reply and the two stepped up to rescue Excel and Hyatt from the thirsty mob.

Nabiki grinned, running up to Juri's side, "Forget what I said earlier." She bolted off to recalculate her numbers, again.

May, Keiko, Excel and Hyatt worked to quickly get people to their tables while taking their orders for food and drink. The music started up, and the dance floor became a single mass of happily dancing women.

Hitomi smiled sunnily at Juri from the door before going back to her semi-official duties as the bar's greeter. Somehow, having a cute young woman at the door in her school uniform just seemed to give the place the right tone.

Juri looked around her domain with a small smile on her face before softly murmuring, "Now that's more like it."

The Staff: The bar's owner is Arisugawa Juri, from Revolutionary Girl Utena. Minagi, Ryouko, Washu 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 is from Escaflowne, the movie. And finally, Tendo Nabiki is from Ranma 1/2.