Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Arisugawa's Locket ❯ Christmas Eve at the Locket: Part One ( Chapter 14 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Christmas Eve at the Locket: Part One

Juri blinked in surprise, seeing the big pile of gifts sitting on the bar. "Aren't these supposed to be by the door?" she asked, looking at the much larger stack sitting by the front door. They would be handed out to anybody who came in tonight, by Hitomi to start with, then by the other staff whenever they could find the time.

"Actually, no," Nabiki smiled, "those are from and to the staff."

Juri looked over and realized that, yes, they were all tagged to members of the staff. She began to laugh, then got her own bunch of gifts out to add to the pile. "So, should we hand them out now?" she asked.

"Why not," Ryouko laughed. The staff was gathered around the bar and with real eagerness the Juri handed her gifts out first. Ryouko tore at Juri's package, then large hearts appeared in her eyes. "Demon dance sake! I've never been able to afford this before," she sighed.

Sasami laughed softly, quickly pulling on her gift. "Kiss the cook," it read boldly, and the obviously custom made cartoon on it depicted a chibi Sasami and Minagi kissing. "Thank you very much," Sasami said, beaming at Juri.

Minagi was blushing faintly. She carefully opened her gift, and began to laugh. A T-shirt, with the same image as Sasami's, saying "Kiss the cook's girlfriend!"

Excel helped Hyatt open up her gift, and both of them chuckled. It was a personalized first aid kit, with all the trimmings. "Thank you, Juri," Hyatt managed weakly.

A pair of chibi Excel and Hyatt dolls lay in Excel's box, holding each other close. "So kawaii," Excel sighed happily, crushing the dolls to her.

Bones slid on the high quality, padded leather gloves slowly, savoring the feeling. The black hared girl grinned as she said, "Thanks boss." She cracked her knuckles once for emphasis before heading towards the doors.

Nabiki blinked in surprise, noticing that her gift was just a small card. She opened it, and her eyes grew wide, then she looked up at Juri with tears in her eyes. "Thank you!" and she threw her arms around Juri's neck.

"What is it?" Keiko asked, surprised..

"An invitation from my father," Nabiki said softly, "I'm invited home for Christmas." She met Juri's eyes, "I don't know how you managed this, but thank you."

"So why's that so important?" Hyatt asked Keiko quietly.

"Nabiki got tossed out of the house when her father found out she was gay," Keiko explained equally quietly, "He could accept Ranma and Akane together because of the curse he's under, but apparently not Nabiki."

Hitomi blushed furiously, quickly closing the box. She noticed the confused looks she was getting and explained, "It's a naughty school-girl costume!"

Juri grinned, "Well, you're always wearing you old school uniform." She paused, adding, "I'm sure Milerna will like it, too."

Hitomi blushed even brighter at that.

May decided to take mercy on Hitomi, drawing everyone's attention to her as she gently unwrapped her own package. She smiled happily, holding up the crisp new maid's uniform up to her, "Thank you, Juri-sama."

"Keiko, why not open yours next," Juri suggested.

Keiko looked at her curiously, then nodded. The wrapping paper fell aside, then her eyes widened. The black men's suit was obviously tailored to her, and looked like it would fit like a glove. "Thank you," Keiko said softly, noticing the admiring gaze May was giving her. "Would you mind if I wear it tonight?" she suddenly asked.

"Go for it," Juri smiled, and both May and Keiko rushed off to get changed. She looked over at the others, "Let's open the rest later. I promise to open my gift's in front of you before we all go home."

"We'll hold you to that," Excel warned her.

They then broke up and scattered to prepare for the Christmas party. Excel and Hyatt made sure the tables were draped with garlands, and all had red and green tablecloths. "Ready!" Hyatt exclaimed right before collapsing again.

Ryouko and Minagi checked the fridge for the extra eggnog, and that all the mixers were ready. A teat run of the red and green colored beers were performed, and it tasted fine. "We're ready over here, Juri," Minagi reported.

Nabiki stuck her head out of the karaoke room to say, "The Christmas songs are all loaded up and ready to go."

Keiko came out into the main room, and looked quite transformed. The black suit was stylish, hugging her like a glove, and she had taken her hair out of it's ponytails. Instead, a single braid ran down her back, giving her a much more handsome look.

May gently took Keiko's arm, smiling at her warmly in her crisp black and white maid's outfit. They looked like a matched set, and certainly made quite the couple. "Let's test out the sound system," May volunteered, pulling Keiko to the dance floor.

'Sometimes, love can,' started up, as Keiko gently led May across the dance floor. They swayed gently, their bodies close together, seemingly lost in each other's eyes. "Thank you," Keiko murmured softly, and gently kissed May.

"About time," Juri muttered softly.

Sasami stuck her head out of the kitchen, "The first few turkey's are done!" She saw the two dancing, and sighed softly, "Kawaii."

Juri checked the time, then raised her voice to declare, "OK, it's time to go!" She went over and unlocked the doors, even as the others rushed to their places.

Haruka was the first in, Michiru just behind her. "Merry Christmas," Michiru said, gently hugging Juri with a smile.

"We can't stay all evening," Haruka said reluctantly, "the Senshi's party is later tonight. But I wanted to be here tonight."

"Good to see you," Juri grinned, even as a beaming Hitomi passed them their gifts. Juri felt a pang of disappointment at not seeing Setsuna with them, a feeling that surprised her a little. She had only met the elegant, beautiful woman twice, so why was she feeling like this?

"Setsuna and the others will be by soon," Michiru said with a little smile on her face, and almost had to laugh at the look on Juri's face.

"That's good," Juri answered, trying to act casual. She saw more people coming, and excused herself.

"Interesting, very interesting," Haruka remarked.

Juri was a bit surprised to see some newcomers, tonight of all nights. The one lady had long brown hair, reaching her waist, and wore a rather formal looking dress. She hung on the arm of a much more modern looking young lady with shorter, darker brown hair.

"I don't think I've ever been in a place like this before, Linna," the long haired girl said to the other girl a bit shyly.

Linna smiled down at her comfortingly before saying, "If it gets uncomfortable, we can always leave, Belldandy."

Priss and Urd followed in right after, and Juri suddenly realized where she recognized those two names from. She approached the two and smiled, "Hello, I'm Arisugawa Juri. Priss talks about you all the time."

Linna gave Priss a suspicious glance before saying dryly, "Then you should probably ignore most of what she said."

Priss looked wounded, but before she could shoot back a reply, Juri took some gifts from the pile and started handing them out with a cheery, "Merry Christmas."

A striking woman with silvery hair followed them in, looking around her thoughtfully. Priss stepped up, "Sylia Stingray, meet Arisugawa Juri."

"Charmed," Juri said, going into her most gentlemanly behavior. She gave the gift to Sylia with a smile, letting her fingers gently brush the other women's

The five moved off into the crowd, talking softly. "Did you notice how she looked at you?" Hitomi asked quietly.

"She's taken," Juri said with a calm little smile.

"What?" Hitomi said, surprised. "How do you know?" she protested.

"Trust me, I know," Juri said smoothly.

Asuka, Rei, Maya, Ritsuko and Misato all came in together, and soon Juri and the others had a bustling crowd to deal with. Misato walked over to the bar and grinned at Ryouko, "Try to guess what I'm going to order."

Ryouko grinned back, "Beer."

Misato pouted, "I guess that was too easy, huh?"

Keiko got a lot of compliments, not to mention a few longing glances, because of her new look. "Would you like to order?" she asked, leading Maya, Ritsuko, Rei and Asuka over to one of the dining tables.

"Four house specials," Ritsuko ordered, and a faint blush appeared across her cheeks, "could we book an upstairs room for two in an hour, as well?"

"Those two are insatiable," Asuka complained quietly to Rei.

"I don't know," Rei smiled one of her little smiles, "I was thinking of booking a room for us, too." Asuka blushed faintly at that.

Outside the Locket, the snow had begun coming down again. "Hey, Sonomi, it's nice to see you," the red headed woman said as she watched them approach, leaning up against the wall nearest to the front door.

Kaho smiled at her, "Good evening, Ranma." She looked a bit concerned as she asked her, "Are you still on bouncer duty?"

Ranma smiled and gave a little shrug. "Until we're sure that Vegeta isn't going to be coming back here, we're rotating the duty," she explained. She had just sent Bones in for some Irish coffee, but she wasn't going to distract from her potential heroism.

Ranma's eyes seemed to light up when she noticed Sakura and Tomoyo standing there just behind Sonomi, and she thought 'Especially in front of two cute young ladies.' Kaho hid a smile, while Sonomi just grinned at her.

"Down, girl," Sonomi chuckled softly, adding, "they're both taken, anyway." Ranma sighed out her disappointment, and Kaho chuckled softly. "Sakura, Tomoyo," Sonomi said, "I'd like you to meet Saotome Ranma."

"It's nice to meet you," Sakura said with a smile and little bow, while Tomoyo murmured her greetings as well.

"Just head on inside," Ranma commented, as the winter wind whistled all around them, "we can talk later." She pulled open the door and waved them all inside.

"Good evening," a pretty brown hared girl in her school uniform said to them with a cheery smile. From a large pile right beside her she passed over a brightly wrapped gift to each of the surprised members of the party.

"Hi, Hitomi," Sonomi smiled at her. She shook her gift cautiously, "I see Juri's doing Christmas in style this year. Who went out to buy the presents?"

"We split the duty up between everybody," Hitomi explained. A little blush appeared on her cheeks, "I suspect at least some of the gifts are a bit... naughty." A smile, "Would you like a table, or are you visiting the bar first?"

"I think our friends need some relaxation medicine, first,' Kaho said, smiling at Tomoyo and Sakura. "We'll see you later, all right?" Hitomi gave them a wave as they made their way through the crowd to the bar.

"This place is incredible," Sakura said, looking around her in awe. It was packed, women filling all the tables, lined up along the long bar, and covering the dance floor. She carefully shielded Tomoyo from the crush, receiving a grateful smile.

"Oh, yes," Tomoyo said with a smile. A bit more quietly she added, "I came here alone once before, but it was quite a while back." She continued softly, "It was long before Sakura moved in with me."

Both Sonomi and Kaho looked at Sakura, worried about her reaction.

"It's all right," Sakura said, gently taking Tomoyo's hand in her own. "I should know that a beautiful girl like you would have her share of suitors," and she smiled at her widely, "I'm just glad that I've got you now."

"That was so sweet," a red headed girl said, just beside them. All four of them startled slightly at her sudden appearance.

"Asuka," her blue hared companion gently chided her, "I think that was meant to be a private romantic moment."

"You're right, Rei," Asuka said, blushing a bit. "Sorry," she said with a little bow as Rei pulled her aside.

Sonomi and Kaho were fighting a case of giggles. "Sorry," Sonomi said, finally breaking up laughing as Tomoyo glared at both of them.

They finally reached the bar, and in only a few seconds a woman literally appeared from seeming nowhere right in front of them. "What can I get you folks?" Minagi asked them all.

"We'll start with some rum and eggnog, I think," Sonomi said, looking over at the others. She received a chorus of agreeing nods, and Minagi disappeared, reappearing in front of a freezer to pour them their drinks.

Juri smiled, noticing Sonomi and Kaho standing together at the bar. They had really seemed to hit it off the last time they were at the bar, and she was glad to see they were still together. The two young ladies with them were strangers to her, however.

"Good evening," Juri said. The red-head turned around, and Juri noticed her obviously athletic grace. She looked strong willed and quite capable. The dark hared girl stood close by her, and it was obvious they were a couple. "I hope you're having a good time?" she asked them with a smile.

"Yes, I am," Sakura said shyly, wondering who this woman was.

"Turn off the charm, Juri," Sonomi said to her with a smile, "she's taken." She offered her hand, which Juri took wishing her, "Merry Christmas."

"All the good ones are," Juri said sadly. Tomoyo reflexedly took Sakura's hand, and a little smile teased at Juri's lips as she said, "Don't worry, I'm harmless."

There was a soft snort of laughter from Minagi as she delivered the four drinks. Juri gave her a wounded look, and Kaho fought to hold back a laugh.

"I think I'm not going to get very much respect here tonight," Juri chuckled softly. "I'll see you all later on tonight, maybe," she said with a wave over her shoulder as she went off to mingle with all the other guests.

Juri had to smile as she heard Sakura ask her friends, "Can I be her when I grow up?"

The Staff: 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 is from Escaflowne, the movie. Bones is from www.coolcatstudio.com. And finally, Tendo Nabiki is from Ranma 1/2.

Our Cast This Episode: Haruka and Michiru are from Sailor Moon, Belldandy and Urd are from Oh My Goddess, Priss, Linna and Sylia are from Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Rei Ayamani, Misato, Maya Ibuki, Asuka Langley and Ritsuko are all from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ranma is from Ranma 1/2, and Sakura, Tomoyo, Kaho, and Sonomi are from Cardcaptor Sakura.

Parts of this episode have appeared in a somewhat different form in, or the characters are featured in the stories: Cardcaptor Sakura, Darkest before the dawn: Part Five Bubblegum Crisis/Oh My Goddess: A Goddess comes to Call Neon Genesis Evangelion: Girl's Night Out