Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Arisugawa's Locket ❯ New Year's Eve: Part One ( Chapter 17 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

New Year's Eve: Part One

Haruka was up on the karaoke stage, looking more boyish than she usually did as she sang to "Blaze of Glory" by Bon Jovi. A screaming crowd of young woman were gathered around the stage, but it was obvious that she only had eyes for Michiru.

"Ask about my conscience," Haruka smoothly sang, her eyes meeting Michiru's, "and I'll offer you my soul," and she continued.

"Looks like Nabiki's right again," Juri sighed to Ryouko softly.

"About business, she usually is," Ryouko laughed. She looked over at Juri and asked, "What was she right about this time?"

"Moving the karaoke stage out here," Juri sighed, before muttering under her breath, "I really hate karaoke."

"Why is that?" Ryouko frowned.

"Have you ever had the chance to hear Anthy's singing?" Juri asked her. Ryouko shook her head, and Juri smiled grimly as she said, "You're lucky, then. I think that pretty much cured me of karaoke for life."

Juri scanned the crowd, taking in all the regulars who were already there, then she noticed a commotion at the entrance. "Excuse me," she said over her shoulder before going over to see what it was all about.

"I'm a friend of Juri's," the patient voice explained, "and she invited me here."

Bones' distinctive voice, "I'm sorry, but..."

Hitomi asked, "What's going on?"

"It's all right," Juri stepped up, smiling apologetically at Aoi. "She's a special case," Juri said to Bones calmly. The taller woman nodded and headed back to watch the door.

"Sorry, Aoi," Juri smiled at her friend.

Aoi Futaba smiled back, clearly unruffled by all the fuss. A shorter young woman stood at her side, looking up at Juri curiously through her glasses. Aoi, always the perfect lady, performed the introductions, "Juri, I'd like you to meet my girlfriend, Yoriko."

"It's very nice to meet you," Yoriko said, a bit nervous as she pushed her long straight hair back from her face.

"Same here," Juri said, gently smiling at the clearly nervous young woman. "I'm quite impressed that you could manage to tame her," Juri teased, looking over at Aoi.

"It wasn't easy," Yoriko smiled back.

"What's taking so long?" a woman's voice complained from the hallway.

Another voice, "Natsumi! Be nice!"

"Sorry, Miyuki," Natsumi answered sheepishly.

"And," Aoi said with a smile, "I'd like you to meet Natsumi and Miyuki, fellow officers who help us bust the gaybashers a few weeks ago."

Juri took one look at the two of them and just knew they were a couple. The way they stood together practically screamed it to anyone looking. Miyuki held on gently to Natsumi's arm, and the two would often exchange a longing glance.

'Just started a relationship,' Juri noted, 'and they probably haven't been out of the bedroom for a few days.' Juri smiled at the four of them as she said aloud, "Well, I'd like to welcome you all to Arisugawa's Locket."

Juri, Aoi and Yoriko walked over to the bar together as Natsumi and Miyuki went off to look around on their own. "So how's your girlfriend situation?" Aoi asked Juri quietly.

Yoriko looked a bit startled at the forwardness of the question, so Juri explained, "We've been friends for a long time, and I kind of like having someone to be very direct with me. Even asking the hard questions."

Yoriko nodded thoughtfully, "That makes sense." She looked over at Juri and smiled impishly, "So do you have a girlfriend?"

Juri and Aoi both laughed softly. "Not right now," Juri said. They stood at the bar, receiving quick service from Minagi. "There's someone I'm interested in, though," Juri admitted.

"So what's the problem?" Aoi asked. She was a bit surprised to see Juri less than confident, having seen Juri's charms in action herself. Usually, if Juri really wanted something, she took steps to get it.

"I think I'm a little out of my league," Juri admitted. "She's elegant, beautiful, and never seems to be thrown by anything," and she paused a moment. "And she has a daughter." At Yoriko and Aoi's startled looks, she elaborated, "Adopted, thankfully."

"So who is she?" Yoriko asked quietly, and Juri discretely pointed towards where Setsuna was standing.

Setsuna watched the karaoke performances with a great deal of amusement. She drank sparingly, and the crowd seemed to leave a bubble of space around her. Her long black hair blew gently, the slight greenish tint going well with the red dress she wore.

Aoi saw merely a fairly attractive woman, not the figure that Juri described. But she turned to see Juri gazing at Setsuna like a love-struck boy, and realized she was looking through the rose colored glasses of infatuation.

"I think you'll manage," Aoi smiled.

Minagi fought back a smile as she listened. She couldn't wait to tell Sasami and the others about this later. Another woman waved, and Minagi scooted down the bar to serve her.

Setsuna noticed them looking at her, and it took a great deal of self control not to bolt for cover. 'Why does she bother me?' she wondered, suddenly feeling rather warm in her dress. 'I should never have let Michiru talk me into wearing it,' she thought.

Setsuna snuck a glance, noticing that Juri and her friend were still talking. Juri had been a perfect gentleman while driving her home on Christmas Eve, and even took her to her door. Of course, once it opened Haruka and Michiru realized they had forgotten her, and hauled Juri in to thank her. Then Hotaru had noticed that the two of them were standing under the mistletoe!

To the teasing cries of "Kiss! Kiss!" Juri had met her eyes, then slowly bent forwards, giving Setsuna plenty of time to move away. Instead, Setsuna had stood her ground, and leaned into the brushing of lips.

A flash of fire ran through her even now as Setsuna thought of how that kiss felt. She had excused herself as politely as she could and quickly retired for the night, leaving a bewildered Juri standing there behind her.

Rei Ayanami took the stage, her white dress swirling around her. She was stone cold sober as she met Asuka's eyes in the crowd, singing directly for her. Finally, her voice took on a certain emphasis as she reached a certain part.

"You are all I long for," Rei sang to the delight of the crowd, "all I worship, and adore. In other words, please be true, in other words, I love you!"

Asuka met her at the edge of the stage, "I love you, too." Then to the delighted cheers of the crowd, she kissed her.

Excel bounded over, "Hii! What can I get you?"

Sylia Stingray pushed her silvery hair back, "The dinner special, please."

Excel paused, "And your companion?"

Sylia looked a bit startled, and Mara stepped out of the shadows to stand beside her. Mara smiled, "Dinner, too."

"Be right back!" and Excel was gone.

"May I join you?" Mara asked Sylia with a gentle smile. "I don't see any of the others around tonight," she noted.

Sylia looked up searchingly at Mara, then she smiled, "I'd love some company."

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: Anthy is from Revolutionary Girl Utena, Aoi Futaba, Yoriko, Natsumi and Miyuki are from You're Under Arrest, Haruka, Hotaru, Michiru and Setsuna are from Sailor Moon, Rei and Asuka are from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sylia Stingray is from Bubblegum Crisis 2040, and finally Mara is from Oh My Goddess.

Notes: The You're Under Arrest characters appear from my fic, Friends and Lovers. The Sylia/ Mara romance is from my Bubblegum Crisis 2040 fic, A Goddess Comes to Call.