Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Arisugawa's Locket ❯ Anything Goes School... ( Chapter 38 )
The Anything Goes School...
"Haii!" with that yell Juri kicked out quickly, but the black haired young man leapt up and over her powerful strike easily.
Ranma threw a punch, but Juri blocked it with her forearm. They stood there a moment, frozen, then he smiled slightly, "Nice."
"Thank you," and Juri went for him again.
They fought back and forth across the Tendo dojo, dodging and blocking each other's fiercest blows. Neither one seemed to have the advantage, until Ranma leapt up and over a especially powerful blow of Juri's, coming down just behind her.
A gentle tap on the back of her head and Ranma grinned, "Gotcha."
Juri turned to him with a scowl, "Am I ever going to win a scrap against you?"
Akane walked over carrying two white towels, handing one to Juri then to Ranma.
"I dunno," Ranma said teasingly, "do you want me to throw our next fight?"
"Ranma!" Akane whapped him on the back of the head.
"Ow!" Ranma yelped.
"Guess I'll just have to keep training," Juri smiled. They walked together towards the living room, where Juri gave a respectful nod to Akane's father.
"Juri," Soun smiled, "I'm glad to see you're keeping up with your training."
"I notice he's treating you with a great deal of caution," Akane noted with a smile once they were far enough away from him.
"Probably thinking about our earlier match," Juri shrugged. She had felt like a mass of aching bruises once that pre-Christmas fight was finally over with, but she had also come very close to actually beating him.
"Thank you for making the old man change his mind about Nabiki," Ranma said to her. He smiled, "And for bringing her down with you on your visits."
"Nabiki's a friend," Juri answered with a smile, "it was the least I could do."
"Then Nabiki's lucky to have you as a friend," Akane smiled sweetly. Seeing Juri's blush she changed the subject, "I noticed that Nabiki seems quite happy, working at the Locket. She hasn't mentioned if she's dating anyone in her letters, though."
"She is seeing someone right now," Juri informed them with a impish smile, "but in a half-assed kind of way."
"What do you mean by that?" Ranma blinked.
"They met at the Locket, and have ran into each other there a few times. I think they've had one or two semi-official dates, but she hasn't told me much else," Juri said.
"So what's her name?" Akane asked.
"Ayeka Kisaragi," Juri said. "She's a good looking redhead, just about the same height as Nabiki, and Ryouko mentioned that she holds her booze well," she shrugged.
"Ryouko would notice that," Ranma chuckled.
"So where did Nabiki take off to so fast?" Juri asked the two of them curiously.
Akane smiled mysteriously, "She's going to go visit an old friend."
Nabiki's short black hair blew around her face as she looked up at the school thoughtfully. It had been quite a few years since she had attended there, but still it had a strong hold on her. She smiled to herself fondly, remembering selling racy photos of both Akane and Ranma for fun and profit, then chuckled aloud.
From just behind her a man's voice said calmly, "I despise you."
Without even turning around Nabiki smiled and said, "I'm so glad."
He came around from behind her, his short black hair blowing around his face. Dressed in the traditional garb of a kendoist and carrying a wooden practice sword, he still managed to carry off a certain sense of dignity.
"Nabiki," Kuno nodded his head slightly, "it's good to see you."
"Nice to see you too, Kuno," Nabiki offered him her hand. They shook, firmly, and she gave him a smile, "How have things been?"
"May you live in interesting times," Kuno quoted, and a smile teased his lips, "has not been a curse to me, but a blessing."
Nabiki laughed softly, but nodded her agreement. It was odd the friendships that lasted. The two of them had been almost adversaries in school, not to mention her sideline of selling him candid photos of Akane and Ranma. But over the years they had stayed in touch, and eventually a unlikely bond had formed between them.
They sat down in the shade of a nearby tree and talked on quietly for a while, catching up on each other's lives. Kuno gave her a thoughtful glance and said, "You have not mentioned anyone in your life romantically."
"There is.. someone," Nabiki admitted, and told him about Ayeka Kisaragi. She talked about their meetings, their dates, but there were certain words she didn't use, certain things she didn't choose to say.
Finally, Kuno just asked her, "Do you love her?"
Nabiki sighed softly, "I don't know."
Kuno nodded slightly, "Then I think you need to find out." He smiled slightly, "If you are in love, you need to show that to her. And if you are not, then you need to do the honorable thing and let her go to one who does love her."
"That's pretty much what I figured," Nabiki agreed seriously.
The two of them got to their feet, brushing off a bit of grass from their clothes as they said their farewells, promising to meet again in a few weeks.. As she was walking away Kuno quietly wished her good luck.
Nabiki paid her respects to her father and family, and after a short while she and Juri were headed back to Tokyo. Sitting there quietly in the passenger's seat she knew she wasn't being very good company, but the conversation with Kuno remained in the front of her thoughts.
As Juri was dropping her off she asked Nabiki quietly, "Anything I can do?"
Nabiki smiled back, "It's something I have to do for myself. But thank you."
Nabiki went up to her apartment and pulled off her casual clothes before jumping into the shower. She walked out of the bathroom toweling herself dry, and took a good long look though her closet before picking out her clothes.
Dressed in black coat, white dress shirt, black pants and shoes Nabiki rode the elevator down to the parkade. A few moments latter a compact car swung out onto the road while she carefully checked an address she had written out.
Nabiki hesitated, standing at the door a few moments later, but she made herself knock firmly. The door was opened swiftly, and she blinked in surprise at the young boy standing there.
"Yes?" he asked with a smile.
"Is Ayeka in?" Nabiki managed.
"I'll get her," he smiled, then asked, "may I say who's here?"
"Tendo Nabiki," she smiled.
The boy hurried down the hallway, and Nabiki heard Ayeka's surprised voice repeating, "Nabiki?!" A few seconds later and the redhead herself was looking at her in surprise, "Nabiki, it's good to see you." She paused, and hesitantly added, "This is the first time you've come to my home. Is something wrong?"
From behind her back Nabiki produced a red rose and said, "I was hoping you might like to go out to dinner with me tonight."
Ayeka brought the rose up to her face, breathing in the scent. She gave Nabiki a sunny smile and said, "I'd love to."
Our Cast This Episode: Arisugawa Juri is from Revolutionary Girl Utena. Ranma, Akane, Soun, Nabiki and Kuno are all from Ranma 1/2. And finally, Ayeka Kisaragi is from Phantom Quest Corporation.