Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Arisugawa's Locket ❯ The Lounge at the Locket ( Chapter 39 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

The Lounge at the Locket

She was just finishing closing up the store, Italy having already sent Max on home when Aya showed up at the Lounge. She had a impish little smile on her beautiful face, one that Italy instantly knew meant trouble.

"Do you want to go out with me tonight?" Aya smiled. Her short brown hair really suited her, making her look even cuter than she would have normally.

"Where to?" Italy asked suspiciously.

"Oh, just a little place I know," Aya beamed.

Italy decided to try and stall for time, "Maybe I should go home to change."

"You look fine," Aya looked her up and down quite suggestively.

"Aya!" Italy blushed.

"Come on," Aya firmly grabbed hold of her arm and they were off.

Italy was a little bit surprised that the club was that close to the Lounge, actually. They only walked a few blocks before they came upon the converted warehouse. A large neon sign was on the front, reading 'Arisugawa's Locket.' Just underneath it, a neon locket opened, revealing the cartoon of a pretty girl hidden inside.

The bouncer waved them both by with a simple "Hi, Aya!" and they went down the short hallway to be met by another young woman. She was kind of cute, and strangely was wearing a Japanese girl's school uniform.

"Welcome to Arisugawa's Locket," Hitomi smiled. She nodded to Aya, "Nice to see you again." She turned to Italy even as she asked Aya, "Is this the friend you told me about the last time you were here?"

Aya actually blushed slightly, and Italy wondered what, exactly, she had said about her. "Yes, it is," Aya smiled happily.

"It's nice to meet you, Italy," Hitomi bowed to her slightly. She looked over at Aya to say, "There's still a few tables left, and also a couple of upstairs rooms."

"Maybe later," Aya gave Hitomi a wave as she pulled Italy deeper into the bar.

"Upstairs rooms?" Italy echoed questioningly, but Aya only smirked in reply. "Oh, right," Italy blushed, getting it. She looked around, trying to get a feel for the place.

Somehow, Italy wasn't terribly surprised to see that there wasn't one man in the place. The redhead felt a bit light headed, actually, and nervous, this being her first time in a bar like this. The women around her came in all sizes and colors, as did the busy staff.

A blonde and dark haired girl worked as a team clearing off one table, exchanging romantic glances as they worked. A tall girl in what looked like a maid's uniform bustled on by, her nametag reading 'May.' And nearby her, a girl with a long brown braid was taking a order, dressed in what looked like a boys school uniform.

"How did you find this place?" Italy asked Aya softly.

"I only stumbled across it myself a few weeks ago," Aya admitted.

They reached the bar in a few moments, where quite a little show was going on. The two bartenders looked almost exactly alike, with long blue hair, matching builds, and almost catlike eyes. The only real difference was the scars on the one's face, marking each cheek.

"Could I get a beer?" a brown haired woman in racing gear called.

"Here you go Priss," the un-scarred girl literally tossed it through the air, and Priss caught it quite handily.

"Thanks Ryouko," Priss popped her beer with a smile.

"Wine cooler, Minagi?" an aqua green haired girl on the other end of the bar asked sweetly.

"Hey, Michiru," the scarred girl answered, sliding the bottle down the bar to her, "will Haruka be here later tonight?"

"She's got to go pick up Setsuna first," Michiru smiled.

The two settled into seats at the bar and Ryouko and Minagi turned to them. "What can I get you folks?" Ryouko smiled.

Italy looked at the rows of bottles behind the bartenders and decided just to pick something simple, "Beer, please."

"Rum and coke," Aya requested.

"Coming right up," Minagi got the beer out of the fridge while Ryouko mixed the drink.

Italy looked out at the crowd and blinked in surprise when she saw a tall woman making her way through the crowd. She had a almost regal style to her, softened by a slight smile, and her most striking feature was her long, almost orange hair. She was a bout to nudge Aya and ask who she was when the tall woman walked over to where they were sitting.

"Hi, is this your first time here?" she asked in a businesslike style, then an odd look appeared on her face. "You run the Lounge, don't you?" she asked curiously.

"Yes, I do," Italy blinked in surprise, wondering who this strange lady was. She felt a flicker of recognition hit her, 'She's the lady who comes in to grab all the shoujo mangas!'

"Arisugawa Juri," the woman shook Italy's hand, "I run this loony bin."

"I'm Italy," she smiled, and gestured to Aya, "And this is my... lover, Aya."

Aya's eyes grew wide, "You introduced me as your lover!" She grabbed Italy in a massive hug, "I'm so happy!"

"Can't... breathe," Italy gasped out weakly.

Juri chuckled softly, deciding to leave the two lovebirds alone. "Have a good time," she gave them a wave and walked off.

The Staff: The bar's owner is Arisugawa Juri, from Revolutionary Girl Utena. Minagi and Ryouko 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. And finally Hitomi is from Escaflowne, the movie.

Our Cast This Episode: Aya, Italy and Max are all from the on-line comicstrip the Lounge! Michiru, Haruka and Setsuna are from Sailor Moon. Priss is from Bubblegum Crisis.

The author is seen bowing deeply. I want to say thank you very much to the creator of the Lounge for giving me permission to feature these characters. It's becoming one of my favorite series, and I check in everyday for updates. You can find the comicstrip at: thelounge.keenspace.com.