Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Arisugawa's Locket ❯ Anniversary Part Two ( Chapter 47 )
Arisugawa's Locket: Anniversary Part Two
Princess Ayeka of Jurai was up on the kareoke stage, singing quite cheerfully if a bit badly out of tune to the fully packed bar. Sasami was taking a turn with Minagi out on the dance floor, and Ryouko was tending bar with the cheerful assistance of Mahoro.
Aoi Futaba winced slightly as Ayeka hit a badly off-key note, then the brown haired police woman smiled up at her friend and curiously asked, "So what's it feel like, having had this bar be open for a year now?"
Juri took a little drink of her colored ginger-ale while she gave the question some serious consideration. "Very satisfying," the orange haired woman finally said in reply, a slightly amused smile on her face. She looked up across the crowds, searching until she finally met Setsuna's eyes, and she smiled happily.
"You two are still together, I see," Aoi quietly noted. "A little more than half a year, I'm impressed," she teased her gently.
"I was never that bad," Juri blushed.
"Arisugawa, you were a cad," Aoi wasn't joking at all as she said that. A slight smile, "I'm just glad you grew out of it."
"We all grow up sometime," Juri sighed, "I guess it just took me a bit longer than most." She finished her ginger-ale, "I gotta go mix with the crowd, I'll see you and Yoriko later, OK?"
"I'll hold you to that," Aoi grinned as Juri walked off.
"Hey, Juri," Italy waved once she got near her.
"Nice to have you here tonight," Juri smiled, nodding to Aya who was sweetly snuggled into Italy's side.
Dropping her voice slightly Italy smirked, "Those yuri dojinishi you asked me about came in a few days ago."
Juri blushed slightly, "I'll be into the Lounge soon to pick them up."
"No hurry," Aya gave her lover a scolding look, then beamed up at Juri, "Happy Anniversary, by the way."
"Thanks," Juri was still blushing slightly as she moved off into the crowd.
Juri moved off, finding a brief moment of relative silence as she stood there in the little library. This party was such a complete surprise that she was still trying to catch her breath from it all. How the staff had managed to spread the word to so many of the customers and still keep it all a secret still eluded her.
"Juri-san?" the quiet voice came from behind her. Juri turned to see Yomiko Readaman smiling up at her shyly, the light glinting off her glasses.
"Hello, Yomiko-san," Juri smiled back. Yomiko was one of her quieter customers, but Juri rather liked that. It made a nice change of pace from the rowdiness that normally went on there.
"I think you've gotten a great deal of thanks for opening the bar," Yomiko smiled up at her tentatively, "but I thought I should thank you for this library, too." She pushed her glasses up a bit nervously, "The first time that I saw this library, I was surprised about how many books there really are about women like us."
"I'm glad," Juri smiled back, honestly touched.
Yomiko saw Nancy looking for her and smiled again, "Sorry, I have to go." The lady trotted off with a cheerful smile, a bit of red in her cheeks as she happily clutched a book that she hadn't read just yet to her chest.
As Juri left the library she noticed a young woman sitting alone at one of the tables and blinked in surprise. 'I honestly didn't think she'd come,' she thought as she made her way over. "Hello, Wakaba," Juri smiled slightly.
The pretty brown haired girl looked up in surprise, then smiled slightly. "Juri," Wakaba softly said, "it's good to see you."
"You mind if I sit?" Juri asked, feeling oddly good being back to her hosting duties.
"Please," Wakaba smiled, and Juri sat down opposite her. Wakaba wore a nice dress, her hair styled a bit. She was nursing what smelled like a rum and coke, just a slight flush on her cheeks. "I didn't know you'd been open a year," she nodded to the banner over the bar.
"Sometimes I find it hard to believe myself," Juri agreed.
"Hi, Juri-sama!" Excel practically bounced in place, then beamed at Wakaba, "Is there anything I can get for you?"
"Another rum and coke, please," Wakaba was smiling at her oddly.
"Make it on the house," Juri said as Excel left. They sat there a few moments, "Utena and Anthy were here earlier, but I think they left."
"I know," Wakaba sighed softly, "I waited until they left before I came in."
Juri smiled slightly, "I don't think they'd mind, Wakaba."
Wakaba shrugged slightly before she sadly said, "I don't want Utena figuring out I was really in love with her back then."
"I understand," Juri agreed, thinking of the tenuous friendship she was working to form with Shiori, whom she had once been in love with.
"Wakaba?" a surprised voice said. Keiko had been passing by the table when she recognized her old schoolmate. "It's been ages," she grinned.
"You work here, too?" Wakaba blinked up at her in surprise.
"Sure," Keiko smiled, "I even met my girlfriend here!"
Juri got up and discretely slipped away as Keiko called May over. The three began talking and Juri smiled, happy to see the younger woman actually relaxing a bit.
A gentle hand on her shoulder brought Juri around to meet Tendo Nabiki's smiling gaze. "How's the night been?" the dark haired martial artist asked her quietly.
"Pretty good," Juri admitted. "I'm not used to people fussing over me, but it's kinda nice being here at a celebration for the bar," she mused.
"You and the bar," Nabiki pointed out. She sipped some of her drink, "You know, I really hate owing people, but I don't think I can ever repay you." She met Juri's eyes, and she was a bit surprised to see a few tears, "Without you, I'd still be an exile from my family. And without this bar, I'd never have met Ayeka Kisaragi."
"You've helped keep me out of trouble, too," Juri pointed out a bit uncomfortably, "if it wasn't for you, I'd probably have been out of business months back."
"Maybe," Nabiki quietly agreed, "but I still feel I owe you one." Juri opened her mouth to protest that, and she shushed her with a gesture, "I'll repay it eventually." With that, she moved off into the crowd.
"So have you finished with all the meeting and greeting yet?" Setsuna emerged from the crowd to appear at Juri's side. She slipped her arm into her lover's before gently resting her head on Juri's shoulder.
"Just about," Juri sighed happily.
"Good," Setsuna stepped back, looking a bit nervous about something. "because there's something special I wanted to tell you about."
"Oh?" Juri blinked.
"This seemed like such a good idea a little while ago," Setsuna smiled a bit wryly, "why am I so nervous now?"
Juri smiled gently, "You can tell me anything."
"I hope so," Setsuna sighed. "When we talked about living together, I think you were worried about us and the other Outers all being under one roof." She took a breath, "What would you think of living together in a suite, attached to the house but private?"
Juri didn't even need a moment to think about it, "I'd love to."
Setsuna continued on, "The others will know not to bother us, and..." She blinked, looking up at Juri and disregarding her prepared speech, "What did you say?"
"Yes," Juri smiled.
"Yes!" Setsuna threw herself into Juri's arms happily.
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 is from Excel Saga. And finally, Tendo Nabiki is from Ranma 1/2.
Our Cast This Episode: Princess Ayeka is from Tenchi Muyo. Aoi and Yoriko are from You're Under Arrest. Italy and Aya are from the on-line comic strip The Lounge. Yomiko and Nancy are from Read or Die. Anthy, Utena and Wakaba are all from Revolutionary Girl Utena. And finally, Setsuna is from Sailor Moon.