Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Arisugawa's Locket ❯ Out of the Locket: Three ( Chapter 88 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Out of the Locket: Three

Alpha’s Café was just off a old road, the café itself built into the side of a older house. The grass had grown tall along the driveway, and a fish designed weathervane moved gently in the chill afternoon breeze. The two women pushed the door open and a bell rang, the owner and manager looking up with warm smile.

“Juri,” Alpha said with a surprised smile, “I didn’t expect to see you here.” The green haired woman bustled over, carrying a menu as she added, “And thank you for coming, Setsuna.”

Setsuna Meiou smiled as she looked around the quaint café, her green-black hair shimmering as she said, “It’s so charming.” She wore a simple black dress, the cloth styled to accent her shapely form.

Alpha chuckled as she corrected, “It’s small and old fashioned, but it’s mine.”

“I like it,” Juri said honestly as she turned, her black jacket hugging her shoulders as matching pants did her legs, “it has a warm, welcoming air to it.”

“Thank you,” Alpha said as she lead them to a table. Coffee was poured, all three women taking their cups and savoring the finely made brew. “So,” she asked as she set her cup down, “what brings you to these parts?”

“How’s business?” Setsuna asked, noting they were the only ones in the café.

“Quiet,” Alpha conceded, “thankfully I don’t need much to get by.”

“When you left the bar you said you wanted to put more of your efforts in here,” Juri said, “but I wanted to offer a proposal.”

“Oh?” Alpha looked curious.

“Setsuna and Washu have come up with something they’re calling a warp corridor,” Juri said, gesturing for her lover to explain.

Setsuna looked slightly amused, “I’ll skip over the technical details... last time I tried explaining it Juri fell asleep.”

“Please do,” Alpha murmured.

“Essentially,” Setsuna smiled, “the corridor will instantly transport you between her and the Locket and no matter how long you stay at the bar, only a second will pass here.”

Juri sipped her coffee, “This way you won’t be depriving your café of your presence while also keeping your job at the Locket.” She smiled, “You could even buy newer equipment through the club, I bet Nabiki would arrange a discount,”

“You really want to keep me on staff that much?” Alpha sounded surprised.

“You fit in very well,” Setsuna said honestly, “you’re like one of the family.”

Alpha smiled as she looked at Juri, “Then thank you, I’d be honored to continue to work at the Locket.”

“Good to have you back,” Juri reached over to squeeze her shoulder.

The rest of the afternoon they drank coffee and talked, the three of them pleasant. Alpha willingly gave them a sketched in account of her quiet, deserted world and the people in it. Finally as Juri and Setsuna prepared to go Alpha asked, :”Should I expect Washu later?”

“She’ll be by in the next day or so,” Setsuna said seriously, “installing the warp corridor will be fairly simple, we think.”

“I’ll look forward to it,” Alpha bowed a bit as Juri and Setsuna left.

“Should we have told her about the staff Christmas party?” Setsuna quietly asked as they walked down to the road.

“I don’t want to pressure her to get a gift,” Juri said quietly, “besides, she might decide not to be in on that day.”

“True enough,” Setsuna conceded as they walked along the cracked, broken pavement. Around them they could hear crickets chirp, the rustle of the wind and the near complete absence of human generated sounds.

“Is this our world’s future?” Juri had to ask as they took shelter from the sun under a massive tree by the road.

“No,” Setsuna shook her head firmly, “it’s a divergence, probably splitting off from our timeline before you even existed.”

“Do you think you’re here somewhere?” Juri had to ask.

“It’s possible,” Setsuna admitted, “but I don’t think I’ll look up myself.” With a gesture she summoned up her time staff, the giant key-like artifact comfortable in her hands as she said, “Shall we go home?”

“Lets,” Juri agreed and in a burst of light the two women were gone.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

“Do you want the good news or the bad news?” Nabiki Tendo asked as the black haired young woman looked up from where she was working at Juri’s desk, the surface covered by books, invoices and receipts.

“Bad,” Juri shrugged as she closed her door behind her. It was such a odd feeling going from the warm fall of Alpha’s home to the chill of their Tokyo winter, Juri rather thought she’d never get used to it.

“The economic downturn is going to hit us too,” Nabiki said bluntly as she pushed away from the desk, a plain white blouse hugging her muscular arms, “Tho probably not as bad as most. We’re buffered by the interdimensional aspects of the bar, I think.”

“Good to know,” Juri said as she took her jacket off tiredly. “Do we still have enough to do bonuses this year?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Nabiki said after a moment’s thought, “just don’t be too extravagant this year.”

“All right,” Juri nodded firmly. She sat down across from Nabiki and gave her a thoughtful look as she asked, “Should I pick up something for your date?”

“It’s a little soon,” Nabiki said with a sigh.

“Not seeing anyone?” Juri asked her friend gently. “You’re pretty popular down there,” she noted, “you could take your pick.”

“I’m not really interested right now,” Nabiki shrugged. She gave Juri a glance then added, “You know that before I met Ayaka I just dated casually.”

“True,” Juri agreed.

Nabiki shrugged sadly, “I think Ayaka was the first girl I seriously considered making a like with. It takes some time to get over that.”

Juri reached out to gently squeeze her hand, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Nabiki smiled back, “I’ll let you know when it gets irritating,”

“You do that,” Juri chuckled. She gestured to the papers, “You want me to take over for awhile, give you a break.?”

“Oh no,” Nabiki covered the sheets of paper protectively, “I just got them organized the way I want them. I’ll be finished in a bit, I promise.”

Juri nodded but said, “Okay, but if you’re not done and downstairs in half a hour I’m coming up after you, Nabiki.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Nabiki made a face as she pulled the calculator over and got back to work.

Juri made her way downstairs, noting that the crowds were starting to thin out. “How is she?” Minagi asked, the space pirate with light blue hair pouring Juri her regular, a glass of colored ginger ale.

“Still not interested in dating,” Juri said with a shrug as she sipped her drink.

“Do you think we should try introducing her to someone?” May asked, the brown haired cyberdoll dressed in one of her favorite outfits, a maid’s uniform brought by her lover Keiko. She smiled, “I’m sure we can make it seem casual.”

“No,” Keiko said as the boyish young woman carried over a tray full of empty glasses, “she’d spot it for sure.” Her brown braid bumped against her back, swinging like a tail as she set the tray down, “And I do not want to piss her off right now.”

“She is a bit cranky,” Ryouko agreed, Minagi’s twin pouring a few last beers. She passed them down as she collected keys, “Someone call up a taxi, okay?”

“Right,” Mahoro said as the android maid efficiently began to organize rides for their last remaining customers.

“Anyway,” Juri said briskly, “pass the word around we’re having out staff party on Saturday the twenty-seventh. Go easy on buying me stuff this time, please?”

“Aww,” May pouted cutely.

“Are we inviting the usual suspects too?” Minagi asked.

Juri chuckled, “Yeah, I’ll be bringing in the Sailors, I assume you and Ryouko will bring in the Jurai crowd and so on....”

“Sounds fun,” Keiko agreed as she hurried off to clear more tables.

To be continued....

The Staff: Nabiki Tendo is from Ranma ½, Mahoro is from Mahororomantic, Keiko is from Revolutionary Girl Utena, May is from Hand Maid May, Alpha is from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Ryouko and MInagi are from Tenchi Muyo, Juri is from Utena and Setsuna is from Sailor Moon.


Chapter 87
Chapter 89
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