BGC Post 2040 File 1 – 13: Dominant Species
The Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 Continuation Fanfic Series
by P. Kristen Enos
Most of these stories take place AFTER the TV Series! So DON’T blame me if I ruin the ending for you because you read these stories first!
Lesbian/Yuri/Shoujo Ai Warning! (Non-explicit — at least in the “PG13″/”R” sort of way.) Just not written for children because they probably wouldn’t get half of it. All rights belong to JVC/AIC, ADV Films and the other creative powers that be. I just want credit for writing the story.
Part 4: Hunger
Chapter 37: Home
“I hadn’t had so much fun since I was a kid!” Leon bragged as they sat around the dinner table, Priss on his left, Daley on his right, and Yuuji across from him. “I had that stage equipment conquered by the first week. And I now know every trick fans use to try to get backstage. If I ever wanted to go into the music industry professionally, I felt like I could do anything, short of singing or playing.”
“Well, you came pretty close when Jaid got food poisoning in New York,” Priss teased over a sip of sake.
Leon blushed and said, “Yeah, luckily you guys decided to go acoustic that night instead.”
“It sounds like you guys traveled all over,” Daley commented as he refilled everyone’s cups from the sake bottle. “I have to admit I’m envious since I’ve never left Japan.”
“Well, we stuck primarily to English speaking countries since none of us had any language knowledge beyond high school English,” Leon admitted. “But some of the other European countries weren’t so difficult since we ended up getting local groupies to help us out… But you’re right in that it was wild. We’d stay in a city and play gigs for as long as things were hot for us and we found the place interesting. Then we’d move and go to the next town.”
“Yeah,” Priss added, “Because we have more of a niche following, it allowed us to pick and choose where we wanted to be and how long we wanted to stay. We had complete freedom and control since we were doing it on our own and weren’t sponsored by some promotional or record company. Not that we’re popular enough to get support for such a long tour. We did release our music discs on our own label after all.”
“So are you planning to play clubs now that you’re here?” Yuuji asked. Dressed in his preferred attire of slacks, shirt and tie, he was a short, wiry guy with wavy dark brown hair and a mustache.
“That’s the plan. Hate to waste an opportunity to play for our old fans since we’re here.”
“Well, let me know when you’ve booked a gig. I’ll get someone in the entertainment section to do a write-up for you guys,” he offered.
“Are you planning only a couple of gigs, or are you guys here to stay?” Daley asked, wanting an answer to the multi-million yen question.
Leon looked hesitantly at Priss as she took another sip.
“So, uh, are we?” he prompted her.
She looked at him for a moment. “Do you want to be?”
He suddenly lit up with a broad smile and said, “Well, yeah! You know I do!”
She broke out into a mild smile of her own. “So I guess we are.”
“Great!” Leon exclaimed happily as he put his arms around her shoulder for a celebratory hug.
Priss didn’t say anything else as she took another sip.
Priss stood out on the balcony, staring down at the Tokyo nightlights from the high-rise apartment. Her temporary buzz from sake was gone, and she wasn’t in the mood to prolong it. She pressed her fingertips to her heart and noticed the beats were at her regular pulse. She let out a deep sigh.
“They’ve got a gorgeous apartment,” Leon said as he appeared from behind her, wrapping her up in his arms. “It’s nice to feel like I’m in a real home again.”
She leaned back against him and said, “But it’s not yours.”
“Since we’re back, we could get one.”
They stood in silence for a moment. She could feel the tension in him that showed that he really wanted to ask a question but was searching for a way to phrase it. She knew it was a matter of waiting for him to get it out.
“So, um,” Leon began, “did you see Sylia?”
“And are you going to… uh, sing for her again?” he asked, ever aware of the high probability that the bugging in the apartment also extended out to the balcony.
“Told her I wasn’t interested in the new lyrics.”
Leon let out an audible sigh as he squeezed her a little tighter and kissed her neck.
They stood in silence again before he said, “’This is such a beautiful night for him to propose to me again, so why hasn’t he?’ At least, I hope that’s what you’re thinking.”
“… Could be.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring. “You did say to wait until we were home before we think about the future.”
Priss looked at the diamond band held out before her. She pressed her fingertips against her heart and felt the racing pulse. She said softly, “Yeah, I did say that, didn’t I?”
“Twice, in fact.”
She turned around in his arms so she could face him. “Hoping three’s the charm?”
She could feel his heart race as his nervousness started to become evident.
“Um, yeah. But this time it feels pretty right…. I hope… I’d really be honored if you’d be willing to become Priss McNichol.” He felt her tense in his arms so he quickly added, “Or I could become Leon Asagiri. Either one works for me.”
She smiled, took the ring and put it on. She then reached up to pull the very relieved man down for a kiss.
“Looks like he did it,” Daley mused since he was able to see the couple on the balcony from his place at the sink. “And successfully this time.”
He was quite aware of the previous failed attempts, having receiving long, venting voicemails and emails from Leon each time she had turned him down.
Yuuji peered over his shoulder as he continued to dry a plate. “Hmmm. This should be interesting.”
“Meaning?” the detective asked, cued by the tone and by the fact that Yuuji was a damn good investigative reporter who was more observant than most.
Yuuji then shrugged and said, “I admit I don’t know her, but I do know how to read people, even the most emotionally guarded. And her smile doesn’t seem to reach her eyes. It could be just me though…. However, I’d wager 5000 yen it’s not going to be a smooth road to the altar, if they even get that far. It’ll give you a chance to get even for the last bet you lost.”
Daley frowned as he stared at the silhouette of the kissing couple.
“So are you going to take me up on it?” Yuuji said with a playful nudge.
He turned his attention back to washing the dishes and said, “I’ll pass, thanks.”
— End Chapter 37 —
Chapter 38: Coming Back
At first all she knew was the feeling of being… aware.
Then she started hearing the voices. They were very faint, some familiar and some not. Just hearing them reaffirmed her growing hope that she was indeed alive.
The voices came and went, with long periods of silence in between.
Then she heard the sounds of a piano. A radio? Or a CD? They were gentle and delicate melodies which came to her in bits and pieces.
Then there was more silence followed by more voices, though stronger now even if the words were still indecipherable.
More silence and more melodies from a piano. That’s nice. Please don’t stop.
Then Linna finally opened her eyes to blackness. It had to be night – she hoped, fighting down the fear of blindness. However, she felt safe and protected.
She was awake long enough to confirm that she was indeed alive, that she breathed and could feel, even if she was numb in certain places and unusually restricted in others. And that music was still there, faint but soothing. It was enough to cause her to smile as she drifted back to sleep.
She opened her eyes again to see a sunlit and unfamiliar ceiling before her, at which she breathed a sigh of relief that she wasn’t blind after all. Then it dawned on her that this certainly didn’t look like the harsh lights and stark ceiling of the hospital room she last remembered being in.
“Ah, you are awake!” a cheerful female but completely unfamiliar voice declared from off to the side. “The monitors did record some notable readings last night.”
From her restricted position on her back, Linna remained quiet as she looked at the elegantly furnished room that didn’t match the hospital bed she found herself lying in. Then she became aware of the fact that she wasn’t able to move because of the casts on her right limbs, braces on her left ones and around her neck, and the bandages wrapped around various places. And parts of her just felt numb and unresponsive in general, at least during this initial moment of awaking.
Finally the friendly and kind face of an elderly woman came into view. “Hello, Linna. I’m Mrs. Takeuchi,” she introduced herself. “Can you speak?”
Linna opened her mouth to respond, but then only a very hoarse whisper came out of her.
Realizing that she was parched more than anything else, the elderly woman held up a glass of water with a straw to allow the patient to take a sip before trying again.
Clearing her throat, Linna answered softly, “Yes. Am I still in the hospital?”
Mrs. Takeuchi let out a tinkling laugh that reminded the younger woman of her late grandmother. “No, not at all, my dear. You are in a very safe and private home. In fact, why don’t you work on refocusing yourself while I go fetch Mistress Reika to tell her the good news.”
Even in her disoriented state, Linna’s eye widened but all she said was “Oh. All right.”
“– I am glad I had a chance to say good-bye before we left!” Irene declared as she sat in the chair by Linna’s bedside. “I was afraid you wouldn’t wake for some time.”
“Are you ever coming back?” Linna asked, glad that they had propped up the head of the bed so she could easily look around the room even though her movements were restricted because of the neck brace. She felt much stronger and more coherent than before.
“Eventually, although I can’t say when. Definitely for the wedding, whenever we can finally plan another date for it,” her friend answered. Then she looked at the open doorway and a frown crossed her face for some strange reason. “Speaking of weddings, Linna, you should know -“
“–Yes, Mrs. Takeuchi gave her the big seal of approval!” a smiling Reika declared into the cell phone as she walked in. “It’s just a matter of time for her to heal enough so Kou can get his hands on her!”
Irene shut her mouth and let her sister command the center of attention, since it was now just the three of them in the room.
Reika walked over to the bed and said to Linna, “It’s Sylia. Do you feel up to talking to her?”
“Of course!” Linna said eagerly and then realized that she didn’t have a free hand that could hold a phone even though it was one with a display screen.
Prepared for this, Reika pulled out an earplug from her skirt pocket, connected it to the phone and gently slipped the bud into Linna’s ear, causing the other woman to blush despite herself. Then Reika held the phone up before her and proceeded to have a low conversation with Irene so that the patient and her caller could have some amount of privacy.
“Hello, Girl!” Sylia greeted merrily, the relief and joy clearly evident. “How do you feel?”
“Like I tried a jump from a third story window without my hardsuit,” Linna answered good-naturedly, trying her best not to be too distracted by Reika’s nearness in general.
Ever since the news of her return to consciousness an hour ago, Linna had only seen Reika once before, which was right after Mrs. Takeuchi went to fetch her. They had a pleasant and light conversation, especially since they weren’t alone because various members of the staff were milling about the room and medical equipment. If there was anything significant and meaningful in that quick conversation for Linna, it was the extremely pleased look in Reika’s eyes as they regarded each other.
“I felt like I used up my fair share of miracles in that fall. I can’t believe I’ve been out for three days,” Linna continued, trying to focus on the conversation at hand. Sylia was one person she didn’t dare talk to without her full concentration.
“Well, had that happened fifty years ago, you would have been crippled for life. Thankfully, you had some circumstances in your favor,” Sylia commented.
“Reika also mentioned you did capture Sylvie. Did you get the information from her?”
“Not yet. We’ve downloaded most of her files. She’s a spider web of encryptions and old algorithms. The biggest problem was that as her creators upgraded her, they never cleaned out the old bits of programming that aren’t useful anymore and -“
“Okay, Sylia, I’m still disoriented without the painkillers,” Linna confessed rather sheepishly. “Summarization would really help right now.”
“Oops, sorry. Let’s just say we’ve got a lot of data to wade through before, or even if, we find something substantial Daley can use as evidence. It’s probably just as well that you’re going to be there while you recover… if that’s all right with you,” Sylia said with a sly smile.
Linna glanced up at Reika’s profile and then said, “I’m fine with that. It’ll be reassuring to have some consistency after all this. This is the second time that I’ve woken up in a strange bed under strange circumstances.”
Sylia giggled and said, “Well, when you’re able to be mobile, I suggest you ask for a tour of Reika’s home, especially her bedroom. That way you won’t be surprised when you wake up there.”
Linna felt her face turn completely beet red and her eyes bug out, a reaction that was quite noticeable to Irene, who was facing her.
Reika honestly hadn’t been paying attention to the call because she had been watching her sister. So when Irene gave a curious glance at Linna, Reika’s own interest was piqued and she turned to look at the woman in question.
Under the two quizzical gazes, Linna would have tried to sink into the bed if only she wasn’t bound by braces and bandages. “Th–That’s not something I’m, uh, worried about,” she managed to squeak into the phone.
Although extremely curious, Reika thought Linna looked cute with her blush. After a pause that showed Linna was listening to Sylia’s response, the blush got even redder, and Linna gave her hostess a nervous glance before dropping her gaze completely.
Reika then knew something was up. She snatched the phone and earplug back and demanded, “Just what are you saying to her?!”
Sylia was now laughing unrepentantly on the other end as she said, “My dear Reika, all I did was point out to Linna how much you love having a beautiful woman at your fingertips!”
Both Linna and Irene watched in amazement as Reika’s face now turned completely red as an appalled expression dropped her jaw open.
“Look at the time! I’ve got to go!” the other woman blurted quickly though merrily, her impish smirk never fading. “Tell our Little Linna that she should be expecting a guest very soon. In fact, she’s probably already there knowing how she drives. Bye, darling!”
Reika stared at the now quiet phone and decided that she was going to kick Sylia’s ass the next time she saw her.
Meanwhile, Irene glanced at both blushing women and mused that she just might get to like Sylia after all.
A soft tapping at the open doorway attracted the three women’s attention to the young servant girl.
“Yes, Akiko?” Reika prompted, instantly recapturing her composure.
She bowed and said, “Mistress Reika, I’m sorry but there is a young lady at the front gate who is insisting on being allowed to visit Mistress Linna even though she’s not on the approved guest list. She’s very, um, adamant about being let in.”
Linna felt her heart jump hopefully. “Did she say what her name is?”
“Yes, ma’am. It’s Priss Asagiri.”
— End Chapter 38 —
Chapter 39: Time Flies
“Oh wow,” Linna said softly as she looked at the ring dangling from the necklace chain before her. She couldn’t think of anything else to say. She shouldn’t have been so surprised, and in fact she had expected this long ago. But to actually see and hear it was another thing.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” Priss admitted as she slipped on the necklace so it hung from her neck. She seemed relaxed as she sat in the chair next to the bed even though she was in her full biker garb, with her helmet at her feet.
“But you’re not actually wearing it,” Linna noted curiously.
“Doesn’t fit well with biker gloves. Of course, I can’t complain to you about bad fitting clothing,” the singer mused with a pointed look at her friend’s current wardrobe of a hospital smock and frame of metal braces and plastic bindings.
Linna offered a weak smile and said, “I’m just happy to be awake right now. This is a completely new experience for me since I’ve never even had a single broken bone or been seriously ill. I feel numb all over but I think it’s from the painkiller they gave me this morning.”
“So when are you expected to get back on your feet?”
“Well, from what they’ve told me, I’m healing incredibly fast. Apparently Mrs. Takeuchi, my nurse, is helping me along with some Ancient Chinese medicines and techniques. They’re thinking they should be able to take off the neck brace and help me to sit up in a couple of days. And that’s as much as anyone’s willing to project at this point. However, they did tell me that a typical person would probably take five or six months to completely recover from everything I went through. From where I’m currently at, I’m already a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. Most of it’s due to the fact that I had very little spinal or cranial damage.”
Priss frowned slightly and said, “Still, even just one month is a long time. I know when I suffered through my broken leg, it drove me nuts until I was completely healed..”
“Yeah, well, they said a strong desire determines the best chance of a speedy and full recovery. When I spend more time being stir-crazy than sleeping is something I’m supposed to look forward to. Plus Sylia and Reika have made arrangements for me to get started on physical therapy as soon as I’m able to move any part of me, as well as cosmetic surgery to remove the scars.”
“Reika? She’s the one who escorted me here, right?”
“Yes,” her friend answered softly.
Instead of continuing the conversation, Priss paused and looked around the lushly decorated room, which was quite cozy, with the door closed for privacy. She then looked out the window at the third story view over the lush grounds. A quirk of a smile curled her lips.
Seeing this reaction, Linna promptly asked, “What is it?”
“Just never would’ve thought Sylia had a thing for a Yakuza princess.”
Linna’s eyes immediately bugged out as she blurted in a horrified whisper, “What?! Rei – They – This isn’t a Yakuza home!”
Priss gave her the Linna-the-Country-Hick look and responded flatly in her regular volume “This is too a Yakuza home! Any native of Tokyo knows who the Changs really are! As a kid, my friends and I used to drive through this neighborhood because the main street was good for country bike rides. And we knew whose compound this place belonged to. So when I pulled up to the gate just now, I almost called Sylia to make sure I had the right address!”
“That doesn’t mean anything!” Linna retorted stubbornly. “If you never knocked on the door, then how do you know what kind of people lived here? I’ve only met wonderful and kind people here!”
Priss was silent for a moment and then said, “Fine. There’s nothing that says Yakuza can’t be wonderful and kind if they’re not muscling you.”
There was a moment of silence before Linna asked seriously, “So, have you set a date for the wedding?”
“No,” she answered with a shake of her head. “Too much to do right now. We only got back to Tokyo yesterday, after all. Leon’s checking things out at this Neo Tech Crimes Division with Daley and Nene. I’m killing time writing new songs while waiting for the rest of the band to scrounge some airfare to get over here. I’m also planning to talk to the current managers of Hot Legs about getting regular gigs there, both for exposure and for money. And we haven’t even got a permanent place to live yet.”
“Are you planning to have children?” Linna’s curiousity was definitely in overdrive now.
Priss was quiet as she now stared out the window. She answered softly, “He really wants to, especially since he’ll be turning thirty pretty soon. Keeps talking about how he wants to be young enough to play ball with our son…. Could you picture me pushing a stroller?”
Staring at the empty air before her, Linna was quiet for a long time before she answered, “I have to be able to picture you pregnant first. And I’m having a hard time with that one.”
Priss slid her gaze to study Linna’s profile out of the corner of her eye. Then she said, “I really missed you.”
Linna blinked at this statement and responded hastily, “Well, yeah, I missed you too. We never really hung out since Galatea.”
“No, we didn’t. And I’m sorry about that…” Priss looked back at the window view before her and said, “When I saw that email from Nene about you being in the hospital, I was terrified that I would never be able to talk to you again. And that’s not even counting the fact that I had been away from Tokyo for so long. It was my fault that I acted like you’d always be there. Some best friend I am.”
Linna would have shrugged if she could. “Things happen. I was in Osaka, too, so it’s not as if things were normal for any of us during the past few years anyway. And I couldn’t just quit my job to go be a roadie for you guys….”
The singer chuckled and said, “If you had, you would have spent over three years on the road with some very rowdy macho guys in rather cramped living conditions. I don’t know if you’d want to be subjected to that after Galatea.”
“… So if I hadn’t been injured, would you ever have come back to Tokyo?”
Priss was quiet again. “I would have tried to postpone it for as long as possible,” she said simply. “Some dreams don’t always jive well with real life.”
Linna frowned at the cryptic statement, knowing there was a deeper meaning there that was just beyond her reach.
“So,” Priss suddenly said, taking a lighter tone. “Is there anything you want me to do for you?”
“Well, if my apartment wasn’t off limits to everyone, I’d ask you to water my plants or feed my pets if I had any,” Linna joked. “Other than that, I can’t think of anything else I need. I seem to have everything here.”
“But – “ Linna added quickly, as she saw potential disappointment in Priss’s eyes, “Company always helps – especially since I know Nene is forbidden to visit or call because she’s probably being watched too. And perhaps… well, any chance you could sing for me?”
Priss gave a pleased smile and said, “I’ll bring my guitar over tomorrow and try out some new songs for you.”
“I’d like that,” her friend answered genuinely.
Then a stray thought occured to Priss. She leaned back in her chair casually and said, “I’ve told you what big stuff I’ve been up to the past few years. What have you been up to?”
“Not much really. Missing the Knight Sabers. Moving back to Tokyo. A couple of dating situations that didn’t end well. Nothing to make any big announcements about….” Linna answered as stared at the closed door for a moment. Then she sighed and said, “I’ve missed being a Knight Saber so much and yet the first time there’s a need, I’m the one who had to deal with it minus the hard suit.”
“…. There’s nothing else to tell?” Priss asked expectantly.
Starting to become a little puzzled by the persistence, Linna met her gaze and answered, “No, nothing. No happily ever after romance that’s comparable to you and Leon.”
Priss frowned slightly, but not at the statement. “You sure there’s nothing I should know even if it’s just… gossipy stuff?”
Linna narrowed her eyes as she realized that there was a distinct hint of expectancy behind those words, as if Priss was trying to pull out information from her that she already knew. It suddenly dawned on her what it could be. “Oh geez! Did Nene tell you about my make-out session with Sylia?!”
“…. Excuse me?”
It took only a second for Linna to realize that this was news to Priss. She closed her eyes and thought Shit!
Reika sat at her desk in her office and stared blankly at the terminal before her. All productive concentration was out the window for as long as Linna had her visitor. And it didn’t help that she was directly underneath Linna’s room and could hear laughing coming through the ceiling above.
A soft tapping came from the closed door.
Mrs. Takeuchi entered with a tea tray. “I thought you could use this to help with some of your tension.”
Reika grimaced and said, “Am I that obvious?”
“To me. Perhaps to Kou. After all, he does take after me in that way….”
“I feel so… petty. I know I have absolutely no right to be jealous but….”
As she put the tray down on the desk, the elderly woman smiled and said, “Reika, fighting your heart only creates more trouble. It’s best to just accept whatever your heart wants to feel and proceed from there. It may not necessarily make you feel better now, but it allows for clearer thought in the long run…. I did interrupt them to see if Miss Priss wishes to stay for dinner, however, she declined because she has other plans.”
“Good,” Reika blurted, and then blushed when she realized how that sounded. “I’m sure she’s doing wonders for Linna’s spirits,” she said, trying her best to be contrite and sincere. “And that’s a good thing for someone who’s healing.”
Mrs. Takeuchi came up behind her and tenderly stroked her long hair, pleased to have the young woman lean back against her. “Don’t forget, my dear, that you need healing too.”
Reika let out a deep sigh as she tried to focus on the woman’s motherly caresses.
“… And this is the private line to call,” Reika said as she handed her business card to Priss as the two of them stood on the driveway next to the waiting motorcycle. “I’ll make certain your name is added to the visitor’s list so the earlier confusion won’t happen again. We also do request that you call beforehand to notify us of when you’re coming over. The guards aren’t too keen on unexpected visitors for obvious reasons.”
“Thanks,” Priss said flatly as she sat down on her bike.
The two women stared at each other for a moment, each with clearly critical thoughts. It was clear that they each had now figured out how important Linna was to the other.
“Do you have anything you wish to ask?” Reika prompted seriously.
“Yeah,” Priss said as she paused in pulling on her helmet. “Linna finally told me about how you and her. So I’m curious to know: Are you doing this because you truly want what’s best for Linna? Or are you just trying to make up for a past mistake?”
Reika didn’t react at first, but then broke out into a humorless smile as she responded, “I could ask the same of you.”
Priss narrowed her eyes and wordlessly pulled on her helmet as she prepared to drive away.
— End Chapter 39 —