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.

Chapter 4: Daddy’s Girl

Richard Chang sat by himself in the large living room. The mansion felt unusually quiet and peaceful considering over fifty people lived within its walls. As the head of the household, Richard wasn’t about to question the quiet, instead relishing it while he could as he watched the fireplace gently glow before him. He stared down at the solid ebony ring on his right ring finger, his habit for solitary moments like this. The firelight gave the carving of the tiger’s head an eerie aura, as if fully symbolizing the hundreds of years of power it had come to represent. And once again, Richard couldn’t help but ponder the price he paid for it personally, as well as countless other lives the power touched directly or indirectly.

“Dad?” a sleepy voice called out from the doorway. “Mom said you wanted to see me?”

He turned to see his personal pride and joy standing there, though clearly suffering from the effects of jet lag and time change. Although pleased, his mild annoyance was evident. “I told her to send for you only if you were finished with your nap.”

Dressed in a shorts and an oversize t-shirt, Reika closed the door and indulged in a yawn and stretch before she came over and joined him on the couch. “She caught me on my way to the bathroom. You know Mom. If you’re moving, she thinks you’re awake.” Although her Japanese was still fluent, she clearly had the accent of a woman who had spoken almost exclusively English for the past five years.

He smiled as she snuggled against his arm and rested her head on his shoulder, a position she had claimed ever since she was much smaller and much younger. He privately relished the fact that she looked like the spitting image of her mother when the latter woman was her age, which was no small compliment since it was well known in their social circles that Mitsune was quite the natural Japanese beauty. His daughter’s resemblance was even more striking now that she had actually let her black hair grow out and drape freely down her shoulders. Richard was a handsome man himself, born of a Chinese father and a British mother, but he was glad his genes took second place to her mother’s, except in the area of height. Reika was tall for an Asian girl at 5’ 9”, but her slender figure and grace complimented it well.

Richard kissed the top of her head and said, “Well, I just wanted to insure that we would have at least one time where we could talk with just the two of us. I mean, I know you’re here for a whole month, but I expect most of that time is going to be devoted to helping Irene prepare for the wedding.”

She looked up at him with a much more alert expression as she frowned slightly. “I’m here to spend time with everyone. Even with Grandpa. But I know what you mean. You and I haven’t had a chance to really spend time with each other since I moved to America. Actually, even longer than that if I think about,” she admitted with a sad smile. “So what do you want to talk about?”

“Are you sure your producer was okay with you leaving the play in mid-run?”

She shrugged and said, “Ticket sales have been dismal. It was a pathetic play so there was no reason to keep going. And no one had the guts to call it quits. So I guess I made the decision for everyone by leaving. I think everyone was relieved though so there shouldn’t be any hard feelings with anyone other than the producer.”

“So what are you going to do when you get back?”

“Go to more auditions. Attend more workshops. Do more commercials or modeling if I had to just to pay the bills. My agent is hunting a couple of small movie roles and a t.v. pilot right now. Nothing real concrete at the moment. I still have substantial money coming in for some commercials I shot in January. I’m having more and more friends talk about relocating to New York to try the theatre scene there, but I really like Los Angeles and I don’t want to move.”

Her father winced slightly and remarked, “That’s on the other side of the country. You’ll be even further away.”

Reika rolled her eyes and said, “No matter where I am in America, you’ll always say I’m too far away.”

“There’s always the possibility of coming back to Japan,” he offered even though he knew they were following the path of a discussion that was years old.

“And go through my own culture shock? I know you, Mom and Grandpa would insist that I have a full-time bodyguard or two and reside in a high-security complex if I were to ever live on this side of the Pacific. That’s why I need to be in a place that doesn’t know or care who my family is. At least at this point in my life. I need to be ‘a’ Chang, not one of ‘the’ Changs, even though I will never deny my family heritage. Unlike Irene, I’m not willing to change my last name just so I can live a private life in Tokyo.”

“And it’s that Chang fire that makes me all the more proud of you even if you aren’t home more often.”

“Well, don’t be too proud. I always have it in the back of my mind that if things ever got really tough, I’d call for money. I’m just grateful it hasn’t reached that point yet,” she confessed with a sheepish grin.

He laughed and said, “Actually, I have a confession too. Your mother and I are extremely proud of your work. Every time we see one of your plays, your mother always brags about you to our friends. And to Grandpa, too. Even in that play where you spiked your hair and wore painted stripes on your face.”

“Really?!” Reika was clearly shocked.

“Yes, well, don’t tell her I told you. She wants to maintain that impression that you should be living in Tokyo no matter what. But she always make certain she gets twenty copies of any magazines your ads appear in.”

She giggled and said, “The secret is safe with me.”

They settled in a comfortable moment of silence as they both watched the fire before them.

“So,” her father began carefully, “Is there anyone special in your life?”

Reika took a deep breath at the familiar subject of dread. “No, I’ve been too busy to think of dating. And there’s no one I’ve been interested in since Sarah.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. I’m sure you’ll find the right person eventually.”

Another moment of silence.

Reika finally sat up and looked her father directly in the eye and asked, “I know we’ve never really talked about this but are you and Mom honestly okay with me being a lesbian?”

He turned away and looked at the fireplace. Even in the odd light, it was clear he was blushing from embarrassment. He finally said, “Well, let’s put it this way: will the answer affect your dating habits, or just how honest you’ll be with us?”

Reika lowered her gaze sadly and said, “I never want to be dishonest with anyone. That includes you and Mom, and myself.”

“And I would not want anything less from you,” he said as he leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “Reika, I honestly just want to make certain you’re happy. Your… preferences may not have been my ideal for you, but I can’t say it’s a shock. After all, we’ve known for a long time, even before you decided to be more open about it.”

Reika narrowed her eyes suspiciously and asked, “How long have you suspected?”

He smiled softly and said, “Your mother and I had many, many conversations about how close you and Sylia were.”

It was his daughter’s turn to be embarrassed. She and Sylia’s friendship started and blossomed because they both went to the same elite girls school all through their pre-teen and teenage years. Their personal chemistry had grown naturally and deepened over the course of time, which had been helped along by their raw physical attraction to each other. However, she thought the two of them had been particularly discreet in the years that they had been lovers rather than just friends.

“No wonder you two never liked her,” his daughter remarked.

“Wait a minute, I want to clarify that,” he said firmly. “I liked Sylia tremendously. I thought she grew up to be extremely well-adapted given how much she went through as a child, what with being orphaned the way that she was. Your mother felt the same way. We just didn’t like the fact that she had no ambitions. She was clearly bright and should have been able to go to any university she wanted, but to be content to spend the rest of her life existing on her father’s money just indicated someone who has no passion or desire in life. We were afraid that lack of ambition was going to rub off on you.”

Reika bit her lip for a moment as she tried to come up a suitable reply. “Well, Sylia definitely had her own priorities in life no matter what anyone said.”

“Is that why you two eventually stopped seeing each other? I mean, we were never clear when the relationship actually ended. We just noticed when you stopped talking about her after you had been at Tokyo University for a couple of years.”

His daughter squirmed uncomfortably for a moment and then admitted, “It was a combination of accepting the reality of differences in life desires and the fact that she fell in love with someone I couldn’t compete with.”


“Don’t get me wrong,” she added hastily. “It was an amicable end. I still consider her to be a dear friend even though we haven’t spoken to each other in years. I guess it was our way of knowing that we had reached as much growth in our relationship as possible without making things extremely complicated.”

“Are you still in love with her?”

“I don’t know. I think I’m over her, at least I hope so,” she answered honestly. “I would need to see her in person to be able to confirm that, and I don’t have any plans to do so. And I don’t think she’s ever been a factor in any of my other romances. I just think I haven’t met the right person that I’ve really fallen in love with, ever.”

He smiled and said, “It’ll happen. You’re too good of a catch to not have that happen eventually.”

She chuckled and said, “Thank you but I do think you’re biased, Dad.”

“Happily so.”

Reika then decided that this was an opportunity to ask a harsh question. “Dad, have you ever regretted not having a son? Or at least a child who showed more interest in the family business?”

He let out a small sigh and said, “I would never regret having a son if it meant at the expense of either you or Irene. But as for a child who would succeed me in the business, that one is a little tougher to say. After all, I know I didn’t grow up feeling like I would have the weight of being the next generation Chang since all of the expectations were on my older brother Ken. I had planned to be a teacher because I loved history so much and wanted to share that with as many young people as possible.”

“I didn’t know that,” Reika admitted in amazement.

“But when Ken died in that skiing accident before I graduated from college, I knew my fate was sealed and there would not be any compromises. So I changed my major to business and took on the role of the successor with every intention of doing my best to not let down our family or taint our family honor. By the time grandpa retired to let me take over, I was completely prepared. I know things and I’ve made decisions that I would never wish on either of you, but that worry is always in the back of my mind in case something were to happen to me before we can prepare the next successor.”

A chill went through Reika as she once again snuggled against her father. “So have you met Sho yet?”

“Yes, he’s a very pleasant young man. A scientist type who works for Genom. As a wedding gift of sorts, I’ve acquired a company that has scientific research resources that he can take over to develop his own projects. He was suitably impressed and enthusiastic about the prospect even though he’s committed to Genom through the end of the current project he’s on. He’s a nice change from your sister’s previous boyfriends in that he actually has a functioning brain between his ears.”

Reika giggled and said, “And have you educated him on the realities of our family heritage?”

“He took it surprisingly well. Apparently it helps to have a reputation once he realized we were ‘the’ Changs. He fully understands that the successorship would fall directly on the shoulders of the children he and Irene would have. Just in case, I may have to groom him for preparation if my leadership doesn’t last until their children can take over. I think he’s capable of it.”

“Dad,” Reika began softly, “Do you honestly always worry about dying suddenly?”

She felt him kiss the top of her head before he said, “That’s why I want you and Irene to live your lives with as much freedom as possible. I made my sacrifices so you two wouldn’t have to, within reason of course. As much as we are respected, we are also hated. And retribution may not come as a result of anything I personally did but because of our family legacy as a whole. For me, the fears and sacrifices are worth it if I know you two have the best quality lives possible as a result.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“You’re welcome, Honey.”

— End Chapter 4 —

Chapter 5: Motivation

With the wheeze of each breath, a sweat drenched Sho Yamada watched every painful second pass by before the digital timer finally reached the twenty minutes mark.

“At last!” he declared as he hit the stop button and wearily leaned against the rails of the treadmill, not hiding his fight for breath.

“How many times do I have to tell you that you don’t do a cold stop after a cardiovascular workout?!” his physical trainer declared as she forcefully pushed the start button but quickly adjusted it for a lower speed “You need to cool down just like you warmed up!”

He let out a groan but continued to move his legs at the machine’s prompting. “You are a cruel woman, Irene Chen!” he muttered, giving her a death glare.

She smiled sweetly and said, “You were the one who walked in here five months ago because you were feeling cooped up in your lab all day long. I am just doing what you’re asking of me. And you are improving despite yourself. You haven’t done a complete collapse in a while.” Then she added with a lower a voice and a sultry tone, “Of course, my personal incentive is that I’m working on building your stamina for our honeymoon. And I’m telling you right now that twenty minutes is not going to cut it.”

The man suddenly brightened at the thought and proceeded to continue his walk with a much more enthusiastic attitude.

Seeing that this battle was won for the moment, Irene took a step back and glanced around the gym. After working there for five years, she made it her habit to greet all of the regulars and get to know new faces. Since it was late night, when the peak of the after work crowd had already subsided, the people usually left at this time were the die-hards, people who had really weird work schedules, or people who had no lives.

It was then when she noticed an unfamiliar woman step out of the locker room and move over to one of the bicycle machines, apparently starting her workout for the evening. Irene narrowed her eyes at the woman because she couldn’t shake the feeling she had seen her somewhere before. Dressed in a tank top and shorts, the stranger was clearly not a new to work outs given her lean, athletic build. She was pretty with light brown hair that was styled in a short but cute boyish cut.

Then it clicked where Irene had seen her before.

“Excuse me a moment, Dear. I think I know that woman.”

“Well, I’m hitting the sauna after this.”

“Take your time,” she answered as they gave each other a quick parting kiss.

Irene walked over to the obliviously peddling woman and called out, “Linna Yamazaki?”

The woman in question almost jumped off the bike in surprise, whirling around at the break in her concentration. Seeing who spoke to her, she narrowed her eyes a bit and guessed, “Irene?”

“It is you!” the physical trainer declared happily, rushing up to the woman for a hug. “I almost didn’t recognize you because of your hair style.”

Linna blushed and ran her hand through her hair. “I just got it cut yesterday. I needed a change.”

“It looks really good! In fact you look really good!” Irene declared as she blatantly assessed the embarrassed woman from head to toe. “When did you move back to Tokyo?”

“Last week. This is my first night I’ve been able to come in and work out since I’ve been dealing with moving and my job transfer.”

“Are you still working at Hugh Geit?”

Linna nodded sheepishly. “Still an O.L.”

“I’m telling you, just say the word and I’ll get you a job here. You’re a natural athlete. You shouldn’t be rotting behind a desk.”

Linna shrugged. “I come to the gym to relieve stress from the rest of the world. I don’t want to work here too. — Hey, is that an engagement ring?”

“Yep,” Irene declared as she held up her hand proudly. “It’s from that well-worn man on the treadmill over there.”

Linna looked and reacted with some surprise. “He looks…different from your previous boyfriends.”

“I guess it was just fate that made me realized that sweetness of heart didn’t need to be packaged in rippling muscles.”

“Well, congratulations. When’s the big date?”

“End of the next month. In fact, drop off your new address in my inbox at the front desk and I’ll send you an invite!” Irene paused a moment and then asked, “So are you seeing anyone these days?”

Linna blushed even harder as she admitted, “No. Still haven’t met anyone interesting. A couple of dates when I was Osaka but that’s it.”

“Girlfriend, I can hook you up with some really eligible catches here. The quality in men has increased dramatically since you left.”

“Um, well, may be some other time. Right now I’m just focused on settling back in Tokyo,” Linna answered quickly as she started to peddle her bike to resume her workout.

Irene stared at her for a moment, as if mentally assessing the other woman’s words and actions. Then a flicker of something deeper passed across her face as she smiled once again.

“I’m having a bridal shower-slash-bachelorette party Saturday.I’d like you to come if you’re free,” Irene said. “You’ll know some people from the gym, like Cynthia and Naoko, so you won’t be a complete stranger.” Then as if she was struck by an after thought, she added, “And you’ll finally get to meet my sister Reika. She’s staying with our parents for the next month to help with the wedding.”

“I’d like to come,” Linna said genuinely. “I’m also glad there’s no pressure to bring a date for this.”

“Oh no. Girls only!” Irene emphasized. “And you better not skip out like you’ve done to some of my other parties, or I’ll send my big sister after you!”

Linna laughed in response to the tease. “I promise I’ll show!”

“Good! I’ll talk to you later,” Irene said as she finally walked away, looking incredibly pleased for some reason.

Linna noticed the reaction but just shrugged it off as unimportant while she continued to peddle away.

The reaction everyone was having to her job was really starting to bother her. She had originally came to Tokyo to become a Knight Saber. The office lady position was just a public reason as well as something to pay the bills. However, now that there wasn’t a need to don hard suits anymore, her own personal dissatisfaction with her job had increased, and everyone’s comments weren’t helping. And it wasn’t as if she had any other hobbies to pursue in her off time that would either make the work hours sacrifice worthwhile, or could be turned into a career in and of itself.

Or did she?

Irene’s offer burned in her mind. Could she really be happy working in a gym?

Of course, anything would be an improvement to being an O.L., given that her new boss was just as lecherous as her previous ones in Tokyo. Luckily her boss in Osaka had left her alone in that area. She was sure his disinterest was connected to the rumors that he was gay, although she had never confronted him about it.

Then Linna remembered the judo classes she took at her gym in Osaka. Her attendance was more a lark than anything serious, merely going along with some of her work out buddies because they were drooling over the male instructor. She had stopped going because she was struck down by a flu and had lost interest by the time she finally recovered.

Still, it was one of the more interesting ways she spent her time.

Suddenly enthused, Linna mulled over that thought as she peddled a little faster.

— End Chapter 5 —

Chapter 6: Bull’s Eye

Linna stared at the numerous stacks of boxes labeled with a variety of apparel items in the space that was once, and will soon be again, The Silky Doll.

“My God!” she declared out loud in amazement, “Is Sylia opening a clothing store or a warehouse outlet?!”

When she agreed to help, she hadn’t expected that such a huge volume would be involved. No wonder Sylia was taking such a long time to move back to Tokyo.

“Silly, most of it’s lab equipment,” Nene remarked as she walked by with a box marked ‘Lingerie’. “I think I finally understand why she has a storefront. She couldn’t ship all of this stuff here without causing suspicion otherwise.”

Linna wisely kept her mouth shut as she looked at the transparent wall separating the interior of the building from the large aquarium that Sylia also used as a personal pool. The exotic fish swam around in their own bliss, creating the surreal but soothing atmosphere that hid well the building’s darker secrets.

“Hi, Linna!” Mackey Stingray called out as he appeared from the women’s dressing room, which was the front for the secret elevator to the laboratories below. As usual, the apparent teenager with the bushy, dark brown hair greeted her with genuine cheerfulness. “I like your haircut!”

“Thanks, Mackey. I was afraid I made a mistake but now I’m already used to it. So where’s Sylia?”

“Down in Lab Three. She said to send you down there as soon as you got here.”

“Lab Three? I thought there was only one lab.”

“Sis decided to make some modifications since she had to rebuild this place from scratch anyway.”

“Yeah, like making sure the swimming pool cover shuts automatically when this place is in defense lock-down,” Nene commented, referring to the unfortunate oversight in the original design that had allowed rampaging boomers to invade and destroy the building.

“Don’t remind me,” Linna said with a nervous giggle. “I still have nightmares about that one. Is anyone else here?”

“Just Henderson,” Mackey answered as he easily picked up a suspiciously heavy looking box. “He just told us lunch should be ready soon so you arrived just in time.”

“Good! I love his cooking,” she declared as she walked to the dressing room. “I’m off to see Sylia.”

She walked through the dressing room to the large mirror. After pressing the hidden button, the mirror slid aside, revealing the familiar glass elevator, ready to take her to the floors down in the depths of Tokyo.

The new labs were apparently two additional floors below the main lab, where Sylia had housed her former Knight Sabers operations, and where Linna had met the team as a whole for the first time four years ago. Curiousity getting the better of her, Linna pushed the button for Lab Two, but it didn’t light up, showing Sylia’s ever present security precautions. Realizing she would just have to be patient because the answer would come sooner or later, Linna pushed the button for Lab Three and waited in the elevator as it descended.

The elevator opened to reveal a spacious room with a low ceiling and numerous unopened crates and boxes patiently waiting in the middle. Long, silver hair loosely pinned up and dressed in coveralls over a tank top, Sylia stood in the middle, focused on operating a motorized dolly by remote control to move a large box from the freight elevator. Ever aware of her environment, she was not at all surprised to see Linna appear from the elevator, greeting her with a pleased smile.

Like Priss, Sylia wasn’t a phone or letter person by nature so their quality time together over the past three years had been a personal visit every three or four months just to catch up with each other’s lives and confirm the fact they were indeed friends. Of all of the Knight Sabers, the Galatea crisis had been the hardest personal challenge for Sylia. After all, it had been her personal cross to bear ever since she was a child, when her own father used her brain as the foundation for the experiments leading to the creation of Galatea and Mackey. Linna noticed that even though on the surface Sylia had always presented a bubbly, overtly friendly charm to strangers, in private she was a source of hatred and rage at her imposed legacy.

Although she had never witnessed it personally, Linna had heard from Nene and Mackey that Sylia used to have dangerous and spontaneous tantrums at the time Galatea was starting to resurface. Now that Galatea was gone, Sylia seemed to have reached a deep peace within herself, and it showed in a genuine easy manner which was her standard demeanor for everyone now.

“Hello,” Sylia said, greeting her friend warmly with a long hug. Then she ran her fingers sensually through the other woman’s hair, causing Linna to blush, before saying, “It’s good to see you.”

“You look incredible, as always,” Linna commented genuinely as they parted. “Are you sure you want to move? The country life was apparently good for you.”

Sylia just gave her the usual enigmatic smile as she shrugged and said, “I’m a city girl at heart. And I miss my shop.”

“Oh, yes. Your hobby,” Linna teased as she leaned against a nearby box marked ‘Undergarments.’

“One of them,” Sylia added as she turned her attention back to the dolly. “By the way, you can help me with unpacking these boxes. I want to make certain the movers didn’t damage anything. You can use this packing knife and check off the items listed on this pad. But be careful when you open the boxes. The contents are extremely special to me.”

“Of course,” Linna said as she took the offered knife and began the task of helping her friend settle back home. “So why the extra lab space?”

“My latest hobby.”

As soon as she said that, Linna lifted the cardboard flap to find a neatly packed assortment of pistols. She almost jumped back in surprise. “Sylia, these are guns!”

“They’re not loaded,” she answered, with the slight quirk of a smile on her lips, as if Linna had stepped right into a set up for a personal joke. “But that doesn’t mean I want you to drop them either.”

Linna assessed the surrounding boxes and crates with new wonder. “Are all of these guns?”

“Most,” she answered casually. “An assortment of rifles and handguns. The rest of the boxes contain either display shelves or the equipment for a shooting range.”

Her friend was at a momentary loss of what to say. She knew she shouldn’t be shocked by a woman who single-handedly designed and developed combat armor but the concept of being interested in such weapons still eluded her. “B-But, why?”

“I’ve developed a certain scientific fascination with the mechanics of firearms. Plus, I realized it’s a skill that could be handy to have. You never know.” Then seriously assessing her friend’s stunned reaction, Sylia tilted her head curiously at her and asked, “Are you all right with this? You could go help Nene or Mackey instead if that would make you more comfortable. I just wanted your company since it would take me a while to unpack and set everything up. And having two of us would complete the job that much faster.”

Linna shook herself out of her amazement and said, “No, I’m fine. Just a little startled is all.”

As she began gingerly to pull out the pistols, checking them for potential damage and placing them in an organized fashion on the floor, Linna chuckled to herself at her own reaction.

Even though Sylia was the epitome of femininity most of the time, she was a person who could hold her own in a physical fight. When Linna had first met Sylia, she had thought the other woman was the brains, strategist and financial backer of the Knight Sabers, leaving the actual fighting to the rest of the team. Linna remembered the time when the A.D. Police had ambushed her, Priss and Nene, apparently setting them up for the kill. Sylia shocked everyone by appearing on the scene in her own hard suit and single-handedly sending the A.D. Police running for their lives. Combat was obviously something Sylia was quite familiar with, so extending her interests and skills to firearms shouldn’t have been too shocking. A part of Linna thought that perhaps Sylia’s weapons oriented interests would have disappeared with the closure on Galatea but apparently not, adding to the enigma which was Sylia Stingray.

Once again, Linna thought Nigel was an extremely brave man to be involved with such a woman. It’s probably just as well that he didn’t talk much because she couldn’t imagine what an argument between the two of them would be like, or if he would survive one, especially when her temper was more volatile.

“You know,” Linna mused out loud, “I’ve always envied your ability to be curious about things and create your own passions.”

Sylia quirked an eyebrow before commenting. “Everything I do has a purpose. I am never interested in something just for the sake of it.”

“Do you ever miss the Knight Sabers?”

“No,” Sylia answered, not looking up from her own task of piloting the dolly through the maze of boxes. “It was a cross I bore for far too long, and I’m quite pleased to have that chapter of my life over with. It’s nice to do things which are important because I created that importance for myself instead of having someone else create it for me.”

“I’d be happy enough to have just one hobby at this point, regardless of how I got into it to begin with.”

“I hear a tone of discontent.”

Linna sighed and admitted, “I’m feeling frustrated, I guess. Without the Knight Sabers, I feel like I’m at a loss for something to strive for.”

Sylia was quiet for a long time, seemingly occupied with maneuvering the dolly. “What kept you motivated when you were in Osaka?”

“The idea that I would be coming back to Tokyo. Now that I’m here, I don’t know what else to look forward to. I just want to be something other than be an O.L., where I serve tea or do boring computer work all day.”

“Ah. Well, you could always work in my shop. I’ve always found it to be a fun past time. A lot of sexy women are my customers,” she added with a sly grin.

“A fun past time? I thought you didn’t do anything without a reason.”

“It’s a safe outlet for me to make certain I behave myself otherwise.”

Her friend smirked and said, “I often wonder if you’d be completely lesbian if Nigel wasn’t in your life.” Of course, part of that assessment was due to the fact that even though Sylia openly flirted and teased women, she never gave the same treatment to any man – save her Nigel, and only in private.

The woman in question said nothing but a mild smile curved the corners of her mouth in response.

“You know, while we’re on the subject, I wish you would come out to Nene one of these days,” Linna remarked. “I used to think it was cute that she’s clueless but it’s starting to become… awkward.”

“I would say something if it was ever relevant. I have no reason to, and she’s never asked.”

Linna frowned. “You’ll tease her by threatening to kiss her, but you won’t just say that you’re bisexual?”

Sylia turned and focused completely on the other woman, planting a hand on her hip for emphasis. “Dear, if she hadn’t figured it out after I threatened to kiss her, then I would think that stating it so blatantly would be an insult to her intelligence.”

“Oh, so you’ll only do it if you can make her squirm in the process?”

Sylia paused as if to contemplate that statement for a moment before the most devious glint sparkled in her eyes. “Well, I could say it this way when we sit down for lunch: Nene, I just want to let you know that night during the Galatea crisis, when I pretended I was going to kiss you, Mackey was wrong to give you the impression I was only kidding. In fact, I actually had a drunk make-out session with Linna three hours later. — ” The other woman whipped up her head in alarm as Sylia continued her mock speech, “– By the way, Mackey, please pass the soy sauce. — And while I’m telling you this, I do want to say that when she’s tipsy, Linna’s quite the incredible ki-“

“ALL RIGHT! YOU MADE YOUR POINT!” the other woman blurted, but not quick enough to stop her entire face from turning crimson. She actually had rather fond memories of that moment. It was something that unexpectedly happened and was mutually stopped before it got too out of hand, but it was one thing she definitely didn’t think Nene needed to know.

Linna paused and lifted her head questioningly. “Wait a minute, you’re actually suggesting I work in the Silky Doll?!”

“I’ve seen you read those fashion magazines so you can’t tell me you’d be unknowledgeable,” she responded with the faint hint of a tease. “Or do you just buy them for the pictures?”

Linna felt herself blush from head to toe as a reaction, even though she wasn’t willing to entertain just how accurate Sylia’s comment may be. After all, even though she did dress up on occasion, the idea of comfort usually dictated her own personal fashion sense. Since she wore an office uniform all day, she didn’t want to spend her personal time in skirts and hosiery any more than she had to.

“Thanks but I don’t think I have the sales girl demeanor in me. Actually, I’ve been thinking taking about taking up judo again.”

Sylia mulled that over and remarked, “Handy skill to have. Always room for growth. But no guarantee of the sexy women. I pass.”

“Oh and where are the sexy women when it comes to your latest hobby?” Linna said with a pointed wave at the surrounding boxes.

“You’re here, aren’t you?”

Sylia chuckled triumphantly to herself as Linna once again blushed but then reacted with a laugh of her own.

— End Chapter 6 —