BGC Post 2040 File 7 – 9: Web of Lives
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 33: Decisions
4:29 p.m., August 12th, Silky Doll
“ – If you want to kill him now, no one will blame you. In fact, I think people would expect it,” Sylia said to Reika’s video image on her phone since she had been reading a book in her living room. “… Unless you’ve finally figured out what your ‘better’ option is.”
And even though she tried to sound passive and supportive, she couldn’t help but be secretly thrilled that Reika had called her first.
The other woman took yet another deep breath to calm herself down. “Even more than ever, I really don’t want to sink to his level, but at the same time I want send Anri after him. After having gone through a near death experience, I feel like I should ignore his…”
Then the idea started to form in her mind. “… Now that I think about it, there is something I want to do… But to do it, I would need your assistance. And Nigel’s too.”
Sylia was both surprised and intrigued. “He should be in his garage. I’ll conference him in now if you want.”
“… Yes, please do it because if you two say ‘no’, then there’s no reason for me to think about this idea any further.”
* * *
11:09 a.m., August 20th, The Watanabe Grand Hotel
In the corner of the packed room, Jun waited near the TV monitor that showed the live broadcast of the press conference on the other side.
Even though she knew what Reika was about to announce, she couldn’t help but feel her heart pound wildly as the first time she heard it.
Reika looked as beautiful and polished as ever for her first public appearance since before the attempted wedding. She projected an aura of self-assurance and ease amidst the flood of camera flashes and spotlights. Densuke and Largo stood by her side as they were part of the news she was about to present.
“ – I thank you for that warm welcome and the well-wishes during my absence. As you can see, I am sufficiently healed from that unfortunate incident that took lives of dear family and friends, including my own sister. And I thank you for respecting my families’ privacy in this period of grieving and adjustment. I have asked this pressed conference to be held because I have four significant announcements to make.
“First of all, as many of you know, I had been out on medical leave to recover from the injuries I had sustained. To make it known what had happened to me, I was caught in a confrontation that resulted in the loss of my right arm from the bicep down and my right leg from the upper thigh down. I am currently using basic prosthetics and physical therapy to readjust to my previous lifestyle.
“Second, the Chang and Watanabe families will be rescheduling the wedding for spring of next year. We are absolutely positive that we have resolved the reasons for the disruption to the last ceremony.
“The third announcement is that, effective immediately, I will be stepping down as CEO of Chang Enterprises, with my fiancé Densuke Watanabe set to continue to perform those duties in permanent capacity. He has led the company effectively in my absence of the past two months and I have confidence that he will continue to do so to greater achievements. I will continue to remain on the Board of Directors in Advisory capacity.
“My last announcement is that I will be the CEO of a new joint venture that has been established between Chang Enterprises and the Watanabe Group that will be called Kyuusei Industries. This new company will be ready to do business at the beginning of next year and will be headquartered here in Tokyo. This will be an international company which will consolidate the independent work both parents companies have done in the field of weapons and security.
“We will also be entering the medical market, with plans to be on the cutting edge of research and development of products for hospitals and patients, including that of boomer technology. As a show of faith in our products, I will be the first patient for our company. And in two years or less, we expect that all products we offer will set the standards for quality in their respective fields. Both parent companies have known and experienced first hand, the current standard has been very low due to the monopoly in those fields…”
Jun stopped listening as Reika started to field questions from the rabid group of reporters with her standard charming and clever style that had made her a darling in the business world at her debut.
Jun couldn’t help but stare at Densuke and was reminded of the growing awkwardness she was feeling as each work day that went by. Now with the announcement of the man staying on as the CEO, it meant that she would go back to supporting Reika. At first she was thrilled, but then she realized that it meant that Densuke needed to hire a personal secretary of his own, and that she would have to train that person.
The handful of finalists were all young, pretty women, and Jun felt her jealousy start to burn every time she thought about it. It baffled and dismayed her to no end. And she started to get a feeling that he made those choices on purpose.
More and more, she started to think that perhaps she needed to submit her resignation to Reika while she had the chance to retain her sense of personal piece of mind and pride.
* * *
8:09 p.m., The Rooftop of the Silky Doll
Sylia opened the bottle of wine to finish their first full dinner alone since even before the wedding fiasco. They were standing by the railing to take in the view of the city in the evening light.
“Congratulations! The business world seems to be turned upside down by your announcement. Not many people have the opportunity to declare open war with Genom, though I’m impressed that you never actually said the word ‘Genom’ in the entire press conference.”
With a self-satisfied smirk, Reika held up her glass to be filled. She was still finding it awkward to rely on her left hand, but it felt better to use her natural one than the artificial one. “I have to admit, I’m feeling very good. Especially in that part where I made that product to product challenge. They say Genom has a ‘no comment’ on that.”
“I admit I’m almost jealous,” Sylia declared as she poured their glasses.
“Well, you don’t have to remain a silent partner, you know,” Reika teased.
Sylia chuckled in return. “Oh, and then why don’t I put a sign out front ‘Knight Sabers are here!’”
“And I’ll help you a press conference for that too!”
As the women laughed, Sylia paused and stared at her with a deep smile.
Noticing the focused attention, Reika stared back and asked, “What is it?”
“I think you really are on the path to achieving real peace with yourself.”
“Well, if I am, it’s thanks to you.”
Sylia’s smile immediately faded. “But –“
Reika stopped her with a deep hug. “Subject closed,” she whispered into her ear. “All right?”
Sylia nodded and hugged her back.
The women parted enough to look into each other’s eyes to give a confirming smile.
And then their smiles faded as they found themselves realizing another subject was starting to open itself up again.
As soon as she felt Sylia’s pounding heart against hers, Reika kissed her. And Sylia kissed her back. It was a kiss that was as real and full of emotion possible between them.
They don’t know how long they had kissed, but when it was clear they were reaching a point that it wouldn’t be enough, they finally parted. They averted their eyes as they tried to regain composure.
As she tried to control her breathing and heartbeat, Sylia swallowed and cleared her throat. She opened her mouth to speak but stopped, as if at a complete loss for words.
Calming herself as well, Reika looked at her as the longing and fear made their awkwardness return. Without a word, she turned to leave.
* * *
10:32 p.m., The Hou-Bang Compound
Jun sat glumly at the kitchen counter over her plate of a slice of peach pie that was barely recognizable from being picked at more than eaten.
She jumped slightly at the sudden appearance of Reika in the doorway. She had expected her boss to be out much later, like tomorrow morning.
The women looked at each other for a moment in surprise and then shifted into trying to be comfortable with each other.
Looking at the mauled dessert, Reika asked, “Is there any left?”
“Oh yes! Let me get it for you!”
Reika was about to protest but Jun was already off her stool and at the refrigerator. She carefully sat down on another stool and asked, “Not able to sleep?”
She nodded sheepishly. “Just can’t stop thinking about… things.”
“Anything you would be willing to talk to me about? After everything I’ve gone through, hearing someone else’s problems would be a nice change.”
As she handed the plate to Reika, Jun blushed deeply and said, “It’s embarrassing more than anything else.”
“… Is it about you and Densuke?”
Jun’s blush was so deep that she almost turned a shade of purple. “There’s nothing going! I swear!”
“I realize that. I can tell,” Reika said as she took a bite and savored it. “When I had first realized you were attracted to him, I felt sorry for you because I thought you could do better. And especially because you knew him better than his other… distractions. But when did it become mutual?”
“I—It hasn’t been long. And I told him nothing was going to happen.”
Reika looked at her curiously. “Why not? I wouldn’t have anything against it. Especially if it would make you happy.”
She shook her head, doing her best to fight down her embarrassment despite her rapidly beating heart. “While I had always expected to work in the services of your family, we’re really not from the same world, Reika. I always grew up with this belief that I would marry the man I loved. It may seem incredibly naïve and old-fashioned but it’s something I’m willing to stick to.”
Reika was immersed in thought as she took another bite. Then she admitted, “It’s a good standard to have. And I respect that.”
Jun then swallowed and said, “And that’s why I think I need to resign. It’s becoming too complicated for me. And I’m ashamed about it. I mean, I’m willing to work for any other part of the Clan or Chang Enterprises where I may be needed. But being his or your personal secretary just blurs the lines too much right now that I can’t feel like I can maintain my professionalism.”
“I would like you to reconsider that. And I’m willing to work with you, whether it’s giving you some leave time or changing your duties slightly.”
After eating half the slice, Reika pushed it away and said, “You know, I thought Densuke’s behavior change was due to guilt about Los Angeles and the seriousness of pending fatherhood. Now, that I think about it, I’m wondering if he really changed because you… because I’m certain it really had nothing to do with me.”
“He loves you. He always has. He was incredibly jealous about Sylia… and Leslie.”
Reika looked at her for a moment. “It must have been hard for you to know that. Well, whatever feelings he may have had for me wasn’t real love, and I’m sure he knows that now. He just hadn’t had the experience to put it in perspective before…”
Suddenly, a dark look settled on her face. She then carefully stood from the stool and said, ”I’m turning in. I’ve had a long night. But please wait a bit before making the final decision about resigning. We’ll talk about it again later. Good night.”
* * *
10:14 a.m., August 23rd, K’s Garage
“She’s checking out fine,” Nigel said of Anri, who was in the process of having her latest readings analyzed by Mackey. “How has she been behaving?”
“Good,” Reika answered, trying to ignore the extreme awkwardness she was feeling with him. “Now that she’s discovered cooking, the kitchen staff has been putting her to work when we’re home. It’s improving her social skills somewhat. She’s still pretty quiet for the most part but maybe that’s just her real personality that’s showing.”
“Does it bother you?”
She shook her head. “Given that she spends the most time with me, I appreciate her silence.”
“Well, I think once we’ve done these final tests, she should be pretty clean that Sho’s team can continue her maintenance support again.”
“Good. I appreciate what you and your team have done for her… Have you had a chance to take a look at the specs for the new facilities?”
He nodded. “I’ve made some preliminary notes. I wanted to let it sit a bit before giving it a final assessment. Have you had Sylia look at it yet?”
“Um, yes, Jun said she received Sylia’s feedback.”
Nigel was quiet as they watched Mackey and Anri interact from across the garage. Finally, he let out a sigh and asked, “So, she didn’t give her feedback directly to you?”
“… No, she didn’t.” She felt the hairs on the back of her neck start to prickle.
“… I heard about your engagement being dissolved…”
Reika realized it was her turn to bite the bullet. “Yes, he and I made an amicable decision. It turned out he had developed feelings for someone that he wanted to explore. And I did not want to be married to a man who was in love with someone who would be better for him.”
“… Do you mind continuing this conversation in my office?”
“Not at all.”
Minutes later, the two of them were standing on the opposite of the office with the door closed.
They stared at each other for a moment before Nigel said, “In the beginning, I could always tell by Sylia’s behavior if things weren’t well between the two of you. And when you had left, I thought her emotional outbursts were caused by Galatea, which I believe was true to some extent. But then you came back into her life, and it was if we were back in the beginning. While I’ve been with her all of these years, there are still parts of her that baffle me. I’ll bet those are the parts that you understand like the back of your hand.”
Reika studied his expressionless face. “It sounds as if you’re making an argument that I should fight for her.”
“I’m curious to know why you aren’t.”
“I know she loves you,” she answered with a faint shrug. “And you’re the one she’s with now. I guess I don’t feel the need to press the issue if the conclusion is already made.”
“That’s interesting because from my perspective, the conclusion isn’t as firm as we’re pretending because I know she loves you too. Look, I don’t want to push the issue either if I’m the official victor. But the Sylia I love best is when she’s truly happy, and you’ve always been a huge part of that. Even now.
“I admit that I am very grateful that you did not die. I’m certain it would have devastated Sylia with everything that was involved. The only time I had seen her being that close to being emotionally on the edge was when she thought Mackey had died because of Galatea.
“I can tell something very important happened between the two of you the last time you were at the Silky Doll. I think I’m… concerned that we may end up driving her into a corner where she’ll feel the best option is to not choose either of us.”
Reika raised her eyebrows at his words. “So it seems we’re faced with the real possibility that the three of us continue this emotional tango, or Sylia will just end it completely and no one benefits… And we can’t keep stalling in dealing with this given our new business venture and the fact that we will continue to be in each others’ lives.”
Nigel narrowed his eyes at her and asked firmly, “How much do you love her?”
“I’m sure just as much as you do.”
“… Then shall we call her to see if the three of us can work something out?”
* * *
3:44 p.m., August 26th, La Bella Rosa Villa, Rome
Yoshiko sat in her private office and stared at her computer screen. More emails were coming in, no doubt more business matters to be dealt with.
She decided she had to stop. She checked that none of the newest responses were from her family members and then double-checked her pending email folder. The individual emails were all on stand by, scheduled to go out in an hour. Everything else that mattered to her had been taken care of, quietly and efficiently.
She shut down her computer and locked her door.
She went back to her desk and pulled out the revolver with the silencer on it. Without further hesitation, she pointed the gun to her temple and closed her eyes. Taking a final deep breath, she pulled the trigger.
– End Chapter 33 –
* * *
3:44 p.m., August 26th, The Hou-Bang Compound
“Hello there!” Sylia declared as she cradled the baby in her arms. “I’m your Aunt Sylia!”
With a deeply pleased smile, Reika stood quietly by and ran her fingers through her recently bobbed hair. “She has the entire household wrapped around her little finger. I think even Anri is fascinated with her. She keeps staring at her… in a good way. No red eyes.”
“She is such a cutie! Reika, you better be careful!” Sylia remarked with a wicked grin. “You and Nigel might have competition in eighteen years, or less!”
Reika’s own smile instantly disappeared. “Not even funny!”
“Oh, that reminds me, Linna called me this morning to let me know that Lisa’s pregnant.”
“Really? That was fast. Have they admitted who the father is yet?”
“No, Linna said they want to wait until the pregnancy is further along. But according to Nene, a certain male couple are very giddy about the subject.”
Reika chuckled. “Nice to know the baby with have a double set of mothers and fathers… We certainly have become a group of non-traditional families.”
“Well, just say the word and I’m certain Nigel will be a willing sperm donor to help perpetuate the Chang dynasty.”
“Again, not even funny!”
Reika playfully scowled at the other woman and wondered if this what she’s setting herself up for the rest of her life.
Then again, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
– End Epilogue –
– The End –
~ 0 ~
Wow. If you’ve read this far, thank you!
So good news: it’s the end. And bad news: it’s the end.
I’ve reached my personal closure for now. I know I had announced that I would write at least two more sagas, but that was nine months ago and a lot has happened since then. For the time being, I realized I really have to work on my original stories, including ero novella number two and then an original sword and sorcery story. Plus of course, my relaunched column.
And while I could keep on writing Post BGC, I just don’t have enough internal and external rewards to do it. There’s no way I could commit to a ludicrous writing schedule of like one chapter a month because it still takes a lot of effort and time, and will always be a stressor in the back of my mind that I don’t need.
So I don’t see myself pursue the other very obvious storylines unless something happens that I need such an outlet, like the pending BGC live action film leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.
Oh, and for you long time readers:
Yes, I always planned to kill Irene. It was the one piece from the original BGC universe that I knew I had to incorporate into Post 2040 and I just needed the right timing and circumstance. I admit I really liked the character but that’s what sudden death is about.
Leslie was a character created to be killed. And given the BGC theme for L-names, I thought ‘why not?’
And while I always knew that at its heart ‘Web’ was a love story, I hadn’t realized that it would evolve into a story about love and the different forms it could take, healthy or not, platonic or passionate, and all things in between. I was tired of lone wolf stories in this genre where the solution to everything seemed to be rooted in violence. So this story was purely for my indulgence while bringing to closure to storylines from the ‘Achilles’ and ‘World’ short stories. Thank you for supporting me in this exercise.
Thanks for reading! I really mean it!