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 2: Hunters
Chapter 12: Odd Girl Out
“Are you certain you don’t want another one, Mistress Linna?” the elderly butler asked, referring to his tray of hors d’oeuvre.
She smiled sheepishly as she held up her choice and answered, “Let me finish this one first, Henderson. I’ll be sure to signal when I want another.”
The man barely masked his look of disappointment with a pleasant smile as he bowed and said, “I’ll be ready!”
Linna waited until the man was absorbed with tending to the other guests of the party before letting out a deep sigh. She stared at the morsel in her hand and realized it would be the eighth snack she didn’t want yet would force herself to eat. This time she was smarter and decided to hold it for a bit as she returned her attention to the display of exotic fish before her.
She was glad that the grand reopening party of the Silky Doll was very loud and crowded, allowing her to sulk by herself in the corner and not be bothered, with the exception of an overly attentive butler. She actually didn’t want to attend, but she didn’t want to be rude by turning down Sylia’s invitation. However, she now wondered if it was ruder to show up and remain standoffish. The few times she actually looked at the surrounding people, she did notice some of the female guests, presumably Sylia’s customer’s, give her a very flirtatious look, but she just wasn’t interested.
It had been almost three week since she had last seen Reika, and she still couldn’t stop thinking about her. Then again, she wasn’t exactly making an effort to stop either.
Her reluctance to force herself to forget Reika was fueled by the fact that she really didn’t blame the other woman for ending things the way she did. If there was any blame, she felt it was owed to the universe in general. She had come to that final conclusion when in her walk back to the office after that fateful talk, she had run into a street cleaning boomer whose core hadn’t been upgraded from the “white noise” version. She spent the rest of the afternoon suffering from a broken heart as well as a whopping headache. At least the headache had gone away even though the broken heart remained, especially since she had to suffer the nosiness of coworkers.
It was because of this broken heart that Linna had kept quiet about Reika to everyone in her life. She didn’t say anything when they went on their social outings because she was afraid to jinx something that felt too good to be true. And after it was over, she didn’t want to talk about it because it just hurt too much. Plus, given that they only saw each other a total of three times before the end, she felt a little embarrassed about acting like a naive school girl suffering from her first real heartbreak.
She had even stopped going to the gym for fear of running to Irene, who would unwittingly be a painful reminder and source of awkwardness. She was grateful Irene never called to check up on her because she wasn’t sure what she would say.
Linna had actually minimized all social contact for the past few weeks as she tried to come to terms with the current pathetic state of her life. She wondered if this would be the ultimate incentive to move back to the farm and pump out grandchildren for her parents.
On that morbid thought, she was surprised by the sudden appearance of the hostess of the party next to her.
“Henderson is extremely cute to watch whenever you’re here,” Sylia commented as she stood side by side with her, each visually focused on the fish before them. “I like how excited he becomes when I tell him you’re coming over.”
Linna blushed but answered, “I’m sorry for being such a poor guest, Sylia. I should really go before I bring the party down.”
She started to take a step but was stopped by a gentle hand on her shoulder.
“And I’m sorry for being such a poor friend these past few weeks. But now that I’m done with the move, I am fully committed to taking care of matters I’ve neglected,” Sylia answered in a firm tone as they looked each other in the eye. “If you can wait, I’ll make certain the party ends in an hour. And then I can spend some time with you and find out if there’s anything I can do to bring the old Linna back.”
“Sylia, you shouldn’t have to end your party because of me!” her friend protested. “I’m just going through a huge self-pity period right now. I’ll be fine. It’s my own fault for letting it drag out so long.”
Even though she let go of her shoulder, Sylia was quiet for a moment as her gaze penetrated Linna’s, obviously looking for something.
“I promise. I’ll be fine!” Linna insisted, becoming uncomfortable by the stare as well as not knowing what the other woman would find out. “It’s your party. Don’t worry about me!”
“Hi, guys! What’s up?!” Nene called out as she approached the two of them, armed with a bowl of chips for personal consumption.
Sylia flashed the younger woman a pleasant smile, “Nene, you’re just in time to help wipe off the frown from our little Linna!”
“I’m always game for that!” she answered cheerfully. Then she blushed and fished out two scraps of paper from her pockets. “Actually, Linna, I’ve had two women ask if I knew you and when I said I did, they asked if I could pass their phone numbers on to you.”
“I can actually add five to that count,” Sylia commented with a wink and a sip from her own drink. “Nothing fascinates people more but also keeps them at a distance than a brooding look that’s incredibly sexy.”
Linna’s face was now the color of a tomato. She could handle having women look at her but to involve her friends was too embarrassing. “Uh, I’m not interested in dating anyone right now! I’m already dealing with being dumped.”
“You are? Since when?!” a bewildered Nene exclaimed as Sylia merely looked at Linna expectantly for clarification.
Linna would have clamped her hands over her mouth if only she wasn’t loaded down with a drink in one and an hors d’oeuvre in the other.
“I-I’m exaggerating! Honest!” she declared with a nervous and obviously forced laugh. “I just went on a couple of dates with a woman named Reika, and it just didn’t work out. That’s all.”
Sylia looked mildly surprised and then asked curiously, “What was her last name?”
“Chen. Reika Chen,” Linna answered, expecting the question. After all, she remembered Sylia’s stories of her school romance with girl named Reika, and she had to admit that she was curious to know if it was the same person no matter how wild the coincidence would be.
“Oh,” Sylia answered, apparently not recognizing the name. Then she put her free hand firmly on her hip and said, “Well, you’ve been keeping a big secret from us, nevertheless.”
“Don’t call the kettle black, Sylia,” Linna retorted with a narrowed gaze.
The other woman broke out in a laugh. “Touché! Well, I’m off to my other guests. Nene, I leave her in your hands!”
“Got it covered!” she responded with a playful salute.
“I’m surprised Mackey’s not here yet,” Linna said as she scanned the room, careful not to linger with unexpected eye contact with anyone who might be looking for any signs of genuine interest.
“Oh, I’m sure he’s loitering at the garage since Nigel is definitely not attending,” Nene explained airily. “He should be showing up soon.”
Linna was actually glad that he wasn’t there yet since it gave her a chance to chat with Nene without having to suffer through watching cutesy couple behavior that would have been salt in her wounds.
In the course of an hour, the two women had a fun time chatting about a new dessert shop that was down the street, avoiding office gossip, and Nene’s new past time of hanging out in Sylia’s private shooting range. Nene explained the last addiction as thrilling because Sylia’s weapons selection was much more diverse than what was available at the police station.
By the time Mackey showed up, Linna’s spirits were considerably raised as she laughed and joked with one of her best friends.
“Hi, Linna,” Sylia’s brother greeted cheerful as he approached them, apparently freshly showered and dressed after spending all day at Nigel’s garage. “Nigel wanted me to tell you that your scooter should be as good as new by tomorrow.”
Nene scowled. “I thought you got rid of that thing when you went to Osaka! You’d get everywhere faster by walking.”
Her friend shrugged and answered, “I guess I need to be devoted to something!”
She felt a slight twinge of jealousy when she saw the two of them easily slide their hands together, reminding her of the extremely brief moment when she had held Reika’s hand. Perhaps this was the cue to leave the party for the night.
“Hey, look!” Nene declared merrily as she pointed to the two new guests who were being greeted by Henderson at the front door. “Daley made it after all! And you’ll get to meet his boyfriend Yuuji, Linna!”
Linna tried to hide her frown behind a forced smile as she darkly thought ‘Oh, swell! Even Daley’s seeing someone!’
— End Chapter 12 —
Chapter 13: Eye of the Beholder
Quincy bowed deeply as he kissed the woman’s hand. He was obviously pleased by the sight of the young woman, who was dressed in a fashionable dark suit with her hair stylishly pinned up to both accentuate her natural beauty and yet maintain an aura of a true business woman.
“I am extremely pleased to meet you, Ms. Chang,” he declared, ignoring the curious looks from the other guests, a collection of the world’s most powerful men from various governments, organizations and businesses. “I’ve heard many interesting things about Chang Enterprises as well as the Hou Bang Clan under your new leadership. I’m certain your father would be proud!”
The last comment almost seemed to crack the young woman’s cool veneer but didn’t completely succeed as she removed her hand and bowed in response. “I am certain all of my ancestors would be pleased to hear praise from such a prominent man as yourself, Mr. Rosenkreuz. We Changs take our duties seriously.”
“Ah yes! And then I must also congratulate you on your engagement,” he said, motioning to the diamond ring on her left hand. “You are truly the most dutiful daughter through and through.”
There was something about his tone which made her slightly narrow her eyes at him but then the look passed as she bowed again and said, “Thank you, Mr. Rosenkreuz. Now, because all of us are busy people, shall we proceed with this mysterious demonstration?”
“Yes, of course!” he responded, unphased by her change of subject. “Sylvie, please escort, Ms. Chang to her chair.”
Reika’s eyes widened slightly as an extremely tall, beautiful Caucasian woman with wavy red hair and dressed in a green kimon stepped forward to make her presence known.
“Ms. Chang, this way please,” she said in a naturally deep, sexy voice. Sylvie bowed briefly and motioned to the empty chair at the end of the row of prominent guests.
Once Reika sat down, she noticed that Sylvie remained beside her. There were three other similarly dressed, beautiful young woman who were positioned throughout the gathered crowd in the large and clean Tokyo warehouse.
Reika glanced at Kou, who sat nearby with the other bodyguards and assistants, motioning for him to remain alert. He gave a barely noticeable nod in response.
Quincy stood before his audience and spoke into the microphone he carried. “I thank you, gentlemen, and my fair lady, for your attendance this day. You are here to witness first hand the unveiling of our latest model which will revolutionize the concept of personal security as you may know it today. Anri, please pass out the data pads to our guests.”
The head of Genom Corporation waited patiently as one of the kimono girls, this one was more petite with shoulder length brown hair, did as she was ordered with extremely efficient but pleasant demeanor.
Reika watched her and realized that there was just something odd about the girl, but she couldn’t put her finger on just what, whether it was her movements, her demeanor, her looks, or all of them. Perhaps it had just been a while since she had allowed herself to really notice a beautiful woman. But then she thought to herself that can’t be it because only a month had passed since Linna.
The last thought caused a slight spasm of pain which the woman immediately tried to suppress by refocusing on the situation at hand.
Sensing something odd, she glanced up to find that Sylvie had been watching her with a passive facial expression. When Reika openly looked back, the other woman continued to stare, but the slight movement in her green eyes showed that she was studying her guest, taking in every detail, no matter how minute. Feeling like she was under a microscope, Reika chose to ignore her as best as she could given the circumstances.
When Reika finally received a pad of her own, her eyebrows almost shot up at the title on the screen, which read ‘Project: Human Target’. None of the buttons worked to display more info, which left the tantalizing title dominating the screen. From the murmurs coming out of the other guests, she could tell she wasn’t the only one surprised and intrigued by what she saw.
Seeing that he once again had command of their attention, Quincy continued his speech, “When my grandfather led Genom Corporation, he made the mistake of ultimately ignoring the human factor in the evolution of boomer technology, which I have no intention of ever doing for myself or for the new Genom Corporation. It is for our purposes and needs that boomers were created to begin with. With that being stated, I ask you to imagine the ultimate bodyguard: trained in every combat and defense skill you require, always on alert, and unquestionably loyal. And those are just some of the highlights of our latest model. Sylvie, please come forward.”
Reika breathed a silent sigh of relief that the woman with the unblinking stare was now occupied with something else.
With smooth strides, Sylvie took her place by Quincy as the center of attention.
“Sylvie, give me your robe.”
There was a response of confusion mixed with even more intrigue from the audience as the young woman did what she was told, revealing that she wore nothing underneath to hide her lean, athletic body which nevertheless had curves in all the right places.
Reika arched her eyebrow but remained quiet, a contrast to the other audience members who uttered murmurs of approval.
“Sylvie, turn around.”
The crowd, even Reika, let out a gasp of surprise at the sight of the woman’s back, which was devoid of skin, showing a smooth covering of metal shaped with the appropriate bumps and lines to mimic the human anatomy. Quincy pulled out a small remote control from his pocket and pushed a button, causing the panel covering to flip open, revealing an extremely sophisticated display of circuitry.
“As you can see, my dear guests, Sylvie is a prime example of our new model, which combines the latest versions of our recreational boomer and combat boomer lines. She looks, sounds and even feels real. Sylvie, turn towards me and take ten steps back.”
When she did what she was told, Quincy pulled out a pistol from within his blazer.
Seeing what was coming, Reika wanted to yell at him to stop, but she kept still, forcing herself to think over and over ‘She’s just a boomer. She’ll be all right!’
With the aim of a marksman, Quincy fired three shots at his target. Sylvie stumbled back a step with each shot from the force of the impact. Otherwise, her expression and movements remained passive and still.
“Sylvie, turn to face our audience and bow.”
She did what she was told, causing a large murmur of approval from the audience. Clearly oblivious to her lack of clothing and to the three black marks on her sternum, she stood by Quincy as he continued his presentation.
It was then that Reika noticed that the data pads now showed more information about Project: Human Target, namely a list of specifications which were labeled as required and customizable features, each model pitched as being built to order.
Again sensing something odd, Reika glanced up to see that Sylvie was staring at her once more. She glanced at the other kimono girls, which she assumed were also boomers, but each had a blank expression on her face as she stared forward, awaiting the next command.
This time, the woman felt considerably more unnerved as she tried to ignore the attention and refocus on reading the data pad.
— End Chapter 13 —
Chapter 14: Hindsight
Reika paused before the building labeled The Silky Doll, the home of Sylia Stingray. The twilight sky backlit the building well, even though the shop itself was fairly dark, showing that the business was closed for the day.
Once she decided to call and ask for a meeting, Reika couldn’t stop having a swirl of memories and emotions which were all associated with the woman in question. They had arranged the entire meeting by exchanging messages, not able to catch each other live and keeping the content formal but pleasant, not at all hinting at any of the depth of their past interactions, good or bad. And now she stood in front of Sylia’s home, knowing that she was inside waiting for her. Her anxiety level and increase in heartbeat worried Reika as she questioned just how much she was over Sylia, especially when there were so many things that were left unresolved when Reika stormed out of the Silky Doll that final time.
Thinking that it was probably best to leave everything alone, Reika started to consider turning around and stepping into the waiting limousine.
Just then, the glass door slid open. A distinguished, elderly butler stepped forward and bowed deeply.
“Mistress Reika, it is good to see you again,” Henderson greeted genuinely.
Seeing that it was too late to leave now, she bowed in response and smiled. “You too, Henderson. It has been a long time, hasn’t it?”
“Yes, and you’ve certainly grown into a beautiful young woman, as we always knew you would.”
“Such a charmer as always, Henderson. Do you remember Kou?” she said, motioning to the man who stood nearby.
“Of course. Master Kou, it is also good to see you as well.” The two men exchanged cordial bows. The butler then turned back to the young woman and said, “Mistress Sylia has requested that I prepare dinner for your staff as well, which is waiting in the dining room. You can have your driver park your limousine in the underground lot, which is already opened for you.”
Reika smiled at the way Kou subtly perked up and looked at her questioningly. She nodded, at which he then went to tell the limousine driver.
“In the meantime, Mistress Reika,” Henderson motioned for her to enter, “May I escort you up to see Mistress Sylia?”
Reika took a deep breath and nodded. “Of course. Lead the way.”
They walked through the storefront and up the stairs and to the then elevator, with Reika silently taking in every detail. She knew the place had been destroyed during the Boomer Revolution, and the building had the feeling of being brand new, yet there was a certain aura about the place which was undeniably familiar, no matter how many years had passed. When they reached the top floor, Reika looked through the open living room space to the patio and pool outside. There was a table set up with a nice dinner for two, complete with candles and a bucket of chilled wine. Just beyond, she saw the silhouette of the hostess, whose back was turned towards them as she stared at the Tokyo view before her.
“I can take it from here, Henderson,” Reika said softly to the butler once they stepped out of the elevator. “Thank you for your escort.”
He nodded and went down to tend to his other guests of Kou and the limousine driver.
Reika slowly walked out to the patio, her heels clicking softly on the tiles, not at all trying to hide her approach, aware that there was no way she would be able to surprise her hostess. She finally stopped about twenty feet behind Sylia and waited. She didn’t have to wait long before Sylia finally turned and faced her, a slight tilt to her head and a gentle smile already formed on her lips.
The two women wordlessly studied each other, taking in the changes of the years as well as the fact they had both dressed up for the reunion. In the silent exchange of looks, it was understood that they were not picking up from the harsh and hurtful circumstances of their last face-to-face meeting, and that this was an opportunity to heal old wounds.
“Hello,” Sylia greeted softly.
“Hi,” Reika responded, breaking into a shy, pleased smile of her own.
Sylia then looked at Reika’s hair and said, “I thought it was my imagination when I saw your picture on the phone message, but you definitely grew out your hair. It looks nice pinned up like that.”
“Thank you,” the other woman answered. “And you look… like you’ve achieved peace at last.”
“I have. I have finally settled my ghosts once and for all.”
Reika arched an eyebrow and asked, “Anything to do with the Boomer Revolution?”
Sylia grinned. “Everything to do with the Boomer Revolution. Shall we sit?”
As they moved to the table and took their chairs, Reika was pleased to see Sylia briefly wipe her palms on her skirt, the only sign that she was nervous. Knowing that the anxiety was mutual, Reika was able to relax a bit.
“I do want to say that I am sorry to hear about your parents,” Sylia offered as she opened the wine bottle. “I know how close you were to them.”
“Thank you,” Reika said softly, trying to suppress the stab of her own pain. “I’m managing. A lot has happened in the past couple of months. But it helps to keep busy so I don’t dwell on the bad things for too long.”
She was also surprised that Sylia knew since Reika had never mentioned it in any of the messages they exchanged. Then again, she should have known better than to expect anything less of Sylia. Plus, there had to be a certain amount of educated guessing on Sylia’s part for why Reika was now head of Hou Bang.
The women were silent as glasses were exchanged and wine was poured.
Reika had ten million questions that she wanted to ask, but no idea of where or if she should begin.
“Thank you for agreeing to meet with me,” she finally offered. “Especially on such short notice.”
Sylia looked a little surprised by the statement. “I won’t deny that hearing from you was not something I expected. But I would never turn you down, Reika,” she stated. “Admittedly, you have piqued my curiosity by stating the intent is business. So we can either jump right to the heart of the matter, or do a little game of catch up first.”
“I’m all for finding out what happened to each other since then,” Reika said as she took a bite from the dish that Henderson had prepared. “Who goes first?”
“Since you’re the guest, ask your first question.”
“How is Nigel?” Reika began with a challenging look.
Sylia shook her head to herself and chuckled. “You are very much a Chang, my dear Reika. Nigel is doing quite fine, and yes, we are together. He still lives in his machine shop. — And before you ask, he and I did not begin our… relationship until about six months after you left.”
Reika pursed her lips at that last comment and asked instead, “But you two never married?”
“No, we don’t have that type of a relationship.” Sylia grinned and commented, “Honestly, can you picture me ironing underwear and changing diapers?”
“Not when we were together, no. Your turn.”
“All right then: Should I congratulate you on your engagement?” Sylia asked with a sly smile of her own.
Reika actually blushed at the question, glancing at the ring that felt even more foreign than her Clan ring. “If you want to be polite, yes. If you want to be genuinely Sylia, no.”
The other woman said nothing but her smile remained.
“You remember Densuke? We reestablished the engagement two weeks ago. Turns out he was still single after all this time,” Reika explained, referring to the man who was part of a marriage agreement that had been arranged when they were children. When Reika reached the age of fifteen, and after realizing that she had a different romantic interest, she had her father call off the engagement.
Sylia’s smile disappeared as her eyes widened at the news. “Densuke Watanabe? If he’s just as charming now as he was fifteen years ago, then I’m not surprised he’s still single.”
Reika frowned. “You sound just like Irene, only you phrased it a lot more eloquently. But you have your father’s legacy, and I have mine,” she said, holding up the hand with the Clan ring. “I just need someone who is convenient, won’t be in my way, and will father children who won’t look like mutants. Densuke is ideal in that it feels like we are mutually using each other, so there are no expectations of anything deeper on either side.”
“It sounds like you’ve committed yourself to the idea all the way through.”
“Well, I don’t want to think about the wedding night until I have to…” Reika admitted with a blush. “And there may be a lot of champagne involved just to get me through the wedding ceremony alone.”
“So does that mean you’re going to acquire someone on the side?” Sylia asked with a curious tilt of her head.
The other woman frowned and said, “That’d be incredibly tacky and clichéd, wouldn’t it? I’d have a husband, at least one child, and a multi-national empire to lead, which means even less spare time, never mind not being home. I don’t think I’d be able to respect or want a woman who’d put up with the first part never mind the rest. No, I’ve come to accept the fact that it’s just not an important part of my life anymore.”
Sylia narrowed her eyes skeptically and commented, “So at the age of twenty-eight, despite being beautiful, affluent and the head of a multi-national… business, you’ve determined that you can live the rest of your life as if you don’t have a heart or hormones?”
“As I said, it’s not important for me anymore,” Reika stated firmly.
“Now this is a moment to ponder,” Sylia remarked as her smile returned. “Here we are: You’re engaged to be married to a man, with plans to reproduce — ”
“And you’re in a long term relationship with a man with no plans to even live together,” Reika finished with a grin of her own. “I know I wouldn’t have pictured this ten years ago.”
“Me neither. Fate can be funny at times.”
They exchanged a wry look before they focused on eating.
Finally, Reika looked at the other woman seriously and asked, “Do you think it was my fault for walking out?”
Sylia was quiet for a moment before answering, “You left. I stayed. And this is our first conversation since then, over eight years later. I’d say it was very mutual. I don’t think there would have been any other resolution that would have been less painful. And I think we were both ready to move on given the circumstances.”
“I think, my biggest regret wasn’t the loss of our romance as much as the loss of our friendship,” Reika admitted softly, not able to look up from her plate. “After all, we were best friends from almost ten years.”
Sylia reached over and squeezed Reika’s hand. “I’ve never thought of us as anything less than friends. And I never will. Just because we’re not lovers anymore doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”
Reika squeezed back and smiled. “I’m glad it’s mutual.”
With the final truce having been reached, Reika took a sip of wine and asked, “So, have you kept in contact with Mackey?…”
— End Chapter 14 —