Marigold felt a degree of amusement as the brown haired young woman in the Totoro cap, ‘Yaoi Zone’ t-shirt and NERV bag lead Hannelore through the crowds. “The NRRD-con isn’t quite like a real anime con,” she told her conversationally, “there’s too much non-anime stuff going on. But I think this’ll help get your feet wet.”
Hannelore made a face, “I don’t want to get my feet wet.” As Marigold gave her a look Hannelore smiled, “Joking.”
Marigold laughed quietly, the two stopping at the side of the hall a moment to consult the guide book. “We’ve got a few hours till the ‘Magical Love Gentleman’ panel and trivia contest. What would you like to do?” she asked.
“I’m not sure,” Hannelore admitted.
“There’s a showing of the Haruhi series,” Marigold gestured to her coat, “the dealer’s room will be opening soon, there’s a AMV room and Yuricon has a room too.”
“Yuricon?” Hannelore looked blank.
“How about we hit the dealer’s room first,” Marigold suggested, “the best buys will go pretty quickly. Not to mention any of the ‘Magical Love Gentleman’ dojins.”
“What’s a dojin?” Hannelore asked, copying her pronunciation.
“Japan has different copyright laws than North America does,” Marigold told her as they made their way down the hall and over to the line up for the Dealer’s Room, “because of that, the anime companies there allow fans to produce their own comics of the series.”
Hannelore’s eyes widened in excitement, then narrowed as she asked, “So anyone can make a ‘Magical Love Gentleman’ dojin? Anyone at all?”
“You see the problem,” Marigold congradulated her. “Behind some very pretty covers is some very unpleasant stuff.” She calmly ignored a fanboy looking to cut into line as she continued, “You need to learn the names of artists or groups of artists that make stuff you like.”
“You’ll have to help me,” Hannelore admitted. With that she began to tick off the things that she did not want to read about, including but not limited to poop, pee, the eating of same, blood, cutting and several other topics.
“I can think of a few books I won’t show you,” Marigold agreed.
As the line shuffled forward they watched a young women wearing cat ears making her way up the line, handing out fliers. As she reached then she handed one to Hannelore then smiled wryly at Marigold, “Long time no see.”
“Hi, Tai,” Marigold waved unenthusiastically.
“Still upset I tried to hit on you?” Tai asked her cheerfully as she moved forward with them in the line.
“You what?!” Hannelore gasped.
“It wasn’t that bad!” Marigold reassured her friend before tossing Tai a glare. “She put her hand up my thigh at a anime convention we went to,” she explained.
“And a nice thigh it was, too,” Tai sighed. “Alas, it was not to be,” she said dramatically.
Hannelore looked at Tai a moment then had to smile as she conceded, “I like her.”
“Most people do,” Marigold had to admit as she cracked a smile too.
“Here,” Tai passed a flier to Marigold, “I kinda got roped into running the Yuricon room. Come on by, we actually have some decent shows this time.”
“Well, Heroic Girl Usagi was good,” Marigold admitted, “and Emily isn’t bad….”
“Emma?” Hannelore asked.
Tai shook her head, “No, Emily. It’s a animated version of the life of Emily Dickinson.”
“Ah,” Hannelore blinked. “But she was a gay shut in?”
“She has a lot of guests in this series,” Tai said with a devilish smirk.
“Oy,” Marigold shook her head as they neared the door to the dealer’s room. “If I promise to go will you stop teasing me?” she asked.
“I dunno…,” Tai looked indecisive then laughed. “Okay, I’ll see you later,” she said, cat walking away to hand out more fliers.
Hannelore looked at Marigold curiously as they finally reached the doors of the dealer’s room. “So where you,” she hesitated, looking for the right words, “tempted?”
“I can’t believe you asked that!” Marigold exclaimed. She gave Hannelore a odd look, “I thought this stuff squicked you out?”
Hannelore looked embarrassed, “You know I’m compulsive about research.”
“Eh?” Marigold looked blank.
“Well, when you factor in safe sex like gloves, dental dams and the saran wrap, it’s actually pretty hygenic,” Hannelore explained.
There was a long beat of dead silence as several members of the con staff, the people in line and Marigold all digested that. “Can we go in now?” Marigold asked the staff, deciding it was safer than continuing this train of thought.
“Go ahead,” the woman waved them in, the expression on her face a interesting mix of amused and thoughtful.
“I think you broke her mind,” Marigold sighed.
Hannelore smiled sweetly as she called back, “Sorry!”
The two women razed the dealer’s room like twin vikings…. well, no, not quite. More accurately Marigold lead the charge, homing in on the best ‘Magical Love Gentleman’ books and splitting them with Hannelore. Then they drifted over to the t-shirts and other items, accumulating several items.
“I like the tsundere shirt,” Marigold snickered as they left the room, “who’s it for?”
“Faye,” Hannelore smiled back. “Do you think she’ll get it?”
“If not, she’ll be sure to search wikipedia,” Marigold predicted wisely.
Hannelore giggled softly at that. “How long until the ‘Magical Love Gentleman’ panel?” she asked as they walked past the line of people still waiting a turn in the dealer’s room.
“Still a few hours,” Marigold said as she checked her watch and the schedule. “There’s a showing for ‘Clannable’ and ‘Encription Geass’ on, and Tai’s Yuricon room will be running too.”
“You did proimise Tai we’d stop in,” Hannelore shrugged. “Which anime is playing now?”
Marigold checked the guide, “Chrome Angel Kurumi is just ending. If we hurry we can catch ‘Heroic Girl Usagi’s’ first episode.”
“All right,” Hannelore shrugged slightly, “let’s go see ‘Heroic Girl Usagi’ then.”
“Oh wow,” Hannelore muttered, having that slightly dazed look you got when you marathoned too much mind bending anime.
“So what did you think of Heroic Girl Usagi?” Marigold asked curiously.
“Beautiful, if a bit confusing,” Hannelore admitted.
Marigold smirked, “That is actually a pretty good description.”
“Hey, Marigold! Hannelore, I didn’t expect to see you here,” Dora noted, the manager of Coffee of Doom carrying a tray which was mostly empty. A few forlorn cups of coffee sat on it, looking ather forlorn really.
“Dora, what are you doing here?” Marigold blinked.
“Well, my girlfriend is running the yuricon panel, so…” Dora shrugged.
“Oh, that makes sense,” Marigold started then blinked, “Girlfriend?”
“She’s dating Tai. You didn’t know?” Hannelore asked curiously.
“No, I did not know,” Marigold complained.
“You need to hang out more at Coffee of Doom,” Dora advised. She picked up a cup, “Have a coffee sample.”
“So you’re handing out samples too?” Hannelore asked curiously.
“It’s my official reason for being here, and also a good excuse to leave Faye minding the store,” Dora winked.
“Good coffee,” Marigold admitted. A bit hesitantly she asked, “You were dating Martin, right? How did…?”
“Long story,” Dora admitted, then sketched in the details.
“That’s kind of romantic, really,” Hannelore admitted.
“How’s Martin doing?” Marigold asked predictably.
“I think he’s okay,” Dora admitted, “hopefully we can go back to being friends.”
Up front Tai was announcing the next show, so everyone settled down into their seats.
“I think I could get to like yuri,” Hannelore conceded as the two women left the show a little while later. As Marigold gave her a look Hannelore blushed, “Not the way you’re thinking.”
Marigold snickered. “They do a good job with plot and story,” she agreed, “tho for some reason they’re less popular than yaoi titles like Magical Love Gentleman. No idea why.”
“Well, I think I wouldn’t mind seeing a few others,” Hannelore nodded. “Any suggestions?”
“There’s Little Magi Matilda Magica,” Marigold mused, “and Soldier Moon is good too. Let’s se what we can find in the dealers room.”
“Sounds good,” Hannelore agreed.
Meanwhile, back in the Yuricon room, Dora was relating her conversation with Marigold to Tai. “She took it pretty well, actually,” she mused.
“Hannelore too, though I guess she hangs around Coffee of Doom enough to know about us,” Tai nodded.
“They’d be kinda cute together,” Dora noted thoughtfully.
“Oh no,” Tai shook her head, “we are NOT trying to matchmake them. Besides, didn’t Marigold have a thing for Angus?”
“Doesn’t mean she couldn’t be bi,” Dora said knowledgably. God knew she knew what she was talking about. “Besides, have you seen how protective she is of Hannelore?”
“EVERYBODY does that,” Tai noted. “Heck, even you do it at times.”
“She’s… I dunno, fragile. Kinda.” Dora shrugged. “At least when she isn’t pissed off.”
“Oh?” Tai asked.
“Ask Marigold to tell you about it,” Dora advised.
Tai pouted when Dora refused to tell her anymore about it. “Anyway,” she changed the subject, “I thought we’d cosplay and pass out some yuricon fliers.”
“No,” Dora said as she saw the costime.
“Please?” Tai asked sweetly.
Dora shook her head, “No.”
Tai gave her the puppy dog eyes look.
“Oh, all right,” Dora conceded.
“Yay!” Tai smiled, looking forward to seeing Dora in the dress while she would be wearing a tuxedo. Gotta play up those butch/femme images, even though they often flipped in the sack.
“But you are going to owe me for this,” Dora added.
“I’ll look forward to it,” Tai winked saucilly.
Hannelore would willingly admit she was a bit odd. How could she not be, raised by a mad scientist and a evil corporate shark? Mind you, she loved her mom and dad, but she was also well aware of how strange they were. So that was why she decided to move into a ordinary apartment building and try to make some normal friends.
Though one wondered how ‘normal’ they were. Still, compaired to her family they were practically the Bradys. Anyway, meeting Martin and the others had enriched her life a reat deal, as well as leading her to meeting Marigold and discovering anime and manga.
“That was fun,” Marigold noted as she flipped through a copy of a Magical Love Gentleman dojin. They had bought two copies, of course, one each. Not that she thought Marigold was contaminated or anything, but…
Hannelore firmly reigned in those impulses too. She was obsessive compulsive and had a germ phobia. These conditions had a effect on her life, but she did her best to keep it as background noise. ” thought it was charming,” she agreed brightly.
Marigold smiled wryly, “Who knew my lending you Magical Love Gentleman would spark such a love of yaoi?”
Hannelore blushed. “It’s a good book!” she protested.
“You just like it for the gay sex,” Marigold teased.
Hannelore fought back another blush. To be honest, she found the idea of actual sex to be rather disgusting… but reading about it didn’t bother her, oddly. Especially yaoi, which dealt as much with romance and the build up as actual sex. Yuri, interestingly, seemed similar and she was looking forward into reading that too.
“Do you think we can head back?” Hannelore said reluctantly. “We’re carrying a lot of stuff and my arms are getting tired.”
“Sorry,” Marigold was instantly apologetic, “I forgot you’re not used to cons. I arranged with some friends to share a room at a local hotel for the con.. we could drop the stuff off then come back for a bit?”
“That sounds good,” Hannelore agreed.
Returning to the con they saw two women running by, wearing shorts and t-shirts. “Damn, Combat Athletes cosaplay,” Marigold noted.
“That was cosplay?” Hannelore had to ask.
“The hair colors were a hint,” Marigold added. “In fact it’s one of the yuri series Tai will be showing in her video room.”
“I’ll look forward to it,” Hannelore agreed.
“Oh shit,” Dora breathed out.
“Eeep,” Tai made a odd noise.
Veronica Reed looked amused, the older woman having strode up the packed convention hallway towards them. “Nice to see you, Tai,” she purred, “Dora.”
Dora smiled back at her weakly. She had a crush on fetish artist and model Veronica for YEARS… she just hadn’t known that she was her ex-boyfriend’s mother. It had made for some odd, odd moments when they first met. Not to mention Dora had been terrified that Veronica would murder her when she broke up with Martin.
“Ms Reed, nice to see you,” Tai said bravely.
With a sudden move Veronica engulfed Tai in a sudden hug. “SUCH a cute little butch!” she laughed as Tai flailed.
Dora grinned as Tai struggled helplessly in her grip. “Hey, easy on my girlfriend,” she smiled, feeling relieved all of a sudden.
“Couldn’t resist,” Veronica put the smaller woman down.
“See Dora? I’m irresistible,” Tai smirked.
“Yeah, yeah,” Dora waved that off. She looked at Veronica curiously and asked, “What are you doing here?”
“Actually I’m here as a guest of one of the anime companies,” Veronica admitted, “I consulted on one of their series.”
There was a beat of silence as they processed that. “YOU are why Highschool S & M is so accurate,” Tai blinked.
“I will neither confirm or deny that,” Veronica smirked as she added, “I’m bound under a confidentiality agreement.”
Dora shook her head wryly, making a mental note to ask Tai about that anime later. “Does Martin know you’re in town?” she wondered.
“We’re meeting up after the con, tho he’s been oddly reluctant to come here himself,” Veronica noted thoughtfully.
“That might be my fault,” Tai admitted ruefully.
“Oh?” Veronica asked.
“Last time we were at a con together I made him dress up as ‘Magical Love Gentleman’ and do a charity thing,” Tai confessed with a smile.
“Ha!” Veronica laughed. “I wish I could have seen that,” she grinned.
“That was fun,” Dora agreed.
Veronica sighed. “I’d like to stay but…,” she shrugged. “I’ll try to swing by Coffee of Doom before I leave town.”
“See ya,” Tai waved as she walked away.
There was a beat of silence as they watched her walk away, then both woman sighed. “Damn she’s hot,” Dora admitted.
Tai laughed, “Oh yeah.”
The two headed down the hall as Dora remembered to ask, “So, what is Highschool S & M?”
Tai made a face, “I knew you were gonna ask… it’s a kind of comedy horror series. A demoness is hiding out in a high school, and to control her unruly demon servants she uses S & M.”
“Uh huh,” Dora blinked. “Not for kids?” she wondered.
“Ha!” Tai laughed. “Yeah, no. The main character’s costume pretty much amounts to a corset and panties, usually.”
“Sounds kinda hot,” Dora admitted.
Tai looked Dora over, “You know, you could carry that outfit off…”
“Maybe in private,” Dora winked.
“I don’t think I liked Shoujo Angels,” Hannelore admitted as they left the theatre together.
“It’s a bit of a mixed bag,” Marigold conceded willingly, “but the specials were fun.”
“The catgirl visiting the baths was funny,” Hannelore agreed willingly.
“Wanna get something to eat?” Marigold asked curiously as they cut outside. She had lead Hannelore threw a few crowds and realized how much it stressed the girl. Better to cut outside the convention center where it was less crazy.
“Could we swing by Coffee of Doom? At least I know the food is safe there,” Hannelore offered sheepishly.
“Fair enough, it’s not THAT far,” Marigold agreed. “Is Faye on shift today?”
“Yeah,” Hannelore smiled, “I asked her to wear the ‘Tsundere’ shirt I got her the last time we went to a convention. She growled at me.”
“Has anyone told her what it means?” Marigold laughed.
“I think so,” Hannelore also smiled, a bit shyly.
Coffee of Doom was bustling as they headed in, and not surprisingly there were a lot of cosplayers there, grabbing food and drink at prices cheaper than at the con. (It was sad but true that most food stands/maid cafes at cons priced much higher than regular stores. Of course they did it to make up for the fees the cons charged, but…)
“Arrgh,” Faye griped as they reached the counter, the brown haired woman in her ‘Tsundere’ shirt as requested. “I can’t believe Dora roped me into this,” she bitched.
“I guess the free samples she handed out at the con helped?” Marigold asked curiously.
“That and the fliers too,” Dora agreed.
Hannelore ordered hers, then Marigold and they headed for a table while looking over the costumes. “Who is that?” Hannelore asked, pointing at a gaudily dressed sailor suited girl.
“Soldier Moon,” Marigold nodded, “it was out here in a horrid dub years back.”
“I think the horribleness blocked it from my memory,” Hannelore noted. She blinked, “Didn’t it have lesbian incest?”
Marigold snorted. “More like the dub made them cousins, trying to hide the relationship,” she noted. Dryly she added, “Which just made it worse.”
“Hmm,” Hannelore nodded. She delicately ate her sandwich, “Why are there track suited ninja with funny headbands?”
“Ninjutoo,” Marigold said with some disdain, “it’s very popular, so you see a lot of cosplayers in store bought costumes and accessories.”
“Which is bad?” Hannelore asked innocently.
Marigold laughed softly. “Well, no,” she conceded, “but a lot of cosplayers take it more seriously, hand making their costumes from scratch and so on. People buying store bought costumes tends to offend them.”
Hannelore nodded thoughtfully, “Okay, I guess that makes sense.”
“Good,” Marigold nodded.
“So…,” Hannelore smiled, “who are the kids who look like army cadets with swords?”
“Combat with Titan,” Marigold said, “characters who fight giant monsters attacking their city.” she paused, “There’s a twist to the series, but I won’t spoil it.”
Hannelore looked thoughtful, “One of the heroes is a Titan?”
Marigold gave her a disgusted look, “You are occasionally too genre savvy.”
“I read a lot online,” Hannelore shrugged.
Meanwhile, a young man was going up to the counter. Faye didn’t recognize him, so braced herself. “Yeah?” she asked.
“I’d like a mocha cafe double double,” he ordered.
There was a beat of silence as Faye STARED at him. “Does this LOOK like a fucking Starbooks?” she demanded.
“Well no…” he stammered.
“Am I wearing a crappy green apron with a fricking mermaid on it?” Faye growled.
“No,” he whimpered.
“Then order a regular coffee in ENGLISH,” Faye finished.
As he was fleeing the store the young man muttered, “This place is as good as I heard!”
“Ah that was nice,” Faye sighed.
“This is a very, very odd coffee shop,” Marigold noted wryly.
Hannelore smiled shyly, “You just noticed?”
Magical Love Gentleman was as fun as ever.
“Ah,” Hannelore sighed happily as they left the room.
Marigold smiled back at her. “Were you impressed by their resurrecting his boyfriend in the climax?” she asked.
“Climax,” a passerby smirked.
Both ignored that. “I actually didn’t like it,” Hannelore admitted then explained, “it didn’t follow the manga.”
“Yeah, the fans kicked up such a stink over his death that the animation studio did those OVAs,” Marigold noted.
“OVA?” Hannelore asked.
“Original Video Animation,” Marigold paused. “I think.”
“It’s nice to see there’s something you don’t know about anime,” Hannelore teased gently.
Marigold just snickered softly. “They are going to be running shows until after midnight,” she noted, “do you want to stick around or…?”
“I think I’m about anime’d out right now,” Hannelore admitted. She smiled as she added, “But thank you for taking me. I’ve had a lot of fun.”
“I’ll walk you back, then,” Marigold said as they headed through the con towards the entrance.
“You don’t have to…” Hannelore started.
“I want to,” Marigold shrugged. “Besides, I worry if you’re out on your own…”
“Whoo-hoo! Time to get some non-PG anime stuff!” Faye declared, still wearing her ‘Tsundere’ t-shirt.
“Off work?” Marigold asked, having returned from walking Hannelore home.
“Raven came in and took the evening shift,” Faye said, mentioning a Questionable Content character who appears and disappears from the strip.
“Did you just feel the fourth wall break?” Marigold wondered.
“Just ignore it and it goes away,” Faye said seriously.
“Got it,” Marigold nodded.
“Is the dealer’s room still open?” I wanted to get some inappropriate stuff for my friends and some anime porn,” Faye noted.
“Do you have to be so enthusiastic about it?” Marigold sighed.
“Yup,” Faye smirked.
Marigold shook her head, “Yeah, it’s open. This is one of the cons that doesn’t really close…”
“Cool. Care to join me?” Faye offered.
“Nah, I’m spent out. There’s a few shows I still want to see, so catch you later,” Marigold waved as she headed off.
Faye waved back, then walked to the large dealer’s hall. She browsed the aisles, picking up a joke gift or two. She turned a corner and blinked, seeing a familiar face looking vaguely pained. And his MOM, of all people, sitting at a booth signing autographs! Thankfully it was late, so when Faye walked up it was mostly clear…
“Marten, didn’t know you were coming,” Faye said. She nodded respectfully to the woman, “Ms Reed, good to see you again.”
Veronica smiled, the tall good looking woman looking amused. “Hello, Faye. You’re looking luscious as ever,” she complimented her.
“Mooooom,” Marten groaned.
“What?” Veronica smirked, “If I ever needed to do a bi scene I’d totally recruit her.”
Faye had to laugh at poor Marten’s vaguely appalled look. “I’ll take that as a compliment,” she reassured him.
Marten smiled wryly, “Thanks. Did you run into Dora or Tai yet?”
“No. Worried they’re gonna dress you up as Magical Love Gentleman again?” Faye teased.
Veronica snorted loudly.
“What?” Faye looked at her.
Veronica sipped her bottle of water, “They found an alternate person to be Magical Love Gentleman,” she said impishly.
“So who…?” Faye pressed.
“Dora,” Veronica smirked.
THAT made Faye stop a second. “Well, she DOES look kinda androgynous when she wants to…,” she conceded.
“You would not believe the line to sit in her lap…,” Marten shook his head ruefully.
“I’d totally sit in her lap,” Veronica teased. “Or have her sit in mine.”
“Mooooom,” Marten groaned again.
Curiously Faye asked “What are you here for, Miss Reed?”
“Veronica, PLEASE,” she laughed. Continuing she said, “I’m doing a seminar on safe sex play, using clips from anime to illustrate.”
Marten looked at her blankly. “What.”
“Seriously,” Veronica grinned. “It’s sponsored by ‘Pussy Media’ an adult anime company.”
“Marten, you HAVE to make sure Dora and Tai go. They’d love it,” Faye teased.
Marten looked pained. “There’s a scary thought…” he said wryly.
“Meanie,” Veronica punched her son’s shoulder, pouting.
“Ok, I want to get some shopping in,” Faye laughed, “I’ll see you later.” She also got the info on Veronica’s seminar, in case she wanted to stop in later.
‘Poor Marten,’ Faye mused as she picked up several translated porn dojin. It had to be tough having a mother that was so much more ‘hip’ than you.
“So you’re into yuri?” the young man leered at her as she bought a stack of books.
Faye gave him a LOOK. “Yeah, I’m going to go home and jill off to them, and you will never get within a mile of me,” she told him darkly.
“Meep.” he meeped.
Faye moved on, picking up the rest of her purchases. A quirky smile appeared on her face as she wondered, ‘I know Hannelore likes this sort of thing… I wonder if she does…?’
“Nah!” Faye said aloud.
The saran wrap and gloves were stripped off, then she rolled up the plastic sheeting. All went into a disposal bag. Only then did Hannelore let herself fall back on her bed with a contented sigh…
‘I thought the Magical Love Gentleman dojins would do it, but the yuri ones were surprisingly hot,’ Hannelore mused dreamilly.
“Eeep,” she stopped, eyes wide.
‘Did I just… to a GIRL?’ Hannelore thought.
Cyber Six was watching the club doors that evening, the black clad young woman leaning casually against the side of the building. The combat cyborg looked like a slim, black haired woman, but she had fantastic strength and agility.
‘Now THAT is a big one,’ Cyber Six thought as the gaggle of young women moved up the line. In the middle of the group was a women who was nearly a head and shoulders taller than the rest, colored generally a red-brown shade. Android, Cyber Six figured.
“I’m still not sure this is a good idea,” the tall one noted.
“It’ll be fun, Bubbles,” the other woman noted with a smile, her brown hair boyishly short. She was also quite well muscled, as shown off by the cut off t-shirt she wore.
“I hope so, Faye. Will you be all right at the bar, considering your no longer drinking?” Bubbles asked mildly.
“I’m sure they have non-alcoholic drinks,” Faye shrugged.
“Good day, ladies,” Cyber Six nodded, “welcome to Arisugawa’s Locket.”
“I heard this was a woman’s club, right?” the shortest woman noted, smiling faintly. “Tai,” she introduced herself, “this is my girlfriend Dora and our friends Faye and Bubbles.”
“Yo,” Dora waved.
“Yes it’s a woman’s club,” Cyber Sis agreed. “Oh, if you are armed you will need to turn in weapons at the bar.”
“Armed?” all four woman blinked at her.
‘Okay, maybe not,’ Cyber Six thought as she waved them in.
As they walked down the hall into the main building, Bubbles noted, “This hallway is sheathed in armor plate, and there are barriers that can drop down from the ceiling.”
“Did they get attacked by the army or something?” Dora wondered aloud.
“Sort of,” the attractive brown haired greeter at the end of the hall beamed, wearing an old fashioned maid’s dress. She introduced herself as May, pointed out the areas with empty tables and mentioned nightly specials too.
“Oh wow,” Tai breathed out as they walked through the crowds. There were so many women! In couples! And dressed in the craziest outfits!
“Is that rubber or…?” Dora had to ask as a woman slinked by in a clingy something that left nothing to the imagination.
“Latex,” Bubbled noted.
Faye looked up at her curiously, “How…?”
“I can do spectroscopic analysis based on scent data,” Bubbled answered dryly.
“There’s an empty table,” Tai pointed and they swiftly grabbed it before someone else could. The four sat at the table, Tai and Dora sitting close while Faye and Bubbled took the other side.
“This is an interesting bar,” Dora noted. “I mean… dance floor over there, a kareoke stage…”
“Hey, I like kareoke,” Tai noted.
“And we’ll do that,” Dora agreed. “But did you see the library over there? It’s huge!”
Faye looked, and indeed there WAS a large section with book shelves and books over in one corner. She made a mental note to look over there later.
“Interesting,” Bubbles noted, “while it’s more efficient to download ebooks, there is a certain pleasure in holding and reading a book.”
“Hey,” the tall woman in a cowboy hat and matching outfit walked up to their table. Oddly she had tossed an apron over the clothes and had a note pad in hand, casually smiling as she said, “I’m Amelia, nice to meet you.”
All four women were looking at her wondering what a cowboy was doing here.
“What’ll it be?” Amelia asked, clearly used to the reaction.
“Beer,” both Dora and Tai decided quickly.
“Tea,” Bubbles ordered her usual.
“Coke and ice,” Faye smiled wryly.
“Be right back,” and with that Amelia strode off.
“So I’ve seen maids, women in suits, a cowboy…,” Dora noted. “This place is almost as interesting as the Horrible Revelation.”
Just then a woman in a skin tight bodysuit that left nothing to the imagination went by.
“Ooooooh,” both Tai and Dora watched her go by.
Faye snorted, “You two…”
“Officer Basilisk, I’m Nabiki Tendo, the manager while the boss is away and May is occupied,” the black haired woman smiled politely.
“Miss Tendo,” the purple haired and lighter purple skinned android nodded politely. Her police uniform was a United States style design, though she wasn’t carrying a weapon.
“What can I do for you?” Nabiki asked politely if a touch warily.
“Explain this bar, basically,” Basilisk admitted. She continued, “My superiors have had reportd of the place appearing and disappearing…”
“Ah,” Nabiki hesitated, “it’s a bit of a long story…”
Roko Basilisk listened as Nabiki explained how a mad scientist had installed a ‘time and space’ engine in a Tokyo bar, causing it to travel across the multiverse. And through time.
“So it’s possible you’re not even from my dimension,” Roko noted thoughtfully.
“You’re taking this well,” Nabiki mused.
Roko shrugged. “My last major case involved a illegal robot fighting ring, attempted murder via personality deletion and a hive mind entity that decided to go vigilante and solve the case for me,” she said wryly. “So yeah, I’ve seen some shit,” Roko said.
“Fair enough,” Nabiki nodded. “So, are we in trouble?” she asked.
“I think you’re out of my jurisdiction, honestly,” Roko admitted. “Besides, I see you have a business license and booze permits on the wall, even if they are in Japanese…”
“Thank you,” Nabiki said.
“Could I get a cup of tea before I go?” Roko asked optimistically.
Nabiki clearly looked like she was wondering ‘why tea?’ but nodded. “Sure, coming right up.”
Veronica Reed, more commonly known as Veronica Vance, smiled wryly as she looked over the table at her editor. “Interesting place to meet,” the older but still sexy black haired woman noted.
Shizue Mikuriya smiled, her black hair nearly falling into her round glasses. “I didn’t think you’d mind, considering,” she said.
“Heh,” Veronica smiled.
Shizue sipped her drink then put it down. “Shall we get down to business?” she asked.
“Certainly,” Veronica agreed.
“Your column in Honey Chop,” Shizue referred to the magazine she edited in Japan, “is doing quite well. Your reader response is right up there with our most popular writer, Misaki Saiki.”
“I’m glad it’s doing well for you,” Veronica noted. She was rather curious about Misaki too… she was a MUCH younger woman, and was supposed to be quite exotic. It would be interesting to do a photo shoot with her.
“And I’ve started going over your memoirs, as well,” Shizue grinned, “hot reading.”
Veronica grinned back. She had been talking about publishing her memoirs for years, but no legit publisher in the US wanted to touch it. So she had been pleasantly surprised when she finally heard back from the publisher of Honey Chop.
Sipping her drink Veronica asked, “Any issues?”
“Well, the lawyers are concerned of course,” Shizue conceded willingly, “we’re vulnerable if someone sues.”
“I have various means of proving my story, including photographs,” Veronica said smugly.
Shizue raised her eyebrows. “Can we use them in the book?” she asked eagerly.
Veronica snickered. “Not a good idea,” she shook her head, “the photos are insurance. Besides, if we added them to the book someone WOULD sue to keep them hidden.”
“Fair enough,” Shizue conceded. “Anyway, I’ll pass that on to legal, it should stop them getting their panties in a wad.”
“I usually wad panties up rather than un-wad them,” Veronica smiled impishly.
THAT nearly made poor Shizue spit up her drink.
“Thank you for inviting me out tonight,” Bubbles said as she and Faye swayed together out on the dance floor. She had picked up dancing fairly quickly, though Bubbles was still trying to figure out the odd sensations she got, being this close to Faye.
“You’re welcome. I like spending time with you,” Faye admitted.
Bubbles hesitated, then quietly said, “Faye, I have never… I mean…”
“it’s fine, I’m pretty new to this too,” Faye reassured her.