Bubblegum Crisis Post 2040 Fanfic Series

Bubblegum Crisis Post 2040 File 1: Dominant Species

Epilogue: The Least That I Can Do

by P. Kristen Enos (bgcpost2040@aol.com)

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A Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 English Dub Version Fanfic. All rights belong to AIC, ADV Films and the other creative powers that be. I just want credit for writing the story. Contains spoilers! Rated PG13. Yuri warning! Nothing in here should be a shock if you've watched the episodes and paid attention. All I'm doing is filling in the gaps with my own interpretation of events! Special thanks to Greenegret for betaing!

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"This is wonderful!" Linna said as she gently tested how much range and flexibility she had in her left hand and arm. "Getting the neck brace off yesterday pales in comparison."

Mrs. Takeuchi smiled as she started to walk out of the room with her hands full of the plastic and metal pieces of the braces. "Let me put these away first. Then I'll give you a good massage in both your arm and leg when I get back."

Linna nodded and smiled as she focused on having control of her limbs again, at least on the side that was just recently freed of the bindings. Her right side was still firmly in a cast but every bit of freedom signaled a milestone in the return to normality.

"Well, it looks like you'll be running a marathon in no time," a familiar female voice commented from behind.

Her heart skipping a hopeful beat, Linna turned to see a casually dressed and gently smiling Reika leaning against the doorway.

"You're back!" Linna greeted with a genuine look of joy. "How was the trip?"

"Overly long but productive," she answered as she walked in and sat down on the edge of the bed next to the other woman. "Still, the London rain was nothing compared to Tokyo monsoon season."

"And how are Irene and Sho?"

"Settled quite well. Sho's actually speaking more fluent English than Irene, much to her dismay. But her competitiveness will close the gap shortly."

Linna chuckled and remarked, "Boy, you two really are opposite ends of the spectrum, aren't you?"

"Now, who says I'm not competitive?" Reika answered with a look of feigned seriousness.

"Well, maybe I just haven't seen that side of you yet," Linna said.

Reika didn't answer as she openly studied Linna's face.

Suddenly extremely aware of how close they were, Linna focused her attention on flexing her fingers in the hopes that it would distract from the blush in her cheeks.

Reika then cleared her throat and said, "Speaking of hidden sides, I had an interesting phone call from Sylia when I was in London. She told me that you called your supervisor to discuss when you should go back to work."

Linna shrugged and said, "Obviously I can't return for a couple more months but I figured I should get a start on living my own life again. It's not as if I'm here permanently after all."

"Well, she also mentioned that you really don't like being an O.L. to begin with and that you don't seem enthused about going back."

She nodded sadly. "Who wants to spend their days serving tea and doing boring computer work? I can't be a Knight Saber all the time, even if the team is more active because of our increased scope. And I still have bills and rent to pay."

Reika then looked out the window and leaned back as she said, "Now that my curiosity is piqued, I have a extremely nosy question to ask you."

Having no idea where this conversation was going, a puzzled and intrigued Linna responded, "Fire away."

"Why haven't you thought about going into computers, such as in the area of programming or support?"

Linna blinked at what she considered to be a question from left field. "I don't know. I guess I always just considered all computer work to be the same. And I wasn't interested in the training and education programs required to take on a career like that. It's still time spent in front of the terminal doing something that really didn't interest me."

"Perhaps because you just never had a decent challenge in a job task before?" Realizing that Linna was still not getting the gist of why this was even coming up, Reika explained, "I'm asking because you met Nene by hacking into the ADP server, which was something originally set up by no less than Genom personnel. It takes some natural talent and ingenuity to accomplish something like that, especially with no formal training."

"It does?" Linna responded, clearly not convinced. "When I hear the word 'programming', I think of all of the wild things Nene and Sylia do. I know I can't do anything anywhere near as sophisticated."

Reika actually chuckled and said, "Well, I guess if you're surrounded by two people who have a natural genius for such things, you may lose sight of the fact that your average Jane Doe on the street couldn't do what you've personally done."

Linna's expression started to change as it was clear that she was starting to see what the other woman was getting at. Then she gave her a joking frown and said, "So are you just bringing this up to make me feel even more unenthused about going back to being an O.L.?"

The other woman laughed outright at that point.

"No," Reika said, clearly enjoying the easy flow of the conversation. "I'm asking if you would consider quitting as an O.L. and come work for Chang Enterprises as an entry-level programmer, with a guarantee of on-the-job training and challenging assignments. After all, my family's legitimate business specializes in security, and that does include a lot of internet support for our clients. White-hat hackers with potential like yourself are invaluable.

"Our office building is just four blocks away from Hugh-Geit. There's no tea-serving involved to anyone but yourself, nor required uniforms, even though I thought you looked kind of cute in that O.L. outfit. And if you're worried about nepotism, well, I'll pretend I don't remember your first name if we ever run into each other in the hallway. If you still think that's too close for comfort, there are some subsidiaries we own in the city where I'm sure I can pull a string or two."

Linna was clearly stunned as the words started to sunk in.

Reika glanced sideways at her and said, "I'm just saying think about it. After all, you mentioned you don't have to report to Hugh-Geit for another couple of months, so I would hope you'd consider this option as well in the mean time."

"Th-Thank you," she said softly, her amazement clearly overwhelming her.

Reika then blushed and gave an evasive shrug. "Hey, I hate to see wasted talent, especially if I can get some benefit out of it. For the family business, of course."

"No, I really mean it, Reika," Linna said with a swallow of the lump forming in her throat. "Thank you for everything. On top of caring for me and this job offer, you've managed more than once to give me hope when I always think there isn't any. I just -- I just wish there was some way I could show how truly grateful I am, but I don't think there is one."

The other woman opened her mouth to speak, but she stopped as she tried to blink away the tears starting to brim in her eyes. Looking down at her lap, she cleared her throat and said, "Linna, just don't lose the hope that you'll finally meet someone who's allowed to get the girl in the end, okay?"

Reika then froze when she saw out of the corner of her eye the hesitant fingers approach her. She then closed her eyes and relish the gentle way they ran through her hair, carefully brushing it out of the way.

"You do remember that I'm an engaged woman, right? To a man, of all things," she pointed out both softly and hopefully.

Linna tenderly kissed her cheek and whispered, "I won't care for the next five minutes if you won't."

Reika opened her eyes and turned but stopped just short of having their lips brush against each other. She quirked her mouth into a wry smile and said, "Only five?"

Linna giggled and said, "Well, I'm not going to be looking at my watch. And I'll be pissed if you do."

Reika laughed in response. And with that, they both relented and closed the gap.

Mrs. Takeuchi stood quietly at the doorway and watched them finally kiss. She smiled softly and stepped back out into the hallway, silently closing the door behind her.

-- End Epilogue --

-- And thus ends "BGC Post 2040 File 1: Dominant Species" --

Closing Author's Notes:

Whew! Talk about your wild ride! It was hard work but it was fun, partly helped by your collective enthusiasm!

So what's next (besides a break)?

A closing commentary of what the original story of "Dominant" was supposed to be - which will be posted on the series' official web site of http://members.aol.com/bgcpost2040

Also a couple of short stories are pending in preparation for the next big saga, which is currently titled "The Romanova Chase", the Post 2040 version of "Scoop Chase" with Nene trying to hide her double life from her equally nosy and intelligent mother.

Sorry for you fanfiction.net readers, but I will not be posting future installments on this site. There isn't enough traffic to justify the work in double posting these pieces.

Otherwise, thanks for your support!

And special, special thanks to Greenegret, without whom this story would not have been started, much less completed.

P. Kristen ;)

For those of you interested in the more "behind the scenes" perspective with some spoilers and teasers as well as be on notification of updates, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGCPost2040. If you want to be notified of updates but don't want the behind the scenes gossip, sign up for the eGroup and select "Special Announcements" notification only.