Happily Ever After

Some Years Later

Tambi Baker and Casey Bullocks-Baker were the first to arrive at the club, the two blonde haired women arriving at Arisugawa's Locket early that night. It wasn't eagerness that brought them there, thought it was certain Casey was eager, but instead Tambi's usual wariness.

"You know this place has a reputation for the safety of it's customers," Casey said to her wife with some amusement as she and Tambi circled the room, her lover sweeping the place with her eyes for any kind of trap. There was a bar at one end, dining tables, a small dance floor and a kareoke stage. And oddly, a small library ff to one side.

Tambi let her usual set of sunglasses slide down as the slightly taller woman said to her, "Maybe, but I am not taking chances."

Casey smiled back slightly as they wove through the chattering crowds, "No, I guess not. You wouldn't be the woman I fell in love with if you weren't concerned."

Tambi actually blushed a bit at that comment, still not used to hearing Casey say things like that. After a few more minutes of searching the club she finally felt satisfied that there weren't any assassins, kidnappers and other villains about, and they made their way up to the bar.

"Hi," after finishing with one customer the black haired girl in the maid's outfit hurried over to serve them, "my name's Mahoro, what can I get you?"

"Beer," Tambi said with a slight smile.

"Surprise me," Casey said, her eyes twinkling with amusement. The bartender had a almost irresistible energy about her, kind of reminded her of herself.

"Coming right up," Mahoro took off, her long black ponytail swinging cutely.

Once she delivered their drinks Tambi asked her, "We've got a room reserved for a party tonight, who would I see...?"

"That'd be May," Mahoro said cheerfully. Flagging down a green haired young woman carrying a empty tray she said, "Alpha, can you go upstairs and get May?"

"Hai," Alpha responded, the smaller woman smiling cheerfully as she hurried off.

A few minutes later a tall, brown haired woman dressed, yet again, in a variation of a maid's outfit came down the stairs to smile at them. "Welcome to Arisugawa's Locket," she said, "I'm the assistant manager, May." She waved for them to follow her as she said, "Let me show you the room we've set up for you."

May quickly led them towards the rear of the building, where a door opened up into a large back room with a very clean table, multiple chairs and nicely decorated walls, giving it a comfortable but private feel.

"Oooh, nice," Casey smiled. She grinned, "We'll probably need pitchers of beer before the night is through, and iced tea for Katchoo..."

May chuckled, "I'll have waitresses coming in and out regularly once your guests start arriving, we'll run you a tab."

"Good enough," Tambi nodded thoughtfully, "what about music?"

"We'll pipe some in," May agreed before adding, "and we can set up a portable karaoke machine in here too."

"Kareoke?" Casey exclaimed happily.

"Uh oh," Tambi sighed softly, already feeling sure she was going to be pressed into singing later that night. Oh well, the things you did for love...

Outside the bar two women made their way to the door, the taller woman chuckling softly. "You remember the first time you hauled me in here?" Francine Peters asked, smiling as her dress swirled around her legs.

"Heh," Katchoo Choovanski smiled, the smaller blonde dressed in jeans and t-shirt as she commented, "you were scared spitless."

"I was sure," Francine nodded politely to the redhead who was doing bouncer duty by the front door, "that one of those scary lesbians was going to drag me off into a bathroom and have their wicked way with me."

"Is that why you stuck so close to me that night?" Katchoo chuckled softly as she added impishly, "I'm hurt."

"Welcome back to Arisugawa's Locket," the blonde haired door girl dressed in a one piece body suit smiled, "can I take your coats?"

"No thanks, Excel," Katchoo answered cheerfully. "Have Tambi or Casey arrived?"

"They're in the back with another of your guests," Excel confirmed.

"Wonder who got here first?" Francine asked a bit distractedly as they wove their way through the busy bar.

Katchoo gave Francine a gentle punch in the shoulder as she said, "Stop worrying about the kids, love."

Francine blushed a bit at how easily her lover could read her then asked, "But what if my parents have a problem?"

Katchoo reached over to hug Francine comfortingly. "Your parents raised a fine daughter, and I'm sure they can cope with two babies for a night..." she said.

Francine sighed. "You're right," she conceded the point, "it just feels odd being away from them for the first time."

Katchoo chuckled softly as she noticed the many admiring glances Francine was getting, all of which she seemed entirely unaware of. "Your parents love the kids," she chuckled, "I'm pretty sure this gift to us isn't a hardship on their parts, either."

"Heh," Francine smile, feeling a flash of annoyance at the lusty looks Katchoo was getting, but she was comforted knowing how strong her commitment to them was.

"Here we go..." Katchoo opened the door in the back letting out the sounds of laughter and loud conversation.

Margie looked up, her brown hair still boyishly short, and though a few years had added some lines to her face she still looked good. "Hey!" she exclaimed, bouncing up to give both women hugs, "Good to see you."

"Been a long time," Francine chuckled, remembering Freddie's old secretary fondly.

"Hell yes," Margie agreed, "just been catching up with Casey about the douche-bag."

"Freddie?" Katchoo laughed.

"Freddie," Margie agreed.

"I still can not believe you're the executive secretary of the firm he works for," Casey said after exchanging welcoming hugs with Katchoo and Francine.

"He's a dirt bag," Margie shrugged as she said, "but he's a predictable dirt bag. As long as you keep an eye on him, you're okay."

Meanwhile, out at the bar a slim black haired woman in casual clothes ordered a drink. Ryouko, the light blue haired bartender refilled her glass, "You going to join the others?"

Sara Fitz smiled a little sadly as she took a drink, "It wouldn't be appropriate."

"Why not?" Ryouko asked as she took a cloth and wiped down the bar. "I thought you and Katchoo were friends?"

"Were being the opperative word," Sara said as she took a drink. She sighed, "It's quite possible Katchoo doesn't hold a grudge, but I feel bad for my helping bust her."

"You were just doing your job," Ryouko offered.

"Yeah, true," Sara agreed as a dignified looking blonde woman cut through the crowd. 'What is it and blondes tonight?' Sara thought wryly.

Tambi had been reluctantly forced into karaoke, and to everyone's surprise she was carrying off the Griffin Silver tune pretty well. "When I wake up at night, Remembering my other life I scream. But every dawning day the faith in me beyond my reach more distant fades. My eyes are gallows and my heart's a nervous wreck My cries are fondled by the hangman's deadly kiss Oh believe me, I'm running out of time..."

"Next time, I choose your song," Casey murmured as she kissed Tambi on the cheek. Tears shone in her eyes. "Nice, though."

"Thanks," Tambi agreed as she exchanged a long look with Katchoo, both of them remembering shared history together.

The door opened after a fast knock and two familiar figures strode inside, one grinning sheepishly. "Hey boss," Cherry Hammer waved as she entered.

"Hello everyone," Carolyn smiled, Katchoo's agent grinning slightly as she strode to the table. "May I?" she asked Margie as she grabbed the seat beside her.

"Be my guest," Margie purred, a speculative look in her eye.

"I remember when she used to get that look around you," Francine bent over to whisper in Katchoo's ear.

"I still think you were over reacting to that," Katchoo whispered back.

"Wanna bet?" Francine chuckled.

"Is that what I think it is?" Cherry asked, her grin nearly frightening.

"Brace yourselves for Elvis' greatest hits." Tambi sighed.

Cherry stuck her tongue out then grinned as the music began, "A little less conversation, a little more action please, All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me, A little more bite and a little less bark. A little less fight and a little more spark. Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me Satisfy me baby."

"Not bad," Casey cheered. She looked around, "Francine, take a turn."

"Oh no..." Francine quickly said.

Katchoo reached out to squeeze her shoulder gently. When Francine turned to look at her she smiled, "Please?"

Francine blushed, reluctantly stepping up to sing. Scrolling through the list she smiled and chose a selection, then began, "You could say I lost my faith in science and progress. You could say I lost my belief in the holy church. You could say I lost my sense of direction. You could say all of this and worse but..." Francine smiled tenderly at Katchoo, "If I ever lose my faith in you, There'd be nothing left for me to do..."

To be continued...

The Staff from Arisugawa's Locket are: May from Hand Maid May, Mahoro is from Mahoromantic, Ryouko is from Tenchi Muyo, Excel is from Excel Saga, and finally Alpha is from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou.

Notes: The song Tambi sings is from the SIP comic itself, by Terry Moore. This was originally a chapter of my crossover Arisugawa's Locket, but has been edited and revised slightly. The idea is that it's a unofficial reunion of the SIP characters possibly a year or so after the end of the series.