(Answer: It All Depends on Who You’re Driving With.)
An Akio and Wakaba story
(All right, technically it’s a Revolutionary Girl Utena story, but with The Devil and The Onion Princess as your stars, they ought to get the headline.)
Oh yes, it’s by D.B. Sommer
All comments and criticisms appreciated. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Standard Disclaimer: The rights to Revolutionary Girl Utena belong to Be-PaPas, Chiho Saito / Shogakukan, Shokaku Iinkai, TV Tokyo and Central Park Media/ Software Sculptors.
Author’s notes: Many spoilers to the end of the series here. These events start to take place in Episode 30, but from there it becomes something…different. You can take this about as seriously as the cowbell episode with Nanami
“Who’s going to tell you when it’s too late?
Who’s going to tell you things aren’t so great?
You can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong.
Who’s going to drive you home tonight?”
‘Drive’ by the Cars.
Not that the lyrics really apply to the story. I thought it was just a neat excuse to use a passage quoted from another piece, like all of the really good authors do. ^_^
Light gray locks of hair flowed backward with the wind as the convertible cruised along the highway at nearly sixty miles an hour. The scenery blurred past, though not so quickly that one was unable to enjoy it to some small degree. Not that the currently vista was that much to see, even on the four lane highway running alongside the seashore. Further up the coast, the landscape would transform from rocky seacoast to soft, chestnut colored beaches, where the car was eventually bound. A briny scent that permeated the air and filled the driver and passenger’s nostrils, and the infinite ocean itself, would be all that remained the same.
“Are we there yet?”
The car’s speed picked up as it followed a bend in the road. Things had not worked out as planned; a rarity to one who wove a web of intrigue as complex as that of any master spider. But it was nothing more than a minor setback. For now, it would be best to get to the beach quickly. The sooner they got there, the sooner they could return to the academy and he could get back to his great plan once more.
“Are you sure we aren’t there yet?”
It was to have been a simple plan. Invite Utena on a little jaunt in the Akiomobile. Spend some more time wooing her and binding her closer to him, then breaking down what remaining reservations she held in fooling around with an engaged man. Soon, soon she would be his. Then it would be nookie time.
“But the ocean’s right over there.”
“This is an island. We’re surrounded by ocean.”
A pity his scheme had been thrown off course by that forceful girl who had not only bullied her way into coming along for the ride, but had also somehow forced Utena into remaining behind. The pink-tressed would-be prince could defeat Touga in a duel with a smile, but couldn’t find enough courage to say politely, “I’m going alone with Akio. Now shove off, you annoying, nosy bitch!”
“You know, if you’d drive like a normal person instead of like some eighty-year-old grandmother, we’d be there by now.”
Akio’s face twitched slightly, the first time it had done such in months. He used his best ‘Chairman of Ohtori Academy’ instructional voice. “Now, now, Miss Shinohara. There’s no need to be insulting. It’s important to remain within the speed limit. It is set for both our own safety and that of the other drivers.”
Wakaba waved dismissively at Akio. “Driving a few miles over the speed limit isn’t dangerous. Now doing something like, I don’t know, hopping over your windshield and lying back on the hood while the car runs on cruise control would be dangerous.”
The tires squealed as the car nearly swerved off the road. Akio barely regained control before his all-important vehicle scratched its paint job against the guardrail.
“What?! What was that about?!” Wakaba said, startled.
“I thought I saw an animal crossing the road and didn’t want to hit the poor beast.” Lies were as natural as breathing to Akio. He gazed suspiciously at Wakaba. Where on Earth had THAT come from? It was such a bizarre statement. Not that Wakaba had failed to make a good point about sitting on the hood of a moving car, were it concerning someone less talented than Akio. Still, saying such an unusual thing. Could she somehow know? It was impossible, of course. She was not a part of his plan, and could not have any knowledge of either him or his Machiavellian machinations. He watched her closely as she stared at the road ahead. Could there be more to Wakaba than met the eye? Perhaps she—
“LOOK OUT! RABID PENGUIN!”
Akio’s thoughts were disrupted as Wakaba shouted at the top of her lungs and pointed towards the road in front of the car. Automatically, he swerved while trying to spot the… rabid… penguin?
“Pay more attention to the road instead of checking me out,” Wakaba warned once Akio had full control over the car again.
“I assure you, I was not ‘checking you out’, as you so crudely referred to it,” Akio assured her, unleashing his most seductive smile. “It would be improper for the Chairman of the Board to have an affair with a student in any case.”
“Right.” Wakaba gave Akio a half-lidded stare before returning her attention to the road.
An almost imperceptibly narrowing of the eyebrows was the only sign that indicated Akio was disturbed. This was not going the way he had envisioned it, not at all. When it had become obvious that Wakaba had managed to intrude into his scheme, he simply decided to take the path of least resistance and agree to Wakaba’s terms. They would head up the shore for a little while, and Akio would waste some time amusing her so that at least she could tell Utena what a good time she had (and perhaps make the true target somewhat jealous and more eager for his attentions), then they would head back. But Wakaba was proving herself more of a nuisance that Akio had anticipated.
“We’re still not there yet, are we?”
“No.” That came out just a tad too quickly, Akio thought to himself.
“I’m getting bored,” Wakaba sighed as she rested her elbow on the top of the door and laid her head on it.
The eyebrows went back to their normal position as Akio thought things had finally calmed down. In a little while, they would be at the beach, and then everything would go more smooth—
“Hey, Akio. Want to see a neat trick?”
For a moment, he considered chiding Wakaba about her inappropriate familiarity with him, but then decided it would not be worth the hassle. Just so long as she didn’t do it on Academy grounds. Utena might misinterpret the greeting as being a bond between him and her friend.
Wakaba brought her hands together, turned to him and leaned closer, easily violating the driver’s personal space. “Watch me pull a sword out of your chest.”
Before he could react, she placed her palms on the middle of his chest, and suddenly a hilt appeared between her hands. She gave it a quick pull backward, and the rest of the blade beneath the hilt appeared, a good three feet in length.
“AHHH!” Akio shouted in shock as he jerked the wheel hard to the right and nearly crashed the car into the side of the hill.
He continued crying out in fear until Wakaba managed to shout over him, “It’s only a trick! It’s only a trick! Watch!” She placed the point of the sword against her chest and pushed it forward, the blade vanishing from sight until the hilt touched her chest, where it finally stopped. She drew back and the blade reappeared, and then plunged it forward again. On this last time Akio watched more closely as he saw that the “blade” was folding into itself instead of actually entering Wakaba’s chest. There was a mechanical click as the blade stopped at the hilt again.
“I knew that.” Once again Akio was the picture of composure as he sat back in his seat, driving one handed and allowing the wind to blow his hair back in that irresistible bishonen manner. He smiled as casually as he did when setting someone up.
“God, you need to switch to decaf,” Wakaba muttered. “I don’t know what Utena sees in someone so high-strung.”
Akio continued smiling. It was all just a coincidence. Just a weird, bizarre coincidence. Things like that had been known to happen. Not to him, perhaps, but they did happen. There was nothing strange about it and there was nothing to threaten his plans, and really wasn’t that all that mattered? Yes, he thought to himself as the smile remained fixed in place, there was nothing to be concerned about.
“I’m going in the back seat to stretch out,” Wakaba announced as she unfastened her seatbelt with a click.
“You can’t go back there while the car is… in… motion…” Akio watched in mute horror as Wakaba bent backward with a flexibility that would have done Utena proud, and reached behind her, grabbing the top of the headrest. She then kicked off with her feet and performed a handstand before landing idly in the back seat; the top two buttons of her dress undone and revealing a slight amount of cleavage while her hair blew back in the wind.
“Never mind,” Akio said in a quiet voice as he returned his attention to the road again and increased the speed of the car. He did not dare look over his shoulder and intentionally avoided gazing at the rear view mirror. He didn’t want to know what was going on behind him. All he needed was to get to the beach. Fast.
After another couple of miles, Wakaba’s voice came from right next to his ear. It was a surprise to him, since he hadn’t heard her move from the passenger’s side to the driver’s. What came out was a sensuous purr he had not thought possible from such a simple girl.
“I’ve got an idea of something we can do to make this trip more… interesting.”
A lesser man would have gulped in surprise at the suggestion that was held in the question. But Akio Ohtori was no mere peon, and his experience with women was the greatest of anyone, surpassing even Touga’s, in quality if not quantity. He recognized the telltale signs of an attempted seduction and prepared himself by huskily replying, “What would that be?”
“Let’s see if you can drive with your eyes closed.” Wakaba hands fell upon his face and covered both of his eyes.
“LET GO OF ME, YOU STUPID GIRL!” Akio could hear the tires screech and the car spin around in a circle in the middle of the road from his sudden loss of control. As suddenly as they had embraced him, the hands were removed, and Akio looked around the road to reorient himself. Luckily there were no other cars in sight, and it appeared he had come out of the spin somehow pointed back in the right direction. He was about to look over his shoulder and shout at Wakaba, when he suddenly realized she had managed to return to the passenger seat at some point without him seeing it.
“You nearly wrecked us!” Akio accused.
“Oh, come on. It was just a joke.”
“That was no joke. We’re going back.”
Wakaba sniffled. “I’ll tell Utena you made me cry.”
That caused Akio to reconsider. Utena was obviously infatuated with him (how could she not be?), but they were still at a point in their relationship when the wrong word could ruin everything and force him back to square one. Especially if it came from someone Utena regarded as a friend.
“Very well, but no more horseplay,” Akio warned.
“Oh, all right. I was just trying to make the drive less boring.” Wakaba let out a tired sigh. After a moment, she muttered under her breath, “Saionji wouldn’t have panicked like that.”
Akio’s eyebrow twitched again. She was probably right. But the only reason the easy-to-manipulate ass wouldn’t have been frightened was because he was too stupid to realize he was in danger. He was the kind of moron that would do something really dangerous, like stand up in a motorcycle sidecar while it was moving or something.
“Why don’t we listen to some music?” Wakaba asked.
Now that was a good idea. Perhaps it would keep Wakaba quiet. He turned on the radio and waited for the first song his favorite station, AKIO-1290, would play.
o/~ Help me make the most o/~
That would be enough of that. Akio quickly changed the station.
o/~ We were waiting, for the end of the world o/~
Akio’s eyebrow twitched as he changed it once again.
o/~ I want it all o/~
With a snarl, Akio changed it once more.
o/~ I knew I’d love you o/~
“Argh!” That was it. This time he was switching to the one station that would definitely not have one of those annoying, stupid songs.
“Welcome back to USUK-860, the adult Classical Symphony station. Nothing but classical music twenty-four hours a day.”
Akio breathed a sigh of relief as he carefully maneuvered the car between a slow moving dump truck and an only slightly faster mobile home in the next lane.
“But since no one with a life actually listens to classical music twenty-four hours a day, we’re going to try a little something different. Here is R.E.M, with…
o/~ It’s the end of the world as we know it o/~
“Change the radio!” Akio shouted to Wakaba as the mobile home slowed down enough that he had to have his full concentration on driving. He was just maneuvering past the large truck when he heard the sound of plastic breaking and wires being ripped in half. He darted his eyes over just in time to see that the radio that Wakaba had torn out of its housing in the dashboard go flying over the passenger door and into the middle of the road behind them.
After a moment, Akio managed to get out, “Why did you do that?”
“You told me to change the radio. Obviously you have to get rid of the old one if you want to put a new one in,” Wakaba explained, as though talking to a four-year-old child.
“By the way, where is the new one?”
Akio wiped the sweatdrop from the back of his head. “Actually, what I meant change the station, not the radio.”
“Oh?” Wakaba looked curiously at him, looked back at the road behind them, then turned back, crossing her arms in indignation. “Saionji wouldn’t have been so vague. He would have said exactly what he meant.”
Akio felt himself openly grimace in the presence of someone other than his sister for the first time in years. This was quickly becoming too much even for him to take. Wakaba was annoying beyond belief. She had defaced the Akiomobile, the ultimate sin, and now it was time to pay.
“We’re going back.” Akio’s tone brooked no argument as he saw an open spot in between the four lanes, which would allow him to make a U-turn so they could head back the way they had come.
“Do it, and I’ll tell Utena what you really planned to do with her on this little trip.”
Akio’s eyes widened slightly. He considered turning anyway, then continued past. “I have no idea what you mean. We were merely going to take an innocent drive to the seashore.”
Wakaba snorted at that. “Right. An innocent drive. I suppose that would explain the rubber sheets entirely covering the backseat.”
Damn! Akio thought. He should have known better than to allow his concern for staining the Akiomobile’s upholstery to supersede his master plan. But he hated washing out those kind of stains. It was yucky.
“And what do we have here?” Wakaba said as she opened the glove compartment
“Stop that!” Akio commanded. “Have you no sense of private property?”
Ignoring his statement, Wakaba opened the door and pulled out a small box. She shook it before him. “Why, they’re condoms. And extra-smalls, too. Now isn’t that a surprise?”
Akio flinched at the jibe. Oh, the shame of it all. His hand lashed out to snatch the box from out of her hands, but Wakaba was faster and kept the box just out of reach.
Wakaba taunted him with the box. “Saionji’s so big he has to use magnums.”
“Quit comparing me to…” Akio’s voice trailed off for a second. “How would you know his size?”
“Duh. He was in my room for nearly a whole month. You know he had no money. How else do you think he “paid” for staying with me and having me feed him? Lord knows I sure don’t lust after him for his personality.”
“Oh.” Akio had to admit, that explained everything.
But now he had a major problem: how to keep Wakaba quiet. Utena saw her go on a ride with him, so that left everything short of graduating her like Mikage and having her presence erased from campus right out. Of course, there was the one tried-and-true method of wrapping a woman around his finger. The one that had never failed.
“Since we’re finally alone. Why don’t we forget all about Utena and just enjoy ourselves.” His hand found its way to Wakaba’s thigh. “You know, the only reason I consented to bringing you along is because there is a certain air about you that I find intriguing.” He felt her hand fall over his. She then lifted both of their appendages up, caressing his as she did so.
He had her. She had fallen to his wiles just like every woman had. They were all such simple-minded creatures, ruled by their hormones. Sometimes it was just too eas—
“ARGH!” Akio shouted as he found his hand forced into the open glove compartment, and the door slammed on it. A tear trickled down his cheek from the pain as he withdrew his hand and held it gingerly. “What did you do that for?!”
“Like I’d ever fool around with a slut like you,” Wakaba said dryly.
“Slut? What do you mean by that?”
“Oh, puh-lease.” Wakaba rolled her eyes at him. “Absolutely everyone knows you’re the biggest ho’ on campus. Not counting Touga, of course.”
“Well, that goes without saying considering how many women he…” Akio caught himself. “Err… I mean, I assure you that I have no idea of what you’re talking about.”
“Ha! Then you and Utena are the only ones,” Wakaba smirked. “Everyone knows you’ll screw just about anything with tits and two feet.”
A sheen of sweat broke out upon his brow. “I’m engaged.”
“To Kanae. Yeah. Right. Like everyone doesn’t know the only reason she agreed to get engaged to you was so she could keep her parents from finding out what way she really swings.”
“It’s true. She’s a big time dyke,” Wakaba said casually. “Her and Juri are always competing with one another to see who can bag the most chicks. Did you know that little rugmuncher once did Nanami and all three of her flunkies at the same time?”
A gasp of surprise escaped Akio’s lips. Kanae was a lesbian? And an effective one as well? And all this time he had thought of her as being nothing more than an air-headed puppet. Now it appeared she might actually be interesting. Then the rest of the statement hit him.
“Wait a minute. She’s using me? She can’t use me. I’m the one that uses people,” Akio protested.
“Only the stupid ones,” Wakaba said with a knowing smile. “I mean, let’s face facts; most of the people on the council aren’t exactly the most well-adjusted individuals there are. It’s easy to mess around with their minds. Touga thinks he scores with all of these women, right? That they all decide to just come up and throw themselves at him because he’s so charming and good-looking? Well, the fact is all of them keep losing bets and having to sleep with him is the penalty. It’s kind of a school tradition by now.”
“It is?” Akio asked in a small voice. “Touga’s a handsome and suave guy, second only to myself. Why would allowing oneself to be seduced by him be so bad?”
“It’s because he’s the absolute worst in bed. He hasn’t satisfied one woman in the least since he got here. Apparently he thinks so much of himself that he believes women will get off just running their hands across his chest or something.”
“I see.” Akio made a mental note to start changing his techniques. And here he thought women enjoyed that sort of thing. Anthy certainly never complained about it.
“Nanami and Saionji are pretty self-explanatory. And as for Miki; get this,” Wakaba could barely reign in her laughter enough to speak. “One day, we had everyone in all of his classes carry around stopwatches and constantly time him on everything. Nothing but clicks followed him wherever he went. Every time he tried to time something, everyone else would too and then tell him his timing was off. By the end of the day he was ripping out his hair thinking he had somehow ended up in the Twilight Zone. WAHAHAHA!”
“What about Juri?” Akio asked.
“Oh, Juri’s a lesbian, so she’s cool. We don’t screw around with her.”
Akio couldn’t believe it. How could all of these things be going on with him completely unaware? It was impossible. He was the one in charge, the spider at the center of the web. He was the puppet master, and it was everyone else that danced to his tune as he pulled their strings.
And then something occurred to him. “Wait a moment. If you have no interest in me, why have you been acting with such blatant adoration whenever I’m around? For that matter, why did you force yourself into come along on this car trip?”
“I thought it was obvious. I’m just using you to get to Utena.”
For the first time in his life, Akio facefaulted. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, especially when driving a car.
“You can’t use me!” he protested.
“Too late,” Wakaba sneered. “I already have.”
Akio felt his temper reach a boil. “Enough! Your manipulations end now! You’ve made an error if you think you can get away with this. You made a mistake in tipping your hand, and now you’re going to pay.”
There was no fear upon Wakaba’s features as she boasted, “I think not.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s simple,” Wakaba snorted. “If anything happens to me, like I don’t get back to school today, a certain number of items will be mailed to a certain number of individuals.”
Akio felt an icy hand grip his heart. “Explain.”
Wakaba pulled a photo from out of a pocket of her dress and showed it to Akio. “Look. It’s a picture of you giving Mrs. Ohtori a fitting. And I don’t mean for shoes.”
The icy hand contracted. If Mr. Ohtori found out, he would be finished.
“And boy, does she look bored,” Wakaba added.
“Let’s see what else we have.” Wakaba pulled out several books.
“What are those?”
“Just a little literature that will be sent to Anthy.”
Akio read the titles and felt his blood run cold. Things such as, “Female Empowerment: How to Say NO! to the Men in Your Life”, “Sibling Devotion, and How Much is too Much”, and “How to Kick Your Manipulative Brother’s Ass in 10 Easy Steps” were among them.
“No!” Akio recoiled in horror.
“And best of all, copies of these will be sent out too.” Wakaba held up another photo triumphantly.
“What are they?”
“Pictures of you and Touga in compromising positions!”
Akio snatched it out of her hand. “Impossible! How could you have gotten pictures of us together when we were so carefu… Hey, wait a minute, that’s not me in the picture. I’m nowhere near that flexible.”
Wakaba smirked. “Stupid, it doesn’t have to be you. It just has to look like you.”
Akio carefully considered the girl before him. “You’re evil.”
“Of course. I’m a woman.”
That was it then. She had him by the balls, figuratively, of course. Akio had to admit Wakaba played the game supremely well, better than Touga ever had. “So, what is it you want from me in return for you to remain silent about these matter?”
“What everyone wants, of course.”
“You can’t have the Akiomobile.”
“Fine,” Wakaba’s shoulder slumped in defeat. “Then I’ll just settle for the power to revolutionize the world.”
“How did you find out about that?!”
“Anthy talks in her sleep.”
For the briefest of instants, Akio almost asked her to explain that.
Akio’s free hand slid to a secret recessed compartment in the door. “But in order to gain the power, you must defeat me in a duel.”
“I know,” Wakaba replied.
Fingers fell upon the handle. As unexpectedly brilliant as Wakaba had turned out to be, she had underestimated him again and for the last time. And to think, Anthy actually had the audacity to chide him for making the secret compartment, though everyone knew cool cars always had secret compartments. Slowly, with his hand still hidden from Wakaba’s sight, he pulled back on the handle. “You can still reconsider,” he offered.
His hand was in position. Too bad for Wakaba; and she had proven so adept at the manipulation game as well. But in the end, they all fell to Akio Ohtori; it was as inevitable as the sun rising in the east. “Very well. I say that the duel shall begin NOW!” As the final declaration left his mouth he drew the sword from its secret compartment. It had just cleared the doorframe when Akio discovered that Wakaba had drawn a concealed weapon of her own.
“Typical prince, bringing a sword to a gunfight,” Wakaba sighed.
“Yough camp ume ma mun,” Akio said around the barrel of the pistol jammed in his mouth.
“Of course I can use a gun. It doesn’t say anywhere in the rules that you have to use a blade. It’s just assumed you’ll use one since that’s the only weapon you guys are any good with. Now do I win?”
Akio considered that. Wakaba pulled back on the hammer. That made it two votes for and one against declaring her the winner.
“Amow me mu make mou mo nee ems of mhe mirld.”
“Then to the Ends of the World we shall go,” Wakaba said cheerily.
They drove for a time before arriving at the miniature dueling ground at the top of the Ohtori Academy tower. Across the way, Wakaba could see the stone path form out of darkness. At the end of the path both could see that it led to the vine-covered marble doorway that contained the power to revolutionize the world.
“There is a problem, of course, Wakaba,” he refused to show her the respect of using her last name. “If you use the Rose Bride, Utena will hate you with a passion that even the power to revolutionize the world cannot burn away. But without her, you’ll never be able to survive the swords of humanity’s hatred.” And that was to say nothing of Wakaba’s inability to open the doors. She lacked the physical power to force them open.
“On the contrary,” Wakaba said, remaining with her back to Akio as she stared at the doorway. “I’ve already figured out a way around that.”
“There is no way around it,” Akio insisted.
“Sure there is, if you use your imagination”
Wakaba turned, and Akio felt an icy hand clutch his heart again. “What are you talking ab—“
The butt of the pistol struck Akio in the head, and he fell into unconsciousness.
When Akio awoke, he looked down and saw Wakaba was already making her way across the narrow pathway to the doors. All around, the blades of humanity’s hatred began flying in her direction.
Wait a minute, looking down?
Akio took inventory of himself. He was hanging suspended in mid-air.
Wearing a dress identical to the Rose Bride.
“This is completely ridiculous!” Akio shouted to Wakaba. “Wearing a dress does not qualify one to be the Rose Bride. You actually need to be the Rose Bride. Humanity’s blades will only go after her. They won’t be fooled by some hanging cross-dresser. Besides, the color of the dress clashes with my eyes.”
Wakaba stopped walking forward as the blades drew ever closer. “You think they won’t go after you, do you?”
“Of course not.”
The blades, whistling through the air in hunger, were nearly upon her. “Tell me, Akio, would you describe humanity as being smart, or incredibly stupid?”
“Incredibly stupid, of course. But what does that have to do with anythin…” Akio’s voice trailed off as the dawn of realization finally struck him. “Oh, shit.”
Not a single blade wavered as they traveled past Wakaba and headed directly towards Akio.
“Fine! But you’ll never get through that door! You need the Sword of Dios. And you need a really strong arm. And you need really cool hair, like every other member of the Student Council and myself. You look like a giant onion with that hairdo! It will never work!”
He watched in amusement as Wakaba walked up to the barrier. Oh, how he’d laugh at her frustration when it failed to budge in the slightest. Even if it hadn’t been magically sealed, he doubted she could have opened such a heavy door.
Wakaba examined the door for a moment. She then nodded her head, as though coming to a decision, and began pounding hard upon it with her fist. Akio snickered at her obvious frustration as the blades drew closer and were nearly upon him. The stupid little girl would never—
“Open up! This is the police!” Wakaba shouted.
Akio watched in mute horror as the door opened itself up for her.
Now Akio understood the truth of the unearthly compulsion that had made him refer to himself as ‘The End of the World.’ That was certainly what it felt like as Wakaba darted inside to the darkness beyond the doorway. As the first childlike sob escaped his lips, he saw Wakaba poke her head out and shout, “Hey, Akio! Don’t worry! I’ll see to it you’re a prince once again when I’m done revolutionizing the world!”
Akio’s shoulders slumped in defeat as Wakaba disappeared from sight again. “Oh, well, at least I have something to look forward to,” he supposed as he felt the blades begin to pierce him
It was a brand new day in a brave new world.
Juri Arisugawa threw open the wooden paneled doors and burst into the gym. She looked around once before spotting the person she was looking for. She turned and approached with a confident step to confront the captain of the fencing team. It had taken her a night of deep thinking, but at last her thoughts became as clear as her heart. After much angst and heartache, she was at last able to say the words that at one time she believed would never pass from her lips.
“Ruka,” she threw herself into his arms. “Now that you’ve recovered from your almost fatal heart condition and have returned to me, I now realize that I can, in fact, love a man. You are the person I love most of all. I’m sorry I fell for that conniving little backstabber, Shiori. My eyes have been opened at last to the fact that love isn’t dependent on gender. I realize now that you were always the one that loved me the most, even to the point that you were willing to forsake your own happiness for mine. I’m sorry it took so long, but at last we can consummate our fiery passions the way a man and woman should.”
Ruka held her close and stroked her hair softly. His eyes were filled with caring as he said, “Juri, there’s something I have to tell you too.”
Her loving gaze remained fixed upon the object of her affection. “Yes?”
Touga Kiryuu gazed in the mirror another ten minutes before decided that at last the time had come. It had been enjoyable while it lasted, but as with all good things, this too had come to an end. Now that it had begun, it would only be a matter of time before the rest was lost as well. No longer would girls fawn over him. No more being a member of the Student Council (for certainly he would have to quit because of this disgrace). Even Saionji had at last bested him at something. He could applaud him graciously, but Touga did not feel up to admitting that Saionji was now a better man than him.
Instead, he would pack his things and leave like a thief in the night, not informing anyone where he was going. He couldn’t live with the looks of pity and revulsion the others would give him for his… disfigurement, for that was what it was. There was no escaping it. He was now less than half the man he had been. All that was left for him now was to transfer to a school on another continent where no one would know what he had been.
Once satisfied he had packed everything he would need, Touga headed off into the sunrise, for it was too early for a sunset to head off into, though that would have been more appropriate. He threw on a large, wide-brimmed hat, gave one last look at his home and the academy, and then left without another glance back.
Premature balding really sucked.
Nanami Kiryuu softly stalked her prey from behind. She didn’t know what had happened, but overnight her eyes became clear as she realized that her brother really was nothing more than a pompous slut with good hair (or at least he was before he started to go bald). She could do much better than him, much better indeed. In fact, there was someone she already knew who was sweet and gentle and caring and whose hair, while not as cool as her brother’s, was still very nice and she could enjoy running her fingers through it.
They were alone in the school library. He was poised over a book, reading it intently. She knew he was unaware of her presence. She preferred it remain that way so that she could surprise him with her offer. It was something she allowed no one but the most important of people to do. Before, she had only made the proposal to Touga, but he said he didn’t want to and never took her up on her offer. He claimed he didn’t like to do such things, but Nanami just knew her new paramour would
Softly, she moved up behind Miki and whispered seductively in his ear, “Would you like to pet my pussy?”
“AHH!” Miki shot up out of chair and made a run for it. With Touga gone, all of the girls seemed to think he should be the campus slut now. They were constantly throwing themselves at him, calling him at all hours, showering him with gifts, attention, even a baby grand piano. He never had a moment to himself. Even Kozue was acting weirder than usual, begging him to “spank her like the bitch that she was”. Now it had become apparent that Nanami had joined the list too. What had he done to deserve this hell?
Nanami frowned at Miki’s departing form. She looked down at the kitten she had nestled next to her bosom. “It looks like Miki doesn’t like cats any more than big brother did. Oh, well. I’ll just have to try harder. All of those other girls aren’t worthy of his attentions, after all. He’s for me and me alone. I’ll have to take some time out to execute what I have dubbed my ‘Nanami and Miki Begin Dating Plan’. He’ll thank me so much when I’m done.”
Nanami walked off with her kitten in a gentle embrace.
Wakaba stuck her head out the window and enjoyed the morning air. It was always nice to feel the sun shining off her face and warming both her body and spirit. She paused a moment to look over the well tended rose gardens below. They were beautiful too, with an elegance that—
A heavy object impacted with her back and attached itself to her like a giant remora. “Hello, Wakaba, my favoritist girlfriend in the world. I didn’t see you walking to school today and missed you so much. I know I’ve said it before, but I feel I must say it again: you’re the only one for me.”
Wakaba desperately held onto the sides of the window in an effort to keep from falling out and plunging to her death. “Let… go… Saionji,” she gasped.
The green-haired upperclassman released his hold, allowing her to reenter the building. He then gave her a suspicious stare. “You weren’t avoiding me by any chance, were you?”
“Of course not,” Wakaba said casually. “It’s just that—“
“Hi, guys,” came a voice from down the hall.
Saionji’s eyes narrowed as he saw who had called out the greeting. “Oh, it’s them.”
Wakaba smiled at the new arrivals. “Hi, you two. How’s it going?”
Utena Tenjou and Anthy Himemiya (who was Utena’s best, and very platonic, friend, Wakaba would be happy to point out) looked at each other, and then shrugged. Utena answered first. “You know how it is, same old same. Nothing really interesting ever happens here.”
“Last night was pretty interesting,” Wakaba teased.
Utena blushed slightly. “Well, okay. It was sort of interesting, I guess. But next time don’t keep me up so late. I’m pooped.” As if to emphasize his point, he yawned and scratched his balls.
Saionji recoiled at the crude behavior displayed by his rival for Wakaba’s attentions. “And what, pray tell, were you doing up late with Wakaba?” He leveled an accusing finger at Utena.
The tall, pink-haired boy held his hands up defensively. “Relax. Not that it’s any of your business, but we just had a late night cram session in geometry, that’s all.”
“You forgot to mention that you two also made out. Miss Wakaba was most loud during the end of last night’s particular session. Much louder then the last time.” Anthy smiled happily until she realized Utena was giving her that fearful “You’ve really done it to me this time” look. Wakaba gave Anthy a frown as Saionji shot his rival a lethal stare.
Anthy held her hands to her mouth in shame. “Oh, dear, I wasn’t supposed to mention that, was I? It’s not like I intentionally eavesdropped, but with my room next door to Mr. Utena’s, it’s not like I could have failed to notice it either.”
“How dare you defile a beautiful flower like Wakaba?! Keep away from her, you romancer of women!” Saionji drew a bokken, which caused Utena to turn around and run. Wakaba’s cries to the fleeing Saionji about calming down fell on deaf ears. As the duo ran out of sight, she leveled her scowl at Anthy, who just smiled guilelessly back.
“Sometimes I wonder just how much you’ve really changed,” Wakaba muttered.
“What was that?” Anthy asked.
“Nevermind,” Wakaba said quickly, though for a moment she thought Anthy’s glasses took on an unearthly, almost frightening gleam.
A barking from the far end of the school corridor caught Wakaba’s attention. She turned and watched as a dog rushed up to Anthy and began barking happily at her. Anthy went down to her knees and began petting the dog’s fur.
“It’s nice to see you, but you shouldn’t have followed me to classes. They don’t approve of pets in the halls.”
Wakaba waved at the dog while smirking. “Hey, Akio. Long time no see.”
The dog started to growl at Wakaba, which was met with a hard smack to the rump and a “bad doggie” from Anthy. “How many times have I told you not to growl at people? Go back home. I’ll deal with you later.”
The dog whined and slunk away with his tail between his legs. Anthy turned back to Wakaba. “I don’t know why you keep forgetting his name. It’s Prince, not Akio.”
“I know, I know.” Wakaba admitted. “A promise is a promise, and it had to be kept. Still…”
“Still what?” Anthy asked.
“Nothing.” Wakaba shrugged. “Anyway, let’s head to class. The boys should be done messing around anyway and meet us there.” Wakaba paused a moment to gaze outside again. “Life is certainly good.”
“Yes, it is,” Anthy agreed as the duo headed to class.
Author's notes: Special thanks to Miwa, Fido, and Lara Bartram for song suggestions, and Alan Harnum for bitching about the need for more Utena fics out there. ^_^
Songs on the radio, in order:
‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ by Tears for Fears
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