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Once upon a time, not long ago, there was a little girl and she was very sad, for her mother and father had sent her off to boarding school. Before the little girl appeared a dazzling prince, bearing a sword. The prince wrapped the girl in a comforting hug. "Little one, growing up alone, separated from the ones you love; never lose your strength and courage. I give you this to remember this day." And when the prince had gone, the girl discovered a most wonderful gift; a pencil shaped in the likeness of a miniature sword.

Perhaps the pencil was merely a trinket, perhaps it was more. That was all well and good, but the little girl was so taken by the prince that she vowed to become a gallant swordswoman herself someday. But was that really such a good idea?

A Revolutionary Girl Utena / Magical Stage Fancy Lala fan fiction story
by Jonathan Rosebaugh

This fic is dedicated to Small Lady (who provided both inspiration and the title).

(Please note: I have seen two episodes of Magical Stage Fancy Lala and four of Revolutionary Girl Utena. Consider this a "loose canon" warning.)

"Miii-hoooo!" The brown-haired girl awoke to discover that her eyelids were being pried open. She attempted to free her eyes from her friend's hands and was, after a moment, successful.

Shinohara Miho sat up in bed and glared at the girl leaning over her legs. "What was that for?"

"Come on! You're going to be late for breakfast!" The girl brushed purple bangs out of her eyes and pulled on Miho's arm. "And the class rep is going to blame me, so come on!"

Reluctantly, Miho swung her legs out from under the blanket and hopped to the floor. She quickly pulled her uniform on and ran a comb through her hair. "It's your fault, Anna-chan. You didn't have to decide to be my partner."

Anna kept tugging on Miho's arm. "Well, someone had to. You're so weird, Miho-chan. You stay inside all the time, working on your manga. You don't do any of the normal things. Someone has to keep an eye on you, and that's what friends are for."

"Everyone's weird at Ohtori. I think it's an admission requirement." Miho grabbed her book bag and headed down the stairs with Anna. They emerged into a spacious cafeteria.

As they passed the foot of the stairs, a black-haired boy whose baseball cap clashed violently with his uniform clicked a stopwatch. "Ten seconds to spare, Shinohara, Nozaka. Be faster next time."

"Hai!" they chorused, heading for the breakfast line.

Over her tray, Miho chattered excitedly with Anna and another girl. "The dream was very strange. It had dinosaurs and cavemen. But it's strange. For some reason, all the cavemen wore swords."

The third girl giggled. "That's no mystery! You dreamt about swords because that's all you think about! Even your manga character is a swordswoman."

"Very funny." Miho took another bite, then stood up. "I'm heading to class early." She took her tray over to the window before heading out the door.

The girl whispered to Anna. "Do you think there's something wrong with Miho-chan?" She shuddered. "Do you think she'll have to leave?"

"No, 'kiru-chan, don't say things like that. There's nothing wrong with Miho-chan. Nothing at all."

Miho looked up at the towering building. All the buildings on campus seemed to tower, but this one was especially high. The lower floors were devoted to the science department, but nobody knew what happened higher up. She put her hand to the door, pulled it open, and stepped inside.

She made her way through maze-like corridors before reaching a door labeled simply "Asaka". She knocked once. Twice. "Come in!" a voice boomed from inside.

Opening the door, she found Asaka-sensei bent over his desk as usual. The old metallurgy teacher was examining, of all things, a strangely-shaped skull. "What is that, Sensei?"

"Come in, come in, Shinohara-kun! This is a skull that the paleontology group at the University excavated recently. They sent it to me because I'm the closest expert on ancient metals. Look, there, do you see?" As she stepped closer, he pointed at a tiny crevice in the skull. Something glinted from inside.

"It's remarkably well-preserved. I think I can get it out without damaging it or the skull. Hand me those, please." He pointed at a tiny set of tweezers sitting on a nearby bench. Quickly, she snatched them up and placed them in his waiting fingers. The old man squinted and deftly maneuvered the tweezers into the gap. With a cry of triumph he prised the tiny shard loose. "Now will you look at that?"

As Miho peered over his shoulder, he brought a magnifying glass to bear. It was pointed like the tip of a sword, fractured cleanly where the outside of the bone had been. "Is that what I think it is?" She leaned closer and began to make out a tiny design going up and down the metal. She would have sworn that it looked like roses.

"It's a man-made weapon, yes. And that's the strangest part. This is a dinosaur skull, from long before man walked the Earth. They didn't start making swords like these until a few thousand years ago." Asaka adjusted his glasses.

"What kind is it?" Miho looked closer at the roses. Was it…? Yes….

"I can't tell for sure, since there's so little of it, but I think it's a noblewoman's sword from the Caucuses, around 600 years ago."

"Then why does it have our school's crest on it?" Asaka jumped at that, then pulled out a more powerful lens.

"By all the gods, it does! What the hell are the University boys trying to pull on me?" Then he calmed down. "But you need to get to class, Shinohara-kun. Let me give you a note." He quickly dashed off a note on a piece of paper, pressed it into her hand, and scooted her towards the door. "Go to class! Come talk to me again when you need more advice for your manga!"

"Goodbye, Asaka-sensei!" Miho waved and ran off to her classroom in the Elementary School building.



Author's notes:

What is to come, if I write more:

  • (Miho heads to the manga shop in town, after class. She buys screentones, but is stopped on her way out of the store. It seems that two dinosaur toys have become attached to her bag. A dark-skinned man pays for the toys and Miho runs off.)
  • (The toys reveal that they are intelligent. Pigu and Mogu give Miho the power to become her manga character. Transforming into a 15-year-old swordswoman, she meets Utena and Anthy and the rest. Inexplicably, a rose ring always appears on her finger, despite not being present in the manga.)
  • (And lots, lots more.)
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