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Gougai! Gougai!

Hey I know you have opinions, put them in here! Translation suggestions for episodes 25-39, thanks all for your help!

ALSO!!! After the Revolution is now translated, scanlated, and ready for consumption! Thanks to everyone that's helped out! Ayu, you're awesome. Download here!

#51 | Back to Top07-31-2012 05:10:49 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Hey Lurv, thanks for the speedy C&C as usual!

There is, on the very first post on this thread, a link to the Seinen Kakumei Utena - The Encyclopedia
http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=3068
which reveals answers to many mysteries of this fanfic (even though its spoiler text intensive style made it an eyestrain, it is organized by year and shows the backstory plainly).

Regarding the Seinen Touga backstory, he was ( a long time victim of his foster father's sexual abuses, all through the canon series.  When Akio led foster dad to intensify the abuse post revolution (remember the bit in part 2 about how the devil disrupted the Duelists' lives so they can't go after Utena?), the resultant damage left him a broken sex addict (remember how Saionji said he knew addicts in part 2?) who can't feel his own value/existence unless others are using him for sex.  He is, in Seinen, a "human toilet" in the basest sense of the term. )

Hope this hasn't scared you off from reading the Touga Missing Link chapter soon to come (crossing fingers here).


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#52 | Back to Top08-01-2012 03:04:26 AM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Oh, that's okay. I just felt that I should have gotten it.

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#53 | Back to Top08-01-2012 09:20:23 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Lurv wrote:

Oh, that's okay. I just felt that I should have gotten it.

It's unsurprising that you did not:  Touga's foreshadowing portions (largely occurring in Part2, then in scattered bits throughout the remaining chapters) do tend to get overshadowed by other more blatantly dramatic elements of the story.   But make no mistake he is crucial to Seinen Utena's storyline (as can be seen from the merge soul sword bit in Parts 5-7), and will have a MUCH bigger part to play starting (hopefully, no later than)Part 10.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (08-01-2012 09:15:42 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#54 | Back to Top08-11-2012 10:39:25 PM

Chrome Homura
Poor Saionji :(
From: Oregon, USA
Registered: 06-07-2010
Posts: 516

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Hey, just now finally managed to sit down and read part 8 ^ __ ^;;

Again, you succeed most strongly in capturing my interest. I eagerly await part 9, as well as your other upcoming piece ;)

Last edited by Chrome Homura (08-11-2012 10:39:37 PM)


"My blood is steel, my heart is glass... I have emerged unvanquished from many battles... Never have I been put to flight, but neither have I stood victorious... This bearer stands here alone, forging steel atop a hill of blades... for that reason, my life has never needed meaning. My body has always...

been made of infinite swords!"

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#55 | Back to Top08-12-2012 09:07:06 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Welcome back, Chrome!

First off, thanks for the C&C! 

Part 9 is the Mamiya-centric "Missing Link" - a tough knot to unravel properly since it ties with the unrevealed pasts of Nemuro, Tokiko, Mrs. & Mr. Ohtori, Miki's Dad, the Shadow Girls AND a little MP Sanetoshi, so it may take a while longer still before it comes out. I suspect that I might end up having to section the Mamiya backstory into two parts at least, but that would mean the Touga-centric parts will have to be pushed back YET AGAIN, and I worry that people will feel let down by this . . .

Oh 120 Days,  to ask you if you're fine with the character profiles of the 120 days bunch, or if you still want any characters to be modified prior to the fic getting started.

It's very likely to come out in script format, and with the story condensed ala Adolescence Apocalypse (though maybe not quite THAT condensed, since I wanna include at least some of the black rose arc and Ruka if at all possible).

A text trailer of sorts will come out in the 120 Days thread soon.  Watch for it and see if it projects the kinda "feel" you want for the fic.

Talk again soon ~


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#56 | Back to Top08-21-2012 05:17:06 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Nine UP!!!

Blogspot Link: http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html
Archive of Our Own Link : http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468/chapters/860980
Un-formatted Version below:

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and Penguindrum characters belong to their various owners.

Part Nine: Missing Link II

Time: 10 years post-revolution

Place: Undisclosed



“So, the Acting Chairman made his move on Nee-san that early on, huh?” pondered Chida Mamiya, idly picking pieces of torn poppy petals off the tousled blue locks of the exquisite young girl in his arms – whose bare skin was hot against his, whose unbuttoned full-length dress now cloaked their nakedness in fine, luxuriant ripples.



“That was when he offered her the means to change your fate and give you eternity,” murmured Ohtori Hoshimi, preserved in childhood here in this sanctuary.   “With you being her only weakness, Childa Nee-san never stood a chance against him.” Stretching catlike, the “girl” then turned away from him in one sinuous, womanly movement.  “Neither did I, when my turn came.”



Glancing out of the glass window of the greenhouse, over the pale stretches of piled snow, Mamiya’s vision went hazy from clouded memories of that first person he ever respected, except for his sister; that self-proclaimed computer-like man who came alive for he and his sister to disastrous results.  Before he knew it, a chuckle – raspy as the rustling of dried leaves – had since escaped his dried throat.



“What's so funny?” asked Hoshimi, in a tone suggesting that she already knew the answer.



“Hey, look,” Uncaring of whether Hoshimi was looking or not, Mamiya dabbed a fingertip at a corner of his eye, then lifted a glistering drop under the pallid light. “It's a tear.”



***


Time: 20 + years pre-revolution
Place: Former Chida Residence
            `
“Shouldn't you be asleep right now?”

“It's okay, I'm feeling a bit better today.”

“I see.”  Adjusting his coat – the one he’d taken off inside the warmth of the greenhouse – somewhat unnecessarily over the garden table it now draped over, Professor Nemuro sat back and watched him with a focused-ness to his eyes that made his gaze almost analytical-seeming.  While such a nakedly direct gaze would put off most people, Chida Mamiya was not one of them – being terminally ill, the boy much preferred direct honesty to affected sympathy while on borrowed time.

Having been cut off from school life by his unfortunate condition, the boy’s craving for companionship naturally exceeded those of other “normal” children of his age.  He figured the distinguished Professor to be the most interesting adult a kid like him could ever meet, and wanted to make the most of their every meeting before his limited time was to run out.

“The snow in this garden doesn't disappear so easily, does it?” commented Mamiya, hoping to incite a telling comment or two from the very genius behind the research on eternity; seeing none, the boy then switched over to another topic he knew would be of interest to them both.   “My sister was called out by the Board of Directors, so she probably won't be back until evening.”

“No, that's fine, I only came here today to see your face,” said the Professor, with a tenderness atop his frankness that somehow made the boy blush with feelings he could not yet explain, no matter how precocious he thought himself to be.”

“So, do you like it?” the boy hurried onto the next round of stuff to say.  “It's a rose sugar-jam. My sister makes them . . .” As he went over the preserved dessert, the lacquered flowers, the things his sister do to keep what was hers preserved against time . . . including himself, the weary exasperation that had been a constant presence since his illness worsened started spewing forth before he could stop it.  “ . . . being forced to last so long.  Eternity doesn't exist in this world, does it?  It's just an impossibility held up for people to romanticize.”

“You don't think that what your sister and I are doing is going to succeed?” asked the Professor, his gently crestfallen expression reminding him of how his sister had looked back when she combed through an entire shopping district to buy a limited edition robot for his past birthday, only to find out that he had already outgrown toys; Mamiya gulped audibly.

“I respect the two of you, and I'm grateful as well-”

“Chida-kun!”

“Ohtori-chan,” Standing up at the sweetly girlish voice, Mamiya saw a frantic Hoshimi hurrying into the greenhouse in flutters of lacy frills – some of which brushing against the cluttered flora to petal scattering effects.

“It changed again!”  Carrying the specimen case that once hanged upon the living room wall, the girl thrust it at him urgently.  “And this time . . .”

Taking the case from Hoshimi’s hands, Mamiya did a double take at what he saw.  “What the . . . ? Even if a preserved butterfly can somehow regress back into an egg, just where does that leaf come from?”

“Ah, Professor Nemuro!”  The girl, who probably only now noticed the presence of the quiet man, quickly perfected her posture as she then gave a formal bow.  “Good Afternoon.”

Professor Nemuro nodded at the young Ohtori heiress like he would an ordinary little girl.  “Good afternoon, Hoshimi-chan.”

“This just proves it, Professor, time is moving strangely on various objects all around this area.” Porcelain-fair complexion flushed with eagerness, she took a step up towards the Professor.   “Allow me to be frank – is this phenomenon a sign of the Research gaining progress?”

“Sa . . .” noncommittal, Professor Nemuro grabbed his coat off the table.  “I still got unfinished work that I must tend to.”  He turned to address Mamiya while donning his coat.  “Thank you for having me. I'll be back again sometime.”  Finally, he gave the baffled Hoshimi a light nod while already walking away.  “Good day, Hoshimi-chan.”

Mamiya called after him.  “Professor Nemuro. . .”

“Yes?”

“I'll be sure to tell my sister that you're worried about me.

The boy thought he saw a somewhat fragile smile curling on the man’s lips, prior to his exiting the greenhouse and away.

“Am I the only one who thinks the Professor is obviously hiding something?” muttered Hoshimi.

Mamiya let out a heavy sigh.  “Sa . . .”

“On the topic of the Research . . . ” grabbing him by the hands, Hoshimi looked him in the eye solemnly.  “ I come today to tell you something that you should notify Chida Nee-san about . . .”

***

That evening, his sister returned much earlier than usual, in a state that he had not seen her in for some time: hair unruly, skin pallid, and bloodshot eyes glassy, she reminded him of the day she returned home bearing news of the meaningless accident that took their parents’ lives.   Even the feline-sharp alert that she always armored herself with was down, as she was actually stumbling past him by unseeingly.

“ . . . Nee-san?”  he called out to her, warily.  The woman jolted as if getting snapped out of a trance.

“Ah, Mamiya!”  She fumbled for something to say to him.  “Why aren’t you in bed?”

Mamiya blinked.  “I’m just about to have dinner:  I can’t take the medication on empty stomach, remember?”

“Oh . . . is it still so early?”  His sister checked her watch (while the clock was right on the wall beside her).   “Leave the dinner box in the fridge, I’ll be cooking tonight.”

“Are you sure?” asked the boy, his worry going unnoticed by his clearly preoccupied sister.

“Mamiya, I’m thinking . . . maybe you can try stopping the medications starting tonight and through tomorrow.”  Seeing her ailing brother’s stunned expression, she hurried to explain her peculiar (not to mention risky) suggestion.  “It’s just . . . medications are toxins too, and I’m thinking maybe you need to take a break from those once in a while.”

“Okay,” Mamiya supposed that made sense.  “To be honest I don’t feel like I need it as of now . . . I’ve been feeling very good today for some reason.”

“That’s . . . good.” There’s obvious relief to his sister’s expression, but also something else . . . something strangely resigned, and blue . . . the boy then remembered something he needed to tell her.

“Nee-san, do you know?  Hoshimi-chan and the Professor both dropped by today.  The specimen case in the living room changed again!  Whereas it was simply the butterfly regressing through its various stages, it now becomes a leaf with butterfly eggs . . .” his words trailed off at his sister listless retreat into her own room.  “Nee-san?”

“Go wash your hands while I change, Mamiya; I’ll fix you something good for dinner.”

Thankfully, his sister was not so out of it that it hampered her cooking.  The steak was evenly medium rare, the fried salmon skin crispy and flavored, the greens and fruit slices beautifully arranged . . . appetite roused, Mamiya let go of his earlier trepidations and dug heartily into the spectacular dinner under his sister’s strangely wistful gaze.

“Your appetite is back, Mamiya.  You haven’t been able to eat this much for a very long time.”  Again, there was that gloomy something in her expression.  Feeling self-conscious now, the boy rolled a thin shoulder.

“Perhaps I really am getting better all on my own.  Maybe there’s no need for you to pursue that eternity nonsense for me anymore, Nee-san.”

“You’ve been against Ohtori’s Research on Eternity since the very beginning,” murmured his sister, whom the boy now noticed to have been eating very little thus far.  “Yet, you get along so well with Nemuro-san.”

“Professor Nemuro is a good, reliable man,” said the boy between his full mouthfuls, stressing the word “reliable” in a not-so-subtle manner, “unlike those he has to collaborate with on the Research.  I so want you to start seeing him outside of work; you’re not getting any younger, Nee-san.”

Instead of being miffed, his beautiful sister let out a worryingly sad chuckle.  “So you like the Professor this much, huh.”  Seemingly eating only for appearance’s sake, Nee-san nibbled on a slice of tomato that stained her lips red.  “And still you hold a grudge against the student research assistants.”

“They’re a shameless lot.”  Said the boy, even more talkative than usual now that he feels more energized.  “Oh top of their courting Ohtori-chan insincerely, it’s been found that these ‘brilliant’ guys are really relying on someone outside of the research team for-”

“You know about Himemiya Akio?” asked his now wild-eyed sister in an unrecognizably shrill voice, as she reached across the table to clamp frantic hands upon his shoulders to painful effects.

“ . . . I was just about to tell you that the student assistants had the gall to trick a fourth grader into doing their work for them,” said Mamiya, and his sister released her grip immediately, prior to slumping back down onto her seat, ash-faced.  “Himemiya Akio . . . Ohtori’s Acting Chairman; what about him?”

“Nothing,” muttered his sister prior to taking a deep, calming sip of her tea.

“You know . . . you’re not even surprised when I tell you about the vipers stealing work off a fourth grader to use on the Research.”

“I am; just that . . .”

“Nee-san, are you keeping things from me?” The boy’s frown deepened as he watched the shakiness of his sister’s hand on her teacup.  “It’s okay of you do . . . cause I’m still a brat and may not be much help with you troubles.  But . . . if this is really troubling you, can’t you talk it over with the Professor?  He is a good man who cares about us, and he-”

“Mamiya.” Putting down her teacup a little too loudly, his sister made a visible effort to compose her expression, prior to looking him in the eye.  “In the days to come, you might see me acting in ways that you will think is . . . strange.”  She reached across the table to grab onto his hands in a firm, insistent grip.  “Promise me that whatever you see me do, you’ll know I’m doing it for you.  Okay?”

That was when Mamiya abruptly noticed the reddened mark around her ring finger.

“Mamiya,”

Prompted by his sister’s pleading voice, the boy glanced back up into her cloudy eyes, and nodded.

***

Things were relatively peaceful around the house for the next couple of days, with his sister returning late as usual, and he having to again contend with pre-made dinner boxes every evening.  The almost daily injections, however, had ceased, that with his health condition having miraculously stabilized despite his staying completely off medication.

“Aside from some very mild dizzy spells and some joint aches, I don’t really have much problems at all,” said Mamiya to the visiting Hoshimi, as they have tea together in the greenhouse.

Hoshimi’s gaze upon him – usually warm with cherishment - now bordered on being scrutinizing.  “Then . . . it’s kind of like how it was for you six months ago, back then you wrote me about how you were in the beginning stages of this illness, isn’t it?”

A smart boy, Mamiya made the connection immediately.  “You don’t mean . . .”

Hoshimi tapped her slim fingertips pensively against the teacup. “I’m happy that you’re getting better, but . . . for this to happen right when the butterfly reverted back into an egg really seem like too much of a coincidence.  Chida-kun . . . you’re a little bit smaller than when we first met . . .”

Mamiya’s gaze turned inwards at the implication.  “Then my time has also reversed . . . just like the butterfly specimen.”

“More like the ‘time’ of your body has reversed, but not that of your mind,” murmured the girl.  “I want to think that this is a controlled result of the Research, but according to my sources, there are other forces at work beside Professor Nemuro-”

“There is no way Inuoe and his gang can rival the Professor in terms of ability,” Mamiya cut her off, feeling the need to defend Nemuro somehow.   “I’ve read the man’s thesis, I know what he’s capable of.”

Hoshimi was visibly taken aback by the boy’s fierce defense of the Professor’s ability; nonetheless, she spoke on.  “We mustn’t forget that the student assistants have child prodigy Watase Sanetoshi-kun as their wildcard.  Genius is a godly thing – it isn’t proportional to things like age or background.”  Pause.  “So, how did Chida Nee-san react to the news?”

Mamiya clucked his tongue.  “She barely heard what I said, so out of it as she seemed.   She’s been keeping things from me; having me off medication, and acting all strange and secretive even around the house.  She spends her nights in the basement now, you know, and she locks it when she’s inside . . . but whenever I went down there to check while she’s away, I can’t find anything out of the ordinary.” He trailed off at the look he got from Hoshimi.  “Yes, I sneaked out of bed to check, Ohtor-chan . . . you don’t think I’d just sleep through something strange happening right underneath this roof, do you?”

“Hn,” eyes hooded, Hoshimi refilled Mamiya’s cup for him.  “Sources tell me that Inoue had lost the key to an important lab earlier on, which could’ve led to the recent theft in the assistants’ division.”

“A theft?”

“An item crucial to the Fate Train Theorem has been stolen  . . . a ‘Fate Diary’ said to have the power to change fate.”

“ . . . I suppose such a thing would be more ‘user friendly’ than the Castle and the Arena combined,” muttered the boy after a sip of his tea.

“I’m not so sure about that,” said his sharp-minded little girl friend.  “All these surreal things brought on by the Research are cosmic forces but partially harnessed by human means . . . just because something looks like a book doesn’t mean it would be just as easy to handle.  I heard that the first attempt by Inoue to experiment on it almost ended up burning down the lab – the Diary is apparently prone to spontaneous combustion.”  She paused briefly to finish her own cup.  “I don’t suppose you got a working smoke detector in your basement, Chida-kun?”

Mamiya’s eyes widened at Hoshimi’s question.


***

That night, his sister again returned late in the night, way past his sleep time.

And, as with the past couple of days, her light footsteps gave away the fact that she was again going into the basement, locking the door behind her.

Sneaking out of bed after a few minutes, Mamiya donned his sleeping robe and slippers, slipped out into the unlit hallway, and proceeded to soundlessly make his way to the basement door.  Producing the lock pick that Hoshimi had left him, Mamiya carefully opened the door with it, as he then tiptoed down the flight of stairs.

Even as he was nearing the last step, he already could see the fluttery red shades rippling across the wall in front like bloodied waves, and knew to his apprehension that a sizable fire has to be brewing down below.

But even then, the boy still was completely unprepared for what he saw at the turn of the stairs.

There was his sister, standing with her arms outstretched, her feet crossed, completely engulfed in flames so strong, the entire space was basked under their saffron lights.

Mamiya would have screamed, if not for the fact that he immediately saw the pink, glowing book hovering in midair in front of his sister, its pages rapidly turning as if tossed by phantom winds.  His sister, while aflame, did not appear to wither under the fiery blaze; rather, she appeared resplendently unharmed, as she chanted in a voice largely defused by the fire’s hiss, with none of her words audible to his ear.

“ . . . what’s that on your finger?”

Even covered in fire, the familiar-looking rose motif ring was clearly visible upon his sister’s left hand, glowing like the heated metal it was against her luminous, unharmed skin.

“Nee-san . . . ?”

The boy suddenly realized that his sister could neither see nor hear him, so engrossed was she was in whatever magic she was currently working with her now witch-like -

Flump . . .

Somewhat impossibly, the boy heard the sound of fluttering fabrics coming from behind him in spite of the flames’ sound.   Turning around, he saw a slim, shadow-cloaked figure in a lab coat, watching him behind coldly glinting glasses, prior to slipping up and beyond the turn of the basement stairs.

Mamiya did not – nor did he had time to – think twice about going after the eerie intruder.

By the time he got up to the living room, the intruder was already slipping out of the front door; Mamiya quickly followed as he gave chase into the night.

The sky was cloudlessly clear – the way it had been since that snowfall from weeks ago, with that same accumulated built up from then still covering the roads in spite of the approaching spring – and the stars were vivid to the point of resembling those from a planetarium’s projections.  The winds were the chilliest on nights like this, and he had the foolishness to come running out without winter coat, let alone snow boots . . .

Surprisingly, the frail boy did not so much as shiver in this winter night - he felt the night wind against his flimsy robe and exposed skin, but none of its chilliness; and there was no slush to hamper his running, as his indoor slippers were tapping smoothly, easily upon the dry wooden ties of an extremely narrow gauge railroad – one that he did not recall having ever seen around the area.   The houses were gone, as were the road pavements . . . as was the entire residential neighborhood; all around, there was nothing but the starry, galactic space, with the railroad existing impossibly upon nothing.  Up ahead, the figure in the lab coat appeared to be pushing some kind of loaded flatback trolley along the tracks; though it (as Mamiya had since realized that whatever it is not have been human) moved in seemingly languid steps, Mamiya found that he could not catch up to it no matter how fast he thought he was running.

“Who are you?” cried the boy as he ran after the thing, brittle heart speeding hazardously within his thin chest.  “What were you doing at our house?  What’s happening to my sister?  What-”

The entity in the lab coat tossed something backwards over a shoulder in an arc of glittery light . . . and it found its way into his opened throat, giving him no choice but to swallow.  It was sweet, crisp, and cool . . . tasting just like a slice of . . .

. . . apple?

And, along with that realization, Mamiya found his surroundings changing with such abruptness, that the boy almost tripped over his own feet.

It still was night, and the stars still were glittering brightly above; but he now found himself in the courtyard outside Ohtori Academy’s research building – a spot he had since familiarize himself with from the times he sneaked out of the house to meet with Hoshimi at school.  There was a white-draped long table illuminated by a singular candelabra, upon which a feast of apples, grapes, and pears had been laid out, accompanied by champagne glasses and stacks of empty plates; upon closer look, all the apples had penguin motif stickers upon their crimson surfaces.

The setting was that of an elegant evening party – one with no attendee in sight. Nasally male voices, eerily diffused yet still very much audible, hovered adrift over the cool night air:

“The road to the Dueling arena is now open.”

“At last, that is about to begin.”

“And now, Professor Nemuro's duty is finished.”

“From now on, carrying on without him is probably what you-know-who plans on.”

“Surely even he'll lose to someone.”

“We can just leave him by the wayside.”

“Well then, let's open the champagne.”

Pop!

“Ah, Chida-kun,” his nemesis’ voice, sounding very real from behind him, startled the boy into jolting.  Turning around, what he saw made him did a double take.

Inoue Tsukiichi, looking drunk on liquor, was wobbling past with his arm around the slim shoulder of Kaoru Yuki – a shameless goat perversely supportive of his mate going after Hoshimi.  A trio of dresses – not girls, the feminine attires hovering in midair as if worn by invisible females – could be seen flanking the boys in dramatically coquettish poses.

“Shouldn’t terminally ill little boys be in bed by now?” asked Inoue, snide and completely oblivious to the strangeness surrounding them.

“Are high school students allowed to drink now?” Mamiya asked him back, the dream-like surreal-ness of the moment having lessened his inhibition against petty verbal sparring.  The older boy’s derisive laughter came accompanied by peals of girlish giggles – ones the younger boy recognized to belong to the drama club trio who used to hang around Hoshimi all the time.

What did this mean?  Were the girls invisible now?

“A correspondence student like you probably don’t know,” Kaoru piped up then, “but we who wear this ring can do anything in this Academy.”  The pale-skinned youth flashed his rose motif ring at the boy in a gesture not unlike that of a society debutante flaunting her jewelry.

The reminder that the same ring now was on his witchcraft-working sister’s finger hit Mamiya like a blow to the chest.

Even in his frantic state, the boy noticed the dog collar visible around Kaoru’s neck, one with a red leash so long, it trailed out of view into the surrounding darkness . . . who or what was holding the other end?

“So tell us more, Inoue-kun,” spoke the suspended red dress in Ayako’s voice.  “How was you dinner at the Ohtori Mansion?”

“See?  We told you the way to courting Hoshimi-chan is through Mr. Ohtori!” squealed Byako, invisible but for her green dress and shoes; the remaining one’s dancing about sent the folds of her blue dress fluttering out like insect wings.

“The girl might act spirited, but she is really little more than a flower in her father’s palm.  Soon enough, Inoue-kun, you’d become the next Mr. Ohtori, with Kaoru-kun as the Acting Chairman acting under ya!”

“Don’t forget the ones who made this happen for you, okay?” chorused the invisible trio, as the whole eerie lot of them disappeared off into the ominously unlit distance.

What in the world was going on here?

Looking around, Mamiya saw that the bowls of fruit and the tableware have all vanished off the draped-covered long table; the winds picked up, blowing the drapery up and off, thus revealing the “table” to be a series of boxes . . .

. . . no, not boxes, COFFINS loaded upon flatback trolleys parked together, their wheels set upon the tracks of the very gauge railroad that his feet had remained upon even now.

With baited breath, Mamiya clasped his hands upon a coffin’s heavy lid, and started pulling it to the side-

“It won’t open any further, you know.”

The quiet voice, coupled with the cool hand now reaching out from the coffin to clasp onto his, startled a scream from out of Mamiya . . . one that quickly died down, as the boy got a better look at the young child curled up on one side inside the coffin.

“ . . . Watase?” asked Mamiya, recognizing the child genius whom Hoshimi had pointed out to him on his prior visit to the academy.  “Watase Sanetoshi-kun?  What are you doing in there?”

“I’ve always been in here,” replied Watase Sanetoshi, his longish pink locks obscuring his eyes and much of his expression. “This is the box the world has crammed me into, a device to make me forget.”

“Make you . . . forget?”

“Forget how I’m a chosen one.  There are only two types of people in this world, you know?  The ones who are chosen and the ones who aren't chosen.  To not be chosen is to become nothing."

“Watase-kun . . . if this is about Inoue and his goons-”

Sanetoshi’s startlingly worldly chuckle – one completely devoid of the lightness of childhood – cut Mamiya off like whip’s lash.  “They’re nothing that I need to concern myself with.  They think they’re stealing my designs, but truth is I’m the one using them to construct my designs; they think they’re the chosen ones, but they’re nothing.   The Ends of the World have since chosen me as the one to get out of the box and break the world’s shell, leaving everyone else in the Fate Research to be nothing but living fuel to power the Project’s mechanism.” Releasing his hold on Mamiya’s hand, the child genius swept aside his lengthy fringe to meet the older boy’s wide eyes with his own smile-narrowed ones.  “Isn’t it electrifying?”   

“The Ends of the World?”

“The one behind the Research, behind the Academy, behind the country, behind the World.  You saw it too, didn’t you?  The un-chosen ones are all becoming increasingly transparent; soon, they’d get erased completely off the scenery of the world.  People can be chosen, and they can make choices . . . it looks like the genius Professor from the other division too, had since made his choice.” 

“What about Professor Nemuro?” asked Mamiya, voice cold with dread.

“There is a race between the two research divisions,” explained Sanetoshi, appearing deeply amused, “and only the winning side gets to become something.  By choosing not to duel upon the Arena for the sake of reaching Eternity, the Professor is hindering his own research progress.  Already, the Project Inspector has lost faith in the Professor’s ability to give her ailing brother timely access to Eternity, and has chosen the power of the Ends of the World over the man to have her wish fulfilled.”

“The power . . . of the Ends of the World . . . ?”

“The power to surpass human limitations and harness cosmic entities – the Castle, the Arena, the Hole in the Sky, the Fate Diary, all these fall under the control of human hands because of this power.”

Sanetoshi paused then, as if solely to study Mamiya’s expression, and the older boy knew whatever his face betrayed would be a sight to behold – his sister, a rational woman with a rational job, now is practicing witchcraft in their basement all because of the Academy’s Research, all of because of this Ends of the World . . .

. . . was she now to abandon the Professor, who had been laboring towards them siblings’ salvation against all odds; all along . . . all alone?

. . . all so her ailing brother could be kept unnaturally alive? 

“It’s a power to grasp Eternity, to control Fate . . . a power to Revolutionize the World.”  The pink haired child’s pre-adolescent voice turned heavy with darkness that no child should possess.  “Left un-chosen after having already surrendered his heart, even a brilliant man like Nemuro too shall become nothing-”

A hand, dark and slender from where it stuck out of a white lab coat sleeve, pushed the coffin lid shut, cutting off whatever Sanetoshi was about to say.

Even without glancing up, Mamiya knew that this was the entity to have led him onto the eerie railroad and all the way here; there was a red length tied around its dark small finger, and the boy realized with a start that it was the other end of the dog leash he saw on Kaoru just moments ago.

Lifting his gaze, he saw that the entity bore the form of a petite girl looking maybe a few years older than he was.    With her long dark tresses pulled up in a chunky updo, and her face masked under spectacles, she would have looked like just any nondescript girl nerd around the academy, if not for her dark, exotic complexion.  Her smile benignly serene, she reached inside her lab coat (which appeared to be the only thing she was wearing, in addition to her glasses and red shoes), produced an apple from which a slice had since been carved out, and showed to him the word since carved onto the fruit’s crimson skin:

CHOOSE

“Mamiya!”

The urgent, familiar voice shattered the trance the boy had been in for all this time, and he found himself freezing in the windy, slush-covered courtyard where neither rail tracks nor coffins nor any lab-coat-wearing girl were in sight.  A soft heaviness slammed onto his chilled bones, quickly enveloping him in much needed warmth – it took him a moment to realize it was Professor Nemuro’s coat.

“Why are you out here alone at this hour?   You don’t even have winter clothes on . . . ”  Already, the man had lifted the boy up into his surprisingly strong arms.  “I’ll get you inside at once!”

Mamiya was shivering so badly by now voice his voice sounded inaudible to even his own cold-numbed ears.  “Inoue . . . the race . . .  research . . .” 

“Did the student assistants do this to you?” asked the outraged Professor, jumping into conclusions as he hurriedly moved the boy back indoor.  “I can’t believe them . . . the bastards!”

“ . . . selfish . . .” murmured the hypothermia-wrecked boy, feeling completely disoriented as the startlingly athletic Professor raced past the unlit corridors carrying him, “ . . . owe it to you that the castle . . . the arena . . . opened . . .”

“Shhh,” the red-faced Professor now looked to be almost in tears as he practically kicked open his office door (all those people who thought the man “computer-like” should have seen him now).  Putting the coat-bundled boy down upon the chair, the Professor quickly turned up the heat as he then fumbled with the phone.  “Don’t worry, I’ll call your sister-”

“Eternity means . . . forever,” gasped Mamiya in his brittle voice, his small, cold hand clasping onto the Professor’s, stopping him from dialing, “right?  For years, decades, centuries, millennia, eons . . . on and on . . .” Watching the Professor’s face in this frantic moment, Mamiya looked into the man’s wide, unguarded eyes, taking in that pure, unmarred something shining within – that which the man often kept hidden beneath his stoic, stone-cold mannerism.  “My life may be just a moment, but...” This shining, brilliant something, which his foolish sister had since left to dim in her desperation to defy fate . . .  he will keep it burning if that was the last and only thing his failing flesh could possibly do.  “ . . . eternity means that this moment lasts billions of billions of years . . . without end . . .”

“Mamiya-kun . . . ” The Professor looked like he was seeing the boy for the very first time; the boy, for his part, squared his jaws as he made a choice that he hope would keep this special, brilliant man chosen and unfading; a choice that he knew, even then, could cost him his everything.

“I . . . I want eternity!”

End Part Nine

Notes:

Well . . . this chapter has taken me MUCH longer to write than I previously thought it would. Just as I feared, I now have to split the Mamiya-focused “Missing Link” into two parts, meaning that the Touga-focused Missing Link will be pushed back to Part Eleven at least . . . damn it!

The more observant reader will notice how the Nemuro/Mamiya interaction scenes deviate significantly from what is shown in the TV series. This is intentional, as viewers will remember how Mikage’s precious memories have been tampered with (likely by Akio and Anthy). The events depicted in this part are my take on what actually might have happened between the characters during the Nemuro Research Era.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (08-23-2012 06:19:20 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#57 | Back to Top08-22-2012 12:40:22 PM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Why, hello there Sanetoshi. The thought of him and Akio interacting is interesting to say the least.

Surprisingly, the frail boy did not so much as shiver in this winter night; strangely, he felt the night wind against his flimsy robe and exposed skin

This seems a little redundant to me, btw.

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#58 | Back to Top08-22-2012 01:40:26 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Lurv!  Thanks for the post!

Sanetoshi. The thought of him and Akio interacting is interesting to say the least.

This won't be the only time they interact in this fic, remember ( how Utena's parents died in this fic?)

This seems a little redundant to me, btw.

This is what could happen when parts of the same sentence are written days apart emot-gonk
Anyway, fixed for now!


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#59 | Back to Top10-08-2012 07:04:11 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Ten UP!!!

Blogspot Link: http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html
Archive of Our Own Link : http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468/chapters/944816
Un-formatted Version below:

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and Penguindrum characters belong to their various owners.

WARNING: Parts of this work contain depictions of transphobia, controversial shoujo fantasy trans situation that in no way reflects real life trans people, and misogynic magic attack leading to forced masculinization

Part Ten: Missing Link III

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

The group – what remained of it – was gathered together at a corner of the pristine hallway in one visibly furtive flock, clearly on edge.

“Erm . . . just what are we doing right now?” asked Shinohara Wakaba, likely feeling the urge to end the prolonged, nerve-pricking moment of wordlessness.

“We’re waiting for Saionji and Nanami to come back out of that washroom, so we’d know what’s going on at their end,” replied Arisugawa Juri, studying the many vases of lacquered flora lining the hallway with crossed arms.  Beside her, Takatsuki Shiori had her anxious gaze fixed upon the washroom’s half-opened door.

“Saionji-sempai didn’t even bother to close the door . . . I think it’s okay if we go up and-” Juri merely glanced over at her, and already Shiori was crumbling like paper under fire.  “Sorry.”

“No, don’t be,” Juri hurriedly (and deliberately) softened her expression.   “We’re stuck in a magic zone in the midst of a war against the Ends of the World, where the leaders of our operation have both gone off presumably having breakdowns.  We have every right to be suspicious and prying . . . but doing so will only make the situation worse.”  Shiori nodded, pallid-faced.

“Nanami-sama is inside crying . . .” fidgeted Tsuwabuki Mitsuru, clearly wanting to go in and check, but is wary of being stopped by the others.

“I got a quick glimpse of the inside from before,” Kaoru Miki spoke up then.  “The washroom looks all gross just like some run-down park toilet.  That definitely does not look like it belong here.”

Juri chuckled dryly as she leaned softly against the wall.  “Considering everything we’ve already seen, a second floor park toilet actually sound fairly normal . . .”

. . . creak . . .

Turning at the sound, they saw the star-adorned bedroom door – located right beside where Juri was leaning against– opening a crack, revealing to their bewilderment a seamless expanse of starry outer space existing impossibly beyond the doorway.  Hovering upon this impossible space was a lushly ornamented bed, one adorned with red canopy curtains now rippling outwards as tongues of a violent flame, with the shadowy silhouettes of a small, gathered group faintly visible from between the gaps of the vast sheets of fluttering fabrics; Chida Tokiko’s voice, sounding from afar, seeped out into the hallway as tendrils of thin smoke:

“. . . of the World was behind the incident; knew, but could do nothing . . . because I was only human back then.”

***

Time: 20 + years pre-revolution
Place: Former Chida Residence

To even his own surprise, Chida Mamiya survived that infinitely surreal, eerie winter night.

Thinking back, he remembered having passed out in Nemuro’s office, in the man’s arms, right after his (in hindsight, overblown) proclamation of wanting eternity.  By the time he was again conscious, he was already in his own bedroom back home; the sleeping robe was on its hanger, his slippers were dry and clean.  For one sleep-blurred moment, he thought all that he saw and heard and said and felt were all just parts of a nonsensical nightmare.

Then he felt the cool, rotund object bumping against his side under the sheets, and pulled out, to his dread, an apple he knew to be the same one as that the dark girl gave him the night before – even though it now was completely unblemished, but for a penguin sticker marking its crimson skin.

Voices – his sister’s and the Professor’s – could be heard coming from the outside:

“Thank you for bringing him back safe.”

“It’s the least I could do.  Are you sure it’s a good idea not to admit him to the hospital?”

“He’ll be fine.  Our family doctor is a specialist who has his complete health file: I will call him over later in the afternoon to give my brother a thorough checkup.”

“You sound awfully sure that Mamiya-kun’s condition is going to be stable even after his bout with hypothermia, Tokiko-san.”

“Nemuro-”

“Tokiko-san, I’m here to help.”

A tense, prolonged moment of silence, and then . . .

“ . . . you cannot help us, Nemuro-san.”

“Tokikio-san-”

“The Castle, the Arena, the surreal items brought on by the neighboring section’s secret research . . . you with your godly genius, surely you must’ve realized that such mystical things have come under the Academy’s control not because of research, nor any human efforts?”

“Tokiko . . .”

“You are maybe the most highly-esteemed physicist on this side of Japan. But you cannot become our savior, because you’re only human.”

“I-”

“The way before me has since been prepared.  Where I’m treading, you cannot, must not follow.  A man of your qualifications can work anywhere.  So, terminate your contract with Ohtori, leave the Academy and forget everything.”  His sister’s voice then softened deliberately, pleadingly.  “Please . . . Chirikazu.”  That was the first time Mamiya was to hear his sister calling the Professor by his given name.

“How . . . how the hell can I just do that?!” snapped Professor Nemuro Chirikazu, clearly baffled.  Then came the sound of something the boy could never have expected to hear underneath this roof - something akin to a physical scuffle,   “Tok-Tokiko-san!”

“Please leave!” shouted his sister in her now startlingly harsh voice. 

There were the sounds of objects knocking against hard surfaces, of porcelain vases breaking, and of Nemuro’s shouting-

“I-I will grasp eternity for Mamiya-kun no matter what!  Please believe me!  Tokiko!  Toki-”

The man’s voice got cut off by the sound of the heavy front door slamming shut; a moment of silence ensued, before his sister’s sobbing – ragged and largely suppressed, sounding much like how the boy remembered she had cried on the night before their parents’ funeral – hung faintly audible in the thick, suddenly-suffocating air of their home.

Brittle heart thumping, Mamiya waited tensely in bed for his sister, who, mercifully, never did go into his room that morning.

***

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Undisclosed

“ . . . and that was only days before ‘you-know-who’ was to make his move on the Professor, to make him start that fateful fire.”  Exhaling, Childa Mamiya pressed the back of a hand against his weary eyes. “The Professor’s memories of me were not completely off the mark – I was indeed a sinful child.”

Even while making a pillow of his thin, bare arm, Ohtori Hoshimi remained facing away from the boy.  “That, you were,” murmured the woman-child while idly playing with his numb, eternally smallish fingers, “as was I.”

***

Time: 20 + years pre-revolution
Place: Former Chida Residence

“Does Watase-kun decide to continue on his unrecognized collaboration with the student assistants even now?”

“Genius though he might be, he’s still only a fourth grader.  Having his work realized by the Research’s funding is more than rewarding enough for him, however exploited he really is.”

Mamiya appeared pensive as he sat up from his bed.  Handing her friend his tea, Hoshimi took in the frailty of the boy’s bony wrists with a light frown.  Something had happened in the past couple of days, something that had the boy’s health again taking a downward plunge . . . something he would not tell her about; the girl was brooding as she daintily sipped on her tea.

“Father has been strangely favorable of Inoue lately.”  Even as she probed deeper and deeper into the shadows of the Research for his sake, her Chida-kun now was keeping more and more things from her.  “He’s been hinting that I should go out with him.”  But why?  “Father always deterred me from getting close to boys or men of common birth before.”  Had they not always shared intimate secrets in the past, ever since back when they were only pen pals communicating long distance? “The Inoues are hardly of high society caliber.”  So what was keeping them even further apart now that they were right beside each other?   “I don’t understand why . . .”

“That Inoue is-” Mamiya, who was on the verge of blurting out something more, jolted as he accidentally spilled hot tea upon his fingers.  Hurriedly taking the cup from him, Hoshimi handed him her handkerchief, watching as the boy cleaned up.

“Inoue is . . . ?”

“. . . Nevermind.”

By now, Hoshimi could no longer keep her suspicion under veil.  “Is there something you’re not telling me, Chida-kun?”

Mamiya appeared almost surreptitious as he avoided her gaze while fidgeting with the now tea-stained handkerchief.  “It will be okay, Ohtori-chan.  As long as Inoue remains un-chosen, there’s no way he can lay his filthy hands on you.”

“ ‘Un-chosen’?”

“Nevermind.  As long as Professor Nemuro is to triumph over the other division, everything will be all right. ”  Wincing, the boy studied his scalded fingertips.  “I trust in him: the Professor will help each and every one of us; he’ll make everything all right.”  There was a reverent glint in his doe-like eyes – a special, shining glint that the young girl once naively thought she alone could incite.  “You’ll see, Ohtori-chan.”

“Chida-kun . . .” Like ink upon white paper, a pricking coldness started seeping into the folds of Hoshimi’s once innocuous young heart, marring it irreparably.

***

Treading the sterilely clean interior of the research building (and enduring the wolfish gazes of the student assistants passing by carrying boxes marked by penguin motifs), Hoshimi found Mamiya’s usually lady-like older sister smoking at an ill-lit, box-cluttered corner (while standing under a “NO SMOKING” sign, even) with much agitation to her body language.

“Chida Nee-san?”

“Hoshimi-chan!”  Startled, Chida Tokiko then quickly stabbed out her cigarette upon one of the many penguin motif boxes piled around the corner.  “I thought it’s still class time.”

“I skipped the final period,” admitted Hoshimi, readily.   “Is that an engagement ring you got, Nee-san?”  The woman tensed at her question; she smirked.  “Kidding.  I’ve found out what this is; all the student assistants have one - it’s the proof of a contract with the Acting Chairman.”  Hoshimi’s voice was hushed and secretive by now.  “Just what is he?  That everyone, even Father, readily submits to him?”

Chida-san’s cast her speculative gaze upon the little girl for one unnervingly long moment; the girl, for her part, could only guess that the woman, like so many other adults, was taken aback by her precocious-ness.

“. . .  it’s best that you don’t know,” she finally said, before turning away and was about to walk off.

“Chida Neesan-san,” Hoshimi called after her. “I’m worried for Chida-kun.”  The woman stopped in her tracks.

“Hoshimi-chan . . . you like Mamiya, right?”

Chida-san’s (hypothetical) question have Hoshimi hot in the face; nonetheless, she nodded.

“Um.”

“If there exist a way to help Mamiya-kun live on, but that it involves hurting other people . . . would you do it?” 

“Of course!”  Exclaimed Hoshimi without hesitation.  Appearing somewhat awed by the frank reply, Chida-san turned to face the young girl properly.

“Hoshimi-chan . . .”

“Chida-kun sees me,” stated the girl, “he’s the the only one who does.  He knows I’m more than the hothouse flower blooming upon my father’s palm, ready to be handed to whomever he choose as heir.  I will keep him as my prince even if it cost me my everything . . . no,” her child’s voice turned husky with dark tones disproportional to her age,  “even if it cost other people their everything!”

Watching her, Chida-san’s doe-like eyes started visibly clouding over.  “Hey, now . . .”

A set of  steady, evenly paced footsteps – one unexplainably distinct from those of the regular staff milling about the pace – could be heard fast approaching.  Pale face frosting over, Chida-san quickly pushed the startled girl behind a high stack of boxes while signaling for her to be quiet, before stepping out of the corner to meet the approaching person.

“Akio-san,” the woman’s voice now was a notch higher than usual.  “I thought it would be you.”

“Ah, Tokiko-kun,” the deep, masculine drawl of the Acting Chairman came filled with mirth.  “I’m just looking for you.  On what we were talking about before . . .” the rest of his sentence was no longer audible to Hoshimi, being that the two had since moved further away, while this mechanical, droning sound was starting to fill the air with its steadily increasing volume (like there was some kind of factory machinery within the research building).

Stepping out from behind the stacked boxes, the willful young girl peeked out into the hallway just in time to see the adults going into the waiting hall.  She hurried after them.

“ . . . are you talking about?”  Chida-san’s voice, again audible through that strange, mechanical droning sound, came taut with tension.

“This is your first step towards your goal,” replied the Acting Chairman, sounding darkly impish somehow, “without this, the eternity you seek will not be yours.”

“I don’t-” And, just like that, Chida-san’s sentence got cut off, presumably by whatever that had happened inside the hall.

Heart thumping in her chest as she got up to the doorway, Hoshimi carefully pressed her eye against the narrow gap between the closed doors . . .

And then she saw.

They were seated together upon one of those cushioned seats arrayed in the waiting hall; or rather, the Acting Chairman was seated upon the seat, while Chida-san was sitting on his lap.

Their lips were locked against each other’s.

The shrill sound of what appeared to be an air horn, coming atop the now unmistakable sound of a passing train, blasted deafeningly within this indoor space; winds, strong enough to undo the ribbons tying up her hair, almost blew the petite young girl off her feet as it tore at her winter coat and dress; but Hoshimi simply could not look away from what was currently revealed to her from within the amber-still atmosphere of the waiting hall, not with the strikingly handsome Chairman now pinning her still with his penetrating gaze (he still was kissing Chida-san, even then) . . .

An eye-stinging glint of light at a corner of her vision broke the girl out of the trance she had since fallen into; it drew her gaze towards the hall exit to the side, where Professor Nemuro could be seen standing outside the half-closed doors watching the kissing duo with his glassing glinting and his posture cardboard-stiff.  Something alerted the man into turning his head, before he was to quickly slip off view; there was a flash of a short, stubby something dashing past, before the half-opened exit was to again reveal nothing; sharp-eyed as ever, Hoshimi easily recognized the “stubby something” to be Mamiya bundled-up under the heavy winter coat she bought him for Christmas.   

Her pen pal turned intimate friend Chida Mamiya, now sick to the point of being bedridden, had ventured out into this harsh winter chasing after Professor Nemuro of all people.

Young heart hurting as if stabbed, Hoshimi stumbled backwards and away from the closed doors she had been peeking through  . . . and fell hard after tripping upon something bumpy.    Vision blurring with tears, the girl found herself sprawled gracelessly across an extremely narrow gauge railroad – one that had seemingly appeared from out of nowhere; eyes following its tracks, she found herself glancing down the ill-lit hallway into an ominously dark area upfront, where a slight, bespectacled figure could be seen holding the handle of a flatback trolley, upon which rested a dark coffin revealing a black rose motif from underneath its white curtain coating . . .

***

It was only after Mamiya fell (while tripping upon a railroad that had spontaneously appeared upon the hallway’s smooth floorboards) that Nemuro was to stop fleeing, as he then ran back up towards the boy, helping him up.

“Professor . . . ” gasped the sickly boy in pain and exertion, his small hands clenching at the man’s violet jacket.

“ . . . shouldn’t you be asleep right now?” asked the man, his face a stoic mask looking about to crack.

“I-I wanted to come see you, Professor.”  Mamiya struggled to get his words out without stuttering.  “About-”

“There’s no need to call me professor – I’m not worthy of the title.”

“What . . . ?”

“Mamiya-kun, I’ve already handed in my resignation letter to the Academy, and will be leaving for my next contract soon.”  Nemuro’s husky tenor lowered a notch.  “I suppose you’ve come right in time for us to say goodbye.”

“But . . .”  Mamiya felt the air knocked out of his chest,  “ . . . what about Nee-san?”

Nemuro’s fingertips – so delicate for those of a man - felt warm against his forehead, as the man swept the long bangs away from his eyes in an almost cherishing gesture. “Your sister has . . . hurt and surprised me.”  His eyes, watching Mamiya through rose-colored lens, were possibly bloodshot and definitely teary.  “I . . . I need to leave, get away from this.”  Pulling back, the man crawled at his  tousled hair with an intuitive hand that betrayed the inner turmoil underneath his wooden-seeming façade.  “Meeting you and your sister has been the best thing that had ever happened to me.  I don’t want this to turn bitter, I don’t . . .” Even as the man struggle for words to express what he meant, Mamiya could see how his features were starting to “erode” off around the edges, turning him increasingly transparent right underneath the boy’s horrified gaze.

“Then, what about me?” The frantic question (or rather, demand) tore itself out of Mamiya’s dry throat before the boy could force it down.  “So what if Nee-san made her stupid choice to turn away? I choose YOU!”  The boy knew, even then, that he was sounding desperate, unbecoming, selfish, and ugly; knew, but could not stop the hideous words from spewing forth, so strong was his despair, his desire, his fresh-revealed want.  “I told you, didn’t I?  I want eternity!  You’re the only one who can give it to me, Nemuro-san!  Don’t I matter?!  Am I not important enough to you to make you stay?”  Hands grabbing onto Nemuro’s shoulders, the boy shouted right into Nemuro’s now crystalline-seeming face.    “If it’s for me, won’t you stand on that Arena and duel for Eternity?  If it’s for me, won’t you -” His sentence got cut off as Nemuro abruptly engulfed him in a crushing embrace that pained him to the bone.

“Ah,” gasped the man, sounding much like a suffocating man who had just been pulled out from under water.  “With this . . . I can go on living.”

“Professor . . . ?” whimpered the boy, smothered under this painful, fiery human contact.

“I’ve always been alone before; I never needed anyone before I met you.  Since when did that change?  How did you, a child, manage to change even me?  Why did you have to change me?”

“Prof . . .”

“It’s fine now.” Glasses since having slipped down his nose, Nemuro glanced down upon Mamiya with reverence akin to madness.  “Even if we are to part, we’ll still be together; I’ll keep you here,” taking the boy’s cold hand in his, he placed it over his own chest, where his heart was, “where there is no space or time; I’ll keep you where the world cannot tarnish my image of you, where you can live on forever in me.   Never again shall I be alone, even though alone I shall be forevermore.

“Farewell, Mamiya-kun . . . my eternity.”

Thinking back, Mamiya realized he must have been gone into shock during Nemuro’s (in hindsight, scandalously revealing) confession.  Between the naked words, the blurring of his vision from tears, the pressure of the man’s fingers digging into his shoulders, the chaste kiss on his forehead that felt more intimate than anything the boy had ever experienced before . . . there was no coherent recollection of when and how they were to part.   By the time his mind was again coherent, the boy was already left standing cold and alone in the railway-occupied hallway, with the wooden tracks rigid beneath his feet.

“Nemuro-san . . .”

“Ruined.”

Jolting at the voice, the boy turned to see Hoshimi standing to the side; with her hair disheveled, her clothing rumpled, and her pallid complexion uneven, the little lady now looked a far cry from her usually immaculate self.

“Ohtori-chan . . . what happened?” he asked.

“The coat I gave you for Christmas.”  Eyes on his, Hoshimi pointed at the side of his coat, which the boy only now noticed to have been ripped open, likely from back when he fell on the railway and his coat impacted some nail or the sort.  “It ripped.”

“Er . . .”

“Remember what you said back then?”

At the girl’s quietly spoken question, Mamiya opened his mouth, shut it, and opted for silence; at the boy’s reaction, what little sparkle of girlish hopefulness faded completely off the girl’s blue eyes, where only glassy frostiness now remained.

“I thought so.”

And, just like that, Ohtori Hoshimi turned to walk away and – as the boy knew even then – out of Childa Mamiya’s life; the sight of the girl’s forcedly straight back and clenched fists disappearing into the shadows of the unlit hallway stung the youngster’s eyes like pins, bringing him to tears and forcing him to look away.  For him to mar the very youth of his one and only friend - the very rose he had once thought he would cherish with his entirety - all because of his deceitful, revolting change of heart and nature-

Two sets of footsteps – one leisured-ly paced, the other frantic – could be heard fast approaching, along with the familiar voice of his nemesis Inoue; without thinking, Mamiya moved behind a high stack of penguin motif boxes conveniently located at a nearby corner.

“Wait!  Please wait!” cried Inoue, coming into view chasing after a tall, dark-featured man whom Mamiya recognized as Acting Chairman Himemiya Akio, who was said to be deeply involved in the Research.

“You wear my ring, you’ve read the contract,” said the man, stance powerfully assured as he stepped languidly up along the wooden rail tracks “you know the price you and your young friends are to pay should your division lose the race.”

“W-We haven’t lost!” Inoue yelped as he almost stumbled upon the tracks. “The Fate Train Theorem was progressing on schedule and yielding definite results up until the theft!  Once we are to recover the Diary-”

“The Diary has changed ownership,” said the Acting Chairman, cutting him off dismissively as he walked onwards.  “I sense that another had since attuned it to their will; it is now forever lost to us because of your carelessness.   Your work now lies at a dead end – no longer are you able to materialize the Fate Train as per your contract to me.  As it is, I have every right to enact what’s in the fine print.”   

“NO!”  Snarled the Student Assistant as he reached up to grab onto the Acting Chairman’s big shoulder.  Stopping, Akio turned his head to glance coolly down upon the youth, who quickly pulled back his hand as if scalded.  “No . . . there is still a way to advance the Research.”

“Oh?”

“Long as we have a hundred desperate souls eager to change fate, even without using the Diary, the Train still can be summoned.”

At that, the Acting Chairman’s lips quirked in an ironic smirk.  “How certain you sound.  Is that why both you and Kaoru-kun have since handed in the forms to exchange yourselves out of the Research?”  Inuoe’s expression now was one of bug-eyed, tongue-tied-ness.  “But, whether you’re officially on the Research Team is irrelevant.”  Grabbing the teen by his wrist, the powerfully built man pulled it up to empathize the ring on the latter’s finger.  “You and your friend’s contract with me stands regardless of what documents you’ve signed with the Academy.”  Inuoe’s lower-lip quivered pitifully as the Acting Chairman finally was to release his grip.   “That being said, there still was the unfortunate event of the ‘couple’ getting expelled from school once their relationship became known – even including you and your mate, the group still remains two short of a hundred.”

“I-I’ve since secured Ohtori Hoshimi’s gossipy henchwomen as research subjects – the guys are prepping them down at the lab as we speak; there is no reason that Kaoru or I need to get sacrificed too – we’re useful!”

“You and Kaoru are no more ‘useful’ to me than the rest of the hundred if not for your bringing the brilliant Watase Sanetoshi-kun into the Research.”

“But I . . . I’m going to marry Ohtori Hoshimi and become the next Chairman!”  Proclaimed the self-important, self-preserving teenager.  “And Kaoru-kun . . . he’s dating your sister!  We’re not one of those disposable ‘nothings’ who’re only meant to be fuel - we can help you for the long run!”

“Interesting.”  Eyes hooded, the Acting Chairman produced a compact hand calculator, which he then toyed with in a mocking, showy manner. “So there now remains only one vacant slot that needs filling.”  “Will it be you?  Or will it be Kaoru?”

“You . . . ” Voice cracking in cold dread, Inoue then quickly rambled on with the desperation of one gasping at straws. “Ah, anyone who has a direct contract with you can be used as sacrifice to advance the Research, right?  Then . . . you’ve still got so many other people you can use, including that Inspector woman-”

“And why would you know about Tokiko-kun’s dealings with me?” asked the Acting Chairman as he arched a pale brow.  “Do you now finally admit that some of those bugs around the place are actually yours?”

“N-No-”

Thromp!!!

A careless bump against the stack he was hiding behind sent it tumbling down, leaving Mamiya now exposed to the two.

“Chida . . .” Foaming at mouth like a rabid dog, Inoue hurried up towards the boy, and dragged him painfully up towards the Acting Chairman.  “Him!  Here is someone who’d NEED to exchange fate!  Use him!”  He saw how the dark, towering man now was glancing down upon him with speculative eyes.

“Exchange . . . fate . . . ?”  asked Mamiya, his own voice trembling.  “What kind of ‘dealings’ do you have with my sister?”

Sensuous lips parting in a tooth-baring grin, the Acting Chairman clasped a broad hand upon Mamiya’s thin shoulder, and started glided him down another turn of the railway-lined hallway.  “Come.”  A trail of footsteps could be heard from behind them.  Turning his head, the youngster saw Inuoe fleeing frantically away in the opposite direction.

“ . . . where are you taking me?” asked the boy, moving upon feet that he could not feel.

“To catch a train,” replied the man, as though that explained everything.

They stopped in front of a lab door, underneath the gap of which the irrationally present railway could be seen passing right through.  Producing a key, the man stabbed it into the keyhole, and turned . . .

“I’ll ask again,” Mamiya spoke up again, forcing himself to sound strong despite the tremor to his voice, “what kind of dealings do you have with my sister?”

“For the sake of giving you eternity, your sister had made a contract with me,” replied the Acting Chairman, still opening the door, “the results of which you’ve already witnessed in your home basement.”

“How do you-” gasped the boy in shock, before his frantic mind was to put things together.  “The dark girl who drew me into the night . . . she’s with you, isn’t she?  What are you people . . . are you even people?”

Instead of answering the boy’s question, the Acting Chairman went on a different tangent as he started pulling the lab door open. “Those contracted to me gets to use my power; and I, in turn, gets to use their lives.”  Smiling down upon him, the man then gestured inside the lab in a grand, almost theatrical gesture.  “Like this.”

Looking into the lab – at the vast hall it turned out to be – the first thing the boy could make out was a dramatic impression of a familiar silhouette against a blazing white background; long limbs hanging, narrow waist arched back, twin pigtails flaring . . .

“ . . . and all the world shall become my stage . . .” murmured what appeared to be Byako, now suspended aerial in a pose suggesting either rapture or agony, as a crimson globe started pushing itself out of her chest like an egg being laid; once detached, the globe remained afloat upon air, while the girl then plummeted downwards like an abandoned puppet onto a moving conveyor belt  . . .

. . . a puppet that morphed, as the stick-figured girl then rapidly broadened out into what looked like a female gender symbol – looking just like the ones commonly used in public washrooms – before the belt was to sent “her” into a dump tray where a large number of similarly-shaped figures could be seen piled atop one another (the boy spotted a very familiar-looking hair ribbon on one of their head).  The red globe started drifting over towards what looked like a large, uprooted tree with apples hanging on its branches, along with three red colored numbers similarly positioned upon the plant; drifting over towards the number “98”, Byako’s red globe merged itself over the number, where it then transformed into an apple identical-looking to those others already on the tree.

“Apple . . . ” Mamiya now was lost, baffled, and chilled to the core, as memories of his recent enigmatic encounters with this particular fruit assailed his mind.

“The ‘apple’ is a ‘penguindrum’,” came a familiar child’s voice – one that spoke in worldly, condescending tones, “a person’s universe in its entirety.”

Turning his head (and feeling a creak in his stiff neck), Mamiya saw that the speaker was indeed Watase Sanetoshi, now seated high up atop some sizable high-tech machinery – one equipped with multiple robotic arms waving about; wielding a remote, the child prodigy operated the arms such that they started stamping penguin stickers onto the fruit’s crimson surfaces.

“These penguindrums are the tickets to boarding those Fate Trains running along the routes between this world and the Destination of Fate,” Sanetoshi spoke on.   “The Fate Train will not stop by without at least a hundred tickets gathered.”  Sweeping aside his longish pink fringe, he then glanced down upon the older, weaker boy with hooded eyes.  “I suppose you’ve come just in time to witness its arrival.”

Up front, a blank-faced, high-tailed girl now was slowly rising up into the air as if suspended upon invisible threads.

“Cyako!”  Mamiya cried out to the older girl, who remained oblivious to his presence.  “Hey, snap out of it!”

“ . . . and all people shall watch me dance~” squealed Cyako in her high, tripped-out voice.

“And I was so hoping you’d have brought in either Inuoe or Kaoru instead,” Sanetoshi whined mock-childishly at the Acting Chairman, who merely smirked darkly back at the devilish child; the boy pouted.  “I know, I knoooow . . . no questioning the Ends of the World’s decisions, right?”

“The Ends . . . of the World?” comprehension dawned upon Mamiya, as he now eyed the Acting Chairman in growing horror and outrage.  “You, you are the one behind everything!”   In reply, the Ends of the World offered the boy a rakish smile – one that any human being would have found dazzling, so long as they were to remain blind to the ugly truth behind the glamour.

“Are you scared?” Sanetoshi leered down upon Mamiya from where he sat above.  “Don’t worry, the extraction of a valuable penguindrum do require a degree of willingness on the part of the donor.”  Leaping agilely down, the child prodigy skipped up to the huge dump tray filled with “gender symbols”, and pulled up a random “hand” to reveal a rose-motif ring merged into where the ring finger was supposed to be.  “You see? All those we’ve sacrificed thus far have willingly entered contracts with the Ends of the World.” A boyish chuckle escaped his throat.  “I suppose when I put it like this, this all sounds like it has very little to do with you . . . but look,” pressing the remote, he turned on the multiple screens on a wall to the side, “the last designated passenger of the Fate Train now has arrived.”  The screens now showed surveillance videos of the research building, with a number of which now showing a shorthaired, slender gamine carrying a stack of folders in a hand.

“Nee-san!”  Mamiya cried out.

“Chida Tokiko, Project Inspector of the Research, bearer of the last of the hundred rose signets.”  Obviously enjoying Mamiya’s alarm, Sanetoshi had one of the screens zoomed in on the ring on the latter’s sister’s left hand.  “Putting her life on the line for the sake of changing her ailing brother’s tragic fate, how very noble; but her decision to violate her contract’s terms and steal away the Fate Diary shall cost her dearly.  Does the woman really think she can stand up to the Ends of the World’s might wielding only that?”

“What are you planning to do to Nee-san?” asked Mamiya from between his clenched, trembling teeth.  Sanetoshi merely tilted his head at Cyako, who dropped down in a stack of limp limbs as her penguindrum drifted over toward the number “99” hanging on the uprooted tree; the red globe then it too became apple-shaped like its many predecessors, prior to getting stickered right as its host got dropped into the dump tray of inhuman gender symbols.

Eyes on the traumatic visuals, Mamiya could not keep from jolting at the Ends of the World’s large, dark hand clamping down upon his thin shoulder.

“A contract with me, while unbreakable, is transferable,” said the striking, monstrous entity in a voice like velvet.  “So, suppose someone is to willingly board that train in place of your sister . . .”

“. . . I understand,” Mamiya managed in a voice that did not quiver; and he did understand.  He was but an ailing boy powerless to brave a winter night, powerless to live beyond the season, powerless to make him stay through these short, remaining days . . . he was nothing in face of a force powerful enough to distort time and reality.

Yet, there remained one thing that even a nothing like him could, must do.

“I, I’ve made my choice,” proclaimed the boy, as a rose motif ring materialized on his finger.  On the surveillance screens, his sister was seen studying her now ring-free left hand in puzzlement.

Jaws set in determination, Mamiya started walking up along the laid tracks, towards the elevated platform before the conveyor belt.  Vaguely, he noticed some flippant whistling coming from Sanetoshi; he paid it no heed, so immersed was the boy within one particularly precious, particularly painful memory:

“With this, you can come outside into the winter, and I can show you around the Academy, Chida-kun.”

“Then, isn’t this just like a magic cape you’re giving me . . . to make me your prince?”

“Chida-kun . . . !”

“Cape accepted, Ohtori-chan.”

“Even that, could pass,” muttered Mamiya, feeling his senses numbing away as gravity started losing hold upon his form, which now floated slowly, steadily upwards.  “Nee-san, Nemuro-san, there’s no need to look anymore,” he closed his eyes in weariness, “eternity doesn’t exist in this world.”

“Then, could you not look beyond this here and now?”

A woman’s voice, nectar-sweet and richly hypnotic, prompted the boy into opening his eyes anew.  He found, to his awe, what appeared to be an earth goddess – completely naked but for the surreally lush long locks rippling about her sleekly curvy figure – hovering in space right in front of him, stunning him with her ethereal aura.

“If the heart has not given up, even you should be able to see it,” said the entity, now extending a palm over his chest, “the wish in your heart igniting the ends of your world.”

“You . . .” Mamiya’s eyes widened in recognition at that dark, delicately shaped hand – the very one that handed him the apple.  “You are-”

“MAMIYA!”

The gut-wrenching cry shocked the boy into turning his head.  To the side, standing behind a set of railway crossing and gate blocking off the railroad (which now looked significantly broader than it did just moments ago) was Nemuro, watching the scene with wide eyes and open mouth.  The Ends of the World – now carrying a burning candelabra – could be seen looming behind the petite, frantic man in all his ominous, towering presence.  A rising, droning sound – not unlike that of a distant but speedily approaching train – started filling the air, as winds started picking up within the large lab hall.

“Nemuro-san . . . Nemuro-san!” Mamiya cried out at Nemuro, who appeared blind to his presence despite his having cried out the boy’s name.

“Why. . . ?”  The man’s eyes were bloodshot with rage and trauma as he glared at the contents of the dump tray.  “He’s just a kid . . . he’s not part of our competition!”

“Nemuro-san!  I’m right here!”  Mamiya shouted with all his rapidly depleting strength . . . all to no effect; Nemuro’s gaze remained upon the “gender symbols” piled lifelessly about, as he spoke on as if they still are live humans capable of interacting with him.

“Just because the boy is fragile . . . what makes you people think you can just break him like this?”  Long white locks now flowing unbound, with his shirt opened to reveal his dark, sharply defined torso, the Ends of the World moved the candelabra closer towards the wild-eyed man, who took the item without a second thought or look.   “You . . . I’ll enact all your contracts right here and now!”  The railway gate blocking him went up then, and the man stepped up and towards the filled dump tray.

“Nemuro-san, what’re you saying?” asked the boy, prior to gasping in shock as he saw the Professor started moving the burning item towards the eerie, dead-seeming gender symbols amidst the sound of a shrill train air horn.  “Stop!  Don’t do this!  I’m here!  I’m fine-”

“Are you?”

The dark female entity’s question drew Mamiya’s attention up front, where he saw his own red globe since detached from his person, and now was firmly held in her upturned palm.

“Have no fear,” she soothed, “for your fate differs from those down below.  From now on, you will make a sanctuary of my heart; and I, in turn, shall become you.”

“Become . . . me?” asked Mamiya.  Smiling her benignly serene smile, the dark female kept her penetrating green eyes on his, and shoved his glowing penguindrum right into her chest.

Immediately, reality started to crumble from the boy’s perspective, as he found himself falling down and flying up and shattering into pieces and coming together all at once; even his very vision – his very point of view – had changed.   No longer was he looking at the dark female; rather, he now saw himself facing the other side of the lab wall, now basking under fiery lights as a pool of flames boiled from down below.  There hovered in front of him a pale-haired boy with dark, exotic complexion . . . it took him a moment before he was to realize that it was his own image as reflected upon a high glass window.

“What . . .”

‘You are now me, and I am now you,’ the female entity’s voice sounded from within his own head.  ‘Just follow my lead now; together, we shall help him go on living.’

“Him . . . living . . .” managed the boy, and that was all he could voice.  He now found his entire body attuned to the will of another, and his many senses compounding into vast multitudes of what he could originally perceive as an ailing child dying by the day.  He saw a train now running ablaze, its air horn sounding a combined cry of a million desperate mouths screeching with need; he saw, within the train’s confines, ninety-six ambitious passengers who all possessed the single-minded-ness of youth; he saw an earthbound god now reaching for that train, trying to seize it, only to have it slipping right past his mighty dark fingers; he saw a trio of girlish shapes giggling over said god’s failure from where they gathered as shadows upon a wall, in front of which laid a closed coffin imprisoning a dark-hearted child.  Somewhere far away, he thought he heard the sound of a young princess’s heart cracking, with the venom within flowing out to degenerate her into a malevolent siren . . .

There was a madman standing outside the burning building; wielding fire in his hand, he cruelly explained his reason for committing mass murder to a woman he once loved – a woman who failed in loving him enough to stop him from going mad.  Beauty dimmed by guilt and despair, the woman slapped the madman (it was a slap hard enough to sent his glasses flying off), prior to running off into a starless night that enveloped her as a witch’s cloak.  The madman spoke on, as though the woman had never left; repeating a wordy speech about the need to sacrifice others for one’s own gains with an impersonal, mechanical precision, he now appeared more clockwork machine than man:

“. . .  sort of sacrifice is what is always demanded.  This is the first step in the job you are advancing.  Soon, the road leading to eternity from this Academy will be opened . . .”

Walking up towards the madman from behind, the boy (he still was a boy, wasn’t he?) clasped a hand over his, and smoothly took the candelabra from him.  Speech interrupted, the madman turned towards him, and his now unmasked blue eyes widen with something between wonder and bafflement.

“You . . . ”

“Shall we, ‘Sempai’?” asked Mamiya, only half-understanding his own current actions and words (while fully aware that he was in control of neither), as he turned and started walking towards the shadows existing impossibly at the heart of the fire-engulfed research building.

Looking years younger in his current wide-eyed state, he who was known as genius Professor Nemuro Chirikazu now followed Mamiya with the meekness of a schoolboy, and the loyalty of a fierce guard; together, the two journeyed into the darkness at the ends of their world, within which they stayed together for what could had been, yet never was, an eternity . . .

***

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Undisclosed

“Thinking back, you never once came by the rebuilt building through all that time I was there, Ohtori-chan,” said Mamiya, doe like eyes hazy as he stared off in to space.

“What good would it do either of us if we were to play out some showy reunion under the eyes and ears of the Ends of the World?” muttered Hoshimi distractedly as she fiddled with her cell phone.  “It was with stealthiness that I managed to recover your soul, and it shall be with this same stealthiness that I am to secure your new vessel for you.”  Closing the phone, she got up and started quicklygetting dressed.  “This is all for you.”

“Leaving already?” he asked.

“You-know-who texted me saying that Kanae got shot down and is currently in repair, so I’ll have to stand-in for her in the coming days.  It won’t be at least another week before I can drop by again; so, until then . . .” sweeping back the blue curls from her exquisite face, Hoshimi leaned down towards Mamiya, such that the tips of their noses touched,  “ . . . do grace my dreams once in a while, Chida-kun.”  Pulling back before the boy could land a kiss on her full lips, she turned on her heel and started walking off.

“Ohtori Hoshimi,” Mamiya called after her.  “When will you finally stop hiding behind this old image I had of you, and show to me your true, current self?”

Without turning around to face him, Hoshimi opened the door to the greenhouse, such that the winter air outside rushed in to chilly effects. “I don’t want you seeing me as some ugly grown-up.”

With that, she stepped outside and away, disappearing off Mamiya’s view as the door closed itself behind her; the greenhouse’s glassy exterior had since fogged over to encase the boy in the blinding whiteness of obliviation - one that he knew would last until she was to come for him again.

***

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

Underneath the starry skies existing impossibly indoor, the words flowed on . . .

“What awaited me at home was, of course, Mamiya’s dead body,” Tokiko’s voice, weighty with pain throughout much of her recollection of the Nemuro Research, now was lead-heavy.  “To me, who had since dabbled in the power of the Ends of the World, the body I saw was one that’s . . . abstract.”

“Like a gender symbol,” S-taro spoke up with a quiver, “that’s how people without their penguindrums really look like.”

Tokiko lowered her lushly-lashed eyes in remembered pain.  “Just like that, the brother I wanted to save, to cherish, to preserve against time . . . killed, by people to whom he meant nothing.”  Behind her, the bed upon which Nemuro was getting operated upon now had become a set of car repair cage and tools , with those same overflowing red canopy curtains obscuring much of the repair process now taking place inside.  “I was promptly fired off Ohtori’s Board of Directors; they even went so far as to deny me entry into the Acadamy.  It would be a long time before I was to be strong enough to again face off against the Ends of the World – still posing as the Acting Chairman there.”

“Strong . . . enough?” asked Kozue, puzzled.

“Among the files I had access to from the neighboring divisions of the Research are the ‘scientific’ methods for human beings to bypass the known laws of math and physics; one could say these are the spells to enact what people call magic.”

“Then . . .”

“Even with the methods involved clearly laid out, it took me over two decades to strengthen my spirit enough such that I could wield the heavier spells in a stable manner.  Also, certain spells require artifacts for proper projections, and those also took years for the novice I was to successfully create.”

“You made Masako’s laser slingshot,” stated K-taro, with his voice now too grown up to match the childlike features revealed.  “And Sanetoshi was the one who made those . . .” he glanced at the repair cage, where the four penguins now were busily rebuilding the damaged parts on Mikagemobile.  “ . . . Kiga.  Of course.”

Tokiko continued on. “It wasn’t until ten years ago when I was finally ready to again venture into Ohtori, hoping to settle the score with the Acting Chairman.   The Adversary had not aged a day even after more than twenty years had gone by in the outside world, nor his sister . . . nor did Nemuro-kun, caught in the illusion through all that time.  Nor did I; me, with my static physical state preventing me from having children . . . just one of my many failings that eventually ended my marriage.”  She took a deep breath.  “The meeting with Akio Ohtori did not result in my defeating him, but it clued me in on many things I was previously unaware of, allowing for me to get a more complete version of the story I’ve just revealed.”  Back straightening, she met the many gazes of each and every rapt listener she had – including the five who slipped in during her talking.

“I don’t understand,” Tsuwabuki, the youngest of the Ohtori Duelists, voiced his confusion.  “From what you said,  Himemiya-sempai is every bit as responsible as her brother in killing your brother, as well as having bewitched Mikage-sempai for all this time.  How can you ally yourself with her now?”

Biting down upon her lower-lip, Tokiko turned to glance back at the Mikagemobile still in repair.

“Ten years ago, Himemiya-san reunited me with someone of utmost importance to me,” she said, her voice barely above a murmur.  “I’m now counting on a repeat performance from her.”


End Part Ten

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (10-26-2012 01:28:47 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#60 | Back to Top10-13-2012 10:28:44 AM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Holy, the Nemuro Research past arc "linking" the SKU and the Penguindrum worlds actually took three sizable chapters to write out (fool that I was, I totally underestimated the difficulties involved in making sense of the Nemuro Era)!  Even though I originally intended for all past arc chapters to be named Missing Link I, II, III, etc, I now think the Touga/Saionji/Utena childhood/past events chapters needs another name . . .

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (10-26-2012 12:26:10 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#61 | Back to Top10-26-2012 01:20:09 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

I can't believe I'm actually writing out my In Flagrante Delicto fic project 120 Days Part 3 while Seinen Part 11 still is making null progress (poor, poor Touga).  I guess a shock/evil fic really is easier to

a) write
b) grab C&C

compared to the straight drama that is here.

That being said, 120 Days' ( violent scat scene ) still is more difficult to write well than I initially thought it'd be.


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#62 | Back to Top10-26-2012 01:37:16 PM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Good luck on that. emot-frown

I was going to write a comment earlier, but never got around to it. And I usually love giving feedback in real life, LOL (mostly 'cause I like to nitpick I guess).

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#63 | Back to Top10-26-2012 05:11:44 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Lurv wrote:
I was going to write a comment earlier, but never got around to it. And I usually love giving feedback in real life, LOL (mostly 'cause I like to nitpick I guess).

Thanks for still reading this, Lurv (I remember how you're one of my first reviewers at ff.net)!

Even though Seinen has 5 follows and 2 favs on ff.net, with multiple reviews and even more PM C&C, the feedback just doesn't come as quickly as that from 120 Days (that, and the fact that I'm getting no comments on AO3 even after 250 hits stings a bit).  Yet, on a personal level, I somehow still tend to value Seinen a fair bit over 120 Days (which I still not dare show to non forumites emot-redface) due to the fact that "controversial trans situation" aside, it doesn't rely on explicit sex/violence to draw readers' attention (which might also explain the limited attention it's drawn thus far emot-gonk).


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#64 | Back to Top10-26-2012 05:14:36 PM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Yeah, it's always nice to get feedback.

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#65 | Back to Top11-25-2012 10:38:29 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Eleven UP!!!

Blogspot link: http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and Penguindrum characters belong to their various owners.


WARNING: Parts of this work contain depictions of transphobia, controversial shoujo fantasy trans situation that in no way reflects real life trans people, and misogynic magic attack leading to forced masculinization.  This particular chapter also contains non-graphic depiction of canon child sexual abuse, so be warned.

Part Eleven: Victims of Fate I

Notes: At last, we’ve reached the next arc of Seinen, where the dramatic childhood events of the main Duelists – ones that eventually propel them into the Dueling Game – are to be revealed (and yes, Touga is finally taking center stage).  I have to thank the many reviewers and supporters for this story, especially LEDlorien7, who actually took the time to type up essay-sized reviews (and grammar check) for each and every single part of the work since posted; all your passionate responses have make this time-consuming monster of a project totally worthwhile.


Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

“What . . . am I?”

Curling up at a corner of the room (just a room, not his room – he was but a guest there) like a wounded larva, the pink-haired young man clutched in his trembling hands a small, framed, black and white picture, which he was glaring down into with bloodshot eyes. 

“A girl who tried being a prince, a pawn who tried being a hero, a fool who tried believing in friendship . . . I’ve tried hiding behind so many different facades for so many years, that I’ve managed to forget even my real self – now just a corpse that laid forgotten in its coffin.” His pale fingers clawed at the frame’s glass covering as insect legs.  “The death sentence I gave myself, I’ve served in full  . . . so why am I still not allowed to forget my crime from sixteen years ago?”

The picture in the frame showed a young couple, with the father holding up a pretty little girl wearing a frilly dress fit for a stage princess.

“When you get people killed, they call you a murderer.  When you befriend and help someone who got your parents killed, they call you a retard.   So what do they call someone who not only falls whole-heartedly in love with their parents’ murderer, but is, in fact, a partner in crime of the murder?  Papa, Mama . . . please tell me . . .”  Tenjou Utena’s vision blurred with tears that fell upon the picture in crystalline, marring drops,  “just what am I now?”

***

“I’m human; and so is he.”

S-taro’s reveal (coming under the stars, under the sword-sharp stares) had the gathered Duelists listening rapt.

“And we’re not really little kids either - it’s just that we got broiled by the Fate Transfer and have again regressed into again being unchosen children, and why we’re most transparent-”

“Why’re you telling them?!” K-taro (how strange it was that only his hair and clothes had remained shade-free) cut him right off in acute outrage.  “These people are connected to Kiga-”

“If they are, then they’re victims of those behind Kiga,” S-taro tried explaining things to the fierce, distrustful brother, “just like that pink-haired prince fighting the swords . . . just like us!  The people here all got some sort of power lighting them up from the inside, I think we can trust them to help--”

“They’re not like us!” His brother pointed an accusing finger at those assembled.  “Look at them - all classy and groomed and so obviously chosen to prosper in the scenery of the world!  I bet these people just take the good life for granted!”

“Good . . .life?” asked the maroon-haired lady present in her quiet, chagrined voice; beside her, with the round-headed young woman and the doe-eyed blond preppy both were appeared equally miffed.  Ignoring them, his brother went on with his tirade. 

“We, who lived being punished in the shadows all along, just because-” there was a brief pause, before the boy could go on,  “ . . . not only will they not understand, these chosen ones from their blind world will all turn against us if they know of our background!”

“What kinda kiddie weed are you on?!”  snapped Kozue Nee-san – this feisty, edgy woman so strangely eager to help them – at his distrustful brother.  “If everyone here can even accept the shadow critters you are and still wanna give help, what makes you think we can’t accept whatever scandalous background you’re hiding from us?”  Chida Nee-san put a pacifying hand upon the young woman’s shoulder, and the latter made a visible effort to reign in her explosive anger.  “We’re asking questions because without information, we cannot help get you two reunited with your sister!”

“And we told you already – we don’t need to be reunited with her!” His brother snapped back.  “So long as she’s safe on her end as a chosen one, then whatever is to happen to us don’t matter!  Why can’t you people just-”

“Hold on.”  An orange-haired model – she had to be a model with her perfect beauty and posture – raised a question then.  “You boys keep saying ‘chosen’ . . . what do you mean by that?”

“Chosen for what?” asked the blue-haired young man – who had to be Kozue Nee-san’s twin judging by their uncanny resemblance – standing beside the model.  “By whom?”

“Chosen to live on,” answered S-taro, before his defensive brother could again open his offending mouth,  “by the world.”

“The . . . world?” repeated the blond preppy of the group with a haunted look in his blue eyes  - an haunted look now shared by the entire assembly of people (even though Chida Nee-san appeared unsurprised).  Taking in a deep breath, S-taro then began to reveal his story.

***

Caught together they were, the three of them; a man, a woman, her human toilet brother, locked together inside the narrow confines of the graffiti-marred partition that kept them in and reality out.

“You,” voiced Saionji, upon having summoned the entirety of his shaky willpower to end the suffocating silence.  “Coming back to this place, after all this time . . . ” Through his talking, Touga’s expression never once changed, as the man (Was he still a man?) continued to stare eeriely into his friend’s eyes from where he remained submerged under water in the sinister squat toilet.  “. . . no.  You’ve never left in the first place.”

While his voice had seemingly little impact on Touga, it jolted Nanami out of the teary stupor she was in.  Under Saionji’s cloudy gaze, the prissy lass –who had never even handled household trash in all the years he had known her - now was down on her stocking-clad knees upon the rough, stain-covered floorboards, as she reached her well-manicured hands into the flooded toilet bowl to lift her brother’s head out of the water; she did not so much as back away as he started coughing water, but had instead leaned in closer patting her sibling’s back to sooth his breathing. 

“Onii-sama, it’s okay now,” assured the now disheveled blonde, in a tone suggesting that she was really trying to reassure herself.  “You’ve helped us fought down the hate swords, so the worst is already-”

“The worst is yet to come.”

Saionji’s flat, deadened voice cut Nanami’s sentence off with the bluntness of a bokken’s strike. Ignoring the girl’s seething, hate-filled glare, the man squatted down to beside her, and reached out to sweep the wet red tresses off Touga’s profile to reveal the letter “w” now branded onto his left cheek. 

“The worm becomes the pupa, the pupa becomes the butterfly; the butterfly flies high, falls low, and remains that very same insect though it all.   Then and now, you’re still the same . . . no, not just you.”  Looking straight into the other man’s harrowing eyes, he continued on in his rasped voice.  “We’re all still those same coffin-trapped victims we’ve always been.”

***

“The world separates its people into two groups: the ones who are chosen and the ones who aren’t chosen.

“To not be chosen is to be punished as victims of the world.

“Ours is the story of those victims who gave their all trying to help each other live through their punishments.”

***

Time: 10 years pre-revolution
Place: Kiryuu Estate, Cabbage Field

“Like these insects breaking out of their shells, so too shall you be beautifully reborn.”

Not every man could remember his moment of “birth” – the life-defining moment that made him the being he would subsequently become, voiding all that came before it.

For the little victim born amidst ashen greens and fluttering whites, that moment was forever branded into the core of his being.

“Be happy, boy - this is the day you become a Kiryuu.”

The whimpering (Was that his own voice?  The pitiful sound was alien to his ear . . .), the discomfort (Was that his own body?  It felt so alien to his senses . . .), the lessons he learned then (Was that . . . ?), the cabbage butterflies swarming his bared skin, bared from beneath his torn clothing . . . those were things that he could never forget, even if he tried.

“Shhh . . . ” cooed his “father” (Was that his father?  Years later, thinking back, he could remember no father other than this man who “adopted” him . . .), now leering down upon him.  “Don’t cry.  You’re a boy, aren’t you?   You don’t want people to see you crying like some sissy now, do you?”  The ugly adult’s smooth voice darkened a notch.  “These fields, along with the surrounding areas, are all part of my estate: everyone here works for me.  Do you understand what I’m saying?”

The man’s calculated words compounded the painful shame that was already there eating at the boy (who was already uncomfortable enough being ordered to wear his red tresses in its girly long style).  Yet, overwhelmed by the violation upon his immature body, and the pricking of insect legs upon his goose-bumps-marred skin, seven-year-old Touga could not quiet down no matter how hard he tried.

“Is this really too much for you?  Then . . . perhaps I should go to your sister instead?”

At that, young Touga went dead quiet.  What was he doing, fighting this man?  Hadn’t he since resigned himself to this fate the moment those people (their parents; well, they have nothing to do with them no) sent his little sister – barely above a toddler still – to “Father”, to make sure that he’ll have to submit?   

The defilement had since begun, his innocence had since been tarnished . . . was he now to make things worse by angering this man and jeopardizing his sister’s safety?

“Nanami-chan is such a lovely girl, and with such heavenly blonde tresses too.  I’m sure she’d be more . . . appreciative of my loving-”  and the man abruptly stopped his venomous spewing of threats. 

Quashing sounds, frantic and wet, approached from afar and were getting closer.  Turning his head, Touga saw through his tear-blurred, hair-veiled vision a blur of greenish colors charging towards them: wild-eyed, open mouthed and sounding what appeared to be a child’s version of a battle cry.   There was a much bigger man advancing rapidly from behind the small, green-colored boy charging them; in no time, that man caught up to the youngster via a vicious bokken strike against a thin shoulder.  Crumbling under the blow, the boy went down in a swirl of  outgrown green tresses.  He was then repeatedly struck by the bokken-wielding man with such aggressive, merciless violence, that the swarming butterflies around them fluttered off in fright.

Even in the midst of his own painful, psyche-cracking abuse, Touga found himself unable to look away from the bone-chilling brutality he was currently witnessing.

“You little shit!”  The man – obviously drunk upon closer look – continued beating the struggling child in a way that reminded Touga of a seal-clubbing video he once saw on the news.   “I told you to stop running!  I told you-” 

“Saionji-san,” having zipped up, the man got up and off Touga, and smiled thinly at the child-beating drunk, who paled at seeing him, “what a . . . pleasant intrusion.”

“A-Ah!”  The drunk called Saionji took a step back tremblingly.  “Kiryuu-sama!”

The men then carried on with their civilly tense interaction, leaving the boys – one bared, one bruised, with both down on the ground – watching each other, wide-eyed.

***

Having slipped away from the grownups, the children now were at the ill-lit block toilet beside the field.

“You’re really a boy, huh?” asked the green-haired kid, who stared in apparent bafflement as the two do their thing at the trough while standing; Touga rolled his eyes at the other’s sheer idiocy. 

“Look who’s talking.”

“Wha-What?!”  Blushing, the green-haired kid then puffed up his thin chest in boyish defensiveness.  “It’s been a while since I could cut my hair, and lots of guys got wavy hair in these parts!”  When Touga simply zipped up and walked off away to wash his hands, the other boy’s high-pitched voice too lowered a notch.  “There were all those butterflies, and I couldn’t see you very well . . .”

“. . . you have to cut your own hair?” asked Touga, not even bothering to look over at the other boy.  Even when in a situation where they felt like they have to sell off their children for survival, those he was with had made sure he kept his hair appointments; then again, the boy supposed his appearance was key to his fletching a high enough price to pay off their debts.

“Father’s . . . too busy with work to take me to the barber,” muttered the green haired boy, now washing his own hands at the sink beside him.

“Saionji-san is Kiryuu’s right hand man,” said Touga, recalling what info he had gathered from the men’s previous exchange. “I would imagine that takes up much of his time.” 

A brief moment of wordlessness came up as the boys dried their hands with paper towels, and then . . .

“Did it . . . hurt?” asked the ever inquisitive green-haired boy, who just would not stop asking all the wrong questions.

“Look, you . . .” glaring sideways at the boy, now basked under the stale white light of the bulb above the mirrors, Touga soon found himself taken aback at finally getting a good look the state the other boy was in.  “Those are some really bad wounds your father gave you.” 

His words had the effect of quadrupling the green-haired boy’s previous defensiveness, who then pointed an accusing finger at him.

“I . . . I know what Kiyruu-sama was doing to you back then!”

Stung, Touga’s entire stance tensed up.

“You . . . do?”

“I’ve seen my father do it to the women he brought . . . home . . .”  The green-haired, defensive boy actually started looking remorseful halfway through his hurtful statement, but still had failed in stopping the words in time; thus the damage had since been done.

“So, you were peeping, huh?” Small fists clenched, redheaded child moved up and towards the other boy with wide, accusing blue eyes.  “Thinking I’m a woman . . . were you waiting your turn, you-” He was then caught unprepared by the other boy’s startling violent slap across his face – one that almost knocked him headfirst into the sink’s mirror.

“I . . .!  I was hiding from Father, and still came out trying to help you!” snapped the green-haired boy; though his pain, Touga noted how it was this kid who was tearing up, despite how it was he who just got hit.

“Why . . . was your father beating you up?” he asked, even while knowing it will pain the other boy; it did.

“Well, why was your father doing . . . what he did?”

“Cause he likes doing it.”

Touga’s casually given answer washed the reflexive spite off the other boy’s expression, replacing it with harrowing bleakness.

“Kiryuu-sama adopted me just so he can do that to me whenever he wants,” the redhead continued on, “and he adopted my sister too just so he can have a hostage to better control.  I think the old man’s playing things too safe – if he can fuck me out in the open in broad daylight – what chance does a kid like me have of defying him here?”  Pause.  “Why was your father beating you up?”

“. . . cause he likes doing it,” muttered the green-haired boy, now hanging his head.   

“That . . . was your real father, right?”

“Yep.”

Nodding, if only to himself, Touga stepped up with his watered paper towel, and pressed it against a bleeding cut on the boy’s now tear-streaked cheek.  The boy flinched, and Touga held him by the chin.

“Hold still,” he commanded, precociously, prior to deliberately softening his voice.  “The cut will fester if you don’t keep it clean.” 

Dodging his gaze at first, it took a while before the green-haired boy could meet his eye; and when he did, Touga found himself studying the subtle range of shades within those lushly-lashed emerald greens, intrigued.

“It feels like it’s only now that I could really see you,” murmured the kid, the blush on his cheek making Touga conscious of the heat that now must be coloring his own face.  “I’m Saionji Kyouichi.” 

Resigned, the redhead thought he might as well introduce himself too.  “Touga; Kiryuu Touga now.”

“I think . . . we’ll be seeing each other around starting now,” said Kyouichi, a hesitant grin broadening his lips; resisting a sudden urge to pinch the other boy on his bruised but still comely cheek, Touga glanced awkwardly off and away.

“Ah.”

***

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

“We were children who got broiled down into nothing . . . but most children in this world are just like us – ignored by some, exploited by many . . . forever punished for the crimes of others.

“And, it’s children like us, who have nothing, who bond fast – because companionship is the only thing that can make life’s punishments worth living. 

“That’s how this guy becomes my brother, and how we got our sister; it’s how the three of us became family.”

“Became . . . family?” repeated Kozue, visibly perplexed by what was revealed. “Then . . . you guys ain’t really--”

“I’m Shouma,” the blue-haired entity – now largely visible as an elementary school boy in a nondescript gym uniform - took a step up towards his audience. “Takakura Shouma.” 

Letting out a deep sigh, the reddish-brown haired one then followed suit. “Born Natsume Kanba, now Takakura Kanba; we’re children of Takakura Kenzan and Chiemi.” 

Jolting, the now alarmed-looking Shouma tugged urgently on the other boy’s sleeve.  He was promptly shrugged off. 

“What?  You said we can trust them to help us, right?  So what’s wrong with telling them who we really are?”

“Kanba . . . !”

“Kenzan . . . Takakura?” Miki’s eyes widened in alarm as his voice got higher.  “You don’t mean that the famous Ohtori alumnus, who . . . ” 

“That’s him.” Standing beside shame-faced, hand-hanging Shouma,  Kanba kept his chin lifted high in defiance.  “We, are children of the terrorists involved in the Kiga Subway Attack.”

End Part Eleven

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (01-08-2013 06:58:18 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#66 | Back to Top12-03-2012 03:45:36 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

I can't help but post about something I've just discovered yesterday:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/F … yGirlUtena

Whomever Rose Bride is, this Troper had certainly made my day with her rec!


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#67 | Back to Top01-07-2013 06:42:53 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

The Final Cut (Prequel): http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?p … 51#p249251

Hopefully, Part 12 will get done soon.


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#68 | Back to Top01-08-2013 09:44:22 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Just remembered to add a child sex abuse warning to Part 11 on various sites (you never know who might get unpleasantly shocked).  Will do so for Part 12 too (soon . . . getting done soon . . .).


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#69 | Back to Top01-10-2013 12:19:16 PM

The_A_Man
Someday Shiner
From: Canada
Registered: 02-22-2009
Posts: 9107
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

I can't believe I'm just discovering this story now. This is the best Utena fanfic I've read in a while. I would say more, but trying to review 11 chapters, not to mention long in-depth chapters, is not something I excel at. But I really do like what you have done with this story. Can't wait for chapter 12.

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#70 | Back to Top01-10-2013 12:48:28 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

The_A_Man wrote:

I can't believe I'm just discovering this story now. This is the best Utena fanfic I've read in a while. I would say more, but trying to review 11 chapters, not to mention long in-depth chapters, is not something I excel at. But I really do like what you have done with this story. Can't wait for chapter 12.

Thanks for liking this, The_A_Man (yah!  I got a new reviewer~).  It has been rather difficult getting feedback for this work in the past month, so yours is a huge encouragement!

Am laboring on Part 12, where more light is shed on Utena and Touga/Saionji's intertwined pasts, the Penguindrum cast's relevance to the plot, and what Anthy is plotting in present time.  There is at least two more prequels I've planned, one of which coming out in a month (here's to hoping). 

P.S.  In case you don't know, the more grammatically checked versions of this are at my blogspot and AO3 links (see the continuously updated first post).


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#71 | Back to Top01-11-2013 02:33:23 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Twelve UP!!!

Blogspot link: http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2013/ … einen.html
Archive of Our Own Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468 … rs/1149291

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and Penguindrum characters belong to their various owners.


WARNING: Parts of this work contain depictions of transphobia, controversial shoujo fantasy trans situation that in no way reflects real life trans people, and misogynic magic attack leading to forced masculinization. This particular chapter also contains non-graphic depiction of child sexual abuse, so be warned.

Part Twelve: Victims of Fate II

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

“Takakura Kenzan; right hand man of Kiga Leader Watase Sanetoshi, and a key figure in the Kiga Subway Attack from sixteen years ago.  After Watase perished in the event, Takakura had continued to run the Kiga Group as replacement leader, up till when the police raided the group, and he and his wife Chiemi went into hiding.

“None of the sources ever mentioned that the Takakuras have any children in the first place.  The search for ‘Takaura Himari’ came up with nothing, either.

“And, while there was indeed a late member of the influential Natsume Family being involved in Kiga, he apparently only had two children, the elder of whom, Natsume Masako, is now the young heiress of Natsume Corporation. 

“There is no mention of her having any twin brother to begin with,” concluded Tsuwabuki, looking up from where he was net surfing via his smartphone, and at the self-proclaimed Takakura brothers – both of whom now shade-free and visible even under the starry night sky.

“There is no way you’d find any info on us in this world,” muttered Shouma, crestfallen, “because this isn’t really our world, but rather . . .”

“An alternate reality you Children of Fate created by offering up the penguindrum – your lives – to enact the Fate Transfer,” stated Tokiko, apparently well-versed with the workings of such magic. “The more one changes the existing fate – riding the Fate Train, powered by the Diary’s spell – the worse the backslash will be.  Rejection by the new world – getting burned, becoming non-existent – is punishment incurred for having destroyed the old one, your ages being halved is also an extension of--.”

“Hold it,” Wakaba cut in with a raised hand, “this massive info block needs to get broken down before we can understand any of it!  You,” she pointed at the Takakura siblings, “you two are really adoptive brothers: Takakura Shouma, son of Takakura Kenzan, and Takakura Kanba, brother of rich heiress Natsume Masako.” Both boys glanced away and to the sides.  “Back in this ‘original world’, the two of you, along with your sister Takakura Himari, had all inherited the bad karma accumulated from your parents’ terrorist acts – especially the Kiga Subway Attack.  Himari, like Kanba, is adopted; unlike Kanba, her biological parents had no ties to the Kiga Group; yet, out of you three, innocent Himari was the one who got ‘punished’ by a terminal illness; not only that, but she also got possessed by the ghost of Oginome Momoka, a victim of the Subway Attack and Chida-san’s cousin’s daughter . . .” she turned towards Tokiko,  “. . . who apparently has magical powers both before and after she died?”

“What we call magic is basically people manipulating the various elements of the world through willpower alone,” explained the veteran witch, “with a sufficiently strong will, even a complete novice can enact at least partial magic.  What we call artifacts are objects that magnify the human willpower.  Ohtori Academy is equipped with such artifacts at various spots, and the Fate Train itself is the physical manifestation of nature’s artifact; the Ends of the World picked both the Duelists and the Children of Fate on the basis of their having exceptionally strong wills,” her voice turned brittle with old grief, “though none present - not even myself – can compare with Momoka-chan when it comes to sheer willpower . . .”

“It says here that Oginome Momoka died at the age of ten, sixteen years ago; so when you say she could use magic . . .” 

“Momoka-chan was only eight when she basically seized ownership of the Fate Diary from me. Even at that age, the girl had willpower enough to get burned for what she believed in . . .”

“Okay, back on track,” worried that the conversation would go off course, Wakaba hurriedly continued on with summarizing the fantastical story since revealed.  “Momoka’s ghost told the boys the only way to save Himari was to get the ‘penguindrum’ – without telling what the thing really was.  It is while hunting around for the mystery item that the Takakuras met and befriended Momoko’s sister Oginome Ringo, who inherited the Fate Diary from her late sister.  At the same time, the ghost of Kiga Leader Watase Sanetoshi – involved with Ohtori, and had retained his magical powers even in death – approached you siblings under the guise of Himari’s doctor.  Sanetoshi then coerced Kanba,” she pointed at the baleful child, “who needed money to pay Himari’s medical bills, into helping a remnant fraction of the Kiga group with acts of terrorism, which lead up to Subway Attack Take Two.  Prompted by Momoka’s ghost, Shouma boarded the train under Kiga’s attack - which Kanba and Sanetoshi’s ghost were also on – trying to stop everything.  With both Momoka’s and Sanetoshi’s ghosts present, the normal train got superimposed by the ‘Fate Trains’ – a fate altering ‘cosmic force’ that Ohtori has been trying to harness since over thirty years ago - and its nature as an artifact magnified the Takakura brothers’ willpowers, to the point that they could actually extract the essences of their own lives - the ‘penguindrum’ – as per Momoka’s request.  Offering up their penguindrum, the boys used it to enact a “Fate Transfer”, which basically means “destroying” the original world and putting a new one in place; our world, where Subway Attack Take Two never happened a few weeks ago, where Himari is healthy and has family, where all your previously tormented friends are now in happier situations.  Yet, neither of you exist in this new world you’ve given up your lives to create, and even your current insubstantial ‘transparent selves’ are at risk of fading completely away.”  Out of breath, the flush-faced young woman paused to gulp for air.  “Okay, I think I kinda get the gist of it now.”

“You skipped over the part where Ringo and Himari were also there on that Fate Train, offering up their own lives trying to save us and everyone,” Shouma’s voice was husky with memories.  “Other than that . . . yeah.”  From beside him, Kanba exhaled raggedly, but said nothing.  The Duelists all regarded the miserable Children of Fate – whose folly closely paralleled that of their youth – with heavy-hearted empathy.

“The chicks who smashed their world’s shell . . . huh?” murmured Kozue, blue eyes clouding over with old ghosts; watching her, Miki’s mouth had tightened into a flat, horizontal line.

***

Time: 8 years pre-revolution
Place: Outskirts of Kiryuu Estate

“They’re breaking out!  They’re breaking out!”

“Geez, you get so excited . . .”

Eyes wide, the boys watched as the many new-formed butterflies infesting the plants started unfurling their wings with the languidness of coral polyps.  Cheering aloud, the flush-faced Kyouichi then grabbed Touga into a bear hug – one that the latter only struggled half-heartedly against, as he kept his impassive eyes upon the emerging insects. 

It can be said that the butterfly never existed before the chrysalis broke.

Much later, as the two were treading home together under the sunset . . .

“Man, it’s so cool that the kendo dojo right next town is giving classes to beginners,” said Kyouichi, merrily pushing their tandem bike – loaded with both their backpacks – along the unpaved, shrub-flanked path connecting the towns.  “Now we both have an excuse to stay away from home more!”   

“Ba-ka,” Touga, empty-handed yet also less cheerful, kicked at the pebbles on the ground, “what good is it if we still got to go back every night?”

“I wish moments like this can last forever.”  Smiling still, Kyouichi’s face nonetheless showed growing wistfulness.  “We don’t ever have to see our fathers again.”  From beside him, Touga calmly observed how the boy’s knuckles had whitened against the bike’s handles – his friend has always been most adamant about walking the bike instead of riding it on their way back.

“I’ve stopped wishing for anything since.”   

“Since . . . ?”

“Kyouchi, do you think the butterfly can remember how it was like as a caterpillar?”

“Huh?”

“I can’t remember how it was like before I got here,” admitted the precocious redhead, “not my old life, not my old home . . . not even that couple’s face.”  Even now, he could not think of them as his “real” parents, in spite of worldly conventions.  “I can’t remember anything before that day at the cabbage field . . . before you.”  There was a grimmer of something in Kyouichi’s eyes that had him quickly looking away.  “When things change completely, when even the scenery changes, it’s almost like . . . a revolution.”

“Yeah . . .” agreed his young friend, sounding more pensive than usual.  “It’s been almost two years since you and you sister got . . .adopted.  Is Nanami-chan doing okay at the Kiryuu household?”

“She’s okay,” muttered Touga. “She thinks they’re our real parents.”

“Then at least Kiryuu is still leaving her untouched.”

“At least there’s tha--”

Peals of girlish laughter alerted the boys into quieting down.  A visibly happy couple was coming onto the path from a side road, with their lushly-groomed young daughter – piggybacking upon her father’s broad shoulders – currently generating the jubilant sound.

“. . . and everyone in class agree I’m the best choice to play the princess in the school play, cause I’m the prettiest!”

“Pumpkin, just because you’re pretty,  it’s not nice to brag -.”

“I’m not bragging – I’m proud! I’m pretty because I got papa’s blue eyes and mama’s pink hair!  And when I get older, I’ll become a beautiful model just like Mama for sure!  Now, Mama; for my princess costume, I need this Sebastian Dior Baby Tiara – it has real crystal, not the cheap-looking plastic you see on little girl toys . . .”

“Oh, this daughter of yours . . .”

It was only after the merry family had passed them, when he found himself still glaring after their departing silhouettes, that Touga could truly comprehend just how much he hated that irrelevant little girl; no, not because of her foolish childishness, but rather, her being cherished, protected, and loved.  Why did the world choose kids like her to give loving parents to, while leaving him and his friend and god knows how many others as defenseless preys to predatory adults--

“Kinda reminds you of Nanami-chan, doesn’t she?”

Kyouichi’s question hit Touga like a bucket of ice, cooling the boy’s rage and leaving him with a gut-wrenching feeling that some years later, he would recognize as despair; his poor sister, a mere hostage whose well-being was reliant upon his staying in their pedophile “father’s” favor . . . how could she possibly compare with that blessed pink-haired brat?

“So bubbly and energetic, and determined . . . I bet she’s also a type-B too.”  Insensitive as always, his simpleton friend – sounding down somehow – continued on in this undesired tangent.  “Just now, I saw you watching her . . .”

“. . . with this scary look in your eyes.”

Turning at the voice, the boys saw the pink-haired girl from before walking up towards them . . . no, it was not her.  This one is older, less flashily dressed, and definitely more mature of character.  Her left arm was entirely covered in bandages, and her right hand held a large pink book: one with two stylized dragons, along with the word “Diary” on the front cover.

“Are you hurt?  In Pain? Unloved?” asked this new girl, her amber eyes – neither blue nor foolish like those of the other one – glinting enigmatically under the late afternoon sun.   “I can help you if you want to.”  Her gazed then trailed off Touga and towards the bruises (barely) revealed under Saionji’s rolled up short sleeve.  “The both of you.”

Pretty face paling, Kyouichi quickly rolled his sleeves back down. “You . . . You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Don’t I?” asked . . . or rather, countered the strangely knowing girl.  Getting over his bafflement, Touga stepped up to beside his now trembling friend.

“You’re just a kid.  What makes you think you can help us?”  He made a point of eyeing her bandaged arm.  “You look like you need help yourself.”

“Uh uh.”  Unfazed, the girl held up her bandaged arm like she was showing off a badge.  “These burns are the price I willingly pay to claim ownership to this magical artifact.”

“Magical . . . artifact?” asked Touga, not quite prepared for the peculiar turn the conversation was headed.

“I have, under my ownership, the magical Fate Diary,” explained the girl, whose mature voice and manner contrasted her childish words to eerie effects.  “Written in this diary are the magic spells that can change the scenery of the world, and with it, the fates of the people inhabiting the scenery.”

“What’re you, a witch?” snipped Kyouichi, obviously still displeased over the girl pointing out his being abused.

“I wonder,” mused the strange girl, taking no offence.   “Women, men, children . . . even animals, I can change all their fates just by reciting the Diary’s magic spells.  And when it’s done, no one else but me will know anything has been changed,” she took a further step up towards the perplexed boys, “you’d both escape your bad fates without anyone knowing--”

“Momoka-chan!”

A delicately slender woman – looking elegant still despite how her left arm was also similarly bandaged like the girl called Momoka – came hurrying up towards them.

“Auntie . . .”

“You can’t just run off from the clinic!” The aunt (who would look much younger if not for her conservative hat and stiffly styled waves) appeared to have a hard time running while wounded and on high heels (the unpaved, grass-matted path probably made it worse), and was breathing raggedly by the time she reached the girl.  “Your burns are serious. . .”  Her eyes widened in fright at seeing the pink diary in the girl’s hand.     “The Diary . . . ”

“Sorry, Auntie,” Momoka girl hung her head.  “I wasn’t able to bring back Uncle Mamiya after all.  The backslash--”

“Stupid!”  This aunt berated the girl with a harshness that distorted her otherwise sweet voice.  “Nobody asked you to do that for me!  You’re just a child!  A child!  You’re not supposed to have to burn--” She forcibly stopped her tirade, having noticed the wide-eyed boys present.   “Momoka-chan,” deliberately softening her expression, the woman reached for the pink diary, “you have to give that back . . .”  The girl deftly moved it out of her reach. 

“No.”

“No . . . ?”

“The Diary has since changed ownership – it is not your burning stake any more; it’s mine now.”

“Momoka . . . !”

“It’s okay now.”  Smiling up at her aunt, the girl’s small face now appeared aglow with something divine.   “You can’t withstand the Diary’s flames without the Devil’s Ring, can you?  But I, I’m not afraid of getting burned to change the world for the better.  From now on, I’ll take the world’s punishment in your place for the sake of its people.”

As an onlooker, Touga found this Momoka girl’s current expression to mirror that of a portrait of Joan of Arc he once saw on TV; years later, he could recognize the expression as one of strength and nobility.

“Don’t say such stupid things . . .” whimpered the now defeated-seeming aunt, a tear tracking past the beauty mark beside her attractively curved lips.  “Either way, you’re not using the Diary while still wounded.”

“But these boys--”

“You can’t help everyone,” stated the aunt, already ushering the little girl off and away.  “No one can.  We’re going back to the clinic, where they’d transfer you to a hospital closer to your home . . .”     

“Crazies,” muttered Kyouichi once those two were out of sight, before turning back to his friend.  “Say, Touga, your birthday party is coming right up.  I wanted to come, but Father said we’re not going . . .”

Mind back upon his own issues, Touga’s expression darkened along with the dimming skies above.  “Unless you want to join in the after party, there’s really no point in coming.”

“After party . . .” Kyouichi appeared blank, before comprehension dawned upon his reddening face.  “They . . .”

“Even the top dogs need to network with other top dogs,” the redhead was now as sullen as he was self-conscious.  “I suppose Kiryuu thinks I’m adequate entertainment for their fine gathering.”

“What’re you gonna do?”

“I don’t know; maybe wait for some magical witch to come change my fate?”   

Green eyes clouding over, Kyouichi reached out to grab a handful of Touga’s  red tresses; the latter remained impassive to the touch. 

“The grownups all like that hair of yours,” murmured the young boy, his pained, husky tone making him sound a lot older in that instant.  “What if you cut it off?”

Downcast, Touga’s voice dropped to a brittle whisper.  “If the Kiryuus think I’m disobedient, they’d turn on Nanami.”

“Then . . . what if you have to get it cut because of some accident?” asked Kyouichi, gesturing up ahead at the wild shrubs, with their outgrown branches eating into the path. 

Happy to see evidence of functional brain cells still thriving underneath his (oftentimes gullible) friend’s thick skull, Touga’s mood lightened as he practically leaped onto their bike’s front seat;  Kyouichi was already at the back, lithe arms latching  onto his waist with as much eagerness as he himself currently felt.

“Ready . . . set . . . GO!

***

“It’s regretful that such beautiful hair has to get cut.”

“Yes.”

“For this to happen right before the party . . . ”

“Can’t be helped.”

“I suppose not.”  Sighed Kiryuu, his crow-lined eyes scanning over the crowded, ornamented party hall, in a purposeful way that alarmed his “son” (currently made to sit upon a throne-grand chair that served to better display his lithe built to the attendees).  “Thorny bushes on the shortcut connecting the towns . . . wasn’t Saionji’s son with you back then?”

“It was an accide--” Touga blurted out . . . prior to quickly quieting down.    But it was too late: he gave himself away.

“Was it?” asked, or rather, pressed the cunning adult.  The tainted child, still very green, struggled to act innocent.

“Papa,” he stressed the word (despite the nausea it brought him), hoping to pacify the man.  “The bike went under the branches, and my hair got tangled in it--”

“Happy Birthday, Touga-sama,” said a leering man – one of Kiryuu Papa’s innumerable business partners - leaning down to purr in his ear;  Up front, some woman – likely his mistress judging by their age difference – was down on one smiling up at him, catlike.

“Happy Birthday.”

Cornered, Touga could do little but hide behind his impassive façade while groaning inwardly: the haircut was fast turning out to be just as useless as the one who suggested it; stupid, stupid Kyouichi . . . he could only pray that Kiryuu Papa won’t do something too bad to the dumb kid, now that he knew.  Kyouichi’s father Saionji was Kiryuu’s right hand man, so maybe he would get spared--

“Onii-sama.” 

Blinking, he now saw an alarmingly disheveled Nanami standing in front of him.  On reflex, Touga sent a suspicious glare cutting at Kiryuu Papa, but found – to his surprise and relief – the often assured man now recoiling in shock and fear.

“Happy Birthday,” said his little sister, holding out in her hands a dirty white box. 
Before the boy could ask her what was going on, Kiryuu Papa’s wife-of-convenience (whom they had to call Mama) had since cut in with her imperious voice.

“Nanami, why do you look like that?”

“This is for Onii-sama,” replied Nanami, as a wild kitten popped its head out from the box. 

A strangled-noise could be heard coming from Kiryuu Papa’s tight throat, piquing Touga’s interest.  Could the man be afraid – or better yet, allergic – of cats?

Kiryuu Mama probably knew more than he did about Kiryuu’s cat phobia. “Feh, what a dirty looking thing.  Get it out of here!”

Nanami pouted.  “But, Mama . . .”

Steering himself, Kiryuu-san put up a shaky brave front as he advanced upon the little girl, who started backing away. 

“Give it to me.”

“No!”

Face reddening, Kiryuu now was trying to brutishly pull the box away from Nanami.  Alerted, Touga got up to interfere.  “Wait a minute.” 

The man looked like he would have likely struck the boy, so angry did he seem then, but the fact that they were surrounded by “classy” guests hindered his violence.

“Now, Touga--”

“It’s been a while, Kiryuu-san.”

The womanly alto – coming languidly from some distance away, yet still was effective in cutting smoothly through the droning whispers of the gathered guests – stilled Kiryuu Papa.   

“Hoshimi-chan . . . I mean, Mrs. Ohtori.” 

Cutting a tall, shapely figure from where she stood at the door to the hall, this Mrs. Ohtori Hoshimi was fair-complexioned to the point that all other women present were rendered dowdy shadows against her luminous glamour; the slinky black gown - one matched by a semi-lucent shawl covered in red rose petals – was also of classier style than the puffed dresses of those others.    There was this white-suited, pale pink-haired young man smiling rakishly by her side: even then, Touga knew that could not possibly have been Mr. Ohtori.

“I have something to discuss with you,” she said, making no effort to take even one further step into the hall.  Tensely nervous somehow, the usually haughty Kiryuus now humbly made their way over to greet her, forgetting the kids.

“Onii-sama . . .” Nanami called out to Touga, again offering up the messy boxed kitten with glints of uncertainty within her teary eyes.  Chest warmed by relief, the immaculately-groomed boy put his hands upon his dust-covered sibling.

“Thank you, Nanami,” he said, kissing away his sister’s tears.  “This is the best present I ever got.”  The girl – who must have been through quite the scuffle trying to get him that kitten – trembled joyfully in his arms.  “Now, go get yourself cleaned up and call it a night.”  He gestured for a waiting maid to come over and take the now dreamy-eyed child away.

Relaxed – as he was no longer under pressure to “pull train” from Kiryuu Papa – the boy was just about to call it quits too, when the “ladies’ ” gossiping caught his attention:

“That’s Ohtori Hoshimi, the clan heiress, right?  I see she’s again out partying with these club host types.”

“With her husband the current Ohtori Chairman getting continuously spotted around both pink salons and saunas, who can blame her?”

“ ‘To each their prowl’, huh?”

“But she is decked to the nines . . .who knew that a boarding school could make for such lucrative business?”

“Don’t you know?  The Ohtoris have been making waves at the financial district with their heavy-handed investing.  On the academy side of things, I heard even the Prime Minister had paid a fortune to get his mistress’ bastard son into the Academy . . .”

“Happy birthday, Touga-kun.”

Jolting out of a trance that he had somehow fallen into, Touga turned to see Mrs. Ohtori standing right beside him, smiling down.

“In case you’re wondering, you’re no longer expected  to attend the after party,” the “matron” – looking startlingly young up close despite her heavy-handed makeup and hairstyle – tilted the champagne glass in her hand at the pink-haired man she brought, who now was socializing with the lustful crowd gathered at the side hall (with the Kiryuus amongst the gathering).  “Sanetoshi-kun has since replaced you as the ‘entertainment’.”

“Who are you?” the boy could not help but ask.

“Someone with power enough to bring change.”

“Power . . . to bring change?”

“With enough power, anything becomes possible” explained the woman, as an impossible change started coming over her, making her less glamorous, yet also more exquisite; less tall, yet also more lithe.  “With enough power, you can free yourself and your sister from this fate; you can even help your friend change his.”  In no time at all, the transformation was complete, and in place of the sultry siren stood a dew-fresh young girl – her near-nakedness ethereal against the shawl that now adorned her as a nymph’s wings - beaming at the awed boy.  “It would be like a revolution.”

“How’d you . . . know?  How-”

“The Devil who reigns in the absence of God knows the whole of this world.  The witches who works for him know what he knows.”

“You’re . . . a witch?”  Touga thought back to the strange girl and aunt he and Kyouichi had previously encountered.  Could this “witch” – one who had just proven her power – be the salvation he had stopped hoping for since long ago?

The now barely dressed, barely adolescent Mrs. Ohtori observed the boy with impish, knowing eyes. “Like I thought, you’re not scared; instead, you want my power, and want to be like me – a witch who wields the Devil’s power.”

“I’m a boy,” said Touga, actually sounding dejected.

“Boy.” Tittered the “young” witch, as she gestured at the young man (Sanetoshi) she brought with a small hand.  “Observe that boy over there: even though he calls himself a magician, he’s really the Devil’s witch . . . down to the naughty details.” Her girlishly sweet voice darkened with un-childlike cynicism.  “So long as they surrender their bodies to the Devil and his cause, even boys can become witches,” her eyes upon him were as wells to drown in, “yes, even you.” 

“Surrender the body . . .” pondered Touga, anxious yet uncertain.  Naturally red lips curling, the “little” Ohtori Hoshimi stepped up closer to the boy, and pressed her slight frame against his.

“You, who’re already early marred, might as well also be early made; it was like this for me too.”

“You . . . too?”

The shadows upon the wall facing them started to sharpen and swirl, before quickly reshaping into that of humanoid silhouettes: two men - one bulkier than the other – together held down a violently struggling young girl, whom they were obviously assaulting.

The young girl’s silhouette was distinctively recognizable as that of young Hoshimi.

“It was my father who allowed for that to happen,” the witch’s voice gradually deepened from against his ear, “to force me to forget a past love and marry the one he chose.  Unfortunate?  Yes . . . but it got me into the Devil’s embrace, within which I’ve thrived until this very day.”

There was a brief shifting of the lights, after which the shadow play rape was gone – along with “young Hoshimi”, who now was again the tall, champagne sipping Mrs. Ohtori.   Putting down her glass, she then held out a white, rose-motif-marked folder envelope to the dazed boy.

“This envelop is you birthday present from the Devil himself.  Should you ever want to defy fate, then open it.

“With your friend and sister’s well being to consider along with your own, I suppose you have no choice but to go with this change.

“The way before you has been prepared.”

Giving the folder to the pale-faced boy, the society matron then stepped off and away into the side hall, where she then joined the amoral, lustful gathering of powerful adults – some of whom already openly groping the pretty young man called Sanetoshi, whose shirt has since been unbuttoned past his navel . . .

Left alone, the boy quietly left the debauched party and went back into the privacy of his room, where he then began checking out the contents of the witch-given folder.

***

The next morning, at the front gates of Saionji Mansion . . .

“You say he’s at the town clinic?!” gasped Touga, almost falling off his tandem bike at the news.

“Oh, it was terrible, Touga-sama!” Sighed the servant greeting him.   “Kyouichi-kun got accosted by some strange men out in the bike trail last evening, and it seemed like they just mugged the poor boy for no reason . . . ” 

Of course there was a reason for the mugging – to him, it was clear as day.

Having then hurried over to the clinic, Touga found, to his initial relief, his friend appearing not significantly more bruised than usual – in fact, Kyouichi could apparently sit upright upon his bed by himself.  His heart soon sank, however, upon noticing the boy’s badly chopped green hair.

“Kyouichi,” the usually assured boy now had to gulp before going on, “I heard you got . . . mugged,”

“Mugged,” muttered his friend, blearily, “I guess that’s what Father wants everyone to think, huh?”

“. . . Kyouich!”

“Kiryuu’s hired hands could’ve just done the dirty with me and be over with it, but instead they had to cut my hair too . . . just so I’d know who was behind this, and why this happened.”

“They . . . you . . .”  Touga could hear his heart pounding in his rapidly numbing head; to think that this happened just because Kyouichi had tried helping him . . .

“It’s okay; if you can take it, then so can I,” said Kyouichi, actually smiling a bit.  “Better this, than to keep falling behind you in everything-”  The rest of his sentence got cut off, as Touga then enveloped him in a tight, desperate hug.  “Hey . . .”

Is this to be their life?  To get continuously trampled upon by those monstrous adults just for their being powerless children?

“Touga . . . are you crying?”

“No.”  Small face drawing tight, Touga pulled back away from his friend to stand with his back rigidly straight.  “Something like this will not happen again.”

And he turned to leave, before the startled Kyouichi could even ask him what was going on; then again, he had something much more important to do than to commiserate with his friend and fellow victim.

He had decided to give the Devil’s witch his reply.

***

Mrs. Ohtori (whose glamour remained flawless even under daylight) was, of course, right outside the clinic; Touga thought it likely that a witch of her caliber could channel his thoughts directly, and thus spontaneously appear to wherever he was to finalize his decision.

“So you accept the Devil’s present . . . or rather, invitation.”

“Yes.”

“Then you, your friend, and your sister will all be attending Ohtori Academy in two years’ time.  The Devil takes care of his own, so Kiryuu and Saionji will both receive warnings to keep their hands off the three of you starting this moment.  As the Chairman’s wife and the Devil’s witch, I look forward to seeing you roam our unholy playground . . . witch.”  Adjusting the shoulder strap of her understatedly classy handbag, the enigmatic woman – who could apparently turn back to a young girl at will – turned and started walking off.

“Mrs. Ohtori,”

“Yes?”

“Thank you,” said the jaded boy, with perhaps one of his last few scraps of sincerity, “for changing our fates.”

“Save your thanks for the Devil, and your curses too,” replied the woman. “You’d be sure to curse this day at the point when you got shown the ends of your world.”

“I won’t,” insisted the boy.  “Any change from now will be a revolutionary thing for all three of us.”

“Revolution . . .” murmured the woman, stopping in her tracks.  “Say, there is maybe this one thing you can do for me.”

That surprised Touga.  “What is it?”

“At Ohtori, you’ll meet a pair of twins around your sister’s age: one boy, one girl.   You will see that they have hair the same shade as mine.  There will be times when . . . when you’ll think you have to hurt them to get what you want.” Her husky voice dropped to a whisper.  “Don’t hurt them too much, that’s all I ask.”  With that, she stepped briskly into a waiting cab, and was driven off and away.

“Twins . . . huh?” mused the boy who just became a witch; whose way – along with those of his friend and sister – had just been set and prepared.

***

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

“There, I’ve found what should be our Oginome Ringo’s online diary,” said Miki, now with all the other Duelists huddled against him and his tablet.   “It’s friends-only.”

“Hack it,” prompted Kozue.  “I know you can.”

“Kozue--” Miki frowned, and was cut at by his twin’s glare.

“I’ve seen you done worse things for way more selfish reasons.  Do it now.”

“I’ll do it!”  Tsuwabuki quickly seized the tablet in an obvious attempt to defuse the Kaorus’ tension.  It took him but a few minutes to get successfully logged in.  “Done . . . okay, it really is this Ringo girl’s diary.”  The blond squinted his eyes at the small, pale font used.  “She mentions here about befriending a girl called Himari during a minor accident at the Tokyo Subway.  But this Himari’s family name is Ikebe-”

“That’s her,” said Kanba, eagerness showing through his coolly impassive front. “She’s using our uncle’s family name in this reality.”

“We made it so that Himari and Ringo will still have each other as friends,” explained Shouma, fidgeting uncomfortably beside his brother, “even though neither would remember anything about what happened in our original world.”

Tsuwabuki cleared his throat, before reading off the entries.  “Entry 320: ‘It’s been a few days since Himari-chan and I discovered that paper note sticking out of the teddy’s tummy – the one written by someone claiming to be her brother.  Even knowing that she is an only child, something about that note – that terrible yet familiar-looking handwriting – had made this strange impact on not just her heart, but also mine.  This is just as strange as our lack of memory about the accident on the subway train – it’s the fate event that brought about our meeting, after all; we should remember . . . we should.

“Entry 321: If the same dream repeats, night after night, identical and endless . . . does that make it more real?  Every night, I dream about being burned alive inside a subway train.  I should’ve burned into ashes, into nothing, but this boy shielded me with his body, and took the punishing flames for me; he told me he loved me before I heard a sound like train cars unhooking, and he was gone, along with the flames, the dream, everything.  Was that me subconsciously thinking back to the subway accident?  I know that Himari-chan was there, but there was no boy involved . . . was there?  I can never remember his face after waking up.  To think there were no witnesses coming forth after an accident in such a crowded place, it’s kinda scary.”

A tear escaped Shouma’s eye; it was gently dried off by Tokiko’s silk handkerchief. 

“Entry 322: It’ worrying how Himari-chan has become prone to sudden crying fits – she keeps saying she can’t understand why she can’t remember who her “brother” is.”

Both Takakuras appeared alarmed at hearing that.  No longer able to remain standoffish, the boys got up over towards Tsuwabuki, who lowered the tablet so the diminutive duo could read the diary too.

“ This cannot come at a worse time, that with Himari-chan miraculously getting offered a talent audition by – god this sounds unreal even now – Double H’s agency!  It turns out that Hibari Isada and Hikari Utada were actually friends of Himari in elementary school, but that they’d somehow lost touch.  When their agency suggested the Duo becomes a Trio for marketing purpose, Hibari-san and Hikari-san actually nominated Himari–chan – whom they apparently remember fondly – as a potential candidate!  But with Himari-chan now . . .” the cracking sound of Kanba’s knuckles briefly interrupted Tsuwabuki’s reading, before the preppy was to continue, “with Himari-chan now being so gloomy and on edge, I’m not sure if the coming audition can go well.  I am now doing everything I can to cheer and relax her, hoping she’d be up to at her best then; this is such a big opportunity for her.  I think finding this brother that Himari-chan and her family can’t remember having is important to stabilizing her emotions.  I’ve been trying to talk Mom into hiring a detective, but she’s skeptical on prying so deeply into another family’s business . . . ” 

“Well?” Kozue glared down at the Takakuras.  “Have you boys now finally made up your minds to go back home?”

“They’ll see us as our ‘invisible’ selves . . .” muttered Shouma with his head down, “if they can see us at all.”

“Ah, shadows . . . ” The young woman then turned towards Tokiko.   “Childa-san, now that we know who they are, how do we get them home?  As their old selves, I mean.”

The experienced witch frowned lightly.  “The Fate Diary has since been destroyed, and by the Takakura’s account Ringo-chan had used up its remnant power by activating the spell.  A more . . . realistic approach would be to get the girls to see and accept the brothers’ changes, and--”

“And what?” asked Kanba, brutishly.  “Have us haunt them like the ghosts that we’ve now become?  They can’t let other people know about us, we’d be like some freak secret they’d have to hide from the world!    This kinda ‘reunion’ can’t be good for them, and it’s not what we want either.”

“Your concern is valid,” said Juri, offering her piece after having since observed the brothers for a while.  “Still, reunion or not, I do believe those girls deserve to know what has happened to you boys, and that this is all because of your self sacrifices; I believe you both owe each other that much.”  Kanba rolled his eyes.
 
“Listen, lady-”

“Listen to this,”  Shiori spoke up from where she took over reading off the tablet.  “Entry 323: Today, while I was at Himari-chan’s place helping her practice for the audition, a letter has arrived for her.  ‘To the one forgetting: come to the penguin tank at Sunshine City Aquarium at the time and date specified below.   You shall find the forgotten truth that you seek.’  Himari-chan wants to go, of course – the fact that whoever wrote this somehow knows about her apparent amnesia makes for an irresistible draw.  Yet . . . this seem too ominous to be safe.  I told her if she insists on going, then she must let me go with her.  And just now, right before inputting this entry, I’ve found in my mailbox that exact same letter!  But . . . I haven’t even told anyone about my dreams of the burning boy (except for in this blog, but this is password protected so it must be safe) . . .”  She and the Duelists all turned to stare at the Children of Fate, who glared back; Shiori then read on.   “Just what’s going on here?  I guess there’s no avoiding it – we both have to go and meet this ominous person, and face whatever fate has in store for us.” 

“What’s going on?”  Shouma could not help but ask.  “Nobody should know about the Fate Transfer in this reality . . .”
   
Tsuwabuki squinted his eyes at the tablet screen.  “It says here the meeting is . . . it’s today; around this time, even.”  The brothers jumped.

“WHAT?”

“You mean Himari and that ditz are meeting some ominous freak at the Aquarium like right now?!”  Kanba turned to bark at his brother.    “Shouma!  We’re going!”

“Oginome is not a ditz!” protested Shouma.  “But . . . yeah, we have to--” He stilled at a hand gesture from Juri, who was eyeing the since emptied car repair cage with narrowed green eyes.

“Childa-san . . . I don’t suppose Mikage and Himemiya are still on the premises?”

***

“You’re . . . kidding, right?

“After you just ran off without saying anything . . . is this how you’ve been since?”

Wet, brand-marked face lifted up by Saionji’s broad hand, Touga continued to stare vapidly through him as though the other man was never there to begin with; green eyes bloodshot, his lifelong friend let out a dry, wheezing chuckle – one that sent trembles through (helplessly on-looking)  Nanami’s petite frame.

“What?  Is this something you want to show us?  Some statement you’re trying to make?”

“Kyouichi . . .” whimpered the now fearful Nanami, reaching forth to try and unclasp the man’s large hand off of Touga.

“You . . . fucking HOLE!”  Slamming Touga back down into the filled squat bowl amidst Nanami’s shrill, torn scream, Saionji then proceeded to deal blow after blow down upon the redhead’s naked torso to water-splashing effects.  “You got any idea how worried your sister was for you?!” 

Said sister had since pounced the enraged man like a frantic cat, and was clawing at him trying to get him off of her brother, to little effects. 

“Don’t hurt Onii-sama!  Don’t--”

“Touga!  You think you can just ditch us after all that hell you’ve dragged us through with you?!   You think you can just scare us away with this freak act, and, and--”

It was the partition door getting torn open that finally stopped Saionji’s violence; all three of them looked up and at the backpack-wearing Utena, now staring down upon the dazed, bruised redhead with hard, cloudy eyes.

“Touga, we’re leaving.”

End Part Twelve

Notes: Thanks to everyone for your continued support for the story!  Gob Hobblin, your detailed C&C –especially those via PM - are much appreciated!  Yes, the Penguindrum cast are at last properly introduced – backstories included – as they get in on the action.  There are small but significant bits on child-Utena and current Utena in this part, which will lead up to a dramatic plot advancement in Part 13, so please stay tuned.
P.S.: I think everyone can tell just who those “twins” mentioned by Mrs. Ohtori are, and can already guess their exact relationship to her.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (01-16-2013 10:31:23 AM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#72 | Back to Top01-11-2013 03:53:00 PM

The_Lame_Goat
Rose Smilee
From: Narnia
Registered: 11-13-2012
Posts: 133

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

BAH! NOOOO!

Sorry, I've been waiting for this, and believe me it was worth the wait. I feel so bad for little Touga and Kyouichi though.


Oh treachery!

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#73 | Back to Top01-11-2013 04:05:06 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

The_Lame_Goat wrote:

BAH! NOOOO!

Sorry, I've been waiting for this, and believe me it was worth the wait. I feel so bad for little Touga and Kyouichi though.


Lame_Goat
~ (hugs)

Thank you so much for the continued support emot-dance

Am debating whether to start on Seinen Part 13 (focusing on Utena's parents' death from the Subway Attack, and the lifetime guilt/trauma it left her) or WEM part 5 first . . . will likely do both then see which one gets done faster.


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#74 | Back to Top01-11-2013 07:40:54 PM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Even now, he could not think of them as his “real” parents, in spite of worldly conventions.

Those airquotes seem a little unecessary. Even confusing.

I think at some point Touga says "baka" which threw me a little, since the rest is translated into english. And unlike "onii-sama" I don't think baka is particularly tricky to translate to English?

obviously still displeased over the girl pointing out his being abused.

If it's obvious, don't point it out. ;)

Cutting a tall, shapely figure – one accentuated by a slinky black gown matched by a large, semi-lucent shawl covered in red rose petals – from where she stood against the door to the hall, this Mrs. Ohtori Hoshimi was fair-complexioned to the point that all other women gathered were rendered dowdy shadows when contrasted against her luminous glamour.

Long and clunky sentence. Not trying to make it all one sentence would make it less awkward. Remember, sentences are not mini vans.

Tensely nervous somehow, the usually haughty Kiryuus now humbly made their way over to greet her, leaving the kids behind, forgotten.

Simply writing "their kids forgotten" could be better.

With that said, I liked the comparison between child Utena and Nanami. And the comparison of Nanami to a frantic cat. emot-rofl

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#75 | Back to Top01-11-2013 07:51:24 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Lurvetc-love

Long and clunky sentence. Not trying to make it all one sentence would make it less awkward. Remember, sentences are not mini vans.

Alas, I keep telling myself to watch out for the chunky sentences and still they get churned emot-gonk

Thanks for pointing out the flaws, and glad you still find something to like amidst the "vans" emot-wink

As for the "Ba-ka" . . . I just couldn't resist since I find the word cute, especially when uttered by kids emot-smile


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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