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Gougai! Gougai!

HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#151 | Back to Top08-15-2014 09:27:59 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

I haven't commented in a long time but this is among my favorite Utena fics, and although I'm so excited to see how everything wraps up, I'm going to be a bit sad to know its over.


Oh treachery!

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#152 | Back to Top08-16-2014 09:28:30 AM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

The_Lame_Goat wrote:

I haven't commented in a long time but this is among my favorite Utena fics, and although I'm so excited to see how everything wraps up, I'm going to be a bit sad to know its over.

Thanks for the support, Lame Goat etc-love
Much needed, and much appreciated.

Will probably post more Seinen related stuff on tumblr sometime this weekend, so stay tune ~


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#153 | Back to Top08-19-2014 01:33:56 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Part Twenty-Six UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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 Twenty-Six: Absolute Fate Revelation I

Note: I was trying to keep the pre-battle parts down to one chapter, but it was not meant to be.  So yes, this will be another (hopefully small) arc before the final battle arc.  Much thanks to TheLameGoat, V. Martin Writes / Zeeroses, Gaston, Jougetsu, AntiHippocrisy and some others I’m sure I’ve missed for your continued support of this project!  Oh, and my thanks go to that flamer who accuses this story for being “offensive” despite admitting to only having “skimmed it” in that same flame article.  Your Tumblr post had lead some serious readers towards discovering and liking this work, so much thanks ;-)


“As some of you might have already guessed, the battle against my brother will indeed take place at Tokyo Big Egg, during that concert coming up next week.”

“You mean Tatsuya’s concert?”

He saw Anthy nodding while pouring Wakaba her tea. “Revolution Seen Live 2011 . . . a rather sophomoric title, if I may say so.”

His old friend -- visibly perturbed -- sipped her tea in silence.

“Himemiya . . . you’re saying we’ll be battling Akio in the middle of an idol concert?” Utena finally asked, unable to hold back his bafflement any longer.

“Utena.” Anthy’s pronounced his name perhaps a little too hard (an attempt to lull him back into first name basis with her, perhaps?).  “This ‘idol concert’ is most certainly a summoning ceremony orchestrated by my brother to reclaim Dio’s Steed.  He would there with his goons, and they would all be at their utmost hectic; that is the best time for us to strike.”

“Hold on.”  Juri – like many others present – became notably wary at hearing this ominous-seeming new term.   “Dio’s . . . ‘Steed’?”

“It’s just that same rose by another name,” cooed Anthy, reassuringly.  “I gather that earlier on, Chida-san had already mentioned the term ‘Fate Train’ to a number of you?”

Sipping his tea, Utena observed the many pairs of widening eyes from above the rim of his raised teacup.  Only Saionji and Nanami appeared at a loss still; it was possible that these two got left out from some exposition given earlier on.  Touga, who knew about this, gave him a subtle nudge from under the table. The message was clear as day: speak up, and assume your rightful leadership over our group.

Anthy, too, eyed him expectantly from across the table.

Utena, for his part, mulled unhappily over just how similar Touga and Anthy could be when it came to their having ambition for him. 

“Umm, guys . . . there was this little something I forgot to mention when I was telling Dios’ story before . . .”

***

Do you know?

Do you know?

Do you wonder what we know?


( . . . the greenhouse was growing stark, the shadows were turning sharp . . . )

That’s right!

The Rose Prince

Who was God

Had his own

Shiny steed to ride!


( . . . his freckled face got blurred against the blaze of the brightening lights . . .)

It was

A white horse

A noble beast

A carriage’s heart and engine


( . . . the silhouette of what looked like a prince on a horse could be seen galloping against the white backdrop . . .)

Do you know? the reason that the Prince got to rule over all those ancient fairytales

Was because of his having this glorious steed!

The Prince’s Steed had donned multiple names throughout the many stories it got featured in.  And, the name it’s most popularly known by is--

Fate

F. A. T. E.   Fate


( . . . the prince could now be seen dangling an apple in front of the steed, luring it forward . . .)

That’s right!  The Rose Prince once was riding high over Fate itself!

The destinies of countries, cities, women, men

The outcomes of people’s adventures, battles, romances

All this and more, the Prince had kept his tight reins on!

However . . .


( . . . he accidentally dropped the apple . . .)

Somewhere down the path of princehood, the Rose Prince had lost his noble heart

And, in losing heart, so too did he lose control over Fate: that which would no longer recognize him as master 

Throwing the Prince off of its back –- and thus making him the Fallen Prince -- the mighty force of a creature fled its former master, running amok

Master-less, the wayward steed gravitated towards noble people with noble hearts out of its base instinct.  Unguided, it ran brutishly over all whom it crossed, crushing their lives and leaving their world in darkness
 

( . . . the steed is shown chasing after a number of fleeing, apple-carrying figures, as the scene came to gradually darken . . .)

Unguided, it ran brutishly over all whom it crossed, crushing their lives and leaving their world in darkness

This wayward Fate –- now also the Nightmare -- had roamed this world of darkness since

Donning different guises as befitting the different eras in which it appearances

A lone stead, a grand carriage, a boat

A ship, a car

A TRAIN


(. . . noises rose in the background, threatening to drown out the singsong voices rattling on in the dark . . .)

Ever a means of transportation and transfer

Ever a bringer of doom and destruction

Ever elusive to

That Fallen

Prince

Still eager

To reclaim its great power--


“--gall to have me made a fool of myself in front of the entire WORLD!

And her eyes snapped open to glance upon the familiar bedroom ceiling; not her bedroom, of course, but that of the Ohtori Acting Chairman’s quarters atop the Tower.

“Now, Prince.”  Said Acting Chairman’s sardonic drawl came faintly audible through the closed door leading to the living room.  “Methinks you’re really over-reacting--”

“DON’T PRINCE ME!”  snarled this familiar-sounding younger speaker.  “I got saddled with having to act out your lie on TV!  The lie crumbled, and you did NOTHING to support me from your end--”  A thud, dull yet sickeningly violent in its sound (likely the slamming of a body against a solid brick wall), ended the tirade.

“The ‘lie’ crumbled because you hired this ‘assistant’ without notifying the agency first,” stated the Chairman, his smooth tone betraying little of what he just did outside.  “He was the one who swapped the video, as I gather?”

“O-Ohtori . . . !”  Winced the other man -- whom she now recognized to be the ex-student/current idol Seen -– in apparent pain.  “You dare to . . . !”

“Now, I really can’t stop you from being hurt by your own mistake now, can I?”

Sighing in mild exasperation from under her breath (men, always getting riled up over such petty trivialities), the woman pushed herself up into a seated position upon the satin-sheets, and checked her reflection in the vanity mirror facing the bed.

She looked as she expected herself to look: still beautiful even when disheveled, still impressively young for her real age . . . still so much older than the one and only prince she cherished in her heart.

“I, I don’t need to take this shit from you!  I’ll skip out on the coming concert, and see what you’re gonna do then!”

“I see you still have that tendency to let one bad mistake lead you to the next, Onion-kun.”

“We’ll see just who made the bad mistake, when your long time plan to have me capture the Fate Train for you is to come crashing down!

“She will be there, you know.”

“ . . . wha--”  All that explosive temper seemed to have drained off Seen’s voice by now, replaced by something calmer . . . colder.  “What did you say?”

The Acting Chairman’s voice deepened with mirth, “Your Onion Princess, the one for whom you have hired numerous people behind my back throughout the years to keep taps on.  Yes, you will definitely see her there fighting by my sister’s side at the upcoming battle.”

A moment of silence ensued, a moment she spent quietly pinning her blue locks back up in an artfully unruly version of her usual updo.  The male confrontation drama outside was down at its last legs; she would have to ready herself for him.

“Go get Sanetoshi-kun to look at your cheek: you want to put your best face forward for such a special reunion now, don’t you, ‘Seen’?”

Seen did not reply, though his departing footsteps (distinct from the Acting Chairman’s always immaculate stride in their unevenness) into the elevator car (doors closing with a mechanical “cling”) signaled his departure from the suite.

“Hoshimi-chan,” the Acting Chairman called to her almost immediately afterwards, his voice wine sweet from where it seeped through the closed bedroom door.  “You decent?”

Crimson lips pursed, Mrs. Ohtori Hoshimi sauntered up to the door naked, before opening it with teasing slowness . . .

***

“ . . . and I think that’s why Akio wants to reclaim his power over Fate, because it used to belong to him . . . back when he was good.”  The last bit came out a little more wistful than Utena would like.  “That’s about all I know.”

Most of the Duelists did not appear to have taken note of his peculiar tone, so engrossed were they with digesting the new info.   

“Back when we were on Ohtori’s Student Council, there would often be these . . . peculiar happenings at the meetings,” said Miki, ever the analytical-minded one of their group. “Sometimes, there would be faceless baseball players starting a game in the background. Other times, there would be colored balloons spontaneously appearing from out of nowhere”  His frown deepened as he went on with his recollection.    “Sure, these occurrences mostly seemed undeserving of notice at the time, that with us having already been exposed to the Castle and the Arena.  Still, thinking back, we all must have been tripping from magic to have been able to just accept those things as being normal.”  He then turned towards Anthy. “Himemiya-sempai, I think I now remember there being this invisible train passing through in the background during one of those meetings. Was that . . .?”

Listening on, Utena found his own fingers crossing nervously.  Whenever he tried to think back to that night of his parent’s funeral, he could never be sure of just what exactly had happened and what had not.  Dios’ Steed . . . did the prince actually came to him (her) riding a white horse, or did he simply walk up to his (her) coffin to draw him (her) out?  Surely, there should have been no horse on a beaten path (though the girl he was would oftentimes recall seeing then) inside an immaculate church’s nave  . . .

“You can think of that as a distant echo of the actual entity,” said Anthy, replying to Miki’s question with this distant look in her green eyes.   “Dio’s Steed of Fate –- having donned the form of the Fate Train for the last few decades -- cannot be baited by less than a certain magnitude of strength and nobility.  That, and the Fate Diary –- once Fate’s Bridle – is crucial to keeping Fate controlled once it is to appear.” She clasped both hands around her teacup, with one delicate dark thumb rubbing against another.  “That Diary remains under the late Oginome Momoka’s ownership even now.”

Momoka.  Oginome Momoka.  During one of those Kiga Attack victim memorial things her aunt had took him (her) to, he (she) had come across the girl’s named black and white picture hanging amongst those many others deceased.  That was the first time he(she) was to found out the full name of the precocious child he (she) crossed paths with on that fateful, world-shattering train ride . . .

“The girl was Chida-san’s niece, right?”  asked Kozue, in a tone more sentimental than Utena was used to hearing from the abrasive-seeming young woman.

“Was, and still is,” clarified Anthy. “Remember that penguin hat we see Tsuchiya-sempai wearing earlier on TV?  That is an artifact born of Momoka-san’s strong spirit.  In fact, it was likely a fusion between their souls that allowed for Tsuchiya-sempai to manifest so vividly even in death.”

“A fusion between their souls . . .” pondered Shiori out loud, glancing furtively over at Juri from underneath her lashes.

That bit of info came as a huge surprise to everyone listening, including himself.  So, the girl who berated him (her) for being childishly blind (which she was), who died fighting nobly at the tender age of ten, sixteen years ago,  still was out there fighting the good fight . . .

He himself, who lost ten years to his sense of failure -- that which allowed the Swords to rule him -- was plain pathetic in comparison.

A hand clasped itself gently over his own from under the table, altering him to how he had been clawing at his kneecap without realizing he was.  Looking over beside him, he saw Touga giving him a subtly reassuring look.

Touga.  His (her) long time girlhood stalker; and later, her adolescent adversary . . . and maybe boyfriend that could had been, yet never were.

And, just three years prior, the one whose chance encounter with the “new him” had inadvertently lead to his being found by Anthy . . .

. . . he was twenty one years old, and broke, and thus working as a bouncer/janitor at this seedy club.  He was minding his business moping up the men’s room, when the sounds of “activity” behind a closed partition caught his attention.

Usually, the streetwise freeter would have ignored whatever was going on there and just get his job done and leave.  Not that day though.  The Swords were acting up from his physical and mental pains, and he got coerced into drinking by some female patrons who saw him as host material.  Already nauseous to begin with, the thought of skeevy people doing skeevy things at a public spot –- one that he had to clean up as per his job –- simply rubbed him the wrong way then.

And so, he kicked the partition door open, shouting:

“GO GET A FUCKING ROOM YO--”

. . . and choked upon getting a good look at what he found inside.

It was, in a sense, what Utena have expected to find all along: some oily old dude doing the dirty with what looked like some drugged-out rent boy, except that rent boy had stark straight red hair spilling down his smooth back, marred by a long, faded cut . . .

“ . . . Touga?” asked Utena, voicing the name before he could stop himself.  No, this could not possibly be him; the rich, athletic playboy of Ohtori would never have ended up here, looking junkie-thin and trashy from where he was pressed against the graffiti-covered toilet wall--

“. . . Tenjou-kun?”

Oh.  God.

“You . . .” Slowly straightening up, Kiryuu Touga turned to glance over at him with wide blue eyes made all the larger by his current gauntness.   “You . . . it’s you.”  His now raspy voice (once so rich and smooth) trembled with this peculiar combination of dread and joy.   “It really is . . . but how?”

Utena, currently a twenty-one year old man, had no words in reply.  For a moment, all he could do was to stare.

His staring, of course, quickly got misinterpreted by the redhead. 

“No . . . Tenjou-kun . . .” Pushing the old guy off of him, Touga scampered to pull his skimpy cut-off jeans back up around his now bony hips.  “this isn’t what it looks like.  I’m not . . .”

“Was that twink your friend, Touga-kun?” asked the old guy, glancing back and forth between the two younger men in undignified lechery.  “Perhaps, we could--”

Vaguely, Utena noticed how Touga might have elbowed the gross old guy in the mouth; he could not be sure though, so frantic was he in his haste to flee this filthy, horrific scene.

“Tenjou . . . wait, Tenjou-kun! Don’t run away--” 

Touga’s pleas from behind (was he crying?)soon got drowned out by the loud sounds saturating this suffocating-ly crowded dance floor.  Half-fighting his way through the sweaty masses (all mere silhouettes under the atrocious lighting) and towards the exit, Utena did not dare to turn around to check if the redhead still was tailing him.   He cannot, will not face him like this . . . not today, not under such unthinkably grotesque circumstances . . .

“. . . tena . . .!”

Another voice, distant and barely audible from somewhere upfront, sent his beating heart racing even faster.  But Utena knew how that was the exit from this (now unbearable) place; he had to keep charging forward--     

“UTENA!!”

That voice –- unforgettable to him even after all these long years -– broke some trance he realized he had since fallen into.  Suddenly, he now could see clearly ahead in spite of the dimness. 

She was there right at the opened doors.  With her hair down, her glasses gone, and her wardrobe a lukewarm-ish pink, the slender-ly-curvaceous dark woman looked a far cry from how he remembered her.  Then she opened her lily-like arms at him –- right as the night wind was blowing up her voluminous long skirt -- and those fantastical dueling moments of his yesteryears all came slamming back into his mind all at once.

“Himemiya!”   The cry –- agonized, maddened, pleading –- tore itself out of his throat seemingly completely on its own.  “HIMEMIYA--”


The mild sting of something indefinite yet scorching brought Utena out of his revere.  Blinking, he saw Nanami now eyeing Anthy in what appeared to be deepening suspicion.  From beside the blonde, a taut-faced Saionji was trying (and failing) to subtly get her to ease up.

“Then . . . the reason that Ruka has resurfaced, is because he has allied himself with this Oginome Momoka?”  asked Juri, having seemingly having the others’ peculiar exchanging of looks in her current anxious state.

“They must be close, for Momoka-san to be able to fuse with him like that,” commented Shiori, somehow smiling a bit.  “Come to think of it, Momoka-san should be around our age, no?”  Juri, getting her long time-girlfriend’s drift, opted to stay quiet.

“Takatsuki-sempai is correct about Momoka-san’s age,” supplied Anthy, somewhat darkly.  “Momoka-san and Tsuchiya-sempai were elementary schoolmates.  In fact, it was after finding out that he has some connection to her, that we made arrangements to have him transferred to Ohtori.”

“ ‘We”  as in you and your brother?”

Nanami’s question, coming whippy in tone, drew everyone’s attention towards her.  Anthy, in particular, schooled her expression back into the vapid mask Utena knew she wore when being guarded.

“So, the two of you starts controlling the lives of your picked pawns since they were young kids, huh?”  The blonde now was literally glaring daggers at the dark woman, much to some of their puzzlement (Saionji, for his part, exhaled heavily). “Could it be that we all were already under your surveillance since our ‘free’ days on the outside?”

“Nanami . . .” Touga, who appeared to know what his sister was on about, spoke up warningly.

“Himemiya-san,” Nanami persisted on with her questioning.   “Just what was it about my brother and I, that you made arrangements to ensnare us into Ohtori sixteen years ago?”

“You’re wondering if your being children of Takakura Kenzan by birth has anything to do with your becoming Duelists.”

Anthy’s evenly-voiced statement had Nanami blanching amidst a roomful of shocked looks and sounds.  Touga (and Saionji) were still to the point of appearing fossil-fied.
“The . . . FUCK?!”  Kozue looked back and forth between Anthy and the Kiryuus in disbelief.   “Touga-sempai and Nanami are really Shouma-kun’s real siblings?!

“Nanami,”  Juri spoke up slowly, carefully.   “Earlier on, when you mentioned--”

Nanami’s palm slamming soundly upon the table cut the older woman off.

“The answer is yes,” Anthy continued on, smoothly, as though she had never been interrupted.    “And yes, Nanami, my brother and I did indeed have each and every one of you here under surveillance since you all still were children living on the outside.  How, you may ask?  It is because my brother and I have been roaming the world seeking the young and the passionate to use as fuel to our powers ever since ancient times.  Your round is but one out of the thousands of iterations the Game had since played out across the expanse of Human History.”

“Anthy!”  exclaimed Utena, standing up and hoping to keep the situation under control.  “Don’t say it like this.  You’re agitating Nanami, and everyone else . . .”  He trailed off at the woman turning slowly towards him with wide, hopeful eyes.

“ . . . you’re calling me Anthy again.”

“You . . .”  he started, before trailing off at a loss of words.  It was really only a slip of the tougue, brought on by the urgency of the moment.  To think such an insignificant reaction of his would still mean so much to Anthy, even at this moment . . .

“Then it really was because of your and brother.” hissed Nanami, so angry now that her teeth were clanging together as she spoke.   “You were the ones who drove our birth parents into debt, so they had to sell us off.”  She pointed a shaky, accusing finger at Anthy (who still was facing Utena).  “You picked the Kiryuus as their debtors knowing what they were -- knowing it will drive my parents towards terrorism as revenge on society, knowing it will drive my brother down this--” She barely managed to stop before revealing too much. 

“N-Nanami-sama . . .” Worried for his mistress –- now red in the face and clearly struggling for breath -- Tsuwabuki tentatively patted her on her back.  “Easy now, easy--”  His hand was promptly slapped off by the agitated woman.

“You and your brother ruined the lives of my entire family just to get what you want out of us,” snared Nanami, keeping her finger pointing at Anthy, “you MONSTERS!!!

“Nanami.”  Back straight, Anthy turned back to look Nanami calmly in the eye, first, before expanding her now piercing gaze over those others present in this gathering.  “Everyone.  You don’t know the half of it yet.”


End Part Twenty-Six


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#154 | Back to Top08-24-2014 03:26:20 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Turns out Seinen has taken me so long to write, that it remains freaking unfinished even while the Yuri Kuma Arashi anime is already coming out.

In other words, despite working at full capacity on this project, I'm actually going slower than even  Ikuhara "I'm-a-snail" Kunihiko

Damn . . . emot-gonk


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#155 | Back to Top08-30-2014 06:19:30 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

I just believe Revolutionary Fit Girl Utena actually just got a new actual!review, while my main project here remains . . . emot-redface


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#156 | Back to Top09-03-2014 01:51:38 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Part Twenty-Seven UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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 Twenty-Seven: Absolute Fate Revelation II

Notes: I’m going at the speed of light here trying to warp this up, so expect (even more) errors.  Please see Endnotes for more.


Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Ohtori Academy, Chairman’s Tower, Planetarium

“They don’t know the half of it yet.

“The true horror of my sister, myself, the World.

“These children know not the obstacles they face in trying to defeat a thing like me.

“Which is why they will lose.”

A spotlight speared down from the artificial starlight skies above, illuminating the couple –- a muscular dark man and a curvaceous pale woman -- currently entangled in what appeared to be the throes of passion. 

They laid atop a coffin marked by black rose motifs.

The word on the coffin read “alienation”.

***

Time: Moments after Revolution
Place: Ohtori Academy, Student Council Balcony

The Student Council were members standing around a hibachi set hazardously aflame, watching the assorted skewed meat turn charcoal black underneath their hooded eyes.

“At last, all is decided,” muttered Kiryuu Touga; Saionji Kyouichi exhaled deeply from beside him.

“Then it’s time.”

With that, the Student Council all slid off their rings (except for Kiryuu Nanami, who already was ringless), before throwing them over their shoulders and out of sight in one perfectly synchronized motion.

“Bye, sweet delusions,” mock-called Nanami after the sailing rings glinting star-like in the distance, “you won’t be missed.”

“I can forget this. I can forget this.  I can forget this . . .” repeated a closed-eyed Kaoru Miki with his palms pressed together as if in prayer.

Arisugawa Juri’s downcast eyes remained trained upon the burning grill and its slowly dying flame.  “Not that I’d enjoy recalling the hell we’ve all been put through – plus the added humiliations.   But, I don’t want to forget her too . . .”

***

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

//. . . I don’t want to forget her too . . .”//

//“Tenjou-sempai is no longer here, is she?”//

//“Now that the game is over, who knows to where had the Victor gotten cast off?”//

//“W-What’re you guys suggesting? That we leave school to go after the tomboy?”//

“And this,” said Anthy, ending the audio extract with a click of the button, “is the recording I’ve sent my brother right before I left.”

For a moment, all Utena could do was stare. 

He saw how, in contrast to Anthy’s glacially cool demeanor, the ones featured in the recording all now appeared . . . heated, to say the least.

“What is this . . .”  asked a wide-eyed Miki, touching his face with a trembling hand.

Juri’s once flawless features now had frosted over with budding rage.  “. . . what the hell?”

“Basically, you’re saying that the Chairman went about ruining our lives only because you lead him to believe we’d be going after Utena,” stated Touga, impassive-seeming front betrayed by the visible tightness of his crossed fingers.   

Nanami, for her part, looked ready to pounce across the table to tear at Anthy with her long manicured nails  “All that we suffered right after the Revolution was . . . was because of YOU?!”

“Anthy.”  Eyes on the woman he once loved (or had he ever truly loved her to begin with?), Saionji’s voice came low from within his throat.  “Did you do this out of your loyalty to Tenjou?  Or was that your own bottled-up hatred against us finally boiling over?”  Anthy merely faced him with her infuriatingly unreadable expression.

“Tenjou-kun.”  Touga had by now looked towards Utena, who found himself jolting under the scarred man’s penetrating gaze. “Back when you suffered alone after the Revolution, and none of us came after you offering aid, did you ever wish for us to suffer along with you?”

“No . . . I . . .”  Utena found himself at a loss for words.  It was true that he had never consciously wanted ill things to happen to his former schoolmates.  But, in those first few agonizing years after the Final Duel, there really were times when he had wished for them to taste at least some of his pain, to have them know how cruel it was of them to have left him (her) alone in her time of dire need--

“That’s irrelevant!”  snapped Nanami, slamming a fist down the dinning table to teacup clanging effects.  “ ‘Oh, these puny humans wouldn’t do what I want them to, so I’m gonna sic my monster brother on them?’  What the FUCK?!” 

“The Ends of the World’s resulting actions had ruined not just the lives of the Student Council members, but also the many innocent people connected to them,” stated Juri, staring hard into Anthy’s eyes.  “Shiori’s mother died without getting to reconcile with her daughter –- and there’s no telling if her death really was just an accident, is there?” 

“Juri . . .”  Pallid, a shakened Shiori tugged at her sleeve as if pleading for the other woman to just stop – though her own anguish on the matter was plain to see.  From beside them, Kozue, let out a harsh snort.

“Well, ten years ago, Himemiya-sempai here showed me herself that she was really the woman whom Father had wanted to remarry.”  She cut at her twin with a meaningful glare, one that the latter bore in red-faced silence.  “It opened my eyes to just how freaking powerful she and her brother really were, and was my reason for pushing Miki to Duel.  Almost immediately after our witch disappeared, Father brought the both of us to see this skeevy music biz agent . . . and the rest is well-known history.” 

“God . . .” Tsuwabuki appeared to be getting increasingly outraged himself.   “Takatsuki-sempai, her mother, Kozue-sempai . . . far as I know, none of them even knew Tenjou-sempai all that well at Ohtori, if at all!  Did I only got spared because I was a kid?  Or did bad things already happened around me, but I was too oblivious to--”  Suddenly, his eyes widened in shock.  “Mari . . . my old classmate Hozumi Mari; she suddenly transferred away sometime after Nanami-sama and the others all left.   Himemiya, did he . . . did your brother--”   

“I would not know,” replied Anthy, eyeing the boy with something like genuine empathy.  “I left my brother after giving him the prompt.  I have no idea how far his actions--”   

SLAP!!!

All watched, shocked, as Anthy’s updo came spectacularly undone from Nanami reaching across the table and striking her soundly across the face.  Lengthy dark locks flounced outwards and about like lively serpents, with a few tail ends reaching well beyond the table and brushing against Utena’s face . . .

Vaguely, he noted how Nanami now was on with this tirade:

“ . . . everyone got hurt or killed, just because you did this evil thing out of sheer pettiness! You WITCH!!!  You--”  The blonde had to stop as she found her wrist  -- pulled back as she was about to deal Anthy another blow -- now was held firmly within Utena’s grasp. 

“Nanami.”  The voice that came out of the Victor’s mouth was almost pristine with calmness.  “It was only earlier today that you called me hypocritical and self-centered for going off on Anthy, who killed my parents.” 

Nanami looked at him like he had magically transformed into some total stranger.  “You . . .”

“Like you said, this is the moment when we all need her the most.  Did you forget? Had everyone forgotten?”  He swept his gaze over each and everyone present.  “We’re in the middle of a war against Akio.”

Everyone appeared shocked by what he was saying; even Anthy, even himself.  Pushing himself off the table (brushing incidentally past Touga while doing so), he strode up and towards the disheveled dark woman, placing a hand firmly over her shoulder.

“You’re revealing everything now, because you don’t want to risk Akio using this info against us later on, maybe right in the midst of the confrontation.   Isn’t that right, Anthy?”

“Utena . . .”  Anthy’s expression now was one that reminded him of that night at the Ball all those years ago, back when he(then she) saved her from public humiliation, before they were to have their first (and in hindsight, only) dance . . .

Then and now, he (she) was her sole supporter against the hostile masses, the Prince to save her from darkness.

Her hand now was clasped upon his.

“So, everyone; what’s it gonna be?” He asked the wary group, secretly hating himself for having to force down their (rightful) anger in such a manipulative manner.  Still, he could not let them continue persecuting Anthy for what had already happened in the unchangeable past.  “Are we gonna go forward with only Anthy and I fighting Akio like I’ve originally suggested?  Or, are you all still in on this?”

A sort of standoff ensued, during which Utena quietly braved the Duelists’ sword-sharp gazes.  Finally, Juri broke the silence.

“Well.”  Exhaling with pointed loudness, she glanced away while running a hand through her luxuriant orange mane in visible agitation.  “This battle at Tokyo Big Egg will be one that demands utmost focus from everyone of us.”    Observing the change in her lover’s stance with saddened eyes, Shiori then embraced her from behind with brittle-seeming arms, saying nothing.

“For us to go into battle with our hearts sidetracked by old grudges will mean instant failure,” stated Saionji, rather stoically. 

Miki lowered his gaze to the tabletop.  “And, I don’t think any of us can rest easy with only Tenjou-sempai fighting the Chairman . . .”

Hooded eyes cynical, Kozue clucked her tongue loudly.

“It’s not fair,” muttered Nanami, with her lowered face veiled under blonde hair.  Tsuwabuki looked like he wanted to reach out and maybe hold his mistress, but was held back by (well-founded) hesitation.

“Life never is,” murmured Touga, fringe-veiled blue eyes taking in Utena and Anthy’s united front with weary resignation.

A moment of tense, heavy silence followed.   And then . . .

“So what’s for dinner?” 

Wakaba’s outlandish question (considering the circumstances), delivered matter-of-factly, caught everyone unaware.  Tsuwabuki was the first to let out an involuntary chuckle -- one that he immediately tried suppressing, before realizing that too Nanami was giggling behind her hair.  Kozue was the first one to laugh out loud, followed by (surprisingly) Juri, then everyone else.  It was like some magical hammer had shattered all that thick tension previously encasing everyone in the room (coffin-like, perhaps?).

That hammer was wielded by one deceptively plain-seeming young woman, exuding this too-calm innocence from amidst the high-strung individuals currently letting their bottled up feelings all out.

Utena, who knew Wabaka well, knew that this was a planned move on her part to defuse the boiling tension.

All for him.

Heart warmed by gratitude (and old memories), Utena mouthed a “thank you” at his old friend, to which she replied with a twinkle of the eye.  Anthy -– silent throughout –- also bowed subtly at the woman . . . to which the latter made a show of pointedly (if playfully) ignoring.

Meanwhile, the other Duelists were gathering their breaths and wits about.

“Well, it is that time already.”

“It’s really been a very long day.”

“Felt like we’ve been here for weeks already, at least, if not months.”

“Time seems to flow strangely around this place.”

“Doesn’t it?”

“Juri . . . did you somehow got slimmer?”

Shiori’s question broke the inane mode of their conversation, as everyone started gawking at the mildly self-conscious model, now looking almost as sleek-figured as she was back in her days as a top fencer . . .

***

Surrounded by eerie motifs, a murmur in the dark:

“A miracle is something that can only happen through sacrifice.

“Be it your own sacrifice, or the sacrifice of others.”

Numerous screens, flanking the speaker’s rail lean silhouette like mere holographs, showed scenes of the innumerable people of the country going on about their mundane lives.

“Look at those fools acting all entitled, without ever realizing that their miracle is standing atop someone else's sacrifice.” In spite of the shrewdness of his words, the speaker’s voice remained softly wistful; like he was immersed within bittersweet memories of old.  “But those are the sort of people who receives miracles.”  Sweeping longish azure fringe out of his blue eyes, he turned to glance down upon the pink-haired little girl currently holding onto his hand.  “Unfair, isn't it, Hime-sama?”

The little girl held his tender gaze with her piercing amber eyes, currently alit with an otherworldly violet glow . . .

***

“Come to think of it . . . I've completely forgotten about the girl he told me about.”

“A girl?” Miki, currently slicing up a parsnip with practiced ease, raised a brow at Juri’s words. 

The two of them were preparing dinner together alongside a few of the others.  Turned out they really did have to cook to eat, now that the Penguins were absent, and neither Anthy nor Utena were culinary-literate.

“It was this girl Ruka had told me about very early on,” mused Juri, heating up the oiled wok in preparation for stir-frying, “some time after we met through the Fencing Team . . .”

Miki made the connection immediately.  “Tsuchiya-sempai told you about Momoka-san this early on, huh?”

“He said that long ago, back when he was still in elementary school, he knew this girl who wanted to save the world.

“I asked him then:  what did this girl want to save the world from? 

“He told me the girl wanted to save the world from all the sadness it suffers under.

“I remember laughing then.  I told him that the girl was a fool; what she wanted to accomplish would take a miracle, and . . . I told him there were no such things as miracles in this world.

“He gave me this . . . look that suddenly made me feel awkward about what I just said, even though I felt certain I was right back.  So, I changed the topic, and asked him if he kept in touch with that girl.”

Then came a moment of wordlessness, where the heated oil started hissing upon the wok’s dark surface.  Lips tensed into a flat line, Juri then parted them to conclude her story:

“He told me she had already died trying to save the world.”

The flames from the stove turned blue with melancholy.

***

“I was the one who led you down this path, having seen the whole of the world’s scenery,” said Oginome Momoka, appearing as the child she was ba k when she passed away from the Subway Attack.

“Having seen the whole of you, I love you,” replied Tsuchiya Ruka, appearing as the youth he was back when he passed away from the illness.

“But, not enough for you to push Arisugawa Juri to win the Power of Miracles back when the opportunity was there.”

Momoka’s statement had Ruka turning statue-like in stillness.   

“It’s okay; feelings do not stop as per the heartbeat.”  Eyes softening, the little girl reached up to gently clasp a hand upon the youth’s cheek. “It’s the same for you and for me.” 

Posture relaxing, Ruka clasped Momoka’s small hand within his.  “Yes, Hime-sama.”

“Captain-kun, you understand . . . don’t you?”

“Yes?”

The hand in his grasp became bigger and longer of manicured nails, as Momoka “grew” seamlessly into her smothering, threatening teen dominatrix form.

“Revolution notwithstanding, the Witch is not necessarily on our side.”

***

“Noble intentions notwithstanding, the Princess of the Crystal is not necessarily on our side.”

Thus how Anthy’s statement dropped ominously over the hungry, dining group, effectively diminishing much of their appetite.
   
“Himemiya-sempai . . . you’re talking about Momoka-san’s ghost, right?” asked Miki, cautiously. 

Anthy nodded. “Does everybody understand what the Swords of Hate really are?”

“I thought they were the ghosts of the mob who tried killing you a long time ago?” offered Tsuwabuki, visibly guarded.

“Or, are they simply the hateful emotions that these people carried with them unto their graves?” asked Juri, her expression nonchalant to the point of coolness.

“When humans die while fixated on something, be it a emotion, or an ideal, that fixation could easily get magnified in death -- to the point of overriding the rest of their original personality.”   Anthy’s eyes were as deep, bottomless pools, such that the group listening to her felt chilled by their depths.  “Which is why people who died angry would often return as vengeful ghosts capable of far greater cruelty than they did in life.  In the more severe cases, the vengeful ghosts would lose even their memories to their fixation, and will do harm to friends and foes alike.  The Swords of Hate –- while greatly empowered by my brother’s magical might –- were essentially vengeful ghosts who lost their very individualities to their fixation on hatred.” 

Juri blanched at her words.  “Himemiya-san, you’re not saying that . . . ?”

“I was there on the train when Momoka-san battled Sanetoshi with the Fate Diary,” explained the Witch; beside her, Utena visibly tensed up at the Subway Attack that took his parent’s lives being mentioned.  “Her magic was all will-power and no technique, which was why she would sustain physical damage from the backlash.  She was most certainly in a highly focused state of mind when her body perished from the clash.”

All were listening rapt by now, to the point that most had ceased eating.

“Kiga Leader Watase Sanetoshi was really one of Ohtori’s pawns, right?” asked –- or rather, stated –- Touga.  “What happened to him after he died from the event?”

Anthy clasped her delicate hands together in fans of dark fingers. “Sanetoshi is now something of a ‘metaphor’; or, for lack of better wording, a Hate Sword made distinct by both its superior power and agency.”  She then cast her gaze back towards Juri.  “Juri-sempai, did you not notice a change in Tsuchiya-sempai’s behavior back when he returned for his part in the Game?”

“I never could get a handle on Ruka,” admitted Juri, appearing uncharacteristically vulnerable in her current haunted, uncertain state.  “He was . . . maybe colder and more aggressive than before?  I always thought it was because he knew he was dying . . .” 

“Back then, Tsuchiya-sempai only managed to function as a seemingly healthy person only because he was sustained upon Momoka-san’s power.  One could say that he was partially possessed by Momoka-san’s spirit at the time.” 

Kozue, listening on with a deep frown all along, spoke up then.  “Then . . . back when Tsuchiya was dating Takatsuki, it was really Momoka who--” She then got silenced by a red-faced Shiori covering her mouth by hand.

“I should have known something was wrong with him.”  Juri continued on, seemingly having missed the exchange completely in her current emotional turmoil.  “Should have talked to him more when he came back.  We were such close friends back when he was the Fencing Team Captain.”  Her crossed fingers now were digging into the backs of her clasped, shaky hands.   “How’d I ever miss something like--”   She stopped at Shiori’s hand clasping over hers, steadying them.   

Anthy continued onwards.  “There is also the matter of Tsuchiya-sempai going into the afterlife while under Momoka-san’s direct influence.”

“You’re saying that the Ruka we saw on TV was also a vengeful ghost?” asked Saionji, cutting to the point.

“At the very least, he is probably caught in a perpetually fixated state of mind,” replied Anthy, glancing down sideways from underneath her naturally lush lashes. “One aligned with that of his mistress.”

Nanami glared at her with pointed suspicion.  “And you’re telling us all of this now because . . . ?”   

“Because the upcoming battle is one borne of the needs of the parties involved,” said Anthy, facing the blonde with a narrow-eyed smile, before including everyone else under her gaze. 

“I need to seize the Power of Reversal from my brother to regain for Utena her pre-surgery body. 

“My brother needs to seize the Fate Diary from Oginome Momoka to harness the Fate Train once he is to summon it with the concert.

“Oginome Momoka is planned on banishing my brother from the World – to “save” it, in a manner of speaking.  For her to accomplish this, however, she would need Dios’ Light from Utena  to strengthen her control over the Fate Train.  It’s really the only way for her to match powers with my brother.”

Utena spoke up (rather hurriedly) then.  “Then, we’ve got what it takes to join--”  He ceased at Anthy’s hand clasping firmly upon her.

“Needless to say, I cannot let Momoka take Dios’ Light from Utena,” continued Anthy with her eyes on the other Duelists, smoothly.  “I do need that power to make good on my promise: to grant all you Duelists your respective wishes for helping me help Utena.” 

To that, Utena’s eyes went wide, along with those of the others present.

They could be heard murmuring on amongst themselves.

“ . . . after the battle is done with, and the Chaiman is gone-ed, we’d still need to go on living . . .”

“ . . . I don’t know about you guys, but what Himemiya had promised is crucial to my continued survival . . .”

“ . . . so . . . instead of being our allies, Ruka and Momoka and the Takakura kids are all gonna be our rivals?”

“Obviously we do not need to fight them,” assured Anthy, smilingly.  “They are also going to be battling the Ends of the World after all.   While both sides will be highly focused on battling my brother and his minions during the concert, it would be a good idea for us to stay alert to possible unexpected moves from our not-quite-allies.”  Her face then hardened from business-like seriousness.  “Then, onto our actual battle strategy.”

“Chida-san told us how it involves a car race this time around,” said Wakaba, perturbed. “Earlier on, we saw some ads about Seen’s new concert having this elaborate set, and I think I see something about ‘raging roads’ being built right into the concert dome.  Does this mean . . .”

“Yes, Shinohara-san; there is going to be what looks like a car race involved this time around.”  The words “what looks like” hung over the air like alien mystic symbols.  “With the exception of Utena, all the other Duelists can only face up against Ohtori Akio by forming driver/vehicle partnerships.”  Her eyes, scanning over each and every one of her Duelists, glinted with something so bright, that she became eerie in appearance.  “I do believe that all of you should be ready for that by now.  Recent events had done wonders in strengthening the bonds between the Duelist pairs.”

“Duelists pairs,” murmured Shiori, her arm tightening around Juri’s.

“So some of us will have to become cars,” purred Kozue, stretching her slender limbs indolently.  “How, though?”

“Some of us don’t even know how to drive,” Tsuwabuki piped up, somewhat awkwardly.

Anthy gave her youngest Duelist this rather indulgent look.  “Some of you, including Utena, don’t even know to really wield a sword to this day.  But that hasn’t stopped you all from becoming competent Duelists.”

“Some of us would be much reassured if we’re given scientific explanation on how these things actually work,” voiced Touga with his eyes on Utena, who appeared lost in troubled thoughts.

“It’s called magic, Touga-sempai. It’s beyond human comprehension, because no human words -- let alone their primitive ‘science’ -- can adequately convey its actual mechanism,” said the Witch, as though it explained everything.  “And . . . Tsuwabuki-kun?  What you will be riding is not going to be a car.”  She made a little show of turning her suddenly impish gaze over towards Nanami, whose expression gradually went from pointed bafflement to gradual realization to plain outrage.

“Fuck.  No.”

“Nanami, it is not like you haven’t already experienced being one before . . .”

“And whose fault do you think that was?!”

Throughout the bickering -- one that quickly sucked the rest of the group into –- Utena remained quietly contemplative.

His cloudy gaze remained trained upon Anthy.

***

“These are . . .?”

“Artifacts of my making.”

The group at the Oginome residence were all eyeing the items displayed upon Tokiko’s tablet in awe.

“This one looks exactly like my old laser slingshot, the very one I’ve acquired from Kiga,” said Masako, expression dark.

“The artifacts are designed via the knowledge I’ve stolen from Ohtori Academy’s Fate Research,” explained Tokiko.  “The Ohtori clan is Kiga’s backer.”  Her gaze turned hazy with old memories.  “These are, in effect, duplicates of the Devil’s own swords.”

“So we’re, in effect, driving out Satan with Satan, huh?” commented Shouma, rather uncertainly. 

“We’ll all be heading over to the storage now,” said the woman, already opening the door of the pink van irrationally present within the apartment unit.  “Everyone would do well to familiarize yourselves with these before the upcoming conflict.”

***

Under the stars the Prince walked, his pristine white shoes stepping elegantly over the roses in his path, leaving them beautifully scattered; crushed.

White cape flaring upon sultry breeze, he was treading slowly but surely towards the white horse idling in the distance.

“Ah, my steed,” he said quietly.  “Await me, I come.”


End Part Twenty-Seven

Endnotes: And . . . that’s it!  As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve since entered a time in my life where the time for fic-writing will be scarce at best.  So, as of this release, Seinen Kakumei Utena’s will no longer have a fixed update schedule.  Yes, I understand this is right before the grand battle and the epic ending, nor am I saying the story is to be discontinued.  But, future updating (if any) will depend entirely on how much demand there is out there to see this work completed.   Many thanks for reading this far: I hope it’s been as fun for you reading this as it is for me to write it.   Peace and much love!


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#157 | Back to Top09-21-2014 07:53:09 PM

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

Part Twenty-Eight UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   

Note: This is a hurried but genuine effort written a most stressful time.  Much thanks to my various readers, especially Gaston1991 and x178x.  This chapter will not be possible without your encouragement and support.   


Part Twenty-Eight: The Revolutionary Survival Strategy I

At the heart of the decadent city was the Big Egg.  Within this Big Egg’s enveloping shell, the restless masses were droning insect-like with ill-contained anxiety and rage:

“Did they really restructured the place like the news said . . . ?”

“Can’t see anything in here, they keep it so dark . . .”

“To think this is gonna be televised nationally . . .”

“To think the media puppets are actually siding with that girl . . .”

“Anytime now . . .”

“Just wait till the show starts . . .”

“Once Seen-sama comes out . . .”

“Once that Kiga bitch and her fellow sluts comes out . . .”

***

“DIE”.

The word, sprayed upon the bone-white dressing room wall in blood red paint, greeted Triple H in all its grotesque malevolence.

Dainty footsteps, accompanied by girlish chattering, could be heard from behind them:

“Do you know?  Do you know?  Do you wonder who’d do a thing like this?”

“Must be someone personally affected by that awful Subway Attack, ne?”

“The people must be thirsty for vengeance even now, no?”

Trembling fists clenched, Himari whirled sharply around . . . only to see no one in sight outside the opened dressing room door.  There was maybe a hint of moving, rapidly disappearing shadows . . . or maybe that too was but a trick of the light?

“Himari-chan . . .?”

Hibari’s concerned voice drew the debuting idol’s attention back on her teammates.

“Oh, I thought I heard someone . . . talking.”

“Ne, is it really okay for you to go on stage like this?” asked Hikari, hooded eyes on her smartphone.  “The comments online are really hateful . . .”     

“I’ve resigned myself to being hated the moment I agreed to be the publicity stint for the group,” replied Himari.   “I have my reason for enduring this punishment.  Hibari-chan, Hikari-chan, is it really okay for the two of you to go on stage with me like this?  If your agency’s strategy is to backfire, even your current level of popularity could be at risk.”

The other two girls –- her former friends and current colleagues –- traded a look between themselves, before turning to nod at her in the affirmative.

“We’re stars,” they said.  “Either we shine bright or we disappear completely into the darkness. It’s all or nothing for us.”

Indeed; already at the ends of their world, there was simply no turning back for any of them anymore.

With that, the trio quietly went about putting the finishing touches on their getup, readying themselves for what was to come.   

***

‘Now that you’ve found me, I shall have you behold my current glory . . . Wakaba!’

***

First came the sounds of engines and skidding tires, as the air came to be fragranced with the scent of smoke . . . and roses.

Then came the single spotlight speared through the oppressive darkness cloaking the stadium’s massive interior, revealing a statue of a classical caped prince perched upon an aerial globe (hanging by wires?). 

//“The bird fights its way out of the egg.”//

The familiar nasal voice coming through the sound system sent the massive, anticipatory audience into cheering, screaming fits. 

“At last!”

“It begins!”

//“The egg is the world.”//

The lights further brightened to reveal a colossal upside down castle hovering impossibly from up above.  Equally fantastical-seeming were the car racetracks loosely encircling the statue in ribbon-like coils, with numerous vehicle currently speeding down their serpentine lengths.

“Holy physics defying architecture . . .”

“I knew they restructured the Big Egg for the concert, but how’s this even possible?!”

“And how’d they make the interior look this . . . big?

Amidst the surreal visuals, the statue was visibly, audibly cracking.

//“Who would be born must first destroy a world.”//

The “statue” shattered, revealing itself to be a man in a cast all along -- a man who happened to be the star of the show.

“SEEN-SAMA!!!”

//“The bird flies to God,”// proclaimed Seen -- not the least ruffled up despite having just freshly broken out of a cast -- with the fervor of a martyr. //“That God's name is Abraxas!”//

The globe he perched upon then exploded in a dramatic blast of crimson rose petals.

Descending (on wires?) gracefully down amidst the crimson storm, the sharply dressed biseinen idol landed right in front of a full orchestra and choir ensemble labeled “Ohtori Academy Music Department”.  Going sleekly into an exotic dance-kata, the sharply dressed biseinen idol then launched straight into a rousing rock opera number that instantly ignited the venue:

//“Mine’s an artificial living body,
//“Artificially cool--”//

***

“To think I have at last reclaimed even this long-lost sanctuary . . . the strength in numbers is a powerful thing indeed.”

High up above, at the pristine upside down castle that the audience thought of as mere prop within this elaborate concert setting, the Prince’s gallant figure could be spotted through an opened window. 

“When humans are fixated on something, be it love, or hate, that fixation could easily get magnified by certain triggers -- to the point that it overrides the rest of their original personality,” said he, watching the on goings below from his seemingly inverted, seemingly gravity-defying position.  “And that, is when the energies they exude can be mined for usage, and their very souls -- their Penguindrums -- are ripe for the picking.”   

Looking away from the many screens erected around the stadium’s interior -- showcasing his puppet’s captivating dance via multiple intimate angles, along with scenes of hysteria from the crazed fans present -- he then turned towards his current ally with green eyes like still, bottomless pools. 

“I’ll be counting on you to help with harnessing Fate once and for all, Sanetoshi-kun.”

The vengeful spirit offered his current master a ghost of a smile.

***

“More!  More!  More!”

Basking under the audience’s adoration with the languid grace of a seasoned celebrity, Seen smiled inwardly, as if at some secret joke he harbored within.

“ . . . then, I’ll hand over the stage to tonight’s guest act, the much anticipated Triple H!”  He then disappeared via a lowering platform amidst the almost despairing cries from his crazed  fans.

Almost right afterwards, a long length of train rail slashed out whip-like from a massive gape on the stage floor, before rapidly intertwining itself around the existing coils of car race tracks in a loose, double-helix-ish formation.  It was immediately followed by an elevating platform coming up at the center of the coiling rail, one that propelled the guest act into the spotlight. 

//“Ohayoooo everybody!”//  Hibari waved at the audience in such a way that she “incidentally” tousled her extension-thickened red mane with girlish glee.

Hikari, for her part, approximated a tomboyish grin, as she threw an arm around their third member’s slim shoulders.   //“Allow us to introduce to ya all our uber newest member, Himari-cha--”//  She was then brutally cut off by the loud booing from the hostile audience.

“Get off the stage!”

“We don’t need some she dog with terrorist background as our idol!”

“And we certainly don’t need to see you affected hoes acting like freaking princesses on our TV!”

//“Wait!”//  Himari, eager to succeed for the sake of reverting her brothers back to their former selves, spoke up despite her involuntary trembling.   //“Please give us a chance--”//

“Shut up!”  A swarm of angry people were now attempting to rush the stage, held back only by the barely effectual security personnel.  “Don’t matter what kinda promotional tactics you or your backers use, we ain’t buying it!” 

Objects were being thrown now, some of which only narrowing missing the rigid, blanching girls.

“We want Seen!  Out of our sight already!  ”

“Away with you bitches!”

“Bitch!  Bitch!  Disgusting bitch!”

With everyone caught up in Triple H’s debut turned denouncement session, most remained oblivious to the distant sound of of heavy wheels against metal rail -- a sound that was slowly but surely getting closer, and closer . . .

That sound was not lost on the inverted Prince in his inverted Castle.

“It’s coming,” he said, deep voice anxious as he glared up (down?) and at the concert’s ongoing.  “The cosmic entity called Fate that once existed under Dios’ control; again it stirred at the sheer quantity of fiery souls gathered.”  Then came a pause, during which the Prince’s expression was to darken a further notch.  “And I see that they have also arrived.”  He turned sharply towards his ghostly aide.  “Sanetoshi!”

Smiling back at the Prince, Sanetoshi then split into two as if cleanly, bloodlessly bisected by an invisible sword.  Both halves of him then proceeded to fall off the inverted Castle as if suddenly seized by gravity.  Down he went, past the multiple loops of racetrack, where a steamlined pink racecar could be seen speeding along with the many darker-colored vehicles sharing the same road . . .

***

//“Anthy, were those things falling off the Castle just now . . .?”//

“They were.  Brace yourself, Utena: it’s about to begin.”

***

*BANG!!!*

The sound of gunshot deterred the crowd from their frenzied attempt to rush the stage.  They now found themselves facing a curly-haired teen girl now standing on stage in front of the petrified Triple H.  The girl was wielding an exotic-looking firearm likely responsible for the blast.

“What the--”

They got effectively silenced by the girl pointing her weapon at them.

“Everyone, stop it!”  Another girl –- one wearing her hair in a perky bob cut –- now is hurrying up to beside the weapon wielding girl.  “Himari-chan wasn’t even born back when Kiga was prominent!  I . . . I have family who died during during the Kiga Attack from sixteen years ago.”  Her proclamation incited shocks gasps from the audience members.  “My own sister was only ten years old back when she died on that fateful train ride . . . but I understand!”  Behind her, a sizable pink float –- one adorned with black rose motifs –- drove up to beside Triple H’s stage, before extending a mechanical lift that moved the trio onto its luxuriant, shoujo-chic platform.  “It is senseless to blame innocent people for being so and so’s children, because they have nothing to do with the crime--”  She then got interrupted by an explosion of booing from the massive audience.

“Shut your trap, you phoney bitch!”

“W-What . . . but I . . .” Unused to such outrageous rudeness, the girl’s mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water.  Beside her, the curly-haired one signed as if exasperated by her thin-skinned-ness.

The crowd continued to verbally hammer at her.

“You trying to say victims ain’t got the right to speak out now?”

“Fuck you for trying to trivialize the Attack when your own sister died from it!”

“You’ve probably been bribed by Triple H’s label--”

*Snap!*

An eye-paining expanse of red light assailed the raging crowd at the front of the lynch-lines, such that they involuntary recoiled to clumsy, toe-stepping effects. 

It was the glare from the singular headlight of a dark-colored racecar, one that had came up to in front of the girls (who looked as startled by its appearance as the audience).  The vehicle looked highly similar to those others currently running on the racetracks in its segmented, insectile design.

Its plate read “KOZUE”.

A mildly raspy female voice, coming though some mic/radio, confronted the self-righteous crowd with the following question:

//“Just how many of you noisy people here are even remotely connected to victims of the Kiga Terrorists?”//

The crowd reacted as if having received a collective slap.  “Wha--”

//“Or, are you all just looking for some convenient targets to dump your hate on?”//  The voice from the car continued on with a sort of animalistic savagery.  //“All members of Triple H are thirteen year old –- certainly a lot younger that a good many of you Christmas cakes here.  These girls are young.  They’re talented.   Most importantly, they’re certainly better people than hateful social bullies the likes of you LOSERS!”//

“You BITCH!”  Truly enraged now, the crowd pushed past the weak security lines and rushed at the stage . . . only to backpedal as another similar-looking racecar skidded right past them in a thick cloud of exhaust, narrowly missing the people upfront by mere centimeters.

//“Do you think you’re the only ones who can threaten people?”//  sounded this other vehicle –- plate reading “SHIORI” –- while parking itself daintily beside the “KOZUE” car.   //“Think again!”//

Thus how it became: the hostile audience seething with impotent hate as they now faced off against the dangerous-seeming racecars guarding the stage –- and Triple H -- like guardian beasts.

***

//“The Witch is right.  We are a whole lot more powerful in this form!”//

//“That, and our partners are now more intimately connected to us than ever.”//

//”I gather sempai’s having much fun riding you like this?”//

//“Why, I wonder if your brother’s also enjoying his side of the action?”//

Standing upon the organic pink float with Hibari and Hikari, listening to the girlish chatter between the two strangely lifelike racecars (somehow, she felt certain it were the cars and not their drivers talking), and watching Ringo and Masako risking themselves to defend her from the violent crowd, Himari found herself overwhelmed by uncertainty.

Just what was going on here?

‘Himari . . . Himari . . .’

The voice, spoken soundlessly into her mind as if via telepathy, had the girl jolting.

‘Kan-chan?!’  She looked wildly about, much to her distressed teammates’ startlement.  ‘Where are you?’

‘We’re right here, Kanba and I both,’ said what she recognized to be Shouma’s voice.  ‘We may be too invisible for you to see us now, but we’re really right here at this Big Egg watching your debut, Himari-chan!

‘Shou-chan . . .’

‘Himari, you see those cars blocking the rabid crowds off the stage?  They are really people –- the very ones we’ve met at that magical place we told you about.  Like Masako and Oginome Ringo, they are here to protect you from the world’s hatred.’ 

‘So don’t worry, Himari-chan; don’t be afraid of this chance to realize your dreams.  Sing, and become this great idol you’re meant to be all along!’

//“Ni-chans . . .”// The girl’s soft voice came faintly audible through the mic fixed to her costume.  //“I . . .”//   She then trailed off at noticing this peculiar change she saw now coming over the hostile audience members.

They were all slowly but surely transforming into basic, semi-transparent gender symbols, with red apple-like thingies visibly pulsing at where their hearts should be.

‘What . . . ?’

The wild winds now picking up within the stadium, coupled with the unmistakable sound of an incoming train, added to the sheer eeriness of this increasingly fantastical scene.

“H-Himari-chan . . .” Hibari and Hikari now were clinging onto her like the helpless children they still were even after becoming idols .  “Just what on earth is happening?”  Himari, who did not know where to start explaining, opted for silence.

“Gosh . . . ” Masako eyed the transformed crowd grimly through her dark shades (or was it really a sci-fic visor?).  “These nobodies’ penguindrums all look like they’re about to burst . . .”

Ringo, for her part, looked downright nervous.  “This sound in the air, could it be--”

Whatever else she was saying got drowned out by this train -- the very model used by the Tokyo Subway System -- thundering into view with the bestial ferociousness of a mythic dragon.  At its dramatic appearance, the “apples” flew out from invisible-ized crowd’s chests and at the Train as though they were metals to its magnet, before getting absorbed through its exterior with magical smoothness.   

Letting out what sounded like in impossible cross between a horse’s galloping and a train’s horn, the apple-devouring train ran mightily along the serpentine train rail.  The rail could be seen leading towards an artfully entangled formation against the looping car racetracks, along which the pink racecar (plate reading “UTENA”) and a practical green jeep (plate reading “WAKABA”) could be seen speeding towards where the rail and track were at their closest . . .


End Part Twenty-Eight

Endnotes: The ending is near, very near.  And I’ve definitely become very, very busy.  Please keep enabling me with C & C so I can muster up the energy to complete this epic, pretty please ~

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-29-2014 11:20:55 AM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#158 | Back to Top09-28-2014 07:47:10 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

Oh man, I'm getting chills just thinking about how this is all going to play out!


Oh treachery!

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#159 | Back to Top09-29-2014 09:11:41 AM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

The_Lame_Goat wrote:

Oh man, I'm getting chills just thinking about how this is all going to play out!

Thank you for still following and supporting this looooog story, The_Lame_Goat  etc-love

Am already writing out the highly exciting (at least I hope so) next chapter, so please stay tuned emot-wink


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#160 | Back to Top09-30-2014 06:29:25 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Part Twenty-Nine UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621

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.   

Note: Another hurried effort.  Thanks to The_Lame_Goat for the continued support of this looooong project!


Part Twenty-Nine: The Revolutionary Survival Strategy II


Time: 10 years post-revolution, hours before Revolution Seen Live 2011
Place: Chida Mansion

“You’re telling us to do what?!”

“Derail Fate.   It is mainly for this purpose that I’ve gathered you all once more at this time.”

They were gathered at the mansion’s garage –- looking bigger than some indoor parking lots, and certainly a whole lot more elegantly designed.  As expected, the Duelists reacted to the Witch’s suggestion in bafflement and outrage.

Utena, feeling no less uncertain despite his relationship with Anthy, could not honestly say he blamed them.

“Look,”  Nanami stomped her foot down, hard.  “When people talk about changing fate and what not, it should not involve magically turning people into cars, then have them try to physically slam a running train off its tracks!”

“What you are to become is not a car, Nanami,” replied Anthy, so matter-of-factly as to be condescending.  Seething, the blonde made a visible effort not to slap her.

“Let’s back track a little bit first, before we’d all again become hopelessly lost here,” voiced Wakaba in this deliberately calming, reasonable-seeming manner.  “So, Tatsuya’s sold out concert at Tokyo Big Egg is actually this summoning ceremony for the Chairman to regain control this thing called Fate –- once the prince’s white horse, now a subway train.  The way it works is that Tatsuya’s performance will supposedly titillate the fifty thousand audience members into a frenzied emotional state, such that the passion they exude will lure out the Fate Train.  This is kinda like how the scent of fruits will likely attract a horse.  Now, there’s gonna be a train at this concert where we’re going to fight the Chairman . . . .” Gradually, even she came to show increasing agitation.   “ . . .so, how’d we go from that to physically slamming that train off track with our vehicle forms?!

“Once summoned, the Fate Train will get strapped onto the path prepared for it by the Ends of the World,” replied Anthy, rather patiently. “Human eyes will see this path as a rail.  Either way, this rail is really a pre-laid trap meant to push Fate towards my brother’s grasp.”  Straightening her back, she cast her now piercing gaze over the group.  “My proposal is that we work together to derail Fate when it shows; because, supposing we don’t, the Ends of the World will gain power over Fate.  This means that my brother will, for the first time since he fell from princely glory, again be able to modify the world’s reality as per his will.”

Utena quietly noted the jolt affecting the group spoken to: Anthy was, as always, an expert at getting people to react the way she wanted them to.

But that was not to say that her manipulative nature was not blatantly obvious to him.

The persuasive words continued to flow:

“Without our intervention, the Ends of the World will have control over Power of Miracles, which many of you had wanted in your youth –- and want even now. 

“I do not have to tell you all what this means for us, and for the World.”

Indeed, the World could not afford an Akio with the power to change reality.  But . . . 

While the Duelists reeled from the impact of the Bride’s blunt words, a large sectional door marked “CAR WASH” slowly opened up in front of them to reveal a dark, ill lit tunnel. It looked downright ominous within the current context.

“Are you scared?” asked Anthy, un-ironic to the point of harsh bluntness.   “Standing on the edge of dangers unknown, are you scared?”  None answered her.  “Then . . .”  Raising a hand in a mysterious gesture reminiscent of her Rose Bride moments back in the past, she sent what appeared to be a hail of crimson glitter sprinkling down upon the group.

“What is this?” asked Tsuwabuki, watching the glitter disappearing through his goosebump-filled skin warily.

“I’ve just baptized you all with my lifeblood.”   

While the others still appeared at a loss, Touga appeared to know exactly what she was talking about.

“As in you attuning your body of power to ours, such that we now can directly access your power?”

“I see Touga-sempai still remembers how Dios’ Rose Bride was once made to cast her body aside for her Victor’s usage,” smiled the Witch, exchanging a loaded look with the man  (Utena of course knew they were referring to the phenomenon that occurred during her second duel against the redheaded Duelist). “Yes, this is a similar process, but with one difference: this time, I’ve raised the limit on how much power each of you can draw from me.  No matter what damage you’re to sustain during the upcoming battle, you will recover by drawing on my power.  So, none of you fighting will fall in this battle, not unless I too am to fall.”

The Duelists gathered traded looks between themselves.  Finally . . .

“The path before us have since been prepared,” stated Juri, already moving forward in broad, determined stride.  “I suppose we all have no choice but to crash Fate.” 

With that, the Duelist stepped right into the car wash’s dark tunnel, followed first by Shiori (who hurried after her), then the rest of the solemn gang.

Including Utena, who still was haunted by the following question:

With the stakes so high, why was there this stubborn insistence on Anthy’s behalf to refuse collaboration with Oginome Momoka and the Children of Fate?

Could it be that she wanted him to keep Dios’ Power that much?  If so . . .

***

‘ . . . could it be that she wants me only as a prince, even now?’

***

Time: 10 years post-revolution, moment of Triple H’s Debut during Revolution Seen Live 2011
Place: Tokyo Big Egg

//“The rail has appeared. Teams, start your engines.”//

On the Witch’s command –- coming smoothly through the intercom -- the driver/vehicle teams drove onto various parts of the racetracks coiling about the now impossibly massive-seeming stadium interior. 

A projecter of sorts must had been at work, as the galactic night sky engulfing this fantastical setting of upside down castle, train rail and winding roads should not exist anywhere near smog-heavy Tokyo.

He could already see the others speeding down the serpentile roads ahead.  There was Wakabamobile, an open-hooded jeep driven by Saionji while also carrying Nanami and Tsuwabuki (both obscured under the tent covering its back area).  Kozuemobile and Shiorimobile, driven by Miki and Juri respectively, were racecars of highly similar designs to those many insectile racecars with whom they were currently sharing the roads . . .

Right, they all were driving alongside these menacing-seeming vehicles that Himemiya had told them were really Akio’s pawns.

And, it was under such excruciating circumstances that he and the one he wanted were finally, undeniably, moving as one.

//“Ne . . . you drive often?”// 

The voice coming faintly distorted through the car radio was almost feminine in its metallic androgyny; he grinned in spite of himself.

“Why’d you ask, Tenjou-kun?”

//“You’re gripping my wheels really tight.”//

“My apologies,” replied the man without ever easing up his grip on said (smothering hot) wheels.  “I’ve never gotten a driver’s license.”

//“Oh.”//

There was this empathetic undertone to Utena’s voice (to think he could read her –- this person will always a be a “her” to him regardless of appearance -- like an open book even now), one that dimmed his rakish smirk.

She knew, of course; maybe not all the macabre details involved, but she definitely knew about his life having long since crumbled.  She did, after all, caught him getting fucked in a public toilet only three years prior.

What Utena did not know was that the old guy he was with was not just some irrelevant john.  That man was a senior editor at the magazine where Saionji was freelancing as a photographer.  When Saionji reacted to the aging predator’s sexual harassment in hostility, Touga -- already a seasoned hustler – attempted to smooth things over for his friend turned sexual-partner turned provider.   It all fell spectacularly apart at Utena chancing upon them, which led to him injuring the creep in reflex . . .

“You know, I’m quite surprised that Himemiya is assigning me as your driver, Tenjou-kun.”

Utena’s voice came quick to the point of near-defensiveness.  //“Anthy’s the commander in charge of this entire operation.  She can’t be driving too . . .”//

“But,” he spoke on as though his vehicle partner never replied.  “I’m even more surprised that you hadn’t ask me about the branding on my face for all this time, even though you obviously want to.”

//“Touga. . .”//

“ . . .bitch!  Bitch!  Disgusting bitch . . .”

Even amidst the roaring of winds and engines, the outcry of the hateful, hate-filled masses acting out from down below still remained audible enough to disrupt their conversation.   Suddenly, Utenamobile’s once smooth run was marred by a definite tremor; Touga could only guess at how this could be affecting someone formerly infested by the Swords of Hate.   

//“It moves?!”//

Miki’s startled voice, coming through the intercom, brought the distracted driver’s attention back onto the roads.  Immediately, he noticed the subtle, elastic movement currently rocking the roller coaster-ish train rail.

//“Look at where the rail leads into the Castle,”// said Juri.  //“A force originating from there is swishing the whole thing about like it’s a whip.”//

//“The Ends of the World is keeping the rail from sticking to the racetracks!”// exclaimed Saionji, having noticed how the rail was kept it from touching the car racetracks for more than seconds at a time

//“How’re we supposed to derail the train like this?!”// Tsuwabuki’s voice came audible in the background of Wakabamobile’s link.

//“Calm.”//  Anthy’s even voice came through the intercom, right as the car video snapped on to display an animated floor-plan of sorts of the modified stadium.  //“The rail cannot stay completely away from the roads, because they’re powered by the same circuit.  Note the lettered areas on the plan where the rail and the racetrack are always at their closest proximity.  Maintain speed, stay inconspicuous from amongst my brother’s underlings the Locust Cars, and be ready to reach those points upon short notice.”//

//“Kozue!”// Miki’s panicky voice came as Kozuemobile could be seen venturing away from the target areas and away  //“Where’d you think you going?”//

//“I’m getting down there to help defend the boys’ sister and friends from the bloodthirsty mob, that’s where!”//

//“Idiot!  You can’t just run off in the middle of a mission--”//

Just then, two objects could be seen falling off the Castle, objects that started out looking like two halves of a bisected man -- one who looked just like notorious terrorist Watase Sanetoshi -- before morphing into what looked like two black rabbits that quickly disappeared into the shadowy crowds below.

//“Anthy,”// Utenamobile’s voice sounded as vexed as Touga himself currently felt.  //“Were those things falling off the Castle just now . . .?”//

//“They were.”//  Himemiya’s reply came uncharacteristically straightforward.  //“Brace yourself, Utena: it’s about to begin.”//

//“Watase Sanetoshi . . . I don’t like this.”//  The tightness in Juri’s voice betrayed her perturbed state.  //“There are only two areas where the train on the rail could first reach the racetrack; and, Utena and Shinohara-san are already pretty close to those spots.”//  Shiorimobile could now be seen venturing off coarse as well.  //“I’d better go with Kozue for now, then meet up with you guys later.”//

“I’ve got a very bad feeling about this . . .” muttered Wakabamobile in her now slightly warped voice.

//“Anthy,”//  Utena spoke up again.  //“I still say we should join forces with Oginome Momoka-san and the Children of Fate.”// 

The prolonged silence from Himemiya’s nonreply sent the racecar’s engines thumping audibly.  Down below, Kozuemobile and Shiorimobile could be heard clashing with the angry masses to soundly effects. 

//“Anthy.”// Utena tried again, more firmly this time.  //“Even if Momoka-san ends up taking The Power of Dios from me like you said she would, at least we can be certain that Akio will be stopped once and for all--”//

//“Fate Train incoming!”// The Witch’s exclamation cut her off with the bluntness of a hammer blow.  //“Miki!  Juri-sempai!   Mark that tunnel on the stage!”// 

Kozuemobile was already going up and towards the now vibrating train rail.   

“I’ve got--”

Miki’s intercom link died as Fate itself –- looking like a Tokyo Subway Train in its current incarnation –- made its ferocious entrance by brutally knocking Kozuemobile aside in a soundly, spark-flying collision.

//“MIKI-KUN!”// cried Utena, as she and Touga watched with helpless eyes the impacted car disappearing in one messy, reddish torrent of smoke.   

//“They’ll recover with my power!”// Anthy sounded more brisk and on edge than he had ever heard from her.  //“Focus on the mission!”//

Unstopped, the Fate Train continued its powerful advance, all the while absorbing what looked like innumerable red globes (apples?) getting drawn out from the vast audience’s transparent bodies.

//“I’m already tailing it!”// assured Juri.  Shiorimobile could now be seen running hazardously upon the rail going after the Train, which Touga saw was about to near the section further up ahead.

//“Estimate time of Fate reaching Area A: 30 seconds!  Touga-sempai, more speed!”//

“Alright!” The redhead floored the gas . . . and found himself having to hastily dodge around a Locust Car falling right into his path.  “ . . . what . . .?”  Looking up, he saw that a number of similar insectile vehicles now were dropping off the strip of coiling road above where Utena was running.   “What on earth?!”

//“Stay focused!”//  Utena appeared to be straining to control her own wheel so he would not accidentally steer her off the racetrack.  //“We can’t slow down, or we won’t reach the Train in time to help --DAMN!”//  Even amidst the raining of suicidal cars dropping all around their immediate vicinity, they could both see that Wakabamobile would now reach the incoming train before they could.  //“WAKABA!”//

//“O-Okay!”//  Wakabamobile’s voice sounded more panicky than he himself currently felt.  //“I’ll just . . . just . . . WHATDOWEDONOW?!”//

//“Wakaba-kun!”//  Her driver, Saionji, sounded no calmer than her (Touga knew that the man was no champion car-racer despite his getting his license after three tries).  //“Remember the plan: we ram the first train car from the side right when it passes!  It’s the only sure way to derail the whole thing!”//

//“T-Then . . . !”//  Wakabamobile picked up speed as the Fate Train neared their area.  //“I’ll--AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!”//

Still struggling against the seemingly endless hail of dropping cars, it took Touga a moment to notice just what had incited the scream from Utena’s friend. 

There was a sizable black robot -- one with rabbit-red eyes upon otherwise teddybear-ish features – perched firmly upon the side of the Fate Train’s first car.  It was currently raising a menacing paw at Wakabamobile, whose forward momentum appeared to be making it difficult for her to dodge the mechanical monstrosity in time.

Vaguely, he noticed how a plate on the robot read “SANETOSHI”, before feeling his heart stop as the thing's paw came swiping down on the open-hooded jeep; or, to be more precise, on her driver-partner’s exposed, vulnerably human form . . .

End Part Twenty-Nine

Endnotes:  I figure this is a nice place to make a chapter break.  Again, please keep enabling me with feedback at this crucial moment right before the ending, please ~

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (10-09-2014 09:59:44 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#161 | Back to Top10-05-2014 12:26:48 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

In case anyone's been wondering about how Seinen!Touga got that "W" branding:

http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=3783


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#162 | Back to Top10-09-2014 07:06:09 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Part Thirty UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   

Note: Another hurried . . . never mind.  You know the mistakes here will be plentiful.  For all who still wondered how Touga got that branding, go look up the sidestory Our Eternal Apocalypse (much thanks to CelianAdellanie, x178x, Lurv, James Birdsong etc for the feedback there)


Part Thirty: The Revolutionary Survival Strategy III


//“KYOUICHI!!!”//

Listening to Touga’s unrecognizably shrill scream blasting through the intercom, Saionji himself was frozen stiff, as he face what appeared to be certain death at the hand (okay, paw) of this giant teddy bear robot (plate reading “SANETOSHI”).

The next, the threat vanished, as said robot got reared-ended away by the startlingly vicious Shiorimobile, which was actually running on the side of the Fate Train. 

“J-Juri!”

“Derail the damn train while it’s here!” barked the panther-fierce female Duelist through the intercom, as her vehicle -- along with the robot now stuck on its harp-like antennas – skidded off and away in a trail of fiery sparks.

“Hai!”  He tried to floor the gas, but found the petal stuck.  “Wakabak-kun . . .”

//“B-But it’s not the first car anymore . . .”// mumbled the vehicular duelist now idling hesitantly in front of the passing train.

“Moo . . . you people are frigging useless--” came this husked voice from behind him, accompanied by what sounded like the rustling of tent cloth.  Before Saionji could’ve reacted, this massive, warm-seeming mass was already flying right over his head, casting him under shadow while doing so.

“ . . . Nanami!  Wait--”

“Watch me derail Fate mooOOOOOO!!!” snarled Nanami-cow, currently leaping off Wakabamobile and at Fate.

“Nanami-saMAAAAAAA!” cried Tsuwabuki, currently hanging onto her with dear life.

The cow and boy rammed full-speed at the train car . . . and, instead of knocking it off the rail, smashed through a grass window, and was promptly carried away by the speeding transport under Saionji’s wide, disbelieving eyes.

“Oh . . . . bloody . . .”

***

“. . . hell . . . . !

Eyes tearing up (she told herself it was from the smoke and not that sharp pain currently wrecking her person), Kozue forced herself to sit upright.  Glancing upwards, she saw that the Fate Train still was running along the rail; not only that, but the others also appeared to be having trouble against the adversarial vehicles loyal to the Ends of the World . . .

“Miki!” She pushed at her twin - charred and disheveled and still seemingly unconscious.  “Get the fuck up! We’ve got to catch up to the--”

“Kaoru Kozue . . . san?”

It was the fancifully-garbed members of Triple H, currently flocking around her like curious birds.   Suddenly self-conscious of her own vulgarity, the woman quickly stood up -- rolling her burned skirt back down -- to properly face the youngsters.

Eyes lighting up, they squealed in excitement.

“It is you!” 

“Your hit single, Time Machine, had remained popular for so long!”

“In fact, it was your dancers’ genki-girl costumes in the music video that gave us the idea to use matching hair ribbons for our audition!” 

“Where’ve you been for all these years, Kaoru-san?”

“That’s . . .”  Kozue, whose short-lived idol career got killed by addiction, bad press and more embarrassing fanfare, fumbled for something to say to these children.   “You girls are Triple H, right?  Isada Hibari, Utada Hikari and . . .” she  focused her gaze upon their controversial new member;  “Takakura Himari?”

“Hai!”  The girls –- who all appeared to be genuine fans of her –- bowed respectfully at her.  “Very honored to meet you, Kaoru-sempai!

“Sempai . . .” repeated Kozue, silently moved by how these kids with their limitless future ahead of them still would give a has-been like her such respect.  “Say, aren’t you girls the guest act for tonight’s concert?  Why aren’t you singing?”

The girls’ youthful exuberance dimmed at her question. 

“But . . . the audience . . . ” Hibari gestured at the fifty-thousand member audience, all of whom now reduced to mere straw dolls littered about the stadium’s vast interior.   Was that the side-effect of their losing their souls/apples/penguindrums to the Fate Train?

“Even so.”  Straightening her back, Kozue did something she never thought she would: teaching the young.  “One thing I’ve learned from my bout as a one hit wonder is that the audience is only as responsive as you want them to be.  If you are genuine, even straw dolls will be moved.  So sing; sing like you want to be their idol.”  The sounds of cars clashing from up above brought her attention back to the present crisis; beside her, Miki had since gotten back on unsteady legs.  “Anyway, girls, you have your obligations and I have mine.”  She was already dragging her still-disoriented twin by the arm and away.   “So, then--” 

“Kaoru-sempai.”  One of the girls – Takakura Himari, the boys’ beloved “sister” – grabbed onto her by the wrist.  “I know this is too sudden, but . . . may we ask you to sing with us?” 

Kozue was floored by the request.  “ . . . huh?”

“Yes, please sing with us!”  The other two quickly joined in.   “It’s too scary if it’s only us performing in this unusual situation!”

“But I’ve got to . . .”

“Please!  Please help us!”

“But--” And, before Kozue could come up with any more excuses to leave, the pink float vehicle/stage/machine that she knew to be Mikage (the black rose motifs gave him away) picked her and her brother up with robotic arms, and moved them towards what appeared to be curtained dressing rooms.   “Geez, you people . . . . !

***

“Himemiya, what’s the meaning of this?  You told us we can physically push the Fate Train off tracks.  So why did my sister got . . . hello?  Hello?! (pause, during which ominous silence ensued) She hung up on me.”

//“Touga, I understand that you’re upset--”//

“You don’t understand anything!” snapped Touga, having completely lost his (signature) cool as he visibly resisted slamming a fist down on the seat lining (he knew what –- and who –- he was currently riding within). “Here we are, risking our lives fighting the Ends of the World.”  The car shook from where they ran hazardously along this quaking path wrecked by falling vehicles.  “My sister had gotten swallowed up by the Fate Train, we’re about to get crushed under this endless hail of raining cars, and the Witch hung up on me!”

//“Touga!”//  Utena’s voice rose along with his.  //“ We’re right in the middle of a battle –-- not some play duel like what we did at Ohtori, but a real battle to determine the World’s Fate!  Anthy has just as much to lose as us, if not more; she wouldn’t have terminated the intercom link unless it’s an absolute must!  Touga . . .”// she deliberately softened her voice then; //“remember how you once asked me if you can be my prince?”//

The question, voiced in this gentle, almost feminine tone that he had always wanted to hear from her, now brought a sharp sting to his eyes.

//“This time, can I ask you to be your own prince?  Can I ask you to hang in there, stay focused, and not get intimidated by all the uncertainties I know is eating at you?” A falling car came down clipping off part of her rear wings; she bore it prince-fully.  “ I’m here; I’ll do my very best to fight along your side –- I absolutely won’t drag you down!  So, this time, can I ask you to stay as a prince?  Can I ask you to be your own prince, Touga?”//

Blinking back tears, the redhead had to struggle to keep his choked voice even.  “Tenjou-kun, I--”

//“GUYS!”// Saionji’s warning –- coming through the intercom –- cut their soulful conversation short. //“ABOVE YOU!”//

Too late, as a shadow had since fallen over them, right before the source’s massive metallic bulk slammed down and upon the Utenamobile with such violece, it sent the race car’s bottom grinding against the moving pavement below to spark-flying effects.

“Tenjou-kun!”  Glancing up and through the fiberglass hood, Touga saw that it was another giant black teddy robot – one identical in appearance to the one from before, except that this one was plated  “WATASE”.

Its red eyes were glaring down and upon him in naked malevolence.

And, as if this moment was not already maddening enough, the man now heard this upbeat, lushly orchestrated pop/rock number sounding in the background, its hyper lyrics as followed:

//“Though the u-turns and the dark cranks on the highway of life,
//“(backup: Takes a long, long time!)
//“With the beaten paths we’ve past now all falling apart;
//“Let’s go away
//“Take my revolution . . . !”//

***

‘. . . it’s like something from a dream . . .’ thought Miki, taking in the crossover performance with misty eyes.

//“Back in that stuffy garage, you and I together,
//“Dreaming of maybe one day we can outrun all those obstacles in life,
//“And find what we’ve been looking for.
//“(backup: Many times!)”//

Glammed up via the help of Mikage-float, Kozue -- looking resplendent under a high-fashion rocker-chic ensemble -- was currently belting one out with Triple H -- the “it group” of the moment, now singing her backup – at the prestigious Tokyo Big Egg.

At the “old-for-idol age” of twenty-three, his twin sister was finally shining again - like she had not been since that disastrous piano concert from their ruined childhood.

The audience members were now alternating between their straw men / human states at an almost rhythmic pace.  The performance’s effect in “bring them back” was apparent.
   
But Miki -- currently supporting the singers on keyboard -- had got far more pressing concerns than the well-being of the shallow, bullying masses at this moment.

With Kozue having lost her vehicle form, they had no means of even contacting the others -- let alone give aid to them.   Looking up, he saw the Shiorimobile and Utenamobile both currently being attacked by what looked like giant black teddies, with Wakabamobile speeding desperately towards some point ahead where the Fate Train was to near the roads again.

Rose petals, red as blood, were raining ominously down from somewhere high up above.

//“Our love today, blooms like a summer rose;
//“We’re the envy of all whom we know.
//“But will it fade, or will it stay?
//“That’s something we’ve got to work on.
//“(backup: Can it bloom forever?)”//

***

“Even against such tremendous odds, these children still persist in pushing forward, all for the sake of reaching their goal,” mused the Prince, seemingly wistful as he took in the ongoing events below from his inverted position. 

A change had since come over his person.  Where his right hand had been now was a cluttering of lush vines steaming out from his sleeve.  They were long, thorny tendrils that extended downwards (upwards relative to his position) to tangle up the end of the train rail -- a spot where the raging Fate Train was steadily nearing.     

“Such single-minded sincerity . . . I, too, used to be like this.”  Even as he spoke, an aura of sorts could be seen draining off of his person and into the train-bound rail. Crimson roses could be seen rapidly blooming and self-deflowering along the barbed vines, such that their petals now were falling down and upon the stage in a steady drizzle.   “You remember, don’t you . . . Anthy?”

Anthy, currently standing behind her brother, hardened her face as she kept her sword's tip leveled at his shoulder blade.


End Part Thirty

Endnotes:  The black robots that Sanetoshi’s twin black rabbits transformed into are the infamous black teddydrums from Mawaru Penguindrum.   “Time Machine” is a call back to the duel song “Utopian Past-Tense Incantation”, and the Kozue X Triple H number is Rinbu Revolution: Charactermobile Remix by yours truly ;-)

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (10-09-2014 07:07:59 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#163 | Back to Top10-11-2014 12:06:56 AM

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

Ah man that ending...the wait for next chapter is going to be harder than ever!


Oh treachery!

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#164 | Back to Top10-11-2014 01:06:30 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

The_Lame_Goat wrote:

Ah man that ending...the wait for next chapter is going to be harder than ever!

Lame Goat! etc-love

Thanks again for the support like always.   Happy Thanksgiving, and here is another Seinen Side Story that is sequel to the last one.   It's a Nanami-centric piece titled Her Last Evolution.  Hope it pleases emot-wink


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#165 | Back to Top10-21-2014 12:28:53 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

It’s finally happening … Seinen Kakumei Utena now gets its own page at Tv Tropes  etc-loveetc-loveetc-love

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

Much thanks, much, much feels ~


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#166 | Back to Top11-11-2014 09:47:36 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Thirty-One UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   

Note: Sorry for the delay (busy, busy real life), but here is the promised update!  Much thanks to Lamegoat, x178x, CelianAdellanie, and many others for their constant encouragements -- you guys are what make this happen. 

Part Thirty-One: The Revolutionary Survival Strategy IV


“To all things, an end.”

At the edge of the flowery sanctuary they stood, watching the massive vehicle – apparently still running – aligning its doors to their static footing like something from another dimension.

“It’s time,” said his captor, at last opening up the glassy exit and ushering the boy through.  “Get on the train.”

Finally let out of the cage-like “hothouse” he been confined within for so long, Mamiya’s steps were uncertain, almost wavering as he boarded the tremor-wrecked subway train amidst wild phantom winds.  Slowly, he turned around to face the one left behind in the sanctuary of her heart.

“Ohtori-chan . . . ” he started, but was silenced by the look in Hoshimi’s eyes.

“Whatever is to come of this, never forget one thing,” said this woman/girl/witch -- who once was simply a maiden he loved -- with a tear streaking down her smiling face.  “You’re my one and only prince, always.”

And the train doors closed separating them for the first time in ten years.

***

It took her a while to regain her bearings.

“Moo . . . where am I?”

“Looks like we’ve gotten inside the Fate Train somehow, Nanami-sama.”

Immensely reassured by Tsuwabuki’s presence beside her, Nanami let the young man –- god, he’s even grown muscles now –- help her up, and got a better look around their surroundings.

The interior of this “Fate Train” was of similar design to that of the average Tokyo Subway train, except it was dark indigo in tone.  There were rotating red wheel motifs -- ones circling a double digit number that rapidly alternated between “95” and “11” –- covering every surface but the windows.  The windows displayed no scenery, but rather, this thick darkness tinted with murky crimson.

She saw, upon the glass’ reflection, that while having regained much of her human features, she still got horns atop her blonde-haired head, the cowbell around her neck, and cow-hoof-ish shoes-things where her footwear should be . . .

“The hell, moooo?  What’s the point of giving me this ridiculous form when it’s useless against derailing Fate . . .”

And, just when she thought things could not possibly get more awkward for her, it did.

“Nanami . . . Neesan . . . ?”

Stiffening, Nanami turned to see Takakura Shouma – still in the form of a shaded eight year old child – staring at her with (vaguely visible) uncertain eyes.  Like how she had Tsuwabuki by her side, Shouma also had his “brother” Kanba beside him, along with a small entourage of strange-seeming young people all wielding tacky-looking sci-fi weapons. 

Thus how the sister and brother finally had their grand reunion: as a cow woman and a shadow boy, meeting amidst the company of watchful strangers -- all of whom clearly baffled by her current appearance.

“S-Shouma-kun . . .” This plain girl wearing a bob cut spoke up uncertainly from beside the blue-haired boy.  “This is your . . . sister?”

“See, Kanba?”  A curly-haired rich brat was likewise leaning down to beside the halve-aged redhead standing beside Shouma.  “There’s really no way you can’t be a part of his family!”

“Tsuwabuki,” she hissed under her breath.  “If we ever get out of this alive, remind me to shave that Witch bald.

***

Up Above, atop a tower at the upside down Castle . . . .

“You always know to find me at my weakest,” mused the Prince, appearing completely at ease in spite of how his sister was currently pointing a sword at his back, and he only got one remaining hand left (the other one had since turned into rose vines tangling the Fate Train’s rail).  “Yes, just like that time.”

Anthy’s stance, while assured at first glance, was marred by a notable rigidity.

***

//“You . . . you’re the man who bombed the train sixteen years ago . . . .”//

Utena’s voice, coming low and ominous, through the speaker, brought Touga out of the stupor he had fallen into from facing Watase Sanetoshi’s monstrous teddy-robot incarnation.   

“Tenjou-kun . . .”

His voice appeared lost to Utena, who spoke on as the “vehicle” slowly but surely lifted itself off the moving pavement it was made to grind against.

//“It’s because of you that my parents died . . . that Momoka-san . . . !”//

//“Electrifying event, that,”// the “Watasebot” actually sassed back via its speaker.  //“What’re you going to do abou--”// 

The monster never got to finish its sentence, as a blazing light suddenly exploded to engulf everything in view.  Largely blinded by this light, Touga vaguely felt himself pushed upwards and about . . .

‘Touga,’  The Victor’s voice resounded within his senses as if coming via telepathy. 

“Tenjou-kun . . .”  Touga reopened his eyes a slit, and saw, to his shock, this apparition of a glowing, naked Utena, whose lanky, mannequin-like body was completely, impossibly devoid of visible sexual characteristics.   “This is . . . ?”

‘Touga.’  Blue eyes imploring, ‘Utena’ reached out a fine-boned hand towards him. ‘Will you?’

Somehow understanding exactly what Utena was asking of him -- even though the words to describe wheat it was eluded him -- Touga reached out to take the offered hand within his, cherishingly.

And the blazing light surrounding him softened into this glowing aura.  He found himself now seated within some sort of high-tech cockpit, with his gloved hands were clutching at a pair of controls, and his body wrapped under this latex-tight red suilt.  Gradually, he came to realize that he now was submerged under a liquid medium –- one that he somehow had little trouble breathing in.  This medium had a peculiar, cloying scent that reminded him of both flesh and roses, simultaneously.

“Tenjou-kun--” Whatever question he was about to raise got cut off by the acute pains that he now felt around various parts of his body.   Looking at the seamless set of screens giving him what appeared to be a 360 degree view of his surroundings, he saw that the Watasebot –- “roller-skating” upon wheeled feet --  was grinding this sizable robot that Utena had apparently become against the moving pavement.

It appeared that he now was feeling Utena’s pain with his own body, as though the two of them had synchronized and become one.

Combat artist’s reflexes –- an asset of his he thought had since gone rusty -- kicking in, Touga rolled the Utenabot over, such that it now was slamming the Watasebot against the moving road’s divider.

//“I absolutely won’t forgive you!”//, Utena –- still retaining agency even in this form -- could be heard snarling.  Her pink “hands” –- maneuvered by Touga -- now were clasped around the Watasebot’s paws. 

//“I see the Duel’s Victor is armored with Dios’ Light . . .”// mused the Watasebot – having visibly sustained damage from impacting the concrete - with something like strain in its voice.  //“Then . . . ”//  A dark, hazy shadow came to briefly hover over the black teddy, before the sinister robot re-emerged undamaged and whole.  “Let’s see how this light stacks up against the darkness from the Ends of the World!” 

Moving forth upon wheeled feet, the two mechanical giants continued to grapple against each other while skidding and tumbling down the wild, hazardous arcs of the racetrack.

***

Even in her currently “vehicular” form, Wakaba could feel her heart/engine/whatnot thumping as per her raging anxiety.

Before today, never in her wildest imagination did she ever though she would be chasing Fate as a vehicle on a mission to slam it off tracks.

The fact how two of her comrades had since fallen to the sheer physical might of the Fate Train did not help either.

Could she, currently speeding towards the next “intersection point” between road and track, managed to derail Fate before it was too late? 

“Wakaba-kun . . .” Hands sweating against her wheels, Saionji’s voice came married by the sounds of the roaring winds (why was she the open-hooded one?).  “You know I never wanted to put you at risk.  But . . .”

//“What’re you saying?!”//  Wakaba, as always, tried to sound stronger than she really felt.    //“I’m here as a Duelist fighting the good fight, so of course I know there are risks!  Nanami-chan is your best friend’s sister and my old schoolmate.  Plus, Utena-sama also needs our help . . .”//  She trailed off as the road she ran upon tilted and arced, such that she now had a good view of the stage below.   //“Wha . . . ?”//

***

To say Kozue was exhilarated would be a gross understatement.

//“It’s a game rigged by the big shots so they never can lose
//“as they drive the helpless ones to the edge!”//

Somehow again gifted with a the full voice, one that she thought had been irreparably damaged by drug use, the ex-idol now was radiating raw energy singing her heart out.

//“With you and me side by side fighting right back,
//“I’d dare say, we’d still got our chance!”//

Maybe, if she keep on singing like this together with Triple H, she really might bring the entire fifty thousand people in this stadium back to their senses, back to being human.  Surely, they would return remembering how she and her performance had brought them back.  Maybe, just maybe, they would again want to see her on their TV, and listen to her music.  Then, maybe . . .

*‘Is it really going to be that easy?’*

Jolting, both at the question spoken directly into her mind (via this feminine voice she vague recognized), and at the numbing sensation now cooling her heart, Kozue slowly glanced down and at her own chest, where a black rose could be seen stabbed into her flesh . . .

***

//“In the mean time all the b.s. they’ve been throwing our way,
//“Can’t change how our conviction’s here to--”//

Immersed within the passionate performance, it took a moment for the Triple H girls to notice that the dynamic Kozue-san had since gone silent and still.  Sharp-eyed from having been exposed to the Light of the World, Miki spotted the cut black rose the moment it came shooting stem first at his sister, and watched helpless as it got where the heart was.   

Kozue’s face was a mask of wide-eyed disbelief, as she glanced down upon her own pierced chest.

“ . . . Kozue-sempai?”  voiced Himari, who, along with the other girls,  had at last noticed their idol’s alarming current state.

And then their jaws dropped at the wetness seeping out of the black rose’s reddened heart.

Before anyone could react further, numerous thick, animated lengths of rose vines abruptly appeared to completely envelope the singer.  Hibari was the first to scream out in shock, which got the other girls screaming together with her too.  Miki watched the tentacle-like vines pulling the cluttered “ball” towards their source: a lush rose bush serving as backdrop to another sizable float now steadily approaching.  Much like the Mikagefloat, this other mobile platform – celadon in color - was also covered in black rose motifs.

The plate on the float read “KANAE”.

An enigmatic score –- orchestrated by the “Ohtori Academy Music Department” carried upon this rather massive float, the entire ensemble appearing as eerie silhouette-people resembling the Shadow Girls and the Boys of Fate –- filled the air with tension, before the balled-up rose vines unraveled to reveal an upright coffin worded “attaché”. 

Seen -- spotting yet another “princely” jpop costume -- could be seen perched indolently atop the coffin.

//“Let’s give it up for the lovely Triple H!”// drawled the idol, his appearance inciting loud cheers from the massive audience – most of whom had largely reverted into straw dolls by now.  //“And now . . .”//  Slipping smoothly off the coffin, he sauntered up to the front of the Ohtori musicians.   //“And now . . .”// He bowed deeply and at the audience. //“An interlude.”//

Behind them, a large sign slowly rose from out of the rose bush:

The Tale of the Rose’s Untold Spin-off -- Tale of the Phantom Princess

***

“Remarkable how you could entered my sanctuary undetected,” commented the Prince, conversationally.  “I must say I’m even more impressed by how you could subdue the Witch even in your current state.” Eyes on the steadily approaching Fate Train, he continued on without turning around.  “Then, are you here for a reckoning?  Or, perhaps, you would like to take this chance to right wrongs according to your own perspective, Princess of the Crystal?

“Are you implying that I can’t do both?” asked the Princess of the Crystal with dark irony.  With her black-gloved hand, she kept a sci-fi-ish firearm pressed against Anthy’s back -- thus revealing herself to be the source of the Witch’s tension all along.  “It’s been a while . . . False Prince and Witch.”

End Part Thirty-One

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (12-15-2014 03:56:48 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#167 | Back to Top12-20-2014 08:43:08 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Part Thirty-Two UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   Has mention of rape in this chapter.

Note:  Sorry for the wait!  This is maybe the longest chapter yet, though I suspect the coming update – depicting the climax of the battle plus a grand revelation – will surpass it in length. Much thanks to Slant, RoseBB, Nanayamino, and many others for their constant encouragements -- you guys are what make this happen. 

Part Thirty-Two: The Revolutionary Survival Strategy V

Within the cramped darkness she laid confined.  Stabbed through the heart, pinned to the board, she was as a specimen on display, a--     

‘Welcome back to the coffin.’

This time, Kozue could clearly recognize just who it was now speaking into her mind.

‘You’re Ohtori Kanae, the Real Chairman’s daughter,’ she stated without being able to part her lips to voice anything. ‘We all saw you taking the hate swords through the space gape.’  Her stance grew increasingly guarded, though her body remained locked in deathly stillness.  ‘So you’re like working for the Ends of the World now?’

‘Call me Neesan.  That’s what I am to you after all, Kozue-chan.’

Vulnerable in her immobilize state, Kozue felt herself increasingly irked-out by this increasingly sinister situation.  ‘What the heck are you yapping on about?’

‘My, you still don’ know what happened back then, do you?’  Cooed this ghostly, mind-invading entity that Ohtori Kanae now had become.    ‘It’s okay now, little sister.  I will show you why I accepted the path prepared for me by another.  I will show you why I became Akio-san’s Bride.

***

//“Do you know?  Long ago, in an ancient era excluded by documented history, all the women of the world were princesses.

//“This was because the godly entity known as Dios was there to offer himself up to every one of them as their Rose Prince.

//“Of those many princesses whose lives revolved around the Prince, there was one tasked with caring for the Prince’s Steed –- that fine white horse famously connected to the Prince’s identity in those sophomoric fairytales re-imagining his glorious past. 

//“What those fairytales had all skimmed over, however, was how the Prince’s Steed was actually Fate –- that cosmic force with the incredible power to change people’s lives.

//“It was mostly with the power of Fate that the Rose Prince had managed to save all people from the threat of despair.

//“Although her work resembled the hard, gritty labor of a lowly stable girl, and her mannerism crude like those other manual laborers in her work environment, this one princess who willingly sacrificed the pampered life she could have to care for Fate was actually highly esteemed by the Rose Prince.  In fact, he arranged for numerous grand dances and galas at his pristine castle all held in her honor.  However, so diligent was this princess with her work, that she missed all the events.  This of course, only made her all the more notable and talked-about among the people.  They started calling her the ‘Phantom Princess’ –- the ever missing belle of the ball.

//“Finally, one day, the Rose Prince decided to approach this most outstanding of princesses right at her workplace: the stables.

//“ ‘Most selfless and noble of princesses, what shall I give you in return for taking care of my most precious steed?  What is it that your heart desire?”

//“ ‘I have always wanted to be the people’s savior, just like how you are, Prince.’

//“ ‘Then, to you I shall bestow this rose-colored crystal, which is in essence a piece of my noble heart.   Bearing my heart, you too shall be recognized by my Fate Steed as its owner, and can lend its power to save people from the world’s darkness.’

//“ ‘I understand, Prince; from now on, you and I will help each other in saving everyone in need.’

//“Unbeknownst to the two, they were secretly watched by the Rose Prince’s sister -- the only girl in the world who cannot be the Prince’s princess, for obvious reasons.

//“Since then, the crystal-bearing Phantom Princess would occasionally venture out into the world upon Fate, where she fought heroically for the people in need, just like how the Rose Prince had always done it.”

//“One day, fresh after another mission, the Princess headed to the smithy trying to mend the horse’s bridal damaged during the prior battle.  As the blacksmith was not present, the handy Princess went ahead with the preparations.

//“While leaning over the large forge, the Princess suddenly felt a stealth presence slipping up to behind her.   

//“ ‘Aren’t you scared?  Standing at the edge of the heat, aren’t you scared?’

//“Even as the Princess recognized the speaker to be the Rose Prince’s sister, she was already falling into the burning forge.”

//“ ‘This fire burns me!’ screamed the Princess aflame, reaching out desperately towards the Prince’s sister.  ‘Help me!’  The girl, however, offered her only a seemingly serene smile.

//“  ‘Take it easy . . . stable girl.’

//“  ‘. . . witch . . .’ gasped the burning princess in pain and anguish.  ‘Accursed witch!’

//“Thus how the Phantom Princess perished in flames, and became an actual phantom lost to the River of Time.   

//“The Princess’ murderer -- the Prince’s sister -- committed the murder in secret hoping to again keep her glorious brother all to herself.  As the girl acted upon her jealousy and thus degenerated into a witch, so too did she plant the seeds of doom for the sibling she loved.  For the Phantom Princess’s fiery death destroyed also the crystal that was a piece of the Rose Prince’s heart, along with that bridle crucial to controlling the Fate Steed.  The Rose Prince, now missing both a part of his noble heart, along with the means to properly control his powerful steed, soon fell into illness.  It was not long before the Prince’s Kingdom fell apart, his Fate Steed ran off amok, and the World he once protected came to be engulfed by never-ending darkness.”

//“Time flew, eras changed, yet a song born of this rosy, bitter past had remained to bearing eternal testament to what once was, what could have been.

//“Even now, you should be able to hear it.”//

//“If your soul has not truly gone cold, even you should be able to hear . . .

//“. . .the Song of the Fallen Kingdom . . .
/
/“. . . resounding across the Ends of the World.”//

Princely figure basking under one singular, spearing spotlight separating him from the darkness engulfing the Big Egg’s vast interior, “Seen” kept his straw-doll audience spellbound with his lulling, hypnotic gaze.

//“If you listen, you can hear it call . . . ‘revolutionnaire’.”//

The delicate piano score, playing in the background throughout his monologue, expanded into a lushly orchestrated concerto as the idol burst into song.  Somewhere veiled under the velvety music were distant sounds of heavy machinery slamming violently against each other; soothed by the music -- and by the spell-blinded, insubstantial states they currently had been reduced to -- the audience noticed neither the sound nor the brutal battle between the pink and black robots barely visible from the unlit sidelines . . .     

***

//“There was a kingdom
//“Called the Kingdom of no Return
//“Back then it’s peaceful
//“Though things got wild and free . . .”//

Half-listening to this ironic number currently performed below, Touga – now fully synchronized with Utena – piloted the pink robot such that it now was trading blows against the Watasebot in with the savage, organic grace he himself had once combated his opponents . . . so very long ago . . .

It had been way too long since he –- who once practiced both kendo and kickboxing –- had physically fought anyone or anything; so very long, that the near-alien sensations coursing though his person now seemed almost . . . revitalizing, somehow.

The fact that he knew Utena was sharing in his physical sensations during such a crucial, brutal fight somehow excited him to no end. 

//“What an impressive pair you are,”// purred the Watasebot, dodging and blocking Utenabot’s attacks with infuriating agility.  //“A woman -- who was a home wrecker at fourteen --  now faking it as a man, supported by a man who gets used like a woman--”//  Pausing only briefly to narrowly leap over Utenabot’s roundhouse kick, the Watasebot blinked its red eyes as while continuing to spew its verbal venom.  //“Who, if sources are correct, had been unable to so much as wield a kendo bokken since getting sodomized by one at ‘Papa’s’ hands a decade ago.  That would be the same night he and his goons branded your face too.  Am I right, Touga-chan--”//

//“Stay still while I bash your head in!”// snarled Utena, whose pink fist narrowly missed the monster’s teddy-ish face.  In her rage, she overextended her robot self while punching forward, leaving an opening at the side that the Watasebot almost managed to take advantage of, had Touga not reacted quick enough to block the attack for them.

“No personal feelings when you're in battle, Tenjou-kun!” he reminded while giving the Watasebot a swift kick to the head – one that sent the latter sprawling backwards.  Synchronized with Utena (and no doubt channeling much of her strength and nobility), the Duelist now was a fighter reborn –- a fighter possessing of the cool-headedness and objectivity he had not yet acquired back in his arrogant youth. 

In short, Kiryuu Touga now had become stronger than he ever was.  No way could half-a-ghost of a failed terrorist stand any chance against his united front with Tenjou Light of the World Utena.

Apparently realizing this too, the Watasebot, already at the edge of the racetrack, flipped itself over the guardrail and onto the Fate Train passing from below, letting the speedy vehicle carry it away. 

Utenabot gave chase immediately.

//“Touga . . . how many times have we fought side by side already?”// 

“This is the second.”

//“How strange, it feels like we've fought together so often . . .”//

Feeling Utena – both physically and emotionally – Touga focused his energy on helping her chase after their adversary, and after that hazardous Fate they now had to derail.

//“ . . . Fate is a wild mare
//“From the Kingdom of no Return
//“Wandering forever
//“To be lost in the river of time . . .”//

***

//“ . . . Tenjou-san is so brilliant; look, she is totally defeating her black teddy opponent . . .

//“Tenjou-san; you; everyone on the Student Council have always been so exceptional . . . then and now . . .

//“ . . . I haven’t been feeling any power from Himemiya’s end since a while back . . . ”//

Slumped against her seat as she suffocated within the heat of Shiorimobile’s now smoke-filled interior, Juri – orange mane disheveled - watched the one-sided battle between Utenabot and Watasebot through the cracked windshield with hazy, heavy-lidded eyes.

“Hey . . .”  She struggled to so croak out her words, so close to losing consciousness as she now was.  “Why’re we talking about this now--”

And the car’s hood (would that be her precious Shiori’s chest? or maybe her back?) caved inwards to reveal Sanetoshibot’s mechanical paw, right before Juri – bound by human limitations – was to finally, involuntarily faint away.

***

“Why are you guys are here inside the Fate Train?” asked Tsuwabuki, trying take the kids’ attention off the increasingly uncomfortable Nanami while also to make sense of the situation.

“We’d ask you two the same,”  Kanba – whose current mature mannerism contrasted his eight-year-old appearance to off-putting effects – replied for the wary gathering of Children of Fate.

“Well, Nanami-sa . . . san and I kind of slammed physically into the Train.”

“We simply got ran over when the Train shot out of the hole on the stage.”

“Then . . .”

“The Fate Train is still running, moo; this is bad, moo.”

Nanami’s awkwardly spoken statement – thanks to her current state – earned her blank looks from the Children.

Tsuwabuki attempted to take over the explaining. “Umm, you see, this Train is really a--”

“Just let me goddamned do the explanation, moo,” grumbled Nanami, impatient even as a cow-hybrid.  “Alright, starting from the beginning, moo . . .”

***

“You; you were there watching your sister kill me, weren’t you?

“I saw your silhouette while I was burning up!” 

Knuckle white from where she kept her finger on the firearm’s trigger, the Princess of the Crystal glared at both siblings with violet flames within her amber eyes. 

“Letting your sister off the hook, and leaving my murder un-avenged . . . you, the ruler of the kingdom, tried to go on like nothing had happened, like I never happened!  What an ignoble prince.  I do wonder . . . were you trying to protect your sister, or your own family name?”

Nailed to the spot by the Princess’s weapon, Anthy’s slim back now was rigid to the point of seeming brittle.  The Prince, for his part, remained gracefully assured under the heat of her vengeful wrath.

“Back then, much was lost to the flames of my sister’s jealousy -- Fate’s Bridle, my Heart’s Crystal . . . and you,” he said, not quite answering the Princess’ question.  “For ones like my sister and I, dreams are such stuff as we are made on.  Having lost access to the Light of the World – that which fueled our many powers – the only way for us to continue enacting magic was by fueling the act with the passions – the life energies – of mankind.  The more passionate the individuals, the more power we can reap off of them.  Thus why we mainly target the young, for their vibrant spirits had yet to be dulled by their world’s dreary reality.  For adults, we bother only with those holding direct power over children in whom we saw potential.

“Thus how we reaped and tolled through the ages –- sacrificing humans souls, along with those of our own –- all for the sake of regaining that which we’ve lost to our tragic past.     

“It was not until a few decades ago – fresh after I have acquired my current base at Ohtori Academy – that my sister and I had finally managed to resurrect Fate’s Bridle into its latest incarnation: the Fate Diary.”  His impassive gaze brushed across the Stadium’s many LED screens, before stopping upon the one video focused upon Kaoru Miki, now shown stealthily slipping away from the petrified Triple H and off the Mikagefloat. 

“With the Diary, we were planned on regaining control over Fate, and again make perfect this since broken world.” 

The Duelist, now wielding his heart sword, could be seen advancing steadily towards the Kanaefloat, towards the coffin now confining his sister; The Prince closed his eyes as if from weariness.

“We were so close to realizing this dream . . . before the plan got crumbled by the Diary’s theft at the hands of Chida Tokiko.  Though . . . .”  Finally, he turned to look over his shoulder and at the Princess now holding his sister hostage.   “I’m sure you already knew about all this since way before you were to birth yourself specifically as Chida-kun’s relative, ‘Oginome Momoka-chan’.”

The Princesss, now looking like a teenage version of the deceased little girl, bared her teeth in budding rage.

***

“ . . . which is apparently why we must stop this Fate Train from reaching the Castle at all cost, moo!”  Straining from the effort of giving the long-winded explanation,  Nanami – still partially cow-ish – then took a moment huffing as she tried to regain her breath.  “So, do you all understand now, moo?” 

A moment of silence ensued, during which the Children of Fate let the info sink in.  And then . . .

“Supposing Fate really does have the form of a train now . . . wouldn’t the cab up front be where its controls are?”

The supposition from the curly-haired girl (Masako?) had the whole gang of them running up towards the first train car, where entire the front section was blocked by what looked like a large, holographic-seeming red wheel motif.

And, before anyone could decide on what to do next, a beam of red laser light suddenly appeared striking the motif.  Then came what sounded like a gunshot, before the motif fizzled out of view like something from a video.

“Chida-san?!” chorused the group.

Indeed, it was Chida Tokiko, cutting a sleek figure in her black suit skirt as she strode up from behind them with laser-aim gun in hand.

“This here is the Train’s cab.”  She walked right up to the revealed cab’s door.  “Behind this door are the controls controlling this massive cosmic force called Fate.”  Her eyes could be seen narrowing from behind her shades.  “If we can open this door . . .”

“Kinda scary when you actually think about it,” murmured Tsuwabuki.  “Us mere humans, trying to control something like this . . .”

“Too late to be having second thoughts now, Moo.” Nanami had by now clasped her (thankfully still human) hand around the cab door’s handle.   “Let’s just get this over with--”

“Don’t open it.”

The voice, coming unexpected, childlike and inexplicably ghostly, had the cow-woman pulling back her hand as though scalded.  Everyone else appeared just as startled by how there appeared to be someone inside the cab.

“There’s someone in there all along?!” exclaimed Kanba, all tensed up. 

“Or is that the Fate Train itself talking?” wondered Shouma, seemingly at a loss.

“. . . please don’t open it,” repeated that boyish and ghostly voice, pleadingly, hauntingly.

“H-Hello?”  Tsuwabuki, having since moved protectively in front of the shivering Nanami, tried putting up a brave front as he greeted whatever it was behind the door.  “Who is . . . ”  He trailed off at Chida-san stepping slowly past them and up to the cab door. 

“ . . . Mamiya?” she asked, her voice an airy, disbelieving whisper.

***

“Back then, Chida-kun stole the Fate Diary thinking she could use it to save her ailing brother.  She really thought she could control Fate despite only being human, the silly thing.

“And so, my sister took her brother from her in return, and merged with him such that the child became an extension of herself.  Wearing his form, she bewitched Chida-kun’s lover – the brilliant Professor Nemuro – into staying on at Ohtori and working towards our ends.

“It was his genius that brought us the Child Broiler – the first of those many human-fueled power plants currently powering up my forces.

“But let us go back to sixteen years ago, back when my sister and I again made a try to capture Fate, this time via the strategic execution of the Tokyo Subway Attack. 

“With the vibrant hearts of many triggered by great calamity, surely Fate – ever hungry for passionate emotions – will be drawn to the scene.

“Thus how Fate superimposed itself upon all the affected subway trains to feast upon the people’s energies, as my sister and I ventured upon the train cars as we worked on again harnessing this powerful force.”

“The moment you showed up to confront Watase Sanetoshi -- wielding the Fate Diary with ease despite a startlingly young age -- I knew that had to be you, having re-entered the human world through reincarnation.

“Just as before, you, who wanted to save others, lacked the power to save even yourself.

“It was regretful that you had to die again so soon after being reborn.”

***

“Just as before, you, who crave miracle, lack the luck to avoid even certain disaster.”

Jolting (as much as a racecar was capable of doing so) at hearing that voice, Shiorimobile –- currently getting brutally hammered by Sanetoshibot -- turned her sensors towards the side, where a familiar figure could be seen observing her suffering with impassive blue eyes.   

//“Tsuchiya-sempai . . .”//

“It is regretful that you have to die again so soon after being reborn,” stated the ghost of the boy from her troubled past with this eerie, matter-of-fact calmness.  “Takatsuki.”

***

“Ten years ago, the gravely ill Tsuchiya Ruka – your childhood friend in your last life – returned to Ohtori Academy while physically supported by your artifact the Penguin Hat

“He made a demand to be admitted into the final round of the Duels.

“His appearance coincided with two events: the end of Professor Nemuro’s highly experimental Black Rose Duels, and the return of the since powered-up Chida-kun trying to settle the score with me.     

“In an impressive display of power, Tsuchiya-kun graduated Professor Nemuro from Ohtori by modifying reality, and made it so that he never existed in the school to begin with.”

“Tsuchiya-kun was the one to have reunited the Professor with Chida-kun.

“He would have returned Chida’s brother too, had my sister not claimed to have somehow lost him to a theft during that chaotic period of reality’s remolding.

“I wonder who would have done such a thing?”

***

It took a while before the woman could have recomposed herself enough to speak normally.

“Mamiya . . . why are you in a place like this?”

“I’m here as per Ohtori-chan’s direction.”

Her brother’s reply had Tokiko’s delicate jaws squaring.

“I see . . . Ohtori Hoshimi really was the one to have stolen you away from Himemiya.”

“Ohtori Hoshimi . . . Ohtori Kanae’s mother?” inquired Tsuwabuki’s voice from behind her.  She did not acknowledge the question.

“Neesan,” her brother spoke on. “You know I no longer have a human body, right?”

“Mamiya . . .”  Tokiko felt the sting of developing tears in her eyes at being forced to face this damning fact.  How could she not know this already, when she was the one to have arranged that funeral for his dead, “invisible” body?

“By merging with me and taking on my identity, Himemiya Anthy had already killed me in a manner of speaking.  I was since rendered a disembodied spirit -- one that she held captive within her heart’s sanctuary.  Had I returned to you as I was, ten years ago, I would have come back to you as a low-level ghost.  You would neither see nor hear me, and would need some artifact to establish but the barest all forms of communication with me.  A reunion like that will only be one of gloom and despair for the both of us.”

“But . . . Mamiya, you know I’d rather some contact to you than nothing--”

“Ohtori-chan, whom I’ve been with throughout the past decade, has come up with this strategy to help me come back with an actual living body.”

Mamiya’s statement impacted Tokiko like a blow to the chest.  “. . . What did you just say?”

“It’s what she call my ‘survival strategy’,” mused her brother, a rueful note evident in his voice.  The term incited some faint whispering from amongst the Children of Fate gathered about.

“Then . . . ”

“Ohtori-chan had kept its details hidden from everyone -- even me -- for fear of it possibly getting thwarted by conflicting interests.  I do know, however, that for the strategy to work, I must ride this Fate Train, and have it take me towards the Ends of the World.”

Unsurprisingly, Mamiya’s words drew rather heated responses from the Duelists present.

“What’re you saying, moo!?   Having this Train reach the Chairman would again give that monster the power to change reality for his evil purpose, moo!”

“Mamiya-kun . . . I understand that you want to come back to your sister, but . . . we cannot allow Ohtori Akio to have this great, damaging power!  Just no!”

“Neesan . . .” pleaded Mamiya, focusing on his sister alone while ignoring the others’ protests.  “I’ve resigned myself to eternal damnation the moment I transferred your contract with the Devil to me, and  allowed Himemiya to seize my Penguindrum.   But . . . Ohtori-chan . . . she had never given up on trying to save me!  She had made huge sacrifices to make this happen for me . . . I . . . I want to come back to life for her!  And for you too, Neesan!  So,  please--”

“Enough.” Tokiko cut off her brother crisply, coolly . . . before abruptly whirling around to aim her firearm at the shocked Duelists and Children of Fate.  “I suppose I have no choice but to endanger the world.”

***

“Either way, the message was clear: you, the Princess of the Crystal, had retained your ability to control Fate even in death, and have sent Tsuichiya-kun to us as your avatar. 

“Should we let Tsuchiya-kun get to the Final Duel, to the Rose Gates, even as he stand the chance to seize the Power of Revolution, we too would have a chance to take from him the Power over Fate.”

“Both your plan and ours fell through with Juri-kun throwing the fight and refusing the Victor’s role.

“Afterwards, having refused to sustain his life by further-draining your artifact’s power, Tsuchiya-kun died as per his illness.

“We understand that he did it so that you, his princess, could again access and affect the human world via the power left in the artifact.”


***

//“Tsuchiya-sempai . . .”//

“You can’t even defend yourself anymore, can you, Takatsuki?”

Ruka’s rhetorical question came right as Sanetoshibot tore a wheel off of Shiorimobile (was that really a hand? or a foot?), wrecking the car-woman with crippling, silencing pain.

“Such a delicate Duelist.”   The ghost – standing languidly upon thin air -- continued on with taunting the brutalized car-woman.  “Is that oil leaking out of your hood, or are you crying?”  He tilted his penguin hat – childish-seeming, but for those ominous violet eyes – at her.   “Do you see this artifact I now am geared with?  This is a manifestation of the Princess of the Crystal’s power.”  He came to don a sadistic smirk as his low voice further darkened.  “That which enact miracles, and can change even Fate and Reality – a power that even Watase Sanetoshi is fearful towards.  Yes, I have since earned the authority to use this power.  But . . . surely you don’t think I’m going to use it to help the likes of you?”

//“Tsuch--”//

“Don’t bother; even if it means saving Juri, I won’t help the insect that lied her way into my pants while turning the woman I loved against me.”

Ruka’s statement – perfectly nailing Shiorimobile’s fears – had her feeling so numb with coldness, Sanetoshibot’s persisting destruction of her vehicle form barely even registered any more.

Like Himemiya had said, Ruka really had become this “vengeful ghost” due to how he had died.  He was no longer as noble as he once was; this vengeful, hate-driven Ruka . . . he really would let Juri die along with her, all to spite the rival he had likely hated unto death.

“I won’t let you use Juri to make me save you.  You, whom Juri had chosen over me, will perish here, now. Even though you had her, in the end, a weak, petty thing like you have no hope of protecting her from the monsters of the world.  Had I been the one in your stead--” 

And Ruka’s words came to a cease, as Shiorimobile summoned what remained of her strength, and ejected the unconscious Juri from her seat and right in his direction.  Sadistic front abruptly vanishing, the ghost quickly held onto the woman he loved in his life, before turning back towards his old rival with what appeared to be genuine surprise.

“Takatsuki . . .”

//“Hurry . . . take Juri somewhere away safe!  Don’t mind me, just save Ju--”//

Whatever else Shiorimobile tired to sound went dead, as her engine exploded to fiery effects under the spirit’s wide eyes

***

“Since Tsuchiya-kun’s death, I’ve known how the day would come when the both of you are to return from the dead to again make a grab for my power.

“Ironically, it was this troubling knowledge that forced me to pull myself together during those dark days after the disastrous Final Duel. 

“Back then, Utena-kun’s reckless action had destroyed the Rose Gates leading to the Power, and Anthy had chosen just then to turn her back on me in pursuit of her new prince.  I would’ve been at my wits’ end, had I not make proper preparations beforehand.”

***

‘Since before that sister of his had left, Akio-san had been preparing me –- then his fiancée -- to take on this crucial role as his Bride.

‘First, he had his sister antagonize me to darken my heart.  Next, his sister had my dark heart be as vase to her black rose, such that my body and soul got duly exposed to magic as per my bout in the Duels.

‘Finally, the both of them exposed the whole truth to me.  That they are what people call monsters, or gods . . . or aliens species yet to be determined.  Either way, the man I loved was not human, nor was his sister.

‘The fact that they have a sexual relationship seem almost insignificant in light of this fact.

‘Having been presented with the truth, I was then offered a choice, to stay on as Akio-san’s Bride –- who share in his power while shouldering his pain – or to walk away.   

‘I chose to stay, not because I crave Akio-san’s otherworldly powers, but because I could tell that his sister – his accomplice in all things - totally wanted keep him all to herself

‘I sure showed her just which one of us was truly important to Akio-san, didn’t I?

‘The sister left very soon afterwards – my heightened closeness with her brother had her fleeing in tears, no doubt.

‘The one who emerged victorious was me--’


‘If you’re done spewing your delusional save-face crap, can you please release me from whatever this box is?’ snapped Kozue (as much as she was capable of snapping while completely silent and immobile).  ‘In case you haven’t noticed, I’m in the middle of a fight plus a possible comeback act!  Let me the fuck out of here right now!’

‘But this is your coffin, Kozue-chan,’ replied Kanae, a condescending sing-song quality to her telepathic voice.  ‘You’re the one responsible for your being in it.  You can try opening the coffin yourself, or you can get your prince to do it for you.  Oh, look, your prince.’ 

A scene appeared within Kozue’s field of vision, within which she saw Miki, heart sword in hand, currently moving past those many shadow-cloaked orchestra members currently playing their instruments, and up towards an upright coffin worded “attaché” (which she deducted to be where she was currently imprisoned within). 

She saw a man – also wielding a sword – stepping out from where he was playing among the other musicians to intercept Miki, who went rigid at seeing him. 

It was her drug-taking, teenage-raping manager –- looking very much alive in spite being dead for ten years.

‘I wonder what’s to be the outcome of this imminent duel,’ purred Kanae, her “voice” seemingly faint against the current thundering of Kozue’s own heartbeat.  ‘Care to guess?’

Kozue’s hands, once listlessly limp, slowly clenched into fists.

***

“Of course, Kanae was no match for Anthy when it comes to ensnaring noble youths – no one is.  Needing vast quantities of human life force to survive the tumultuous times I knew would come, I decide to take a risk and change up the game.

“Instead of rebuilding the Rose Code, and relying on the Bride’s wiles to procure for me my passionate children within a limited school setting, I decided instead to raise up an idol of the world, and make him someone to whom all people would eagerly surrender not just their passionate emotions, but their penguindrums -- their very souls –- as well.

“The once ordinary Kazami Tatsuya –- having since been beautified through extensive re-crafting –- proves surprisingly adept at filling this role.

“Though I despise his cheap pettiness, I will admit that it was his uncanny popularity that earned me my tsunamis of incoming penguindrums – the vast quantities -- if not quality -- of which actually allowed me to surpass even Dios in terms of sheer power.  The money he brought in as a top entertainer also helped in building those new boilers all over this country, thus empowering my forces into as you can see now.     

***

//“Re-vo-lu . . . I can hear the kingdom call
//“(chorus: no return, no return )
//“I can hear my princess call
//“Come to me . . . ”//

Riffing along the orchestra’s music, “Seen” continued with his pitch-perfect delivery in spite of the violent swordfight currently taking place right behind him.

The battle was one between Kaoru Miki and the man who once used to be both their old music agent.

“You bastard!” snarled Miki, uncharacteristically ferocious as he rained cut and stabbed at the man who destroyed both his and his sister’s lives.  “I’ll kill you!   I’ll kill you a thousand times over for what you did!  Freak!  MONSTER!!

The man -- a dead pawn of the Ends of the World currently existing in the living realm upon supernatural powers alone -- merely giggled like some demented crown, all the while countering Miki’s rapid strikes with moves that outright defied known physics.

Smirking derisively at the blue-haired Duelist attempt to use skill against actual magic, the idol continued on with serenading the very spirits out of the adoring masses.

//“I lost my heart to this kingdom and forever my heart will mourn
//“Gone, gone for ever down the Kingdom of no Return
//“Re-vo-lu-tion-na-ire--”//

//“STOP ALREADY!!”//

The familiar girlish voice –- coming mildly distorted from a sound system of sorts –- came not a moment too late, as this jeep then came falling off the racetrack from above.   Unfazed, he kept his even gaze upon the vehicle now plummeting down and at him, and saw –- without surprise –- the rose vines sprouting off the Kanae-float snatching it up tentacle-like.

Undeterred, the leaf-green jeep –- plated reading “WAKABA” –- continued with berating him:

//“Can’t you see that Miki-kun is fighting right on this stage?   How can you keep on singing like this, Tatsuya?!”//

“Wakaba . . .”  hissed Kazami Tatsuya, having since turned off the mic.  “How nice of you  to show up at my concert with that man."

His exotically beautifully shaped eyes now were glaring through her windshield and at Saionji Kyouichi, currently having his hands on her wheels . . .

***

“Back on my feet, and stronger than ever, I have been eagerly anticipating your re-appearance ever since.

“Why else do you think I would have staged Subway Attack Take Two just weeks prior to tonight’s summoning ceremony, if not to make sure I can draw you out when I need to?”

“How . . . ?” hissed the Princess, red-faced, as her firearm fell uselessly apart from the leafy sprouts now bursting out of its various joints and cracks. Her own body now was tied up under numerous rose vines, with their thorns visibly pricking into her skin to bloody effects.  “How’d you manage to . . . ?”

“As you are now, you are living while dead –- a ghost of a memory that is more metaphoric than real,” the Prince -- the source of those innumerable vines now spilling over to marr much of the Castle’s pristine surface -- analyzed her predicament with something like true empathy in his softened voice.  “But a lack of physical self won’t protect you against my clutches, magnified as my power is by the audience’s passion for Kazami.  You are aware that this concert is being televised Live?” He calmly observed the Princess jolting at what he just alluded to.  “Right.  To challenge me, at this moment, is to challenge the collective will of over a hundred million people currently tuned into this show from all across Japan.”

“You monster . . .” she gasped, glaring at one sibling then another with frustrated, tear-rimmed eyes.  “You goddamned monsters!”

Anthy, disarmed and struggling frantically against the animated vines, appeared to be getting shoved into a coffin -- one situated at the heart of a gigantic red rose -- against her will.

“Don't be so bitter, Princess” cooed the vine-sprouting Prince, stepping languidly up and towards the entrapped phantom.  “You've tried for so long be the World’s Savior, you needn't blame yourself any longer.  Thank you for having treasured that missing piece of my heart until now.”  He placed his one remaining hand over the Princess’s heaving chest, and watched the area start to come aglow. “I shall now take back what is rightfully mine.”


End Part Thirty-Two

Endnotes:  Just 2 more long chapters to go before the end (so I hope).  And yes, Song of the Fallen Kingdom’s lyrics is indeed modified from River of no Return.  As always, PLEASE C&C ~

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (12-21-2014 08:53:24 AM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#168 | Back to Top02-17-2015 10:12:04 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Thirty-Three UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   

Note:  This is the longest chapter yet of the entire story, though I suspect the next one -- likely the final chapter -- would surpass it in length.  Much thanks to Sharnii and CelianAdellanie for commenting on this story in great detail, BunnyHeartMedicine for fav-ing and rec-cing the story, and Jougetsu, Gaston, and  many others for supporting it either publicly or in private.  I owe my being able to continue this story at such a busy time in my life to you all.

Part Thirty-Three: The Revolutionary Survival Strategy VI

It really was just one thing after another on this impossibly impossible night of her debut.

First, the raging audience condemning her for having terrorist adoptive parents all got rendered into straw dolls after having their penguindrums zapped away by the Fate Train.

Then, the elusive ex-idol Kaoru Kozue-san showed up supporting their performance -- jamming with them, even –- before suddenly getting ensnared away by animated rose vines sprouting off Seen’s float-stage.   Kozue-san’s brother went off after her and onto Seen’s float, where he then got into some frenzied swordfight against some creepy looking man.

Afterwards, this green jeep suddenly dropped itself down from the racetracks above, such that it plunged directly at Seen, before getting snatched up by vines from his float just like Kozue-san.

Finally, the pink float they currently were on extended its robotic arms and cut the jeep loose, thus starting this “fight” against Seen’s surprisingly monstrous float, forcing their group to scamper away from the ensuing robo-battle.  Seen, for his part, appeared to be having some sort of confrontation against the lively jeep, though it was mostly drowned out by the dramatic sights and sounds from all around . . . .

No matter.

Neither chaos nor violence was going to stop her from becoming an established idol and changing her discriminatory society, not when that was the only way to get her ostracized, invisible-ized brothers out under the sun again. 

‘This time . . . this time I’ll be the one to save the two of you, Shou-chan . . . Kan-chan!’

“Hibari-chan, Hikari-chan!” she called to her group mates.  “Seen-san has stopped singing.  It’s our turn again!”  Those two appeared flabbergasted by her suggestion.

“But . . . our instruments and sound system are all on the pink float--”

“Our mics are still working, and there’s a piano set on the side stage. The two of you can sing a cappella, and I think we’d still be visible under that lighting.  Let’s go!”

Without waiting for their reply, Takakura Himari was already running towards the side stage.  Given no other option, the other two-thirds of Triple H could only follow her meekly from behind.

***

“. . . it will be alright,” he assured her, before stepping back and away, disappearing behind sheens of falling rain.

At his departure, the skies above came to darken; her world was growing dim.  In the background, voices -- girlish, ghostly and cynical all at once -- rang out in a psychedelic chorus:

‘ . . . died yesterday . . .’

‘ . . . seems he knew how sick he was, but forced his way out of the hospital anyway and went back to school . . .’

‘ . . . always saying: ‘I want to give the Power of Miracles to the one I love. I want to free her . . .’

‘ . . . supposed to mean, I wonder . . . wonder . . . wonder . . .?’


“ . . . be alright . . . huh?” murmured the girl, left drenched and shivering in the cold. 

Indeed; freed from the chains of obsession with which she had tied herself down, she would be alright from now on.  But . . . but he . . . he had gone and . . .

“You . . . what hopes had you entrusted to the Power of Miracles?”  Tears, hot and scalding from where they streak down her face, further blurred her vision.  “Who were they for--”

A blast –- an explosion of sorts –- suddenly overtook her sight and hearing.  Knocked off her feet, and blinded, she flailed her arms wildly about . . . and found them steadied by firm, gripping hands . . .


“. . . Juri.”

“ . . . Ruka,” murmured Juri, recognizing the distinctive voice of this boy from her past even in her half-awake state.  “You . . . but you’re--”

“Juri . . . it will be alright.”

Heart sinking at again hearing that ominous line from him, Juri struggled to open her eyes . . . only to see in front of her this massive ball of fire, one currently flaring up around what looked like a random Locust Car.

Its charred plate, since fallen off, read “SHIORI”.

***

“It is because . . . of love.”

The Prince’s words, so gently voiced, sounded downright eerie against the shrill, agonized wailing in the distant background.

“Damn you . . . !” snarled the Princess, apparently straining to keep what was harbored within her vessel from getting pulled out by the force originating from the Prince’s glowing palm.  “What’d you--”  Whatever else she was about to say came out in an agonized wheeze.

“You want to know why the Prince obscured justice in the case of your murder, didn’t you, Princess?” purred the Princess’ assailant, currently stabbing something into the side of her slim neck. “Well, you got your answer.”

“Hoshimi-chan,” greeted the Prince, watching as Ohtori Hoshimi injected something glittery and pink into the surprisingly physical-seeming phantom via a syringe needle.  “Is that the ‘Chairman’s Special’ you’ve lovingly applied to your husband for the past sixteen years?”

“You’d know all about the ‘Chairman’s Special’,” replied Hoshimi, as the Princess’ ethereal, ghostly frame convulsed backwards; a purple crystal – shaped like a stylized peach – burst out of her chest and into the Prince’s grasp.   Task done, the glamorous society matron stepped back and away, letting her “son-in-law” do the rest.

“Ah, my heart’s missing piece,” mused the Prince, ignoring the Princess’s wide-eyed glare as he focused his gaze upon the recovered item. “This here is the missing link to my noble past; I was a completely different person back then, wasn’t I?”  His green eyes, reflecting the crystal’s brilliant aura, turned blue with melancholy.  “Indeed.  The once noble Prince, bearing high ideals, still ended up obscuring justice in the case of the Princess’ Murder, all for the sake of his sister, whom he believed he loved . . . had loved.  Say, have you ever loved, Princess?  ”  Balling his fist around the crystal, only now did he look the weakened Princess –- slackened from where she currently hung listlessly from the web of rose vine tendrils –- in her eye.  “If so, then surely you must know.  For someone you love, your feelings for any other people become insignificant; you can deceive yourself as much as you need to.” 

The Princess, apparently depleted of strength, merely lowered her head in apparent resignation. 

Behind them, the vine-bound Witch had ceased her struggles as though stunned by a physical blow. 

Her eyes, glassy and wide, slowly began to well with tears; her brother, without looking over, spoke on.

“Is that not right . . . Sister?

***

Outside the Tokyo Big Egg, below the massive billboard screen currently broadcasting the concert within, a small group of activists could be seen gathered about wielding signs that read “Stop the World’s Hatred: Families of Victims and Criminals Unite”.   

Visibly harried, as though having been through some kind of physical scuffle, these activists were tensely facing off against a sea of night-cloaked people exuding vibes between icy skepticism and outright hostility.

//“The clock strikes twelve, a window opens
//“A voice beckons to take you away . . .”//

“Triple H is on again, Mario Waka-sama,” reported Renjaku the Natsume family ninja maid, currently standing poised between her young boss and the dangerous masses, guarded.

“No one is throwing a violent fit this time around, so that’s a good sign,” exhaled Oginome Eriko soundly as she studied a torn corner of her blouse’s batou-neck, wincing.  “Here’s to hoping that people are finally starting to come around for our clause.”

//“The curtains close.
//“You can't help but to put on a smile . . .”//

“ I wonder why,” pondered Natsume Mario, watching Triple H’s performance with a perturbed frown.  “For some reason, Himari-san looks like an adult to me now.”  Eriko glanced down upon the precocious child in warm empathy. 

“Oh, Mario-kun . . . Himari-chan’s been through a lot since her adoptive parents’ terrorist background came to light.” 

“I know that.  But . . .”

“Actually, Takakura Himari is starting to look a little too adult for me too,” commented Renjaku.

“Really . . .?”  The comment from the keen-eyed ninja-maid got the single mom studying the girl’s appearance on the billboard more carefully.  The girl, standing a step ahead of her two group mates, was belting out a high note with fire in her eyes.  “I suppose Himari-chan does seem more mature than the original Double H girls, that with her appearing more determined and driven . . . but, isn’t maturity something wonderful?”

Mario appeared worried still.  “Somehow, it feels like something's about to change.”  His frown deepened. “No - not just ‘something’ . . .”

“It’s everything, Mario Waka-sama,” said Renjaku, before proceeding to voice what her young master could not yet find adequate words to express.  “Everything in this world will change should Takakura Himari really manage to revolutionize our society into one accepting even criminal’s children like Kanba-sama and Shouma-kun.”

“And Mario-kun is petrified by this change, ne?” said Eriko, finally understanding what the Natsume boy was getting at.  “Indeed.  Logic dictates that a positive change of such magnitude cannot to happen in our world without incurring significant backslash.”  Her own expression came to darken.  “Back then, Momoka-chan sacrificed her very life, yet still did not manage to stop the Kiga Attack from sixteen years ago.  Even if it is to help Kanba-kun and Shouma-kun to again be visible, for us all to try and tackle something so much bigger than one singular terrorist incident . . . just what are we getting ourselves into--”

“Auntie Eriko?”

At the hesitant voice, they turned to see this young couple: a modest-seeming man and a conventionally beautiful woman standing under the night, watching them.  It took Eriko -- the one addressed -- a while to recognize those two.

“Tabuki Keiju-kun?  And . . . TokikagoYuri-chan?!” she exclaimed aloud, her heart filled with nostalgia at seeing her late daughter’s childhood friends again – now a teacher and an actress, respectively.  “I haven’t seen the two of you in person since . . .  since . . .”

“Since Momoka’s memorial service,” replied Tabuki, his voice heavy with old pain; from beside him, the solemn-faced Yuri gave his hand a firm grip.  “Then, Auntie . . . you’re really fine with supporting the children of those very people who killed Momoka?”  He ended his question with a meaningful glance over at the young Natsume heir, prompting his ninja maid to shift protectively in front of the boy.

Eriko, of course, got his drift.  “Tabuki-kun . . .” She looked the young man in the eye while keeping her voice gentle and sincere.  “We know that the only ones guilty are those who commit the crime.”

“On a rational level, perhaps,” muttered the man, tilting his glasses in this semi-awkward manner.  “Having overheard the prior conversation, I’m guessing that Yuri and I are not the only ones who remember the existence of the Takakura brothers?”   

Eriko -- along with the Natsumes -- widened her eyes at his words.  “Then . . . the two of you also . . .?”

“Yes, Auntie, we remember about the old reality, which the current one appears to be gradually reverting back into as we speak.  And, when the boys are to inevitably reappear, I hope my confession will be if help to their situation.”

“Your . . . confession?”

***

“For someone you love, your feelings for any other people become insignificant.”

For a moment, all the Child of Fate could do was stare.

“Even knowing you’re doing something atrocious, for whom you love, you can deceive yourself as much as you need to,” said Chida Tokiko, currently blocking them from the Train Cab with firearm drawn. 

“Chida-san . . . !”  Blinking back tears at the betrayal from this adult he had looked up to –- his and Kanba’s savior back when they were hopelessly lost in amnesia --  Shouma actually had to force his words out through his tight throat.  “Please reconsider!  According to Neesan--”  A small, sharp sound of inhalation from his biological sister –- currently a cow-woman for some reason –- almost but not quite derailed his word flow.  “If the Fate Train reaches this Ends of the World, everyone will . . .”  A tug on his thin, shadow-tainted arm by his likewise shaded adoptive brother, stopped him from going on.  “Kanba . . .”   

“It’s no use begging her,” said his brother, child’s face aged by his current somberness.   “Shouma, can’t you see?  Even though she had been our comrade fighting Kiga and the monster behind it, Chida-san’s main and only objective has always been to save her brother.”  Even though Shouma knew this to be true, he still could not help but shake his head, uselessly. 

“Shouma-kun. Kanba-kun.”  Chida-san’s narrowed, hardened eyes now were cloudy with regret.  “You boys certainly had reminded me of the little brother I once had.   But, I cannot put your interest above his, because you’re not him.” 

“Indeed.”  Briskly cutting in, Natsume Masako, having since come up ahead of the other youngsters gathered on the Train, stepped up and towards Chida-san.  “For one’s beloved brother, a sister can indeed do anything.”  Without pausing, the girl aimed her laser slingshot at the older woman now threatening to derail their operation. “Which is why I must crush you now--”  Her surprise move died as quickly as it started, as she appeared unable to pull the trigger on her weapon.  “Wha . . .?”

“These artifacts I gave out are all my creations, and are thus attuned to my person,” stated Chida-san, appearing almost empathetic as Kanba’s feisty twin gradually turn pallid with realization of her current powerlessness.  “None can use them against me--” And she stumbled upon her high heels, as the train suddenly shook as though violently hammered at by massive forces.   

A blur of . . . something flashed by Shouma’s vision, and before he knew it, Nanami –- now displaying even more cow-features than before –- had already pounced Chida-kun to the floor, with her preppy friend also up there frantically trying to disarm the surprisingly strong woman.

“You brats hurry and come help subdue her MOOOOOO!!!!” 

None of the Children of Fate –- not even Shouma –- needed to be told twice.

***

//“I got you now!”//

Perched atop the front of the Fate Train’s first car, Utena –- currently a giant robot synchronized with Touga –- slammed the Watasebot’s head soundly against the moving rail, and watched with sadistic triumph as it exploded in sparks and flames.   At being decapitated, the teddy robo’s bear-like paws, clawing ferociously at hir all along, slackened accordingly to drop as per gravity.

//“Touga . . . I think we’ve finally done him in--”//

“Careful!”

Touga’s warning –- and his re-seizing control –- came not a moment too late, as the headless Watasebot abruptly reached up to grapple at Utena, and would have slammed hir into the rail had hir pilot not reacted in time. 

//“Bastard. . .!”//  Anger re-ignited, Utena drew back hir fist.  //“Just stay dead already!”//  With that, s/he punched it right through the teddy’s tubular, metal-armored torso. 

S/he had expected something like an instant explosion, or, if not that, the feeling of metal parts crushed underneath hir fist.   

Instead, s/he found, to hir stunned horror, what looked and felt like a fluid-drenched little boy wearing a red ribbon atop his curly-haired head.

“I’m . . . not invisible. . .” rasped the red-eyed, visibly injured boy through his bloodied lips.  “ . . . World doesn’t need me . . . I dun need . . . World . . . either . . .” 

//“Wha . . .  oh my GOD . . . !!”//  Seething rage since frozen by knowledge of how s/he had just seriously hurt a young child, Utena carefully cradled his diminutive form in her palms.       //“Kid, I-I’m so sorry; I--”//

“TENJOU!!!”

Even as she heard Touga’s exclamation, the boy within her grasp had suddenly been replaced by this improbably large, fang-baring black rabbit looking poised to jump hir.   It would likely have succeeded, had Touga not immediately closed hir robotic fingers around the beast, crushing its body into a bloodied pulp.     

The rabbit’s ugly head – wearing a ribbon identical to that of the boy – fell off to the dark depths below, as the massive Watasebot then fell weightlessly apart in the wind, as though its sheets of metals were really light as cardboards.

//“Wha . . . what was that?!”//  asked Utena, baffeled as s/he watched the reddish gore smearing hir hands rapidly morphing into innumerable pieces resembling paper-cut penguin faces – ones that rapidly drifted off as per the breeze.   

“His inner child,” replied Touga with much certainty.  “It’s the self-image that Watase Sanetoshi probably sees himself as: a brat angry at the world for not being found valuable by it.”  His quiet voice lowered as to be near inaudible.  “Yes, even the worst of us have childlike sides . . . because we all have our own lost childhoods, our pasts.”

Utena almost commented on how he sounded like he really knew what he was talking about, but held hir tougue as not even a fool as s/he was quite so tactless.       

“Then, Tenjou-kun, let’s focus on the task at hand: stopping the Fate Train.”

//“. . . let’s.”//

***

//“. . . know one day he'll return
//“To your side
//“Please, boy, come back to me
//“Boy, come back to me . . .”//

Shrouded under shadows, the real star of the show could be seen watching his guest act’s performance with undisguised disdain.

“Look at those girls again stealing the spotlight,” he said.   “And look at the audience, eating it all up.  It wasn’t so long ago that these same people were calling for Takakura Himari’s blood, but now . . .” The biseinen chuckled then, its sound a little too shrill and alien for his listener’s comfort.  “People are just so fickle, aren’t they, Wakaba?”

//“Tatsuya . . .”//  Wakaba – currently a jeep – could do little but to cast this stranger her old friend had since become under her glaring headlights.  //“What happened to you?  You were such a carefree kinda guy . . . what drove you into working for the Ends of the World?”//

“You.”  Tatsuya’s surgically-altered face grew taut with what looked like growing anger, as he stalked steadily up and towards her.  “Do you really think the things you did to me could be excused just because we were kids?”

//“Things I did to you . . .”// Intimidated by the sinister demeanor displayed by this now unrecognizable figure from her past, Wakaba found herself backing upon wheels; Saionji-san, her driver, still was unconscious from when they slammed down onto the stage when Mikage cut the vines loose.  //“I don’t understand--”//  Whatever else she was about to say ceased, as Tatsuya had abruptly sprung forward to pounce her, and now was trying to brutishly pry open her door.  //“Tat-Tatsuya?!”//

“What’s there to not understand?!” snarled the man, skin-deep beauty now twisted by his current mad rage.  “You’ve been playing me for a fool since the very moment we’d met!  Dragging me down to your pathetic level as your ‘onion prince’ to escape the other kids’ taunting, only to shove me aside for some of the more popular guys whenever you felt I’m no longer needed!  In high school, even after getting humiliated time and time again by this no good dumb jock, you’d still go crawling back to him every damn time!   And now . . . you dare . . . DARE bring HIM with you to MY concert!”  So agitated was he now, that his spittle was smearing against the door’s rolled up glass window.   “You . . . you’ve trampled upon my trust, you’ve trampled upon my feelings!  You . . . you tramp!  You absolute TRAMP!

//“Tatsuya!  Just stop it!”// cried Wakaba, frantically keeping herself closed up -- car hood raised and alarms sounding -- against her old friend’s vicious physical and verbal onslaught.  //“Stop prying me open--”// 

SLAM!

“Enough already,” grumbled the still groggy-seeming Saionji-san, who apparently woke at the commotion to open the jeep door in Tatsuya’s face.   “You’re an old friend of Wakaba-kun, right?  Ease up on the brute force and act civil!”

“. . . Saionji Kyouichi!”  Stumbling backwards while awkwardly clutching at his lower profile, Tatsuya glared daggers at his old schoolmate.  “You bastard . . . faking unconsciousness while eavesdropping on other people’s conversation . . .” He jolted as if suddenly realizing something, before quickly pulling out a compact mirror to check on his face . . . which was currently reddened at the narrow nose tip.   “Face . . . my FACE!!”     
 
The idol’s subsequent apocalyptic screaming triggered something within his massive (and mostly still “invisible”) audience, who all started rushing forward in their vast multitudes.   And, before Wakaba could even react, Saionji had already floored the gas, as they fled from what looked like a tsunami of gender symbols now literally flooding the stage . . .

***

“I have always thought very lowly of that girl. 

“Selfish, greedy, and entitled, and a liar on top of that . . . that was the impression I had of her from ten years ago.

“Ten years –- a decade full of continuous new experiences, day by day, moment by moment -– can certainly change a living person a lot.

“I’ve never realized that till now--”

Ruka’s monologue, delivered stoically as he watched the burning wreckage of Shiorimobile -- currently trampled under the Sanetoshibot’s bear-ish paw  -- then got promptly cut off by Juri belting him across his surprisingly physical phantom face.

“Why hadn’t you helped her?” asked -- or rather, demanded – the woman, who felt herself exploding with rage.  “Shiori forgave you!  All the rotten things you’ve done to her back in the day, she’d accept it all as us being kids!”  Maddened, she grabbed onto the dead boy by the front of his dramatic tailcoat, and started shaking him with despairing, grace-lacking brutality.  “She’s everything to me, and you just watched her DIE without HELPING!!  YOU--

‘. . . Juri . . .’

Interrupted by the ethereal yet inexplicably familiar voice, along with something soft and indefinite brushing against her skin, Juri let go of the ghost to regard what she now found perched on the back on of hand.

It was a cabbage butterfly, its dainty white wings florescent against the dim surroundings.

A shrill, bestial screech had her turning around, where she saw the Sanetoshibot convulsing in apparent agony. 

“ . . . think . . . you’d beat me . . . so easily . . . ?”

That same voice, now coming rasped and strained through the cracks currently breaking out upon the teddy robot’s surface – between which white butterflies could be seen coming out in large droves – had Juri’s heart skipping a beat.

“. . . Shiori . . .?” asked the woman, almost timidly, as her mind swung rapidly between dread and hope.  From behind, she felt Ruka’s cool presence pressing up and against her.

“Say, Juri.” From behind, she felt Ruka’s cool presence pressing up and against her.
“Even you should know by now: sacrifice is always needed to realize a miracle.”  Juri, who could not look away from the large, sail-like white surfaces currently ramifying their way out of the butterfly infested robot in a grotesquely biotic manner, did not turn around.

“The only one . . .”  Her lover’s unmistakable voice, coming raw and gritty and real from inside the stunningly macabre mess, rose gradually in volume.  “ . . .who’s strong . . . and beautiful enough . . . to match Juri . . . is ME!!

With that, the Sanetoshibot shattered with an eggshell’s brittleness, revealing Shiori’s resplendent figure, empowered by vast white wings and beautified by numerous strategically-positioned butterflies making up her current wardrobe of sorts.  Flushed to begin with, the butterfly woman’s complexion reddened at noticing Juri and the latter’s gaze upon her.

“Juri, I . . .”  Apparently self-conscious, she glanced down upon her transformed self in both wonder and bafflement.    “You see, I don’t . . . really know how any of this is happening--”  Her sentence then got cut off by the taller woman rushing forward and enveloping her in a desperate hug –- a hug that was just as fiercely returned.  “Juri . . . !”

“That Ruka . . . ” grumbled Juri from where she had her tear-streaked face buried against the curve where her lover’s neck joined the shoulder.  “He made it seem like you’d been . . . I thought I’d lost you!”  Even as she heaved from emotional exertion, she could feel the many cabbage butterflies – that which ravaged a evil robot just moments ago – now gently soothing her nerves with pats of their feather-soft wings.

“Juri . . .”  Pushing her back with an exquisite gentleness matching the butterflies’ delicacy, Shiori  looked her steadily in the eye.  “Just then, when my car form was on the verge of combustion, I felt this power fueling me up and revitalizing me.”

“A power?”

“It wasn’t the same kind of power we’d felt from Himemiya earlier on; it’s what’s allowing me to do this butterfly thing now.” 

“Then . . . you’re saying that Ruka was helping you back then?”  Only now, certain that Shiori was safe and sound, did Juri turn around to again confront the powerful phantom.   “Ruka, you . . . ”

Ruka was no where in sight.

Shiori’s arms tightened around her.

“I think . . . Tsuchiya-sempai was kind of testing me, to see if I’ve changed from before . . . whether I’ve become worthy of you after all this time.” 

Testing you?  He had no right to--”

“Even now, Sempai was trying to protect you, because you’re no doubt still very important to him . . . though I’d imagine supporting his Princess is now his top priority.”

The butterfly-swarmed pair glanced up and at the grand upside down castle hovering above, looking identical to what they both remembered from Ohtori’s Dueling Arena, except with the train rail now protruding out from its construct.

Even at a distance, they could see that innumerable tendril-ish lengths now were lowering themselves from the Castle’s top and down towards the Fate Train running below.

There was no more time to waste upon whimsical musings.

“Shiori, let’s go.”

***

“Once, I believed that my sister -- not my princess, but my only family -- had loved me.

“It was no secret that she was jealous of those princesses I’ve rescued back when I still was Dios.

“Even seeing the cruelty with which she murdered the Princess of the Crystal with my own eyes, I told myself that it was excusable, that she did what she did because she loved me.

“It was that moment of willful self-delusion, instead of the mob attack that came soon afterwards, that truly started my long fall towards becoming the Ends of the World.

“Though, of course, it was her un-princ-ing me on my sickbed that had truly done me in.

“ ‘Dios and I has since become intimate,’ said my sister to the horrified people. ‘Neither you nor your daughters can have him now. He's now mine and mine alone, forever.’ 

“Even though we were siblings . . . no, it was because we were sibling that she did this.  So you see, it was by tarnishing me with the stigma of incest that my sister had repelled the crowds off of me while inciting their hateful violence . . .”

Idly listening in on the Prince’s monologue -- one that she had already heard numerous times before -- Hoshimi kept her icy gaze upon the stadium below, where, amidst the invisible masses rushing the stage, and the robotic platforms tearing each other apart, a young man with blue hair like hers could be seen locked in battle against a corpse of a pawn . . .   

***

The way he remembered it, back then, there would always be some ironically-relevant musical number accompanying each and every one of the Duels he had fought at Ohtori.

This one, taking place right at Japan’s biggest venue, proved no exception.

//“(backup: kiss, kiss me)
//“(hold, hold me)
//“(kiss me, hold me, kiss me, hold me...)”//

The backup singers and the musicians -– all members of Ohtori Music Department, all appearing as mere silhouettes -– had by now formed a circle of sorts, outlining the combatants’ allowed move-space while performing a song that rang cruel to the Duelist’s ears considering his current opponent.

“ . . . say you miss . . . miss me . . .” warbled his should-be-dead ex-agent while coming at him with strength and speed that had nothing to do with fencing skill and everything to do with supernatural might.  “ . . . miss me . . .”

Narrowing parrying a speedy sword thrust, the young man forced down his revulsion to dart forward into the disgusting perv’s personal space, before dealing him something against every rule in the fencing book: a savage kick right to the groin.

Amazingly, the physical attack appeared to work against the apparently dead (or is it undead?) freak, who went wide-mouthed and still from apparent pain.  Seizing the opportunity, he drew back his soul sword preparing to ram it into the monster’s salivations maw

“This one’s for Kozue--”

‘You’re going to lose . . . Miki-kun.’

The telepathic message impacted Miki’s mind like a needle into the skull, startling the raging Duelist into stumbling backwards and away from the pain wrenched zombie.  Steadying himself, the sweat-drenched fighter looked wildly about.

“Kozue . . . ?” he asked . . . before shaking his head as though willing it to clear up.  “No . . . you’re not her.  You’re . . .”

‘The witch had no more power to spare you.  You’re going to get yourself defeated by my husband’s pawn.’

“. . . Ohtori Kanae!”  He turned to glare at the vine-sprouting, coffin-carrying platform currently battling the Mikagefloat.  “What’ve you done to Kozue--”

CLANG!

Having recovered during his moment of distraction, his opponent now had sprung forward to knock off his soul sword flying while pinning him down against the floor hard.

“With power, anything is possible.. . .” drawled the ex-agent, currently leaning down such that they newwere face to face.  “You can even save your sister from her coffin. . . but you can’t do it.  You’re only human after all, Miki-chan.”

“B-Bastard!” Miki found himself stuttering in his heightened rage and fear.  “You . . . !” 

The dead man’s wide eyes now showed whites on all sides. “You've tried so hard, you needn't blame yourself.”  He leaned further down towards him with moustache-framed lips obscenely pursed.  “Now, let’s start with a kiss . . .”

Sword-less and pinned -- by the very monster of his nightmares, no less -- Miki did the only thing he could: he screamed.

In the background, the Kanaefloat could be seen getting its last remaining lengths of animated vines snipped off by Mikagefloat’s agile robotic scissor-hands, and appeared set to lose the fight.   

***

‘Then, even these rose vines fail me?

‘Someone tell me, how am I to deal with that pesky mad genius?

‘Well, no matter. Akio-san’s power is good as mine.

‘I can always---’


“Mi . . . ki . . .”

Kozue ‘s rasped voice, coming through her strained, trembling lips, appeared to startle whatever Kanae now had become.

‘I'm amazed you managed to speak up, Kozue-chan.’

Ignoring the voice, the young woman -– focusing only on the vision of her brother getting pinned by their nasty ex-agent -- slowly forced her numb hand to raise slowly up through sheer willpower.   

‘Impressive.  But, don't tell me you seriously intend to break out of this coffin?’

Grimacing with effort, Kozue continued in bringing her hand up.

‘Don't bother.  Your prince had since been defeated in battle.  The lid will not--’

THUMP!!

“. . .Mi . . . ki . . . ” Having slammed a palm against her coffin’s lid, Kozue gradually moved her other hand up as well, before clasping it over the rose impaling her heart, with her pallid fingers clawing at the dark petals.  “. . . for the . . .”

‘The coffin can't be opened; it's impossible for you!’ snapped Kanae, sounding either very annoyed . . . or outright threatened.  ‘Listen to Neesan, Kozue-chan; I’ve already bewitched you, and--’

“ . . . revolution of the WORLD!!!

And the black rose crumpled under her balled fist, as the coffin’s dark interior came to be ignited by this blazing light now radiating off her chest . . .

***

One moment, he was screaming helplessly against an inevitable assault.

The next, his assailant’s grotesque head abruptly vanished off view.

“So it’s me protecting you this time as well.”

“Kozue . . .” mumbled the stunned young man, who only now realized that the gross perv pinning him down had since been decapitated by his soul-sword wielding sister.  “Then . . . the coffin . . . you---”

“I managed to get out myself obviously,” huffed said sister, looking ruffled-up and fierce from where she glared disdainfully down at him . . . before suddenly letting out this darkly hysterical chuckle. “ . . . was what I wanted to say, but . . . no.  Wasn’t quite that simple.”  Turning away, she rubbed at a corner of her eye, as though using the gesture as an excuse to hide spilled tears.  “I saw what you were doing out here.”

Pushing the bloodless, straw-dry corpse -- likely dead for good this time -- off of him, Miki hurried to get back up on his feet.  “Kozue--” 

“Why couldn’t you have fought for me like this ten years ago, Miki?” asked – or rather, demanded – Kozue, at point blank.  “We’d never have wasted ten years on our stupid infighting then.”

Miki, who had already been regretting his cowardice for just as long, was saved from having to answer by the massive explosion rocking the background.   Turning around, they saw what remained of the Kanaefloat engulfed in red flames.  Beside it, the heavily damaged Mikagefloat remained standing still.

The shadowy Ohtori Musicians had all vanished from sight by now.

“Freaky bitch,” muttered Kozue.  “Kept on referring to herself as Neesan and stuff--”  A piece of something came fluttering out from the fiery haze and at them then.  Blinking, Kozue reached out to snatch up the item before it could hit her in the face.  “What the . . .”  She then went quiet at what she saw.

It was an old photo, one taken of a celadon-haired little girl posing with her little arms around a pair of blue-haired toddlers.  The little girl appeared to be a young Ohtori Kanae, and the toddlers distinctly recognizable as the Kaoru Twins. 

“Wha . . . ?”  She turned towards her brother, appearing lost.  “Miki . . . we knew her?”

“Kozue.”  Miki gulped audibly at her question.  “I’ve wanted to tell you since a while back.  You see . . . .”  Feeling the increasing weight of her suspicious gaze-turned-glare, he had to inhale deeply prior to continuing. “It looks like . . . Mrs. Ohtori Hoshimi could be our birth mother.”

“WHAT?!”  As expected, Kozue exploded in rage at receiving this news from him. “Why didn’t you--”

The young man threw up his hands.  “I only found out from Touga-sempai just a while ago!  Like, back at the mansion!”  He spoke on hurriedly.   “Listen . . . Sempai apparently knew Mrs Ohtori personally back in the day, when they both worked for the Chairman.  He told me how he got curious when that person asked him specifically not to hurt us back when we all were rival Duelists. And so, he dug into her background, and found that she might’ve had an affair with Father.”

“But . . . then the Mother we got . . . who . . . WHAT?”  Digesting the news with visible difficulty, it took Kozue a while to again find the words to speak with.  “We-ll . . .!”  Snorting harshly, she ran a hand roughly though her blue waves.   “Now I know where we’d get this damned hair color from.”  Her agitated expression gradually grew somber.  “Then . . . that woman . . .”

“She was carrying this photo with her, even in her mechanical-form.”

The Kaorus glanced over to see that Mikage –- speaking for the very first time since their seeing him –- was again in human form.  Stepping forward against a background of fiery wreckage, the man carried in his arms the disheveled, comatose Ohtori heiress.

Mikage glanced down upon his beaten opponent with something akin to empathy.  “She’d hated you both since the very beginning, and yet . . . she had probably loved you both since the very beginning as well. That’s why . . .”

“I see psychoanalyzing people is till your thing,” muttered Kozue, albeit her tone was heat-lacking.  She looked around and at the chaos and carnage surrounding them.    “So . . . what’d we do nex---?”

“GET IN!!!”

All turned at Saionji’s urgent cry to see Wakabamobile currently charging them, with what appeared to be an ominous sea of gender symbols following from behind.  Without the group having to do anything, the jeep simply “swallowed” them all up with magical ease, and took everyone speeding away from the raging mob.

***

For a while, the shaking and rumbling persisted, until finally, the vehicle came to be completely still. 

“At last,” gasped Tsuwabuki, still winded from having wrestled Tokiko’s firearm away from her grasp. “The Duelists outside have probably managed to stop the Train for good.”

“Moo,” grumbled Nanami, having almost completely transformed into a cow, and was now using her heavy bulk to keep the ageless witch pinned down.  “Ay kno dey culd hef dun it, Moo.” 

Surrounding them, the harried Children of Fate –- all having helped with subduing Tokiko -- now hesitantly got back on their feet.

All except one: Shouma, who remained kneeling beside their defeated adversary, looking as pained as he was concerned.

“It’s over . . . Chida Neesan.”

Tokiko, for her part, remained curled up on the ground, with her face turned away from view; only a faint tremor betrayed how she might have been quietly crying.

***

“We did it . . . Tenjou-kun.”

Having physically stopped Fate in its tracks, Utenabot now carefully ran hir fingers along the train car’s closed doors.

//“Now, let’s see how we’re getting Nanami and Tsuwabuki out . . .”//

A tingling sensation startled Utenabot into glancing down at hir right foot, where a number of barbed tendrils could be seen rapidly snaking up pst hir ankle.

//“What’re these--”//  S/he then gasped in shock as the Fate Train started rearing up and off the rail like a massive serpent.  It took hir a moment to notice the large number of thorny plant vines currently attached to the Train, all of which originating from the Castle above . . .   

“These rose vines are extensions of HIM!” cried Touga from within hir, pulling frantically on the controls as he tried freeing hir from the vines’ clutches.  “He’s now trying to wrestle the Fate Train towards him!”

//“These things are strong!”//  Utenabot now find hirself struggling against the surprisingly strong and animated vines.  //“Dammit!  How’d we not see them coming---”// 

“Utena!” 

“Juri-sempai!”   Turning at the familiar voice, Utenabot turned . . . only to be greeted by an outlandish sight that had her taken aback (in spite of all that s/he had already been through in this long night).   “Shiori . . . san?”

“Hang in there, Tenjou-san!” cried this winged-fairy that Shiori now had become; the flying creature had her arms around Juri, keeping the latter airborne.  “I’ll have them chew their way through these vines in no time!”

“Them” turned out to be the many butterflies fluttering around the pair, now moving forth to swarm the thorny vines like vicious locusts . . . before a number of them started dropping off as though poisoned by pesticide.

“No good, Takatsuki!” exclaimed Touga. “These vines are toxic, you can’t use your butterflies on them!”

“Wha . . .”  Shiroi’s fair skin blanched to the point of being chalk-white at realizing how even in her current form, her strength still remained insignificant in face of the Ends of the World’s colossal might.  Hanging on to her, Juri, too, visibly paled at being confronted with their current powerlessness.

//“Don’t mind us now!”// Hopelessly entangled, Utenabot called to the stunned Duelist-turned-fairy.  //“Just take Sempai away somewhere safe--”// 

SWISH!!

A section of the intertwined vines suddenly rolled up to envelope the pair in a web of thorns, dragging them screaming up and towards the Castle above.   

//“Damn . . .!”// rasped Utenabot as s/he struggled futilely on to untangle hirself . . . until s/he felt Touga taking over and ceasing hir agitated prying.

“Tenjou-kun, no need to waste energy trying to pry them off,” said the man. “Instead, let’s use these vines to climb up and towards the Castle, where we can get to fighting him directly before he could get his hands on the Fate Train!” 

//“ . . . you’re right!”//  Ever impressed by her partner’s level-headedness under fire, Utenabot ignored the vines encircling hir torso as s/he now focused upon reaching upwards.   //“Juri-sempai!  I’m coming up right after you two!”//   

With that, s/he started making hir frantic ascend towards the Ends of the World; behind hir, the Fate Train --  now having been pulled completely off the rail -- sounded its shrill, galloping horn from where it struggled in mid air like a giant hooked fish.

***

“At the very beginning of our struggle to survive that bleak world together, I still had clung on to the delusion that my sister was a noble goddess who sacrificed herself for me, for her beloved brother.

“It took me a while to realize that things had since changed drastically between the two of us.

“It might’ve started with her molesting me on my sickbed . . . or perhaps as early as when she saw how I did nothing after catching her murdering the Princess of the Crystal . . .

“Fact was that even as I lost my princely glory, so too had I lost my sister’s love -- the only love I’ve ever known -- along with her basic respect.

“ ‘It’s fine now.  Please stay on at home while I go out to labor and toll.  And yes, do please turn a blind eye to those seedy mortal men you see clamoring around me.’

“It was around that time when I, too, started prostituting myself to humans to make ends meet.

“And that, was how Dios came to perish completely, irreversibly, forever.

“Yet, even then, my sister still would not let me go free.  No . . . no when the fallen man I was still existed to her as reminder of the Prince who once was; I had become, to her, the corpse of her love -- a precious memento.

“Millenniums later, even that flimsy role I got left in your heart shall be taken from me.”

“U . . . ten . . . na . . .”

Turning towards the Witch his sister had become, the Prince’s chiseled face drew even tighter in resentment.

“I see it is now her name you call to in your time of need.”

Stepping up towards her rose-framed coffin -- trailing yards of vibrant rose vines behind him while doing so --  he watched, through the narrowing gap left by the closing lid, her ashen lips straining in her attempt to cry out. 

“For a while, I had believed that you’ve grown to love Tenjou Utena-kun for real.

“But the Witch loved none but the Prince in her heart.

“And the Prince in her heart was but a mirage for her to project upon unwitting individuals, all to ease her lonely wanting.”

“Since having become the Witch, you have loved no one -- not even yourself.”

“You.”  He leaned down and towards the coffin. “You knew what I’ve been trying to do since the very beginning; you know my objective has not changed.”  His eyes, hard as emeralds, came to moisten at seeing the Witch turn stubbornly away from him.  “Why do you oppose my plan ever now, knowing it to be your only chance at salvation?”  Only now did his stoic voice came to be rasped by tight-throated-ness.  “Answer me . . . Sister!

//“ANTHY!!!”//

The intruder’s speaker-distorted cry was accompanied by a forceful impact -- one that sent the entire castle shaking.   Straightening up his back, the Prince turned around to properly face the giant pink robot currently perched outside the vine-enveloped tower. 

“I’ve been expecting you . . . Tenjou Utena-kun.”


End Part Thirty-Three


Endnotes:  The song sung by Triple H in this chapter is Come Back to Me, Boy(s) from Mawaru-Penguindrum.   Miki’s duel song is modified from “Kiss” by (again!) Marilyn Monroe.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#169 | Back to Top03-18-2015 01:48:58 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Thirty-Four UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   

Note:  Much thanks to Sharnii and CelianAdellanie for commenting on this story in great detail, BunnyHeartMedicine for fav-ing and rec-cing the story, and Jougetsu, Gaston, and  many others for supporting it either publicly or in private.  I’m well aware that writing/editing with the limited time I got had resulted in numerous mistakes/awkward wordings scattered throughout these later chapters, and am grateful how you’ve all been very understanding throughout.   Thank you; I owe my being able to continue this story at such a busy time in my life to you all.

I had originally intended to update the final part of the story in one massive chapter, but it turned out to be too-massive.  And so, I ended up having to cut it up into two chapters plus an epilogue, with this one being the second last chapter.  Sorry for contradicting the earlier forecast, but the story will really flow better this way.

P.S. Like how there was a small Yuri Kuma Arashi reference in the last part (glad you caught that, BunnyHeartMedicine!), there is a one from Please Save My Earth in this one.  Hope you guys like emot-smile

Part Thirty-Four: The Edge of a Truth Gone Missing


//“What happened to you?”//

//“What in the world have I done to you?”//

//“Back then, weren’t I always a friend of yours?   Sure, we bickered around now and then, but I always enjoyed hanging out with you . . . wasn’t it the same for you too?”//

//“Back then, I really did think of you as a prince of sorts; a easy, approachable prince . . . my Onion Prince.  The times we had together, I’ve cherished them in my heart until now, so why . . . ?”//

Even as the voice from the vehicle’s sound system started choking up, the run of her wheels likewise turned increasingly rutted.   Her driver, Saionji, appeared uncertain as to how to ease her anguished mind; Mikage, observing from the side all along, reached over to clasp a hand on a wheel.

A shift of the lights was the only thing giving hint to the change that took place, as the group abruptly went from being cramped inside a modest jeep to being seated comfortably within the spacious pink interior of some large aircraft (Kanae, still unconscious, remained bound to her seat by multiple seat-beat-ish straps); a tiltrotor, judging by its smooth, steady ascend off the ground and up.

Wakaba, human again, could now be seen crumbled at her corner in a shivery, teary mess under her fellow Duelists’ empathetic gazes.

“Why’d you have to turn everything all ugly like this . . .?!”

***

“Ten years ago, you told me you wanted to know my reason for all I have done, to you and to everyone you knew.”

“Back then, I was certain the child you were could not even begin to understand what I was even doing, let alone the ideals I harbored then.”

“Today, ten years later---”

Whatever else the Prince was about to say got cut off by Utenabot reaching through the window to clasp a massive hand around his human-sized body.

//“Ten years,”//  rumbled the Duelist-turned-machine in an ominously low voice made resounding by hir current form.  //“For ten long years, all that I could do was to nurture my hatred for you.  Back when I suffered the Swords’ effects, when you were out of my reach, all that I got out of this hatred was pain.  This pain grew gradually over the years, over the decade, until finally peaking at the moment when you flaunted to me how you’ve murdered my parents.”//  Mechanical fingers tightened around the Prince.   //“But now . . . now this very same hatred that once tormented me is giving me so much pleasure, it’s making me quiver!”// The robotic hand tightened further, to the point that the finger joints were creaking from strain.   //“I’m shuddering with pleasure even as a robot, even with Touga currently conjoined with me!  It was just like ten years ago, back when I was a young girl seething in the throes of first love . . . back when I offered myself to you, thinking you were my first, my last, my eternity!”// Throughout hir talking, the Prince had remained undaunted in spite of the increased pressure s/he was exerting; likely seeing nothing beyond the red haze of hir own mad rage, s/he rambled on while failing to notice that.  //“That’s right . . . having you right here, right now, right within my grasp, totally makes me feel alive all over again!”//  Pink face twisted in a savage, rictus grin, Utenabot growled out hir next words from between clenched rolls of sharp, bestial teeth currently revealed through the parted metal masking.  //“Good night, Akio-san.”//  S/he punctuated the name by balling up hir fist like s/he would crush a paper cup.

. . . or, that was what s/he tired doing.

With that looked like an elegantly nonchalant shrug, the Prince sent the robot’s powerful fist crumbling apart like brittle chalk dust.

First came the (synchronized) pilot’s involuntary screaming coming through the statue-still robot, before the pink giant robot too let out hir resounding howl while convulsing in apparent agony.   

“UTENA!” cried Arisugawa Juri, locked in the role of mere spectator from where she and her equally helpless insect-hybrid partner were currently bound to the wall by thorny rose vines.

“You sadden me,” said the Prince, calmly observing the wounded giant’s current suffering.  “You, who were once so noble, now had become so embittered, it dimmed even the power you’ve seized from beyond the Rose Gates.”  There now was something akin to genuine empathy within his cloudy green eyes  “Have you already forgotten how –- and with what –- had you almost managed to match strengths with me during the Final Duel?”

//“Goddamn . . .  I’ll KILL you!  I---”//  Whatever else Utenabot tried to say then disappeared into the deafening bang of hir explosion -- the blaze of which burned so spectacularly, that the Prince, his vines, and the entire Castle all were basked under white, searing light . . . 

***

“Hurry, let’s get up there!”

Seizing the moment where all eyes were mostly blinded by this searing brightness temporarily engulfing everything within the stadium’s interior, the members of Triple H disentangled themselves from the maniacal invisible mob, and climbed up this colossal mechanical structure in their attempt to stay above the madness.  After much clumsiness, the trio reached the structure’s top, and settled upon what appeared to be the a large, bumpy globe.

“Careful, that part is real steep . . .” cautioned Hikari, as Hibari almost stared sliding from where she was perched too close to the side. 

“What’s this thing anyway?” muttered the redhead, having scampered up and over to the safe spot near the top of the globe.  Her blue-haired group mate studied one of the “bumps” -- which looked like it got camera lens of sorts installed in it -- with narrowed eyes.

“This looks kinda like one of those projector things we see at major planetariums.”

“Wonder why we didn’t see this on the stage before, given its sheer size . . .”

Thump . . . .

The girls turned at the sound and saw, to their shock, Himari now prostrating herself in front of them.

“H-Himari-chan?!  What’re you doing?”

Head down, face veiled under long hair, with a visible tremor betraying her inner turmoil, Takakura Himari took a moment before she could speak up. 

“Hibari-chan, Hikari-chan  . . . I’m . . .”

***

“. . . everyone still alive?”

The question, mumbled by the visibly bruised preppy Duelist (Tsuwabuki something), echoed harrowingly throughout the confined space, and brought Shouma out of his shock-induced stupor.  Looking around, the boy saw how the others were all hanging onto chairs and handles and whatever else that could kept them from falling down that deep well the train’s interior –- having suddenly rotated a full ninety degrees –- had since become.

He himself now had his shadow-cloaked child’s body cushioned against the warm pelt of his (equally strange) sister’s cattle form. 

“Neesan . . .”

“ . . . u-ur p-pretty heffy for being half yo r-reel a-age, m-moo . . .” grunted his sister, currently hanging desperately onto a sideways metal pole by her hooves.

“Shouma, what’re you doing?!” snapped Kanba from where he was settling a disoriented-seeming Ringo down upon a flat surface.  “Hurry and use your shadow-fu to help relocate your cow sister to a more stable spot!”

“R-Right!” The shadow boy hurriedly make use of his insubstantial, dimensional-transcending state to move the cow-woman over to a tilted bench that gave her more to hang onto .

“Chida Tokiko . . . why’d you . . . ?”

All turned at Masako’s voice to see the mentioned woman currently grabbing onto the girl’s hand to keep the latter from falling, while she herself strained to uphold both their weights by hanging one-handedly onto a train handle.

“What hurts . . . every brother the most . . . is a sister who doesn’t take care of herself---”

Shouma –- already diving down and at the two with Kanba following from right behind –- could only watch in dread as Chida-san’s delicate fingertips lost their grip on the handle, sending the two plummeting down the murky depths below . . . .

***

“ . . . die!  Just die already!  Die--”

“Tenjou-kun, get a grip!”

Touga’s urgent voice -- coupled with some firm shaking --  snapped Utena out of hir frenzied state of mind.  Gradually returning to hir senses, s/he saw that s/he now appeared to be inside the Castle, where thorny vines ran wild along pristine white walls and floors.  Also noteworthy was how s/he had regained human form – wearing something similar to Ohtori’s “special-people” uniform, even – and hir hair now flowed long and wavy all the way down to hir thighs.   

Hir body, just as it was right before s/he transformed into that robot-like thing, now appeared completely gender neutral -- a surprisingly non-crippling state that, should it prove stable in the long term, actually suited hir just fine . . . .

“Tenjou . . .”  A look of cautious relief spread slowly across Touga’s face, warming up the pallor of his complexion.  “You’re back.”

“Touga . . .”  s/he murmured, prior to noticing how the man – likewise wearing something reminiscent of the Student Council outfit – had a hand wrapped under bandages; hir own hand, meanwhile, had remained in tact . . . .

“He had taken the damage you’ve sustained unto his own flesh.”

Turning sharply at that deep, soul-caressing voice calling hir name with that too-familiar tone, s/he saw, to hir speeding pulse, the sight of Ohtori Akio’s “princely” figure standing languidly poised in front of an upright coffin.

Anthy’s coffin, looking exactly the same as it did back when it was superimposed upon the Rose Gates during the Final Duel; it’s lid, previously opened a crack, had since been tightly closed.

“Such is your Groom’s power,” continued the Ends of the World, meaningfully.  “Such is what he has done for you of his own free will, Utena-kun.”   Just like how Anthy had done for him in times past, was what Utena knew he was trying to say.

“ . . . die . . .” s/he snarled,  unable to keep from frothing at the mouth in the heat of hir re-ignited anger.  “Monster . . . why won’t you just die already . . . ?!  You FREAK---”  A raising of the man’s dark, broad hand, sent hir –- already on edge –- recoiling; it took hir a moment to realize that s/he, for all her bravado, feared being struck by that hand.   “Y-You . . .”

It was only when the blurring of her vision got worse that s/he realized -- to hir true mortification – that s/he had been crying.  Touga’s good hand gripping hirs offered little solace, and only made hir feel more self-directed guilt.

“A tip before we go on, Utena-kun,” said the monstrosity hir former love had since become, his gesture revealed to be a silencing palm facing hir.  “You will never defeat me with something as crass as hatred, not when I am backed by sound reason.”

“ . . . what kind of shitty reason do you have for using your power to control and ruin everybody’s lives?!” snapped Utena, upholding her heated glare at the enemy while (discreetly) wiping off her tears with a harsh sweep of the hand.

“It has been ten years since the Duel called Revolution.”  The enemy --  half man, half vine cluster (who totally did not look anything like the flora Anthy would briefly transform into whenever they rode that elevator up to the Arena) -- met her glare with this somber, penetrating gaze.  “Even embittered, you are now an adult of the world capable of complex reasoning.  Besides, now that you’ve since entered my Castle, you really have no choice but go along with what I am about to do.”

You think I---

“Then, allow me to reveal to you my reason . . . yes, even you.”

***

“Chida Neesan!!!

Takakura Shouma’s scream, coming as she lost her grip, sent a mix of emotions coursing through Tokiko’s mind as she plunged down the vertical length of the Fate Train along with Natsume Masako.   

Even now, after what she had done to him and his friends, the pure-hearted Child of Fate still saw her as a sister-figure.  Her.

The state of freefalling proved intimating to even a seasoned witch such as herself, which made it completely overwhelming for the Natsume girl, who flailed frantically about.  When the youngster’s movement inadvertently drew them towards a fast-approaching bench they were falling towards, Tokiko did not think twice about flipping them over, such that she was to take the impact on her behalf---   

“Don’t worry.”

That familiar, coolly-assured voice came right as gravity itself suddenly vanished from within the train cars, such that everyone inside now find themselves weightlessly adrift as though in outer space.

What objects that had come slamming at her with bone-crushing force but moments ago now merely bumped lightly against her slender frame.  provided a perfect opportunity   

“W-Wha . . .?”  Masako, visibly disheveled from the fall, disengaged herself from the older woman as she -- along with the other Children of Fate and Duelists floating about -- looked around wide-eyed.

Their surroundings had since changed drastically.  On top of the lack of gravity, the dark indigo walls making up the vehicle’s interior had all lightened up into pristine whiteness, with the windows now showing a brilliant expanse of blue, white-clouded skies, seemingly stretching out unto infinity.

The spinning wheel motifs –- previously alternating between showing the numbers “95” and “11” –- now had transformed into  (likewise, spinning) rose motifs.     

“Ohtori’s rose crest . . .”  muttered Tsuwabuki, stunned by the change . . . and what it currently implied.  “With Ohtori’s perfect blue skies that should not exist in this stadium tonight!” 

“Was the entire scenery within that school completely artificial all along?” wondered Nanami, having completely reverted back to her human form by now, and was hanging desperately onto the male Duelist, as though the young man’s mere presence offered her some much needed stability.  “No . . . not just the Ohtori Campus, but the entire region surrounding Houou City, at least . . . !” 

“I see you kids are catching on, finally.”

The Duelists, along with the Children of Fate, along with Tokiko, all turned towards the new presence within the train, currently hovering right in front of the door to the train cab.   At his abrupt appearance, the entire “scene” suddenly switched from “day” to “night”, such that the “blue skies” outside the windows abruptly darkened into a galactic view, with the spinning rose motifs on the wall now glowing an eerie azure blue.

“Tsuchiya-sempai!” exclaimed the Duelists. 

The ghost -- still looking like a late teenager -- gave his former schoolmates a greeting smirk under the Children of Fate’s warily watchful eyes.

“Tsuchiya-kun.”  The witch too offered the deceased youth her greeting, all the while taking note of the Penguin Hat he was currently donning.  “Yes . . . it’s only natural that you’d come along with Momoka to battle the Ends of the World.”  Her voice further softened with resignation.   “Then . . . are you here to stop the Fate Train from reaching the Ends of the World as well?”

Tsuchiya-kun’s blue eyes glinted with something darkly mischievous.  “Actually, Hime-sama had sent me over to ensure that this Train will carry Mamiya-kun towards the Ends of the World without fail.” 

“ . . . what?” 

Even as Tokiko tried to digest his startling words, the Duelists and Children of Fate were already reacting in outrage. 

“What the hell’re you---”

“Risk-taking, like sacrifice, is always needed for achieving worthy goals,” cooed the late Duelist, gesturing for the group to hear him out.  “I won’t reveal the details just yet, but . . . let’s just say what Mamiya-san is trying to do is proper.

The eldest of the group by far, Tokiko was the first to catch the ghost’s enigmatic drift.  “Tsuchiya-kun, could it be . . . ?”

“Yes.”  Tsuchiya-kun’s smirk confirmed her suspicion. “I, too, want to ensure your brother reach the Ends of the World.”

***

“Back then, on that night my sister had delivered you directly into my embrace, you told me yourself how you are an only child.

“Obviously, you told me then because it was an intimate information for you to share on that intimate night.   For the child you were, being an only child was a huge part of how you saw yourself –- your self-identity, secondary only to your princely aspiration.

“Hearing that from you reconfirmed my belief that you -- at the time, at least -- could not possibly understand the relationship my sister and I had shared.”

“I understand perfectly,” hissed Utena, glaring at Akio with undisguised disgust.  “You were making Anthy sacrifice herself to be your Rose Bride, and making her suffer for your own selfish gains all along.”  To that, the one accused -- currently standing beside Anthy’s coffin -- remained infuriatingly unfazed.

“You say Anthy had sacrificed herself being the Rose Bride.  But is that so different from me being Ohtori Academy’s Acting Chairman?”

“How are the two roles even remotely comparable?!”

“And how do you know they’re not, Tenjou-san?”

Turning at the new voice cutting into the conversation, Utena saw, to hir alarm, this vaguely familiar-looking “glamour lady” sauntering out of the shadows and into plain view.

“Mrs. Ohtori.”  Touga, standing quietly and protectively beside hir all along, greeted the woman with something like pain in his voice.  “How I wish we’d not meet again under such circumstances.”

“Tenjou-san.”  Seemingly ignoring the redhead, the society matron – who now looked noticeably younger than how Utena had remembered her from her visit to the Tower to berate Akio – focused her attention on the currently asexual Duelist.  “I know how when an affair ends badly, it gets difficult to look back on the attractive bits that drew you into it in the first place.”  The woman’s calculated word -- especially with the word choice “affair” -- left Utena reeling from resurfaced guilt and shame.  “But, if your heart had not truly gone frozen with denial, even now you should be able to recall it . . . that exquisite moment when Akio-san removed your reservations with the same smoothness he did your shoe, leaving you barefoot and aroused.”

“You . . .”  Utena’s boiling anger had by now frosted over at the edges.  “How’d you . . . ?”

“There is nothing that goes on at Ohtori that the Real Chairman’s wife would not know about,” stated Mrs. Ohtori matter-of-factly.  “So, you enjoyed the little trick Akio-san did? That was still is a personal favorite of mine: I know Kanae can’t get enough of it.”  She spoke on before Utena could say voice hir outrage in response to the reveal.  “Yes, Akio-san has power over the staff and students, but I, likewise, have power over him. The Ends of the World has power over the Magical World, but so too did the Real World have power over Ohtori Akio.” She had by now stepped up to beside Akio, coming between the vine-monster and his sister’s coffin.   “What I’m trying to say is this: both siblings had made equal sacrifices for the sake of their shared cause back in the day.  Himemiya Anthy was no more and no less a victim of her brother as he was to her.” 

“That do not ring true at all with what we’re seeing,” stated Juri flatly from where she had finally managed to free herself from the vines, and was currently helping a visible pained Shiori –- whose large wings proved difficult to safely untangle –- do the same.  “Himemiya is trapped in her coffin even now, while that---”

It was then that everyone noticed how, sometime during the talk, a semi-translucent coffin – similar to Anthy’s in design – had come to be visible around Akio’s figure.  Its cover is half-opened though, making way for the rose vines to stream out and around the Castle.

“What . . .?”

“See?  Akio-san too, is in his coffin, just like his sister.  Just like you.  Just like the multitudes of people beneath the Castle, who remain stifled even now under the confines of their respective life situations.  The coffin is just a symbol. Most people exists within one, and most function on fine in spite of---”

“Anthy!” cried Utena at seeing how Anthy’s coffin had paled into this semi-lucent shade resembling Akio, thus revealing her current state.  Naked but for the long serpentine locks curtaining her dark skin, her friend could be seen curled on her side in this fetal position.  “Anthy, can you hear me?”  Hir voice incited no visible reaction in the death-still woman.   “Anthy . . . ?”

“My sister is not physically hurt, as you so obviously are assuming,” said Akio, “standing” tall and assured within his upright coffin.  “She now is irresponsive to outside voices only because she is willfully hiding herself away from reality, from what she knows all along to be sound reason.”

“You mean your reason?” asked Touga, tone kept neutral.  To that, Akio looked his former witch in the eye, prior to offering an affirmative nod – one that managed to be completely devoid of irony.  The Ohtori woman, meanwhile, remained beside the false prince’s coffin in this “stand by her man” pose; Juri and Shiroi –- watching from the sidelines –- observed this vampy witch with open wariness.   Somewhere further off to the side, what looked like a pink-haired teenage girl in a risqué dominatrix costume could be seen hanging limply upon a tangling of thorny rose vines . . .

Utena, taking in the visuals while digesting the onslaught of info, slowly unclenched hir balled fists while straightening up to hir full height. 

“Ohtori Akio.”  S/he presented to hir lifelong adversary what s/he hoped was a tough, assured front.  “You will tell us plainly now: what is your reason?”

Breaking eye contact with Touga, Akio turned back towards hir with that sinuous, calculated slowness s/he once thought was graceful in hir innocuous adolescence, secured hir under his hooking, steadying gaze, and opened that maddening mouth of his.

***

“. . . my reason, you ask?

“Say, do you know?  Left behind every mature adult is a dead child they had out grown.

“Like how a pupa breaks apart revealing the transformed insect, so too does the child die when their innocence got smashed, turning them into an adult of this dark, miracle-less world.

“That picture was taken when you and your brother were three, and I was eight, back when Mr. Kaoru took you two over to our mansion for some family dinner.  The child I was liked the two of you immediately, because –- you’re going to laugh so hard -- you both got hair like Mother’s. 

“Thinking I was an only child, I had wished, at the time, that you two would be my little sister and brother.

“That night, I was to walk in on Mother doing the dirty with both my father and yours.

“And that, was how I came to discover that I wasn’t really an only child; that the mother I once respected actually got knocked up from this sick relationship with Father’s so-called best friend, and had a pair of twins whom said best friend had claimed as his own.  And, before you accuse me of sounding prudish for calling something so common as a threesome between married people ‘sick’, allow me to tell you also that their relationship started with both our fathers repeatedly raping our mother back when she was still a tween, and all with the consent of the former head of the Ohtori Clan -- our maternal grandfather -- too, in this disgusting ploy to make impregnate her and make her marry my father.   

“I, who thought myself this dainty little princess, was really a child of rape -- a living reminder of Mother’s traumatic adolescence.  To her, I was worse off than an adopted daughter, or even an enemy’s daughter; I was never loved.

“The child I was perished right there and then, giving birth to who and what I am today.

“As for you twins . . . yours were a somewhat different case from mine.

“You see, our mother, who started young, eventually got used to the rape –- had learned how to exert leverage over her assailants, even. 

“Even after marrying Father, Mother had continued having sex with Mr. Kaoru in this semi-public manner, such that many within their circles would know. 

“Back then, I couldn’t really understand just where would Mr. Kaoru fit into this mess; much later, I was to find out about their being on the down low together since their student days at Ohtori.  Their ‘sharing’ mother in their youth was, apparently, a part of some nasty male-bonding hijinks.

“At that point, my mother was liaison-ing your father to humiliate my father -- whom she had hated since the very beginning -- on both public and personal levels.  Methinks she felt powerful for being able to destroy the tight bonds between these predatory men, who once ruined her youth with their lust.   

“Having a swell time playing her rapists against each other with her sexuality, Mother probably never counted on her birth control measures failing that one time, which resulted in her getting pregnant while Father was away on a prolonged trip.

“Acting fast, Mr. Kaoru somehow managed to get his then wife to claim the resultant twins as her own, thus protecting the public reputations of all involved. 

“Thus how the two of you and I came to be brought up in separate families. 

“It’s probably safe for me to assume that neither my so-called parents nor yours had proved particularly loving.

“But of course, unlike me, who had to face that alone, you and Miki-kun had and still have each other.”

Kozue, listening to the chillingly bitter monologue with her nails digging into her palm, was just about to open her mouth, when her brother beat her to it.

“Kanae-san, Kozue and I have been fighting badly throughout the past decade thanks to your husband,” said Miki, his voice tight. “It wasn’t like we were in anyway better off---”

“You have each other,” stated their society lady half-sister -- who remained bound tightly to her seat by Mikagechopper’s belts –- accusingly, jealously.  “Through good times and bad, in-fighting or else, you’ve always had your twin –- your other half –- as this constant of sorts.   Just by staying together, you two have already helped each other to go on living!”

The statement, so crisply delivered, impacted Kozue like a much-needed slap that woke her from some prolonged nightmare.  Slowly turning towards Miki, she saw that him wearing this wide-eyed look of stunned realization that likely mirrored her current one. 

Indeed, just by staying together, the two of them have already helped each other to go on living.

Kanae, meanwhile, persisted on with her venting. “I . . . my own mother would rather pretend like I don’t exist . . . or, in situations where I prove useful to her, a convenient pawn.  The poor little rich girl who’s supposed to have everything doesn’t even got no one to turn to since the very beginning.  But that woman, she---”  Even while choking up, the glare she kept upon Kozue and Miki remained scorching throughout.  “Even while being this craptastically cold mother to me, I knew she’ kept the two of you in her mind always. ”  Her eyes, wide and wild, now were brimmed with tears at the edges.  “Yes . . . unlike me, who was forced upon her by Father’s perversion, you two existed partially because of her own willful actions; so . . . unlike with me, she felt responsible for your being . . . felt guilty enough to give love.   Yes . . . always, she would watch the two of you from afar, worrying on your behalves as your lives spiraled out of control, helping in ways that she thought people would not notice . . . that even Akio-san doesn’t seem to notice.  But I, who had been watching her watch the two of you all along, noticed and knew every goddamned thing she did for her precious babes!”  She then focused the heat of her anguish upon her younger half-brother.  “Did you know, Miki-kun, that she stopped Kiryuu Touga from destroying you with his cunningness during the Dueling Games?”  She then turned her rage-twisted face towards Kozue.  “And you, Kozue-chan, did you know just how your agent really died that first time around?  It was because Mother had manipulated even Akio-san against the man, and had him turned into that sad monstrosity you both faced earlier on!   Even from afar, Mother did everything she could to ease your way.  But with me, who’s by her side always, that woman would even affair my fiancée and later my husband! She---”  And she froze at Kozue reaching over to wipe at a tear track marring her pale cheek with a Kleenex.  “Wha . . . ?”

“Chill,” said Kozue, gently cleaning up her half-sister’s face to the shock of her twin (and likely those others within the tiltrotor as well).  “You’re the one who got stuck with the role of the unloved rich girl, right?  Just like how I’m the wild animal, and Miki the genius, you are the lady here.  No matter how angsty your situation, the least you can do is to stay immaculately elegant through out.”

Snorting, this bound up, disheveled lady turned her flushed face away.  “You just don’t understand--”

“I understand,” countered the singer watching her with sky-clear blue eyes.  “You, the new Rose Bride supporting the Ends of the World, jumped at the chance to cross Miki and I tonight, didn’t you?”  Kanae remained sullenly silent; she spoke on.  “Yes, you’ve hated the two of us for years . . . but, you haven’t really forgotten how you’ve liked us in the very beginning too.  So . . . you wanted to be the one to capture us during the Duel, to keep us close to you under your control . . . so we’d finally get to meet, and it’d be all on your terms, where you would remain safe and in control throughout.”

“Kanae-san . . .” started Miki; Kozue silenced him with a gesture.

“Since that sister-in-law of yours had drew all of us into this war against your husband, I’ve had my eyes opened by these kids I’ve met.” She continued on, smoothly.  “These brilliant children who dare to defy fate in support of the truth they cherish in their heart.   It’s a truth that’s really in plain sight, but that most people are too jaded and too damned chicken to face . . . to accept.”  Eyes on the woman, she reached over to grab Miki by the hand.  “Hey, do you know? Love is love even when it is between people related by blood: it’s only as pure or as perverse as how those involved are to make of it.”  Miki’s hand jolted within her grasp . . . before his fingers were to tighten around hers.   “In the same way, people can be family with or without the ties of blood: it’s the love –- not the genetic getup –- that makes brothers the brothers and sisters the sisters.”   

“ . . . do you even know what you’re saying?” whimpered Kanae, finally turning around to peek furtively at the twins’ clasped hands, like how a sweet-toothed child would look at sweets she knew she was not allowed to have. 

“Sure I do,” stated Kozue, who now spoke empowered by all the firmness of Miki’s grip upon her hand.  “Regardless of the battle’s outcome, from now on, you and I and Miki will help each other go on living . . . Neesan.” 

And Ohtori Kanae -- suddenly freed from Mikagechopper’s straps -- flung herself forward to encase the twins in a desperate embrace, one that was just as fiercely returned by her younger siblings. 

“At last . . . all of us . . .” murmured Kozue.  Vaguely, she thought she heard Saionji of all people sniffing in the background.  Ignoring the “softie in tough-guy’s clothing”, she instead focused herself on the warmth of the group hug, savoring the closeness she could at last share with her long estranged brother and newly found sister.   

“Ah . . . look!”

Wakaba’s urgent voice finally broke up the siblings’ group-hug.   Wiping off the tears in her own eyes, Kozue and the others got up to beside the frantic woman, who now was pointing downwards and at something that had the others gasping aloud.

It was undoubtedly Ohtori Tower’s planetarium projector, now having suddenly appeared upon the concert stage.  A vast swarm of “gender symbol” people were milling around the massive device like ravenous ants, with many of whom trying but failing to crawl their way up to its top, where two-thirds Triple H could be seen hugging each other and crying.

Takakura Himari was strangely, worryingly absent.


End Part Thirty-Four

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (03-18-2015 02:04:31 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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)
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#170 | Back to Top05-19-2015 01:09:54 PM

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

Part Thirty-Five UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   

Note:  My thanks go to denihilistgum for the support over at Tumblr, PhantasmusProdigium, CelianAdellanie, BunnyHeartMedicine for commenting on this story in great detail, and those many others for supporting it either publicly or in PM.  I owe my being able to continue this story at such a busy time in my life to you all.  I’ve been writing out much of this update during a bad cold; hopefully the mistakes here will not detract too much from the story.

This really is the second last installment of the story, which will be concluded by the next update.

P.S. Major Jaquemart reference in one of the scenes.  If you ever read this, Mr. Harnum, I hope you'd approve ~

Part Thirty-Five: Light over Invisible World


“When in darkness, just what does it take for people to go on living?”

They were within the inverted castle, where the inverted prince -– positioned inside his semi-open coffin like the flesh of a clam -- directed the above question to the assembled Duelists he was currently facing off against. 

None answered him.

Green eyes narrowed, the Prince cast his gaze upon the one to have separated him from his sister for the first time in history.

“You, who’ve lived through numerous coffins now, should be able to answer this question, Utena-kun.”

Tenjou Utena, current possessor of the Light of the World, who currently happened to be existing between genders, faced him and his challenging question with a hard and rigid stance.

“Your reason, Akio,” demanded Utena, unyieldingly.  “No more games.  You will tell us your reason.  Now.”

Ohtori Akio kept his piercing gaze upon Utena –- his last and only worthy opponent -– for one long, drawn out moment, prior to redirecting his attention towards the one currently supporting hir by presence.

“Touga-kun.” He spoke to his former witch and pupil -- for he was both to him -- with genuine indulgence.  “I know it’s been a long time by human standard, but . . . surely you can still recall those lines I taught you back then?”

Kiryuu Touga, watching him guardedly all along, widened his eyes at the question. 

***

“You said Himari-chan did what?!

Kozue’s question, coming out sounding sharper than she had likely intended it, had Hikari and Hibari -– teary to begin with –- burst out in hysterical sobbing.  Miki hurried to sooth the young girls.

“Shhhhh, it’s okay.  Just tell us how--”

“It’s not okay!” protested Hikari, agitated and fearful at once.  “Himari-chan . . . she--”

“Himari-chan jumped!” exclaimed Hibari, pointing fanatically out of Mikagechopper’s glass window and down and at the sea of gender symbols raging about like the wild waves of an insubstantial sea.  “She jumped right into the crazed audience!  We both tried to stop her, but . . . ”

Just then, a faint, wheezing gasp from Kanae drew everyone’s attention to her.  Seemingly drained, the society lady’s elegant frame wavered, before collapsed backwards like a long stripe of willow; the Kaoru twins hurried to keep her from falling.

“Neesan?!”

“I can’t feel it anymore,” rasped Kanae, pallid complexion flushing at the kind gesture from her newly acquired siblings.  “I tried channeling Akio-san’s power, to help locate the Takakura girl . . . but it seems like I’ve been cut off.”

“On the bright side, this could mean that you’re no longer bound to the Ends of the World,” said Miki.  “This is a good thing for you, Neesan.”  Beside him, Kozue nodded in firm affirmation.

Kanae looked like she wanted to voice some kind of disagreement, before settling for just nodding. 

“Mikage,” Saionji, having been listening in silence all along, called to the one currently harboring their group within himself.  “I’ve been wondering about this for a while now.  While they may look freaky, can these gender-symbol-people down below -- who look barely more substantial than shadows -- actually manage to inflict physical violence?”

//“Human beings in their soulless, completely invisible state – such as those currently making spectacles of themselves below – are insubstantial, and thus incapable of physical violence,”// replied Mikagechopper.  //“However . . . ”// 

“ . . . however?!” asked/demanded Double H in unison.

//“Even without soul, the feelings remain.   Being insubstantial, these invisible people have below no physical barrier between their feelings and their surroundings.  Their emotions – likely negative – will directly impact those in close proximity with them.”// 

“In other words, the audience below is dangerous like those Swords of Hate once infesting Tenjou-sempai,” stated Miki, making the connection.  “They can cause mental scarring by exerting emotional strain upon those in contact with them.  Should a young, innocent mind like Himari-chan’s get prolonged exposure to their negativity . . .”  He trailed off on that grim note.

“But . . . wha . . .”  Unfamiliar with the terminologies involved, Double H nonetheless appeared to have picked up on how things were looking bad for their friend.  “Then how do we save Himari-chan?!”

“Fifty-thousand, huh . . .” pondered Saionji from underneath his breath as he eyeed the ominous mob below with hardened eyes.  Thoughts running on a similar vein, Kozue got what he was thinking.

“Sempai, let’s head back down to look for Himari-chan.  We’ve beaten the Million from before, a mere fifty thousand shouldn’t be much problem to us.”

“It’s not that simple.  With the Million, we had Himemiya and Chida-san present helping to re-divert the Swords into some space gape.  This time, we only got our own Soul Swords to use as weapons.  Kanae-san doesn’t look like she’d be of much help in her current state, and Double H are ordinary girls in the way of magic.  If we’re going to manually fight our way through that mob to rescue the Takakura girl, it’d be five against fifty thous--” 
 
//“Four,”// corrected Mikagechopper, his voice crisp to the point of sounding mechanical.  //“I just got a message from Tokiko-san.  It looks like I’m urgently needed at the Castle above.  This will sound cold, but all passengers who’d wish to head down below to engage in a time-consuming rescue will have to get off now.”//  All were shocked to hear this from him.

“Cold,” muttered Saionji, prior to clasping his board hands upon Double H’s small shoulders.  “Nevermind, children.  Even if Computer-like-san isn’t willing to help young girls in need, I’m still here to --”

//“That blaze of white light from earlier on appeared to be Tenjou Utena’s robot form exploding from up at the Castle.  I wonder how Kiryuu Touga -- the Victor’s designated Duelist partner -- is faring?”//

Agape, Saionji’s righteous stance sagged as though his backbone had melted, much to the young girls’ alarm.

“Mother is with Akio-san up at the Castle,” said Kanae, her voice low.  “Like how I was, she too has power enough to matter in tonight’s battle.  She is likely playing her adversarial role against your friends at this very moment.”  The Kaoru Twins, previously eyeing the crumbled Saionji in distaste, likewise turtle-ed up.

“But then . . .!” exclaimed Hikari in fearful outrage at the turn of events . . . prior to wilting at realizing how she was in no position to demand help from these strangers.  “Himari-chan . . .”

“Himari-chan . . .” whimpered Hibari, frightened as she was angry.  “But someone has to save her . . .!”  She then broke down crying along with her friend, while the grownups around them grew increasingly uncomfortable.

//“Hikari-san, Hibari-san . . . you told us that Takakura Himari had jumped –- by her own will -- into the mob after talking with you both.  Had she not revealed her reason for jumping during the talk?”//

The girls jolted at the question as though struck by a physical blow.

//“Having already been filled in by Tsuchiya Ruka, surely Takakura Himari knows the risks –- including all the magical stuff -- of debuting as the final member of Triple H on this night.  Himari-san is risking her well being to help her brothers become visible in the eyes of Japanese Society; she knows what kind of punishing damnation she is braving by jumping into the invisible storm---”//

“Lower us to the ground please, I’m getting off.”

All turned towards Wakaba, now standing up and with a hand already on the door handle.  Saionji, in particular, regarded this deceptively plain-seeming woman in awe. 

“Wakaba-kun . . .”

“I, too, want to go up to the Castle, to help Utena-sama and everyone else,” stated Wakaba.  “But I can’t.  Tatsuya is still down there.  There is no way I can just let him be.”  She then cast her now solemn gaze upon the idol girls.   “Double H, is your friendship with Takakura Himari the real thing?”

Hope re-ignited, Hikari and Hibari straightened their backs. “H-Hai!” 

Tightened mouth relaxing into a grin, Wakaba warmed her expression while reaching out a hand towards the youngsters.

“Then, let the three of us go down together, into that mob, where we’d find and save our best friends from harm, ne?” 

Trembling – both in fright and anticipation – Hikari and Hibari clasped their small hands over Wakaba’s, before finding another far bigger hand clasping itself over theirs.

“Make that four,” stated Saionji, his renewed resolve surprising the others.

“But . . . Saionji-sempai, what about Touga-sempai?” asked Wakaba, brown eyes wide with gratitude.

“However pathetic he has become, Touga is still a grown-ass man; he can take care of himself fine,” grumbled Saionji with the aggressive bravado of one trying to convince himself.  “Mikage, take us down!  The four of us are gonna go kick some invisible ass!”

“Make that five,” announced Miki, currently moved up and towards the passionate group.  “I’m coming along to help too.  Kozue.”  He addressed his twin before she or the others could speak up.  “I’ll help the Children of Fate in your stead.  You’ll have to do my share in supporting Kanae Neesan when the two of you are to confront our mother up at the Castle.”   

“Miki-kun . . .” murmured Kanae, touched.

“Manning up at long last, huh?” murmured Kozue, pride and (remembered?) pain warring within her blue eyes.  “You keep this up.” 

Meeting his twin’s imploring gaze, Miki nodded firmly in the affirmative.

Descending all along, the Mikagechopper landed upon one of the lesser-occupied area of the stage – where the ferocious winds from its rotors had warded off what gender-symbol-people there were lingering close by.  Pushing open the door in one grand, heroic gesture, Saionji stepped out ahead of the others to face the thick, semi-lucent mob spilling angrily about the vast stadium like waves of a troubled sea.

“Takakura Himari, Kazami Tatsuya . . . within this invisible storm, we will find you.”

***

“If the chick does not break the egg’s shell, it will die without being born.”

Touga’s voice, coming low and wistful, alarmed Utena into turning sharply towards him.  The man’s eyes, wide and blue, appeared to be staring off and into some distant and intimate past that he alone could see.


“Touga . . . !”  S/he spoke up in warning.  “Snap out of it!  He’s just trying to mindscrew you---”

“So you remember.”  Akio -- still looking to be in his late teens even now -- had exuded such warm fatherly pride then, that Utena had to try her damned hardest not to launch another recklessly physical attack against him right there and then.  “As I’ve revealed since that early on, Touga-kun, we are the chick, and the world our egg---”

“And if we don't crack the world's shell, we will die without ever truly being born.”  Touga, who had apparently forced his way out of whatever trance Akio tried putting him under, briskly finished the sentence while re-erecting his stoic front.  “Why’re we talking about this now, Akio-san?”

“Yes, Akio-san, do quit wasting everyone’s time and get to the point please,” urged Juri, having since come up to beside Utena with Shiori, who had since reverted back to her wingless human form.  Both Duelists were now in uniforms, with their respective soul swords out and ready for use.

“I would ask you not to interrupt Akio-san please,” said Mrs. Ohtori from where she had remained beside Akio’s coffin. “None of us want to waste even more time than is necessary on this grand exposition scene now, do we?”  The woman faced the duo’s scowling with her refined, condescending smile.

“Revolution, by its very definition, means changing the current World, to the point of destroying its existing structure,” said Akio, watching Touga –- now at least eight years his senior, physically -- like the latter was some defiant child refusing adult reason.  “This includes its constraints, and those multitudes who live reliant upon those very constraints that give them stability while tying them down.” 

He broadened his gaze to encompass all the Duelists present. 

“Smash the world's shell.  For the revolution of the world.” 

He then looked directly at the hostile, guarded Victor. 

“Utena-kun, you’re no longer that innocently foolish child you once were . . . surely even you should have understood by now; the Power of Revolution that fueled your many victories upon my stage is disruptive by its very nature –- it is tied to the traumatic disruption of those other lives bound under the same shell as its wielders and seekers.  Touga-kun, Juri-kun, Shiori-kun . . . each and every one of your current ally once had their world turned upside down at clashing wills with you.”

“Who was the one who staged those clashes anyway?” muttered Utena, doing hir best to appear unfazed under Akio’s invasive gaze; hir enemy, likewise, proofed unruffled by her verbal jab.

“Back in the day, Dios disrupted his own life to uphold the Power of Revolution for the sake of the world’s people.

“Later, the Ends of the World would seek to regain this same power by disrupting the lives of the world’s people instead.

“And so it began.”

“And so you’ve continued to pursue the Power till now, knowing of its toxic nature,” accused Utena, pinpointing his exact sin with the viciousness of a sword thrust.  “How very noble!” 

“Indeed,” admitted hir lifetime nemesis with damnable ease.  “Knowing what the Power can do for her, I’ve pursued it till this very moment.” 

Utena’s eyes widened at catching the world “her”.  “What’re you saying?”

“Before I became the Ends of the World, before I was even Dios, I was my sister’s brother,” stated Akio, matter-of-factly.  “Thus everything I did, have done, still am doing . . . everything is all for my sibling’s sake.”

***

“ . . . anything to have you both come back to me, Kan-chan . . . Shou-chan . . . .”

Submerged under the audience member’s insubstantial forms, stifled underneath their seething hatred, Himari’s fevered thoughts drifted back that prior moment, right before she took her plunge into the storm . . .

“I’m sorry.

“I'm so sorry, Hibari-chan, Hikari-chan.”

Prostrated in front of the others, with her forehead pressed down upon the floor (which was really the top of the projector’s massive globe), Himari dared not look up at their faces as she went on with her confession.

“Because I was trying to defy Fate, to save my brothers from the World’s Hatred . . . because I've already died once from the illness . . .

“I thought that no matter what befell my body, it would be worth it.

She stole a peek at their boots, at the scrape marks ruining their once sparkling surfaces; her heart sank further at seeing the reddened scratches marring their bared thighs.

“I'm sorry.  My suffering is my rightful punishment as the one who decided to go against worldly conventions, staying as the daughter of a terrorist couple.

“But . . . putting the two of you through these dangerous and humiliating situations . . . you two were only caught up in it all . . . .

“I knew what could’ve happened tonight.

“I’ve encroached upon your kindness; wielding our past friendship like some weapon, I even tried to guilt you both into risking your lives and future along by my side, all so I can get what I want . . . .

“I'm sorry. I'm a nasty girl. I've betrayed the two of you all along. I---”

“No.”

Hikari’s voice, coming croaked, stopped Himari from continuing on with self-bashing.  Lifting her gaze with fearful tentativeness, Himari saw that both her friends now had tears streaking down their makeup-coated faces.

“Himari-chan . . .”  Hibari spoke with her chaffed lips quivering.  “I’ve . . . failed to recognize your true pain, back when your illness started to overtake you.”

“I’ve willfully ignored your suffering,” muttered Hibari from between her clenched teeth, “back when your adoptive parents came to be exposed as terrorists, and you had to quit school.”

“Instead, we just let our so-called success get to our heads, dismissing you as someone insignificant from our humble past.”

“When we received that scarf from you, and we showed it off on TV . . . we were mostly doing it to show the media how down to earth we were, that we’d remember someone from back when we were ordinary girls.”

“And when our new agency pushed us to approach you for this Triple H deal . . . we even worried about you possibly stealing our spotlight.”

“When you were suffering so much, and for so long . . . when we had said we would always be there for each other as best friends . . . !”

And, while Himari remained in stupor over their apology, Double H further shocked her by swooping downwards to encase her into their teary group hug.

“Himari-chan, we’re the ones who're actually unfair!

“We’re the ones who're nasty!

“We’re the ones guilty of betrayal, not you, you big silly!”

“And we’re so, so sorry . . . oh Himari-chan!!”

“Shhh . . .”  Hugging her crying friends back, Himari slowly stood up, drawing the other girls with her. “I understand.”  Biting back her own tears, the girl ran her fingers over the others’ pelt-like long manes, all the while gathering her resolve for what she was about to do. “It’s okay now.  So, listen to me . . .”

“Himari-chan,”  Hibari spoke before she could continue.  “I think we should run away now.”   

“That’s right,” Hikari agreed immediately.  “It’s no use staying here.  The audiences have become too strange and dangerous for any artist to handle.  There isn’t anyone at the back of this projector now, so I think we could climb . . .”  She trailed off at seeing Himari shook her head.  “Himari-chan?”

“You two go on without me,” said Himari.  “I can’t just leave this stage.  I have to stay here, and take everything the World’s people have to throw at me.  It’s the only way I can get them to accept Kan-chan and Shou-chan as human beings.  It’s the only way my brothers can have a future.”  As expected, the girls appeared stunned by her words.

“Himari-chan!”

“But---”

“Hibari-chan, Hikari-chan.” Eyes on the other girls, the final member of Triple H spoke while subtly edging backwards and away from her group mates.  “Please leave this stage when you get chance.  Leave, and forget about tonight, about everything . . . about me.”

Mouths agape, Hibari and Hikari’s shock gradually morphed into outrage.

“How. . . could we possibly do something like that?!”

“Himari-chan, we’re friends!  Why won’t you let us help you---”

And her friends’ angry protesting turned into shrill, horrified screaming, as Himari –- hungry gaze lingering upon them until the very last moment –- dropped herself backwards and off the slopping projector globe, and fell into the smothering swarm of invisible people gathered below . . .


“Just like . . . that time . . .” murmured Himari, recalling that surreal moment right before the Fate Train Transfer, where she was slowly cutting herself up walking through a haze of still, aerial glass shards, all to reach Kanba.  This time, she was getting her conscious mind gradually eroded away by the hatred of a ghostly mob, all for Kanba and Shouma’s salvation.  Then and now, it was all the same; the many punishments that Fate had dealt her were as unavoidable as those bitter medications she once took to stay alive. 

It was life’s punishment that had bonded her to her precious brothers in the first place.  She will endure its full blunt for the sake of their salvation--   

“. . . no use . . .  no use at all . . .”

The familiar nasal voice, made unfamiliar to her by its current desperate tone, drew Himari out of the aching trance she had been drowning in.  Blinking, she saw, from where she was getting pushed around by phantom bodies, a humanoid figure in the distance.  The figure, leggy to the point of being insectile, was currently perched over a small pile of female gender symbols like a spider over its gathered preys. 

“Invisible women will only ever be soulless, and soulless people are only good as cash cows!” whined the figure, flipping back the long, disheveled forelocks currently dangling in front of his wide, wild eyes.  “Arrrg!  I need me someone with a vibrant heart that can nourish me, I need me some penguindrum---” 

The predatory figured paused at noticing Himari; upon seeing and recognizing his face, the girl found herself shocked back into complete soberness.

“Seen . . . san?”

***


For a while, all Utena could do was stare.

“Ha,” s/he managed at last.  “Ha.  HARK!”  So angry was hir then, that s/he would have stalked right up toward Akio to belt him one regardless of the consequences, had Touga not held hir back.  “You actually expected me to goddamn believe that?!  You told me yourself back then: you planned for Anthy to remain the Rose Bride forever!”

“And how are you in any way better than me, Utena-kun?” asked Akio, looking her in her angry eyes with cool calmness.  “Supporting whatever my sister is doing, even while knowing of the wrongness behind her actions; willfully blind then and now, you dare not change her for the better, even while knowing my sister, as she is now, is continuously harming others and ultimately herself.  Like how I’ve allowed my sister to remain as the Rose Bride, you’ve also allowed for her to remain as the Witch for the past ten years.”  His statement impacted Utena like a punch to the stomach.

“You---”

“I, the Ends of the World, had kept the Rose Bride confined within Ohtori Academy.   You, Victor of the Duels, had let the Witch roam free to endanger the World at large with her reckless and toxic doings.  Which one of us is doing her more harm?  Which one of us is doing the World more harm?

“You DARE to lecture me on doing harm when you’ve broiled down the entire country’s population into the invisible mess we’re seeing below?!”  Utena struggled against Touga’s grip, trying to do something, anything to shut Akio up.  “Even now, Anthy is---”

“What shall we do, brother?”

It took Utena a while to recognize the young girlish voice -- coming so soft as to sound ethereal -- to be one that she had heard before.

“Anthy . . . ?”

The coffin erected beside Akio’s now showed a small child’s silhouette curled on the side within its lucent confines.

“How shall we go on living, after all of this?” whimpered this pre-pubescent version of Anthy, now appearing identical to the “Witch/Rose Bride” Utena remembered from that surreal night before her parents’ funeral. 

“Anthy!” s/he cried out trying to get her attention.   

“How shall we go on, brother?” Deaf to her cry, Anthy whimpered on with the vulnerable uncertainty of a young one ill prepared to face the World’s true horror. “We have never lived before this, unless a flower can be said to live when it is only a seed.  Brother, if we are flowers, then, what of our soil?”

“Adversity has been our soil,” spoke Akio, his once-deep voice now having softened into Dio’s boyish tenor, “watered with your blood and the blood of your murderers, and the sun upon us was the light upon my blade when I slew them."

“But how shall we live, if we have never lived before?"

“We shall find a way, somewhere in the world, and if not in the world, at the ends of the world." 

"I understand,” conceded Anthy, sounding peacefully content as she morphed back into her adult, womanly form. “From now on, you and I will help each other to go on living."

A brightening hue came to illuminate her features, revealing her eyes to be closed, and that she was sleep talking all along.  Then the entire coffin turned opague, obscuring her figure from sight; Akio’s coffin on the other hand, vanished into thin air.

“Anthy . . .” Subdued by helplessness, Utena could only to stare at hir coffined soulmate -- currently smiling with a contented expression that she had never shown hir throughout their years spent together  -- in wordless silence.

“Utena-kun.” Akio, sounding himself again, spoke to her. “Even you should know by now: when in darkness, it takes light for people to go on living.” 

“Light,” murmured Utena, unable to look away from Anthy’s coffin, which now looked identical to the one s/he hid herself in after having gotten hir parents killed.

“I’ll never see anyone, or come out into the sun again.”

And, the little girl s/he was would have stood by those words, had “Dios” not approached her exuding his exquisite aura. You’re beautiful, she had commented; indeed, the boy who smelt of roses while engulfed under light was indeed beautiful enough to lure her out of mad despair and into his web, beautiful enough to have her care about his sister’s tragic tale, to have her fight duel after duel against his other puppets upon the Arena in the sky, where she would invariably be awarded with a romantic kiss from him upon each battle’s climax . . .

Indeed, however ugly the end, this deceptive and superficial prince of hir childhood was undeniably the one to have given hir the power to go on living, back when she needed it the most. 

As s/he struggled against this unpleasant realization, the Prince continued to say his piece.

“Utena-kun, fish can only swim, birds can only fly.  Just like how you can only live on by believing yourself to be brilliant, my sister can only live on by latching onto someone she believes to be brilliant.” 

Downcast, he placed his one remaining hand against his sister’s coffin.

“Being the Rose Bride totally devoted to her Prince is the only way for her go on living.

“Having already lost Dios’ Might, the only way I can continue being my sister’s light is to acquire power, even at the cost of submitting myself to worldly corruptions -- to the point of becoming the Darkness reigning at the Ends of the World.”

From beside Akio, Mrs. Ohtori could be seen plucking off a random red rose blooming upon one of his many vines, and watched with lusty eyes its rapid transformation into a fleshy apple right within her grasp; focused upon Utena, he did not acknowledge the woman’s action at all.

“But a truly brilliant prince, by my sister’s definition, must possess both strength and nobility.  So, even having some power, the Ends of the World still failed in filling the Prince role crucial to the Rose Bride’s own continued existence; my sister can only find her reason for living in a Prince that she believes in.  For my sister, only Dios will do; only by becoming Dios again can I help my sister go on living.” 

“And that’s why you’ve been destroying innumerable lives since ancient times to try and regain the Power of Dios?” asked Utena, forcing as much irony as s/he could into hir rasped, cloaked up voice.  “All for Anthy’s sake?!  How very noble!”

“Yes, sacrificing others to attain one’s own goal -- even if such a goal is tied to the salvation of one’s sister -- is indeed a horrifically selfish deed,” mused Akio, self-depreciation evident to his voice and expression.  “But, what if the goal is one that is actually a lot less selfish than it sounds?  What if the end is one that can actually undo all damages its means had caused?”

“What are you talking about?”

“The reassembling of the World’s Shell.”

Abruptly, numerous holographic screens appeared all around the group’s surroundings.  Some of the holographs were videos focusing on various areas within the Big Egg, where the crazed invisible people were wrecking havoc on stage and off, while others showed the exterior of the stadium, and the gender-symbol-cluttered areas surround the building, and beyond. 

“Do you know what this is?” asked Akio, prior to answering his own enigmatic question.  “The World’s Shell, where all captives being entrapped within have their lives defined by the Scenery as shown to them.”  He raised up his hand.  “For instance . . . ”

At a snap of his fingers, the screens facing the Duelists switched to show them the following scenes:  Utena, beautiful as a stylishly-dressed woman, posed with her well-preserved mother as her still-handsome father snapped candids of them; Touga, healthy and clean cut, blowing out candles on his cake as Nanami, a teenage Shouma, along with his real parents –- who looked like ordinary, non-terrorist people here -- congratulated his birthday;  Juri and Shiori dinning out at some fine restaurant with two older ladies, each sharing family resemblance with one of the younger women . . .

“What is this?” asked the wide-eyed Shiori, in the whimper of one agonized by a beautiful promise she knew was unlikely to come through.

“Ohtori Akio . . .”  Juri, who had since leveled her sword, looked like she was about to charge Akio regardless of the dangers involved.  “You . . .”  A sweep of Touga’s injured hand right in front of her eyes stopped her from acting hastily.

“I see you can even bring the dead back to life now, Akio-san,” commented the redhead, making a noticeable effort to keep his voice calm.  The too-bright glint within his baby blues, however, betrayed his yearning.

“Or, at the very least, change the past so that the dead never died to begin with.”

Utena’s guess -- coming from a “fool” like hir, nonetheless -- shocked the other Duelists.  Feeling the weight of their staring, s/he nonetheless went on with hir supposition.  “Just like how you change it so that Mikage-sempai had never existed in Ohtori  Academy to begin with.  Isn’t that right, Akio?”   Akio actually gave hir an appraising smile at making the connection.

“The World’s Scenery -- the collective viewpoint that makes up what people call reality -- is what decides whether someone is special or ordinary, powerful or weak, brilliant or dull,” revealed the Ends of the World.  “But, its influence goes further than what is merely subjective.”  He snapped his fingers again.

The holographic scenes changed once more, this time showing Utena as a virile man playing professional basketball, Touga a CEO managing what looked like his own business empire, Juri and Shiori having a couture show for their fashion brand in Milan . . . .

“See? Just by changing the World’s Scenery, one’s entire life – the entire situation, down to what peers and families you get to have – changes accordingly.”  Akio observed the Duelists’ awe and wonder with apparent pleasure; Utena, who observed this, felt chilled to the bone.  “Once harnessed, the power to control this change can grant people like yourselves all that you’ve lost: your full faculties, your education, your youth, down to your late parents.”  He was staring directly at Utena now, who looked away.

“Is this what the Power of Revolution truly entails?” asked Touga, studying the scenes of happier alternate realities with growing revere.  Yes, even now, even loyal to hir, the redhead still could be swayed by other desires, after all.

“But didn’t Utena-san already have this power?” asked Shiori, seeming so eager that she would have latched onto the Victor’s arm, had Juri not reached out to still her small hand at once.  To her credit, the levelheaded beauty appeared to have remained carefully guarded against the miraculous visuals the adversary now was dazzling their eyes with.

Utena saw how Juri gave hir a significant look, one that confirmed the woman shared hir skepticism.   

“What Utena-kun took from the Final Duel was the Light of the World.”  Akio, who saw their exchange, continued smoothly on.  “The Light -- Dios’ very brilliance -- is capable of empowering people in need of strength to battle life’s problems.   It cannot, however, change certain things in their lives that still would continuously generate problems for them.”  He now focused his persuasive talk on Touga and Shiori.  “Physical limitations, dark pasts . . . to change such things would take a miracle; a miracle capable of altering even fixed circumstances could only be realized by seizing control over Fate –- that which has power over Reality.”

“You mean like what Takakura Shouma and Natsume Kanba had done to save their sister?” asked Shiori, completely engrossed now.

“The Fate Train Transfer,” murmured Touga, mulling over the term cherishingly.  “It had to do with the Fate Train –- that which once was Dios’ Steed –- that you’re now dragging up towards the Castle.  Akio-san, are you trying to us that you now have what it takes to revolutionize our world?”

“Only the Prince on his White Horse has power enough to alter the World’s Reality”, explained Akio, engulfing the spellbound duo under his warm voice and mannerism.  “Past, present, and future, all can be changed.  Only with the combined might of the Light and Fate can the World’s Scenery be altered in a controlled manner.” 

Having mostly won over Touga and Shiori, the princely-seeming entity again focused his full attention upon Utena: s/he who harbored what he wanted right within hir grasp.

“And this, Utena-kun, is my reason for risking everything to buy this miraculous power.  Once I have the Power to change the World’s Reality, I can reimburse everyone I’ve sacrificed -- from all times -- for the sake of saving my sister.  You, your parents, your ancestors . . . all the lives I’ve ruined can be mended and rebuilt, long as I can regain this miraculous power.  The end I seek will literally justify all means---”

Utena’s outburst of laughter, coming harsh and cynical -– not unlike that of a fairytale witch -– cut Akio off like a slap to the face.  Feeling a perverse thrill of power at seeing the startled look in his wide green eyes, she laughed on in this manner for a good minute.   

“Tenjou-kun . . .” started Touga, before getting cut off by a sharp sweep of Utena’s hand.   Vaguely, s/he thought she caught Shiori’s embarrassed expression out of a corner of her eye.

“I finally get how you can delude people so beautifully, Akio-san,” rasped Utena, disregarding Touga and Shiori’s reactions while focusing on hir enemy.  “You . ..  you’d actually delude yourself first before making the pitch!”  S/he pointed a finger right at the general direction of Akio’s nose.  “Look at you, looking all sincere, all full of noble convictions; why, if I’m still that idealistic fourteen-year-old I was, I would have eaten it all up like you want me to for sure!

Akio tried again. “Utena-kun---”

“So that’s it, huh?” mocked Utena, hir voice snide and derisive.  “That’s your reason?  That’s how you convince yourself that what you’re doing can be justified? That you can just go about destroying people’s lives to get what you want, simply because you think you can rebuild it all back up for your many victims afterwards?  And that would magically make everything okay?  How convenient for you!

“Uten--”

“Do you actually think that you can just erase our existence along with your own guilt, and we’d just let you?”

Hir question, cutting right to the point, had Akio tensing up, Touga jolting, Shiori agape and Juri smirking.

“What’re you talking about, Tenjou-san?” asked Shiori, appearing lost still.

“Tenjou-kun is pointing out how, should Akio-san’s proposed change come about, all our lives would have to deviate from our current ones starting years ago,” muttered Touga, with the sulleness of one who just realized he had been scammed.  “The current us -- built upon our past experiences -- would cease to exist.”

“Akio-san,” Juri spoke up with arms crossed.  “You claim your reason for destroying all of our lives to be your attempt to save Himemiya, your prince-addicted sister.  You’re obviously after the Light of the World that’s currently under Utena’s possession. 

“Could it be that you’re planned on using the Light, in combination of the Fate Train, to enact a massive Fate Transfer aimed at changing history itself, such that Dios had never fallen from princely glory in the ancient past?”

“Wha . . . ?”   Utena, who had actually missed that frightening possibility up till now just yet, felt hirself gone cold in the chest.  “Of course, how best to erase the many victims, whose lives got torn apart by your millenniums of mad games, than by changing history from so early a point that all of us would end up not being born at all?  How clever.”     

“Utena-kun, you will be born,” said Akio, appearing genuinely hurt that Utena would think so little of him.  “All of you will be.  The Fate Transfer I had planned will, along with giving my sister the Prince she needs for survival, reimburse each and every one of my victims, of all times.  Everyone will be given the happy endings they seek and need.  Eternity, shining things, miracles . . . all that you humans desire will be yours to have---”

“Except none of us will get to remember anything from our present lives,” pondered Shiori, finally beginning to understand the catch in the deal.  “Even if Mother had never died and is still alive, even if Juri and I still are together . . . the past decade, during which we had been through so much together, would not have happened.”

“If those painful, punishing things in life had never happened to begin with, there would have been no pain, no lingering regrets,” murmured Akio, his voice soft to the point of being almost inaudible.

Pallid now, Shiori shook her head.  “But, without having been through all that, I would’ve remained the entitled little moron I was!”

“And I would have remained that same icy, apathetic bitch,” said Juri, holding Shiori’s slighter figure against hers.  “Without getting forged by life’s punishments, none of us would be who we are now.”  She turned towards Touga.  “Touga, whatever you’re doing with your life now, you are certainly a far better person now than you were ten years ago.”   The redheaded man appeared surprised, and then genuinely moved, at hearing this from her; she then turned towards Utena.  “And Utena, you’re no longer that cruelly innocent fool who would get blind-sighted by ignorance both willful and genuine.  You’ve gotten wise without losing your righteousness; that’s a marked improvement”

“Sempai . . .” Utena found hirself blinking back tears, prior to beaming back at Juri, and at the other Duelists.  “That’s right, all of us have grown as people, precisely because of that long, hellish decade we got put through.

“We’re no longer the innocent, idealistic teenagers we once were.  We’re now adults who got marred by many things; we’ve certainly become somewhat corrupted when compared to our old adolescent selves. 

“But, even as we lost things to life’s punishments, we’ve also gained new and good things along the way; knowledge, wisdom, insight . . . things that evolve us beyond what we were before. 

“Yes, for better or worse, Touga has made it to becoming a twenty-seven year old man.  Juri-sempai and Shiori-sempai are twenty-six year old women of the world.   I’m now a twenty four year old . . . someone,”  depreciation  “Well, I’m still an adult by every definition of the word.” 

Hir expression frosted over as s/he turned back to face Akio.

“Ohtori Akio-san, your current human id should be around twenty eight by now.  But, you haven’t let yourself age a single day since hitting the legal age to drive now . . . have you?  You now look so much younger than us . . . younger than Anthy, who had matured  where you have stalled.  Are you preserving your youthful prettiness to appease your sugar-mommy?  Or perhaps it’s you yourself who won’t dare to grow up even after all these years?” 

Akio's face remained mask-like in neutrality throughout hir taunting. Vaguely, Utena noticed how Mrs. Ohtori had moved aside to a patio table and chair set spontaneously appearing to the side, and was currently slicing up the apple she plucked off Akio’s vines before.  The vine-bound, scantily clad teenage girl hanging right in her background did not appear to have bothered the engrossed lady one bit.

Utena kept hir focus on Akio.  “All of us have changed; only you are still left stranded where you were like a beached whale.   Do you seriously think the pathetic likes of you can convince me to go along with your mad plans to erase our hard-earned existences?”  Empowered by the confidence gained from hir newfound insight, s/he pointed hir soul sword at the vine-sprouting, delusion-sprouting monstrosity in front of her with neither hesitation nor reserve. “Don’t make me laugh, Ends of the World-san!”

For a significant lengthy moment, Akio merely remained statue still while watching hir watch him with his drilling, penetrating gaze.  With his one remaining hand, he rested a palm against Anthy’s coffin, as though channeling some signal coming through from within. Finally, he pulled his hand back, and straightened up to his full, threatening height.

“I was hoping it wouldn’t have to come to this,” he said.  “I guess I have no choice but to fight you this time around too.”

“Bring it on!” barked Utena, readying her sword stance as her fellow Duelists did the same while flanking her as their center. 

“Tenjou-kun will not be the only one you’re up against this time around,” warned Touga, standing beside Utena while raising his soul sword in his uninjured left hand.  “You still have time to reconsider, Akio-san.”

Chuckling lightly, as though having heard an amusing joke, or perhaps something heart-warming, Akio’s green eyes glittered with what looked like tears unshed, as the innumerable vines he sprouted started to twist and coil as a nest of restless serpents . . . .   


End Part Thirty-Five.

Next Up:  Finale - The Day We Shine Together

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (01-07-2016 10:02:18 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#171 | Back to Top09-15-2015 01:05:49 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Oh, I'm running behind schedule . . .

But fear not, that Finale is coming, likely by October the latest.  Thanks for everyone's patience, and please keep an eye out for it!


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#172 | Back to Top01-07-2016 09:24:59 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Part Thirty-Six UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.   

Notes: After much delays, here comes the promised update . . . if still not quite the conclusion of this novel of a fanwork.  Please see Endnotes for more.


Finale Arc: The Day We Shine Together I


‘Do you know? Do you know? Do you wonder what I know?

There’s this super uber way to call ‘change’!

You can call it -- say it with me -- re-vo-lu-tion!

And, it takes this special little something to start something as grand as a revolution!

Do you know what that is?

Do you?  Do you?  Do you really. . . ?’


***

From within the inverted castle hanging upon the artificial sky came a brutal threat, delivered in the tone of a civil offer:

“Allow me to show you how the world works.

“It’s time.”

***

It took her an eternity to realize that roses and blood were the same shade of crimson.  By then, it was already far too late for her to wake from her rose-colored dream.

She saw, with her mind’s eye, a vast multitude of colossal roses each containing a coffin as its heart; they all were hovering adrift upon space with phantom grace.  The sight of these roses -- or, to be more specific, the coffins they harbored –- pinned her to her guilty past like an insect to its specimen case.

‘I don’t suppose you can count how many duelists are coffined in there?’ 

“A million,” she replied; it did not occur to her to question just who now was speaking into her troubled mind.

‘ . . . that exact?’

“I see no reason to count; what has surpassed a certain number is indistinguishable from a million for my purpose.”

‘And what do you deem as your current purpose?’

“That’s--”   

‘What do you see yourself doing ten years from now?’

Ten years?  What was a mere decade to one such as her, who had been in constant falling for millenniums?

Yet . . . didn’t someone once ask her this same question a while ago?  Perhaps . . . maybe . . . exactly ten years ago?

“In merely ten years from now, I think . . . I will still be . . .”

-- the chick in the egg, yet to hatch --

“I’ll be . . .”

-- the girl in the coffin, yet to live --

“I’ll . . .”

‘Do you see yourself still remaining as the witch in the glamour, still living while dead even ten years from now?’

Startled by the close proximity of the enigmatic speaker/intruder, the Witch turned to see, now beside her, someone she thought she would never meet again -– not even in dreams.

“You . . . you’re . . . ” 

***

“Takakura . . . Himari, is it?”

For a moment, all Himari could do was stare.

“Ah . . . what a brilliant soul you do possess, that even this invisible storm fail to dim your fiery brilliance.”  Letting go of the female gender symbol he had been prying at, the idol Seen stood up to his full, elegant height while regarding her with glinting eyes.  “No wonder you qualify as the Princess of the Crystal’s worldly avatar.”

“Seen-san . . .” The girl found her focus -- once blurred by the invisible storm –- now inexplicably fixated upon this long-time celeb.  Back in elementary school, back when she still led a life approximating that of an ordinary girl, she too had idolized the idols on her TV screen just like the rest of her classmates.   Seen already was Japan’s biggest star since that early on; it was his fame that had first planted the seeds of idol aspirations in Himari’s young heart.   Meeting this intriguing, larger-than-life entity -- who had just been rummaging through the invisibl-ized audience members as though in search of something precious -- had the youngster heady with awe.  “What are you doing?”

“Say . . . you, too, are a star gazer, aren’t you?” Not answering her question, Seen -- clearly seeing right  through her -- instead started walking up towards the gawking girl via those signature mile-long legs.  “I can tell by the look in your eyes.”  His shapely lips curved in a smile.  “Say, have you noticed how the more popular the idols, the more beautiful they are.  Do you know why that is, Himari-chan?”

Himari shook her head; Seen’s smile broadened; the people surrounding them -– ‘invisible’ to begin with –- seemed no more significant than distant shadows in the backdrop.

“Takakura Himari, Maiden of Fate,” said the idol, and Himari could have sworn he was somehow growing increasingly handsome even as the distance between them shortened.  “Surely you should know by now that people’s souls –- their ‘penguindrums’ -- carry power enough to alter even reality.  As such, the emotions people exude, when in significant quantities, an enact what we call magic.”  He now was right in front of her, such that she was glancing up worshipfully at his breathtaking face from her inferior height.  “It is with magic -- magic enacted by people’s desire for the idol ‘Seen’ --  that I’m upholding this princely appearance currently keeping you captivated.”

Jolting at the abrupt realization she had somehow allowed herself to fall spellbound under Seen’s charms in spite of current eerie circumstances, Himari tried backing away; she then realized he had since reached over clasping the back of her waist.

“Seen-san . . .”

“Himari-chan, you see . . . an accident earlier on has left me bruised,” said Seen, smiling down upon her with lash-veiled eyes.  “See?”   He tapped a well-manicured fingertip upon his high, perfect-seeming nose-ridge.  “Such imperfection is unacceptable on one being watched, being seen by the world at large, is it not?” 

Himari noted the hypnotic twinkle visible in the biseinen’s big green eyes, and found her raised guard again lowering.   “Seen-san . . .” 

Clearly sensing this, Seen leaned downwards such that his beauteous face hovered above hers. “Himari-chan with your soul so bright . . . won’t you fuel my glamour tonight?”

It took Himari to process what he was saying; by then, the idol had since hovered a hand over her chest in a gesture what seemed strangely, inappropriately intimate. 

“S-Seen-san--”   

Before the girl could speak further, her chest abruptly came aglow, from within which a red, vibrant, apple-sized globe gradually surfaced into view . . .

***

“. . . how . . . how’d you . . . ?!”

Reeling from an awesome agony exceeding even what s/he had experienced throughout  the past hellish decade, Utena struggled to remain on hir feet from where he faced-off against his opponent in pained defiance.     

“You seem surprised,” said Akio, who remained unruffled from where he observed hir current half-beaten state with elegant indolence. “Have you learned nothing at all from ten years ago? A fight against me isn’t going to be some safe play duel.”

“. . . you . . .” rasped Utena, panting heavily as s/he mentally scrambled to retrace everything that had happened thus far in this seriously uneven battle, trying to find if there was any potential opening s/he might have previously overlooked  . . .

It all happened so quickly; one moment, s/he and the other gathered Duelists were facing off against the Ends of the World with weapons drawn; the next, the whole gang of them got their hands full as Akio’s innumerable animated vines –- having since spilled over the Castle’s interior to envelope their surroundings –- attacked them with the sinuous agility of a mollusk’s tentacles.  Righteous souls ablaze, the Duelists slashed out at the monstrous vines, still confident that they’d triumph over their thorn-barbed lengths . . .

. . . before each and every thorn sprouting off the many vines abruptly enlarged into full-sized, outward-pointing swords, before cutting at them in one massive, insect-like swarm.

In a way, these thorn-turned-swords resembled what Utena could remember of the Swords of Hate, which draw strength from their sheer vast numbers.  Yet, where the Swords of Hate resembled a rabid, mindless mob, these new swords were far more difficult to counter in that each and every one of them displayed notable individuality combat-wise.  Fighting them was like fighting a group of skilled, well-coordinated swordsmen -- ones with no physical bodies to get them in each other’s way. 

Having taken multiple stabs (and had survived likely only because of Dios’ Power), s/he eventually did manage to get rid of the wolfish, slicing swords assailing hir from all sides, Utena then found, to hir horror, that hir comrades had all been skewered through by a colossal formation of entwining, crisscrossing swords now flaring organically all along the Castle’s vast interior like some ravenous hydra colony.

Barely a minute into their battle, and already s/he was the only one left standing against their inhuman adversary.

“Juri-sempai . . . . Shiori-san!”  S/he watched helpless as the women remained still from where their delicate figures hung lifeless and limp upon the swords holding them up.   “No . . . this can’t be . . .”

“ . . . on’t . . . give up . . .”

The faint voice from behind had Utena whirling around, only to have hir wild hope dashed by what s/he then saw.   “Touga . . .”

Having somehow pulled himself free from the Thorn Swords, the redheaded Duelist now was struggling to support himself against a white wall, currently stained red by the blood seeping out from numerous large wounds splitting his torso open. 

“Don’t . . . mind us . . .” strained the mortally wounded man, already sliding down in a trail of macabre crimson.  “Keep . . . fighting--” He then collapsed to the floor in a pool of his own blood.

“Touga!”  Scampering over, past the many sword tips scraping hatefully at hir skin, Utena hunched down beside hir fallen comrade.  “Don’t worry, I’ll . . . I’ll . . .”  Dread flooded hir heart as s/he realized how s/he -- unskilled with exercising Dios’ miraculous power -- was impotent in healing her comrade’s grievous wounds.  “Touga . . . ”

“Tenjou . . .”  Touga’s gaze, trained upon hir, were turning dull from fatigue.  “. . . always wanted to see you . . . cry for me . . .”  His dropping voice knocked the tears out of Utena’s eyes like a brutal punch.

“You idiot!  You--”  S/he stopped at feeling his (alarmingly cold) hand clasping onto hirs.

“After you win . . . tell Kyouichi . . . tell him I--”  And Touga’s hand slipped off hers as his weary eyes closed in fans of red lashes; his soul sword, laid beside him all along, turned semi-lucent as though diluted, weakened.

“TOUGA!!!”

“Thus how your groom sacrificed himself for your folly.”

Jolting, as though from a physical cut to a nerve cluster, Utena looked slowly away from Touga and up towards Akio, who had since moved through the nest of twisting, snake-like vines and to hir side.

“The boy loves you, you know,” said hir handsome, monstrous foe now glancing down upon hir from his dark, imposing height.  “He had loved you since before Ohtori, since before your parent’s funeral, since before you even knew about his presence.”  His green eyes softened with an empathy that, given its current context, was downright condescending. “But now, because you’ve decided to turn him and everyone against me for your personal vendetta, this has to happen--”  He had to stop as Utena dived straight for his heart, sword first.

For one heart-stopping, almost exhilarating moment, it seemed to Utena as though s/he really would have slain Akio on the spot, just like that.  S/he watched, rapt, as hir soul sword’s sharp tip neared that conveniently bared chest; that dark, firm stretch of muscle s/he once caressed with girlish, exploring fingertips so long ago, in another lifetime . . .

. . .  and the sword slipped seamlessly through both flesh and clothes, as though hir opponent was but an apparition out to trick her eye.

“Wha . . .?”

“I am my sister’s brother.” Hir opponent (or was it werely an apparition?) regarded her calmly.  “Swords don’t have the same effect on us as they do you.” 

Memories of Anthy getting pierced through by the Swords of Hate – bloodless and undying – resurfaced in Utena’s mind, as s/he struggled to comprehend Akio reveal.  “B-But then . . . the Duel called Revolution, when we fought--”

“I was never under threat from your sword back then,” explained Akio with perfunctory patience.  “The duel was merely a visual spectacle to get you to let go of your stubborn will -- your soul sword’s true essence. You did so the moment my sister backstabbed you at your most passionate.” 

The reminder had Utena’s eyes darting involuntarily towards Anthy’s coffin, barely visible under the many mobile swords currently swarming its rose-shaped structure like troublesome insects.

“Anthy . . .” 

Something small and rodent-like stood visible atop the coffin fidding with a glowing penguin hat . . . wait, was that Chu-Chu?  The creature –- along with the hat –- disappeared off view soon as Utena spotted them.   Nonetheless, the spell was broken: the creature’s surprise appearance somehow diluted that maddening haze of despair previously hindering Utena’s ability to reason, allowing hir to again analyze the crucial info revealed . . . 

“I see . . . I see now.”  Taking in a deep breathe, s/he forced hirself to look –- really looked –- the Ends of the World in his beautiful, reptile-cold eyes.  “You really are the Morning Star, the Devil.  Yes, you have power in the form of brute strength, but you still ultimately need your victim’s consent to use their will for your own purpose –- and you need my will for whatever you’re planning to do tonight.”

A visible hardening of those eyes confirmed Utena’s suspicion; s/he continued on:

“Ten years ago, you tried using my will -- in the form of my soul sword -- to help you unlock Dios’ Power; this time, you also need the same to regain this same power for your own use.

“So, as long as I refuse to surrender my will to you, you have no means of ever regaining the Light of the World, without which you cannot control the Fate Train and manipulate reality.”

S/he laughed aloud then, even though hir face still was wet with tears of sorrow, of fear.

“That’s right!”  Utena snarled up and at tall immaculate Akio from hir short(er) bloodied height.  “You will fail to ever regain Dios’ Light.  I, by my willpower alone, can make you FAIL, you horrific MONSTER who’d KILL when people’s interest conflict with yours!”

“Aren’t you and your entourage also trying to kill me exactly because my interest conflict with yours?”

At that, Utena’s fiery passion again wavered, as its fuel -- hir self-righteousness -- got dampened by Akio’s to-the-point question like a candlelight under cold rain.

“I see you have retained your willful blindness even after having supposedly grown as a person because of that ‘long, hellish decade’ you got put through,” said Akio, wryly. 

Utena clenched hir fists at his jab.   “I will never give you Dios’ Power,” s/he hissed.  “You will never get to be the Prince again, not ever.”

“Oh, Tenjou-kun, you are naïve.”  Back straight, Akio smiled down upon hir in indulgence-veiled disdain.  “Do you seriously think you can afford not to return to me my rightful power?”

Utena was understandably taken aback by his words. “ . . .what are you talking about?”

“Do you wonder why you were unable to heal Touga’s wounds even though you harbor Dios’ Light of the World?”

The pressing question had Utena going rigid: why was it that s/he was unable to exercise hir painfully earned power even in such an urgent situation?  Touga, Juri, Shiori . . . everyone could be saved, if only--

“--AH--”  Utena barely reacted in time as a few Thorn Swords within hir immediate vicinity suddenly shot point first at hir.   S/he tried blocking them with hir soul sword, but its blade got clipped from the impact.  Undeterred, the assailing swords then flew right past hir head, leaving strands of sheared pink hair falling past hir rigid shoulders.

“Wonder why your once-valuable soul sword is now failing against my Thorn Swords –- which are merely fresh forged from the souls of those mediocre masses currently watching the show?” asked Akio, observing Utena’s shock with hooded eyes.  “Surely, even a self-delusional person as yourself must have realized by now.”  He pointed a finger down and straight at hir nose.  “You, have grown up into the kind of deadened, world-weary adult who have no hope of properly channeling Dios’ spirit, and thus cannot hope to exercise his power.”

Utena further paled at Akio’s statement.  “Wha . . . nonsense!”  S/he waved hir hand about in agitated, defensive anger.  “I . . . I’ve destroyed the Swords of Hate using Dios’ Light just days ago!  And, just now, I’ve fought my way . . . all the way up to this Castle--”

“You were able to do all of that only because of ‘friendship,” countered Akio, cut hir off with dismissive crispness.  “Basically, your spirits were lifted by your friends cheering you on.  And even then, the whole lot of you together were no match for my might.”  His narrowed eyes gained a feral, predatory edge.  “What do think you can on your own, now that you’ve lost those making up your support system?”

A possibility – as horrifying as it was enraging, occurred to Utena then. “Is that why you’ve killed everyone off right from the get go?” s/he asked. “Just to bring me down so I’d become too weak to fight you?”  She gestured around at her fallen friends. “These people were once your pupils, your very own Duelists!  Are we really that worthless to you all along?”

A coughing sound, wet and sickly, had Utena glancing down to see Touga now convulsing on the floor in apparent suffering.

“Touga!”  Utena cried out in both joy (at his, at least, being alive) and worry as she crouched down beside her comrade.  “Hang in there!” 

“Looks like Touga-kun is still alive, albeit drowning in his own blood,” noted Akio, conversationally.  “Go on, do try and save him with Dios’s Power.”  His voice hardened with impeccable cruelty.  “If you can.”

“Touga.”  Pressing trembling hands down against Touga’s reddened, heaving chest, Utena wished with every fiber of hir being that something –- some miracle of sorts like what had previously gotten the two of them this far –- would occur, that hir dying friend would make it through like all good guys do in fairytales and cartoons and movies.  “Hey, get up . . . get up and prove Akio wrong! Touga!”  Tears escaped hir eyes (again!) as s/he merely got hir hands stained red while the redhead -- profile veiled under long hair -- continued to weaken.  “Touga!!” 

At hir wits’ end, s/he hung hir head in despair, all the while acutely conscious of Akio’s scorching eyes watching her.

“Dios’ Light of the World is eternity, shining things and miracles all in one.  Should you be able to utilize the Light’s full might, anything should be possible; you can heal Touga and the others of their injuries, and be a proper match for even me.  But that power is impossible for a dead-end adult like you to control; the one who can wield the Prince’s Revolutionary Power effectively . . . is me.” 

He took took a step forth; Utena tensed from where s/he was down on the ground holding onto Touga, uselessly. 

“I hereby offer you two choices: return the Power to me, and I will use it to heal your friends’ injuries; deny my request, and they will all die here, now, in defeat and agony.”  Stance tall and imposing, Akio had his hawk-like glare bearing down upon Utena -- currently on hir elbows and knees -- like a raised sword.  “Make your choice, Tenjou-kun.”

Utena, eyes obscured under pink bangs, pulled back hir lips to reveal gritted teeth.

“I just . . .  don’t . . . understand . . . !

***

“. . . I just don’t understand what’s going on . . . Seen-san!” 

Grasping, Himari kept protective hands over her chest, where her penguindrum was getting drawn out against her will.

“Lovely Himari-chan.” Still exuding that pulling, magnetic power from his palm -- that which tugged at her penguindrum -- Seen’s voice now sounded sweet as his fabled singing.  “Will you refuse even me?” 

His words had Himari turning downcast, red-faced. “Seen-san . . .”

“Had a certain Tsuchiya Ruka perhaps advised you to debut as an idol so as to have your crime-cursed brothers again be make visible in society’s eyes?”

At that, Himari lifted her head in shock.  “How’d you . . . know?”

“Forget about Tsuchiya Ruka and whatever plan he tried selling you,” urged Seen, now holding her gaze with his own.  “That man is good as dead.  I am the one who is alive, and famous; I am the one packing enough influence to sway public opinions all across Japan and even worldwide.  I alone can save your brothers . . . and you along with them.” 

“Seen-san . . .” 

“Imagine yourself and your brothers getting to live life in broad view: going back to school, laughing under the sun  . . . living without fear of social persecution, just like all children should be allowed to; you too, deserves a bright future.” 

By now, Seen had his hand cupping Himari’s small face, now paling to the point of appearing translucent.  “I need only your penguindrum to help you realize this beautiful future.”

“ . . . bright . . . future . . .”  Vision losing focus, the young girl’s guard against this beautiful, powerful man lessened, as her penguindrum began to drift forth and towards the idol’s waiting palm like a fallen petal upon steady current--

“STOP RIGHT THERE!”

The outcry –- girlish, but warmed at the edges by a mature tone –- shocked some of the dulled senses back into Himari, causing her penguindrum to involuntarily snap back into her body.  Shadows shifted about, as frantic hands pulled her backwards and away from Seen, who now got two swords -– a French foil and a Japanese Katana -– leveled at his throat.

“ . . .imari-chan!  Himari-chan!!”

“Hibari . . . Hikari-chan?” mumbled Himari, barely recognizing her prim friends from their current disheveled states.  Already, they were slapping at her shoulders like children throwing a fit.

‘You idiot!  How could you?”   

“How could you leave us behind trying to sacrifice yourself?!”

“Sorry . . .”  she mumbled, barely able to look at their teary faces with her own tear-blurred vision.  “ . . . ’m sorry . . .”

“It’s okay now,” assured this round-headed, brown-haired woman –- the one who cried out from before --  now stepping past the reunited Triple H.  “Stay back with your friends, okay?”

“Um . . .”  Himari regarded the woman’s plainly pretty profile, currently drawn tight, with wariness.  “You are . . . ?”
Unhearing of her words, the woman stopped in front of Seen, where she glared up at the much taller man.

“Just what in the world have you become, that you’d even try to take advantage of a little girl like this?” she demanded in a voice as angry as it was pained. “Answer me, Tatsuya!”

“Wakaba,” said Seen (so his real name is ‘Tatsuya’?), smiling despite being held at sword point by two swordsmen -- one of whom being Kaoru Miki -- both currently swarmed by translucent female gender symbols clawing viciously (if ineffectually) at their bodies.  “Today is the day you come back to me.”

***

“I . . . have never wanted the Power of Revolution, not even back in the day.

“But . . . how is it that I’m less worthy of this supposedly noble power than you?

“How is it that I’m a lesser adult than someone like you?!

Slamming a fist down upon the floor, hard, Utena then pushed hirself up to hir full height to again face Akio.

“You answer me,” s/he snarled with raging, explosive desperation.  “Ends of the World!”

Akio remained unfazed.  “Indeed, however low you’ve since fallen, you’re still a ‘noble’ person by virtue of your self-righteous, yet also self-sacrificing nature.  But selflessness alone cannot bring about true revolution –- it may even hinder it, as in your case.”

“So what should I do?” snapped Utena.  “Become selfish and vicious like you? Become willing to use underhanded means to achieve supposedly good ends just like you?”   

Instead of answering hir question, Akio looked Utena in hir wild, anguished blue eyes, before asking the following question:  “Tell me, Tenjou-kun: what do you see yourself doing ten years from now?”

Utena was taken aback by this question, which gave hir an inexplicable sense of déjà vu.  “ . . . what are you talking about?”

Sighing lightly, Akio lifted a broad hand snapping his fingers.  A number of named coffins then started pushing their way out of the walls of Thorn Swords cluttering their surroundings.  Some of the names visible from Utena’s vantage point were ‘amitie’, ‘choix’, ‘raison’, ‘amour’ . . . .

“I’ll show you the qualification of a true revolutionary -- one capable of shouldering the Light of the World.”

From amongst this deathly crop, a coffin titled ‘soi’ -- encased within a stone-rose formation just like Anthy’s –- sailed smoothly through the waves of sword blades, prior to opening up right in front of Utena.

Utena saw, to hir shock, what looked like hir past, teenage self coffined within: long-haired, shaded-in, girlish.

“Behold.” Akio actually looked wistful as he gestured at the coffined figure.  “That which you’ve lost ten years ago –- the quality crucial to accessing Dios’ Power.”

Wary and guarded, Utena studied this apparition of hir old self with goose bumps raised on the back of hir neck.  “What I’ve lost . . . ?” 

A voice -- Utena’s own younger, teenage girl voice -- came to permeated the air, along with the scent of moist roses:

‘Hey, if anything bothers you, tell me about it.

‘I want to be your friend.

‘I look forward to the day when the two of us will shine together . . .

‘ . . . the day we shine together . . .

‘. . . shine together . . .’


“What is this . . . ?” muttered Utena, growing fearfully agitated at listening to hir old self repeat herself in this haunting, almost psychedelic manner.  “What is the meaning of this?!”

Pitying gaze trained upon hir pitiful state, Akio parted his tightened lips, and spoke.

***

‘Do you know?  Do you know?  Do you still not know what it takes to start a revolution?

‘Not even after all the hints dropped throughout?

‘Never you mind, then.  Because--

‘--whatever will be, will be!

‘The future is ours to see!

‘And what do we see here and now?

‘Ah!  If it isn’t the fabled steed!

‘Forged by the Greeks!

‘And it’s getting pulled straight up and towards Trojan territories!

‘Just like in that song about that fallen country!

‘Do you know?  Do you know?  Do you ever wonder--’


A sound -- a bestial cry of a train’s horn -- drowned out whatever the phantom-ish shadows dancing on air were voicing, as the train – pulled by ropes of thorny rose vines – continued its ascend towards the upside down castle, tailed by an animated pink chopper hot on its trail.

A child of a blue-haired woman could be seen leaning out of one of the castle’s many windows, taking in the surreal visuals with eyes like bottomless pools.

“Come to me,” she implored, waving a slice of apple on a fork at the approaching train like one would lure a ravenous babe.  “And deliver unto me my one and only.”  The cut apple -- red as her lips -- revealed pallid flesh darkened at the heart.

The train sounded its horn again, all the while emitting the following broadcast:

//“Attention all passengers: this train is approaching Castle in The Sky Station in one minute.  Doors leading towards the Ends of the World will open on the right side.  Repeat.  Attention all passengers: this train is approaching Castle in The Sky Station . . .”//


End Finale Arc Part I

Endnotes: Umm . . . okay.  So, due to its sheer length, the Finale, originally planned as a single chapter, now needed two more installments to detail the story’s “climax” and “aftermath”, respectively.  So many people I want to thank, but I want to save the “wall of name” until the actual last chapter.  To all you lovely people still interested in Seinen, much, much thanks for the encouragement you’ve given me thus far.  I will try my best to upload the already partially completed Finale Arc Part II ASAP.  Please wish me luck!


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#173 | Back to Top02-17-2016 07:50:22 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Thirty-Seven UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   

Notes: Well . . . this is the longest chapter yet (around 10 K word count!).  All warnings apply in this chapter due to Utena’s gender situation getting a deep (and dark) exploration here.  Oh . . . and the battle’s ending -- and its aftermath -- will still have to be placed in the next update (the Final Chapter) because of length issues. Will also thank everyone who has been reviewing/cheering on this project then.  QQQQQ, the idea about Fate Transfer mechanics that we spoke of via PM will be in the next update.  Please see the lengthy Endnotes for more.

The Day We Shine Together II


Underneath the towering projector, circled in by the blurry masses, the following confrontation was taking place on the Big Egg’s stage:
.
“To what do I owe the honor of being held at sword point by these special people who used to be on Ohtori’s Student Council?” asked Seen a.k.a. Kazami Tatsuya, glancing from Miki to Saionji, before training his bitter gaze upon the one he was addressing all along.

“You haven’t changed at all Wakaba,” he said.  “Still trying to use supposedly cool, special guys as weapons to hurt me.”  Both Miki and Saionji tensed at the word “supposedly”.

“Tatsuya.” Wakaba faced this beautiful, alien stranger who used to be a boy she knew with a harrowing bafflement eating at her heart.   “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  But you’ve been helping Himemiya’s brother to harm our World, and we will stop you--”

“Your white knights can’t threaten me today,” stated Tatsuya, dismissing her words.  “Having peaked early, they’re now merely ‘has-beens’ -- people who are nothing to me.”

And a hot, blazing light exploded off the idol’s suddenly radiant figure, repelling the male Duelists off of him while forcing Wakaba to recoil.  For a moment, Wakaba thought she caught a glimpse of something decidedly deadly emerging from within that light, before screams and curses assailed her hearing as all hell broke lose.   

***

High above the stage, within the inverted castle, innumerable walls of swords were raised to mar its once pristine interior.  Behind one of such walls hung a pink-haired, scantily clad maiden upon robes of thorn-barbed vines. In front of that maiden –-currently comatose –- stood a pink-haired child in a modest dress.  Watching the maiden with wistful amber eyes, the child voiced the following as though in prayer:

“Dear myself.

“After having sacrificed everyone and everything you could to get where you are, you have now, at last, sacrificed even your own self.

“You’ve done all the dirty work needed on both our behalf, all to erase the Ends of the World shrouding this World in Darkness.

“You certainly are similar to the Prince, both before and after his fall.

“Given a kinder twist of fate, the two of you would have been the perfect pair to reign over that perfect, fairytale world.

“It is sad how bad blood is all that remained of the love you two once shared.”

The child then produced half a pink-covered book, which she raised in front of the maiden.

“Now that your have succumbed under the corrosion of this bad, venomous blood, it will only be a matter of time before he does too.

“You have done well coming so far; you can rest easy now, Princess of the Crystal.”

As if heeding her words, the Princess glowed up in unison the halved book held in the child’s hand.  By the time the lights faded, the child had, in her hand, a complete pink book labeled “Diary”; the Princess’s fair complexion now had been reduced to a deathly pallor. 

“Thank you and farewell, my past . . . my bitter halve.”

Complete Fate Diary in hand, ten-year-old Oginome Momoka gave her past incarnation one deep, crisp bow, before hurrying away upon girlish magenta shoes.

***

“There, you have it.

“I have since revealed everything.”

Basked under the azure glow currently engulfing the Fate Train’s rose-motif-filled interior, the ghost of Tsuchiya Ruka face the gathered group –- currently standing in tension-filled uncertainty -- looking an uncharacteristic picture of solemnity.

“Duelists of the Rose Code, Children of Fate,” he said, blue eyes scanning over each and ever one of their faces.  “All of you here are in the right time and place to matter in tonight’s outcome.  I ask that you do your part to assist our plan to save the ‘World’ from the ‘End’.”

“Nemuro-san is coming up from right behind us,” said Tokiko, cell phone in hand.  “Everything is in place for what is about to take place.”  Her other hand, currently pressed against the cab’s door -- behind which laid Mamiya’s disembodied spirit -- drew wary gazes from the Children of Fate present.

“Tsuchiya-sempai . . .” Unable to meet Ruka’s gaze, Tsuwabuki glanced out of the clearing windows, currently revealing the vine-marred white castle they now were brought towards.  “What you’re proposing . . .” 

“It does sound  . . . cold,”  said a now completely human Nanami, who pressed her trim, trembling build against Tsuwabuki as though in desperate need of his bulk, his warmth. 

Ruka sighed at their reactions.  “Reality is cold as it is hard.  For most people, the time when they shine brightly can only last for a brief moment.”  Blue eyes upon his former schoolmates, the phantom’s handsome face came aglow with an aura at once noble and harsh.   ““The Engaged Duelist your group currently supports is no exception.”   

***

‘ . . . the day we shine together . . .

‘. . . shine together . . .’


“Listen to her go, reciting that same stubborn wish over and over again; an endless loop recorded upon memory, made eternal . . . a case of circular infinity without end.”

Green eyes soft, Akio stepped past Utena, and up towards the coffin of hir past self. 

“Fourteen year old Tenjou Utena certainly did resemble the Prince I once was,” he said, reaching out to caress the silhouette girl’s long pink hair –- a gesture that had the current Utena jolting.  “But, your twenty-four year old self have no hope of resonating with Dios’ revolutionary power.” 

He then cut at Utena with his piercing gaze. 

“You; you have lost what every true revolutionary needs to do what they do -- the ability to image a happy future.

Utena’s teeth grinded audibly; Akio’s expression darkened with melancholy.

“Indeed,” ruminated the Ends of the World.  “Ever since that time . . .”

He swiped his fingertips against the inside of the coffin’s lid, and the following display came on as though it was a touch screen:

[Time: Year of the Revolution
[Place: Ohtori Academy

[//“You’re so good at making women feel good.”// said Utena, flush-faced from where she reclined against the red convertible’s seat.  //“Sort of, not very Chairman-like, or maybe . . . kind of bad.”//

[The girl glanced up at Akio, whose muscular figure currently hovered intimately over her wisp of a frame.  She bit down upon her lower lip, looking coy.

[//“Kanae-san's such a wonderful person.  I wonder . . . how she’d feel . . . if she finds out . . .”//  Eyes closed, this girl who wanted to become a noble prince then pursed her lips to await an adulterous kiss from the young, engaged acting chairman at school . . .]

***

“Her moment has past: Tenjou Utena -- as she is now --can no longer shoulder the vast burden of Dios’ Light,” stated Ruka with cruel certainty. 

“So you’re proposing that we Duelists just stop supporting our Victor?” asked –- or rather, demanded –- Nanami, glaring balefully at her former schoolmate’s spirit.  “That we just let some upstart step in to take hold of Dios’ Power of Revolution?” 

Tsuwabuki appeared equally outraged.  “After the ten-year build-up leading to this moment?  After everything we Duelists had been through since our reunion?”

“We also have our reservations regarding the proposed plan,” stated Masako, regarding Ruka with crossed arms from where she stood beside her friends.  “That Takakura girl--”

“You’ve already put Himari-chan directly in harm’s way by pushing her to join Triple H!” snapped Shouma, appearing almost completely human by now, albeit still younger than his real age.  “And now, you’re proposing that we--” He got cut off by a sweep of Kanba’s arm.

“Most importantly, Tsuchiya-san, how do we know you and the Princess of the Crystal aren’t again manipulating us like we’re pawns?” asked the redhead – likewise appearing half his age -- from where he stood ahead of their group.  “How’d we know you two are not again endangering us for your own selfish gains?”

“You need something more to earn our trust, that’s for sure,” quipped Ringo from where she had her hands clasped upon Shouma’s slim shoulders.  “Some kind of guarantee, at the very least.”

“Once bitten, twice shy,” mused Ruka.  “Hime-sama and I had indeed been manipulative in our attempt to stop Subway Attack Take Two.  Then, if you will not trust me, perhaps you will find it in yourselves to at least listen to them.”  He gestured at the far end of the train car, where the three numbered AI Penguins could be seen lumbering up . . . each followed by a figure of great familiarity to many of  those present.

“Can’t be . . .” rasped Shouma, recoiling in fear as he recognized just who had appeared.  “They’re--”

“Dead.”  His sister -– Nanami –- now had came up to beside him; her hand, clasped around his, was cold as ice.  “Like Tsuchiya-sempai.”  She glared hard at the otherworldly trio currently advancing upon them.  “I can understand how they wouldn’t stay dead, but to think they have the gall to show themselves to us now . . . !” 

“How many years . . .” murmured Masako, stumbling past the others –- including her stone-still twin brother -- and forward as though in a trance.  “How many years has it been since we last saw each other?

“Uncle Kenzan, Aunt Chiemi . . . Father.

Eerie figures fading into invisibility at their lower halves, the ghosts of the core Kiga terrorists came up to in front of their ill-fated children, and spoke.

***

“. . . it has been a long time.

“How many millenniums has it been since you’ve disguised yourself to keep watch over Brother and I?”

Completely somber-ed up (albeit still caught in the dream), Anthy faced the intruding entity with (metaphorical) fists clenched.

“Chu-Chu . . . or should I say . . . your Majesty?”

Adjusting the penguin hat atop his head, the King –- whose tall, regal features were superimposed above that of a miniature monkey -- glanced down upon Anthy with ominous solemnity.

“It has been a very long time . . . Daughter.”

***

[Time: Moment Pre-Revolution
[Place: Ohtori Academy

[//“That's right. You didn't even try to understand Anthy.”//

[//“In the end, you had your hands full just thinking about yourself.”//

//“How cute. You're a good woman.”//  said Akio, staring down upon Utena in sarcastic contempt.   //“You should stay a girl.”//]

BAM!!

Having slammed the coffin shut, the current Utena kept hir heated glare fixed upon Akio.

“What’s the point in bringing up all this again, huh?” s/he asked, prior to raising hir voice right in the man’s face. “I’m OVER you!  I’m over that hurdle you’ve placed in my life trying to destroy me for your own gain!”  S/he grabbed onto the front of Akio’s unbuttoned shirt; he did not resist.  “All that crap you’d done to me before is in the past!  The past cannot hurt me now!  So why--”

[//“If you won’t do this for me, I’ll kill myself right here in your clinic!”//]

Stunned by that dialogue –- spoken in hir old “girl’s voice” –- Utena turned slowly towards the closed coffin lid, which had also became a video screen:

[Time: 3 years Post-Revolution
[Place: __________  Clinic

[Utena, now an androgynous almost-adult with hair cropped short, could be seen holding a cutter blade to her neck as some nurse watched on, horrified.

[//“This place has no license, right?” hissed the young woman like a cornered animal.  “If someone dies here, and the police get involved, this whole joint will get shut down, no?”//

[//“Tenjou-san, please calm down!”//

[//“You will give me treatment!”//]

“You--” Mortified and agitated, Utena banged hir fists hard against the coffin’s “video lid”; it did not so much as make the display waver.  “Akio, now dare you . . . !”

[//“Tenjou-san, stop it!// cried the nurse.  //“You don’t even really identify as a male--”//

[//“I’m NOT a girl!// Utena appeared hysterical.  //“Not a ‘good woman’ to be looked down upon by some prick who’d fuck anything with a hole, even his own sister!  I, I . . .”//

[//“Tenjou-san, neither misogyny nor misandry are valid reasons to go through a procedure meant to help people with legit gender dysphoria --”//

[//“I’m a prince!  A prince . . . all dressed in white, engulfed in roses . . . a romantic ideal.”  Utena’s eyes, wide and wild, gazed past the nurse and into spaces unknown.  “All the girls want him, and all the boys want to be him.  That’s me. That is what I identify as –- a revolutionary prince!”//]

“Stop this thing!” screeched Utena, who had now taken to kicking at the video-display coffin.  “Just--”
 
[//“Our psychiatric evaluation is already far laxer than that of the big hospitals, and you still don’t pass!”// said the nurse, persisting on with trying to deter her.   //“Fact is that you are not able to psychologically function in the male life role!  Also, your mental health . . .”//

[//Utena appeared deaf to her pleas.  “Revolution . . . that’s right: revolution means change!  Yes . . . by going through this sex change, I will become the real thing: a true, revolutionary prince!”//]

[//“The changes will be irreversible, and risky health-wise.  Tenjou-san, you’ve got histories of cancer from both sides of your family.  HRT causes changes in hormonal levels, which, for you, means an over 80 percent chance of incurring --”//  The nurse went silent at seeing the thin line of red now trailing down the side of Utena’s neck. 

[//“You will revolutionize my body,”// ordered Utena -- having since broken the skin on her neck with the blade –- with steely finality.   //“I will become a prince, for real this time.”//]

And the coffin’s lid cracked under Utena’s soul sword, now puncturing right through its surface.   S/he watched, with hir heart thumping in hir chest, the video capturing this painful moment from hir past slowly fading away. 

“The past can certainly affect the present, and unto the future,” said Akio, having since crept up to beside hir.  “Because actions have consequences.”   Utena would have again tried ramming her sword right through the man’s dark heart, if not for having already known of the futility in attempting so.   

Apparently seeing right through hir defiance and hir weakness, Akio continued with his onslaught of words:

“Having forced yourself through a treatment completely at odds with both your physical and mental states, you ended up –- predictably –- in a mess. 

“By the time my sister had found you, three years ago, your badly mutilated body was already wrecked under the effects of cancer. 

“The cancerous growth must have already been in its advanced stages even then.  My sister had likely told you how not even a witch of my sister’s caliber can reverse the damage.  She then hatched up this plan to undo me for my power, hoping to use it to heal your rotting, mutilated flesh, maybe to even give you a new body – one with the gender of your choice.

“Yet, you know in your heart that you are unable to choose on this matter.”

The smashed coffin shattered like a cracked egg, from within which three different coffins emerged.  All semi-translucent, each contained a silhouette representation of Utena at the different stages in hir life: child, teen, adult.

Feeling hir limbs slowly overtaken by numbness, Utena noted how the adult silhouette was constantly shifting between male and female forms, with hir hair long one moment, and short the next.

“As a child, you wished to be a princess because you aspired to become just like your mother.

“As a teen, you wished to be a prince because you aspired to become just like Dios.

“Do you even know what you wish to become -- or even what you are -- today?”

Akio slapped a hand over the top of the coffin, and its lid fogged over, obscuring the silhouette within. 

“Tenjou-kun, what role do you want to play in society?  How do you want to spend the rest of your life?  Do you want to live it as a woman? A man?  Both?  Or, perhaps somewhere in between?

“You cannot possibly imagine any future – let alone a happy one – for yourself without having answers to those questions.”

“One cannot revolutionize the world without knowing one self.”

A sweep of his hand, and Akio had the coffins sinking back into the hail of swords and out of view. 

“This is why whatever fiery front you’ve donned throughout our conflict on this night,” he said, his eyes never leaving Utena’s face. “You ultimately lack that ‘spark’ it takes to win life’s real battles –- thus explains the humdrum life you’ve been leading out in the read world, post graduation.”

“No.”  Utena shook hir head with a jauntiness betraying hir current emotion turmoil.  “I don’t need no happy future for myself.  As long as Anthy . . .”

“Are you still trying to use ‘do it for Anthy’ as the magic spell to propel yourself onwards through life’s troubles, even now?”

“I--”

“Even though it is now you who needs my sister’s help?

“That’s . . .”

“Even though, after having lived with her for three years, you still cannot even bring yourself to bed her like a proper prince -- or even lover -- would?”

That final sentence from Akio impacted Utena like a stinging slap, prompting hir to lose hir cool as s/he pounced the tall man in artless rage. 

Allowing Utena’s sword to sail through his insubstantial-seeming body, Akio then caught hir free hand in a firm grip, and pressed it upon his very physical pectoral, bared from underneath his unbuttoned top.

“This, is much more to your liking than Anthy’s womanly curviness, isn’t it, Tenjou-kun?” asked Akio, offering her a sultry, gallant smile condescending in its current context.

“Let go of me!” shouted Utena, red in the face as s/he clawed ineffectively at hir brazen adversary.  “Let . . .”   And s/he stopped at realizing something.

She –- for Utena’s body had by now morphed completely back into that of a woman –- was moist with arousal. 

“You once asked me what eternity is,” mused Akio, rubbing salt into injury by reminding her of that damnable night at the motel right at this damnable moment.  “Well, a person’s preference is certainly something that can stick with them for life.”  He watched, with keen eyes, the trembling of Utena’s now delicate, shapely legs.  “Flesh doesn’t lie; you might ‘love’ my sister for her damsel-act -- perfect platform for you to display your heroism.  Yet, the princely male -- your innate preference --  remains the only thing in this world that can sate you basest desires.”

Utena’s legs gave out, and she – her wrist now held up high in Akio’s iron grip – found herself sagging down and against her adversary’s dark, bared torso.  The scent of roses, couple with the feeling of toned, powerful musculature, had her betrayed by her profuse, labored panting.

“Even as a child, you’ve been drawn towards Dios’ -- in your own wording -- prettiness.  So attracted to him were you, that you had followed him out of your coffin and into the world again.  Ten years ago, the schoolgirl you were succumbed to the worldly charms of Acting Chairman Ohtori Akio despite knowing he’s not only engaged, but likely also the Ends of the World behind Ohtori’s machinations.  The experience left you frightened of your natural feminine cravings, to the point that you resorted to erasing your own womanhood at the cost of your own health.  Ten years of going without any man – let alone a prince – to sate your needs . . .” He cast his gaze over Touga, now lying still beside her feet on the thorn-sword coated floor.  “. . . no wonder you did not reject Touga when he became one with you earlier on.”

“You’re no prince,” whimpered Utena, flushed crimson as she struggled to keep from reaching for Akio’s virile flesh with her free hand.  “Meat; you’re just meat to me, and to those other women you’ve fucked, nothing more.”

“Nice to hear what you really think of me,” said Akio, his tone cultured and calm in face of her vulgar wording. 

He let go of Utena’s hand then, and she collapsed to her knees in front of him like a flower snapped at the stem.  The sword blades making up the floor scraped at her palms and knees, but the pain hardly registered, so mortified was she then.   

“Shall we see just how much longer you can hold on to your defiance?”

“Do you really think you can draw strength -- indefinitely -- from the depressing knowledge that not only are you dying from cancer, but also that your ‘beloved’ is someone you can never desire?” asked Akio, eyes on Utena’s.

Utena, who felt him looking down upon her, found her own head lowering in an involuntary motion.  Desperate to hold onto something – anything -- she clasped her hand around Touga’s, but found his hand to be no warmer than the metals now surrounding them. 

His soul sword had since vanished from sight.

Afterwards, after she finally broke down screaming aloud in hopeless despair, she still could not completely block out those damnable words that Akio had persisted on saying:

“Whatever power you plan to take from me, it will not help you with you situation -- and you know that.  There is, after all, no imagining a happy future -- and, ultimately, no drive for revolution -- for someone who does not even know how to get out of their current mess.

“So you see, you have been destined to lose the moment we clash, Tenjou Utena.”

***

“All this time, and I never knew.”

Acting out in childlike, uncalculated anger –- something she had not done for a very long time -- Anthy raised her voice at the one who had been deceiving her all along.

“Never did I considered the possibility of Father, who once was the King of the Earth, would go as far as to disguise himself as--”

“An elephant, at the end of its lifespan, parts from the herd and dies in solitude.”

The King’s words, spoken in his weary, wistful voice, impacted Anthy like a gentle, chiding pat to the cheek.  Before she knew it, tears were forcing their way out of her eyes, blurring her vision as she got choked up.

“It doesn't want to make its children sad,” continued the King.  “The parent elephant chooses to die alone so the young ones cannot grief over its corpse.  From parent to child; a love being passed on, eternally, like--”

“Like circular infinity without end,” murmured Anthy, wiping the wetness off of her eyes with an uncultured, childlike roughness -- one reminiscent of the mannerism she had in her true, ancient childhood. “The reincarnation story I told Utena about . . . .  Somehow, I had forgotten how you were the one who told it to me in the first place.”  Shoving that bittersweet girlish memory back to the back of her mind, she tried to refocus upon current, pressing concerns.  “Utena . . . I need to wake up, need to go save her from . . .”  She found, to her dread, that she was unable to wake up, that this eerie dream state was somehow holding her captive, coffined.  “Brother . . . he--”

“All in good time, Daughter,” soothed the King, appearing dismissive of her franticness. “Let’s focus on our reunion for now.”

“ ‘Reunion’ indeed,” muttered Anthy, anger re-ignited as she faced the father who had been deceiving her -- in an utmost humiliating manner -- for longer than known human history.  “Yes . . . let’s.

***

“I know it’s difficult for you to see us again like this.

“But there are things we must tell you and your friends, before this Train is to reach its fateful destination.

“Let us talk . . . Captives of Fate.”

Goose bumps raised, Nanami noted how Shouma, if anything, recoiled at the beckoning of Takakura Kenzan and Chiemi –- currently hovering behind Number Two and Number Three, respectively –- in apparent fear.  Moving protectively in front of her younger brother –- acting just like the older sister she only recently realized herself to be -- she faced the ghosts of her late parents in anger and revulsion.

“Back off from my brother,” she warned these unsavory characters whose mere presence made her wish she had never been born.  “What right do you have to say anything to him?  You’re terrorists; you stopped being his parents the moment you’ve ruined his future with your atrocious crimes.”

Chiemi turned towards her enraged daughter with saddened eyes.  “Nanami-chan--”

“That’s Kiryuu-san to you,” hissed Nanami.  “Did you forget?  You stopped being my mother the moment you and your husband pawned Oniisama and I off to repay your own debts!” 

She saw Chiemi’s expression further dimming at her words; Kenzan, who stood beside his wife, now had his head hanging so low, his chiseled face got obscured under thick shadows. 

Their obvious guilt and shame served only to further disgust their estranged daughter. 

“Do you know what happened to Oniisama over at the Kiryuu’s?  Do you know the things he got put through?”  Nanami was now on a row. “Do you know what he’s become?”  Eyes on the downcast Takakura couple, She stabbed a finger down at her younger brother, still an “invisible” shadow of a broiled-down child.  “Do you know what Shouma-kun has become?”  Vaguely, she noticed how the short-bob-haired girl had come forth to clasp Shouma’s hand within hers; the focus of her attention – her hatred – remained fixated upon her dead parents.  “Do you know what I’ve become?” demanded Nanami, now pointing at herself.  “ ‘NOTHING’!  We’ve all amounted to ‘nothing’ in the end, all thanks to you two--”

A weakness in her legs (from all the blood rushing to her head, perhaps?) had the enraged blonde faltering.  Strong arms enveloped her from behind, squishing her against this increasingly familiar-seeming broad chest, steadying her.

“Enough, Nanami-sama,” came Tsuwabuki’s tenor, gruff at the edges.  “I won’t let you talk about yourself like this.”

“ . . . idiot,” murmured Nanami, though her hands reached up to clasp themselves above his: this boy-turned-man with a bright future in front of him, who somehow still found her – older, jaded and career-less -- worthwhile.  “You’re such an idiot.”

“Nanami-chan, it wasn’t like this.”

Blinking back tears she had not realized she had been shedding, Nanami saw that the speaker was this other ghost standing beside her late parents . . . a figure looming behind the penguin marked Number One.

“Kenzan-kun did not incur the debt out of greed or other character failings,” said this solemn-faced man, who bore much resemblance to the broiled down Natsume Kanba -- currently huddled up against the feisty curly-haired girl of the group.  “Rather, he became the guarantor for the huge loan out of loyalty to an old friend of his.  But that friend disappeared on Kenzan-kun, leaving the Takakura family to carry the full blunt of the debt.”

“Father--” started Kanba, but was silenced by a gesture from the man. 

“Nanami-chan.”  The man -- revealed to be the late Mr. Natsume -- remained focused upon the angry blonde. “I was there when the loan sharks showed up to coerce your family into giving you and your brother away to Kiryuus.”  His voice, even at first, came to be marred by a pained-tremor.  “I saw, with my own eyes, how one of the thugs dangled the toddler you were over a boiling pot of water to threaten your family into signing the deal.”  He stared straight into Nanami’s since widened eyes.  “Touga-kun was crying into Chiemi-san’s lap like the helpless child he still was.  Kenzan-kun was down on his knees begging them to take his organs instead of taking away his children.”  His voice dropped. “Powerless on my own, I tried borrowing money from Father to help them pay off the debt, but he scolded me for even involving myself with someone who was not from high society.”

“Was that how you came to be disowned by the Natsume Clan?” asked the curly-haired girl together with Kanba.  “Because you fought Grandfather when trying to help the Takakuras?”

“I did what I believed to be the right thing to do at the time,” murmured Mr. Natsume.
“All of us were like that.  That was why, when we thought we had a chance to bring down this unfair, oppressive system that ripped our lives apart . . .”

“You people really thought you were doing the right thing when you bombed those trains sixteen years ago?”

Shouma’s quietly spoken words jolted Nanami out of the daze she had since fallen into listening to the incredible story.  Indeed, whatever cruel hand fate had dealt these people, fact remained that they were terrorists –- their sin lied in hurting and kill innocent people who had nothing to do with their misery.  To think she had almost forgiven them . . . Nanami gripped Tsuwabuki’s hands harder, and found their coldness to match her own.

“Indeed, what we did was inexcusable,” admitted Kenzan, as though reading his daughter’s mind.  “Suffering on as undying ghosts now is our rightful punishment.  But, we’re not here to ask for forgiveness or understanding, for no apology from our mouths can mend the damage we’ve done to our loved ones and our world.”

“Then what are you all here for?” asked the short-haired girl, now standing beside Shouma in apparent solidarity. 

Facing the guarded, distrustful group -- many of whom their own children –- the three ghosts visibly straightened their stances, before offering their piece.

***

“Tell me then, was the Princess of the Crystal behind your ‘Chu-Chu’ deception?”

Even ‘dreaming’, Anthy felt herself heating up as per her budding, humiliation-induced rage. 

“Did she sent you to me, under the guise of a pet, such that I could have my own father watch me copulate with my own brother?  Is that her way of getting back at me, at us?”

Calm eyes upon his angry daughter, the King let Anthy had her tirade, prior to continuing on:

“Not wanting to upset my children, I, fading from illness, left the Kingdom to die alone out in the wilderness.

“But not before I passed on the Light of the World to your brother, my heir.

“Wrecked by illness, I watched, from the sidelines, the Kingdom’s shaky survival under your brother’s naïve, idealistic leadership.

“I saw how, instead of you, it was this other girl who was given a piece of your brother’s pure heart, and got free rein to ride the Fate Steed out into the World.”

Anthy’s fingers flexed at the humiliating reminder; her father continued on.   

“This other girl, made Princess of the Crystal by your brother’s authority, found me while I was on the blink of death, and actually tried saving me -- the old, dying king she respected -- by exercising Fate.”

That took Anthy by surprise.  “But . . . she should’ve known . . .”

“Indeed,” nodded the King.  “Preventing something as big as a predestined death through Fate Change will incur significant backlash upon the Fate Changer.  As she acted before I could have stopped her, I had to be hasty in seizing the backlash for this reckless, good-hearted girl.   Thus how I came to become this base creature -– such was the price Fate demanded of me for dodging a King’s death.

“Bound under this form, even my once brilliant mind got greatly debilitated by the physical limitations imposed.

“I would have become an ordinary monkey for real, had the Princess not spared me some of the power she earned from your brother.”

He produced a small sliver alit with a purple glint -- one that had Anthy widening her eyes.

“Is that . . . ?”

“The final missing piece off your brother’s Heart Crystal,” confirmed the King.  “It is with this that I’ve managed to retain more intelligence than a mere beast; and, more importantly, affection for my own children.

“Daughter, do you recall just when did you first acquire Chu-Chu as your ‘friend’?”

Anthy, who got her father’s drift, opted for silence.

“After the Princess’s cruel murder at your hands, it was her spirit who guided me towards you.  It was her forgiving kindness that allowed me not to spy, but to keep watch over you and your brother.”  The King’s gaze, trained upon her, turned stern with condemnation.  “She did this in spite of the grievous debt our since disgraced royal family owed her.”

Anthy’s lips tensed into a flat line. 

Exhaling aloud, the King glanced off and into the distance.  “Daughter, a ‘princess’ is someone admirable –- albeit in a different way than a prince.

“The Princess of the Crystal, who does not have a single petty, vindictive bone in her strong, noble character, was more than worthy of carrying the title of ‘princess’.  Had your brother succeeded in making her his crown princess, perhaps . . . just perhaps the Prince could have avoided his spectacular fail, and the World could have avoided its  long, painful Fall.”

“Yes. It's all my fault,” admitted Anthy.  “I did murder the Princess out of jealousy, after all, and sent everything going downhill.  Do you hate me now?” 

The King turned to face her baleful glare with his even gaze.  “If I say I do, will it get you to change your ways, turn your life around, and become someone capable of imaging a happy future?”

So simple a counter-question had Anthy’s defensive stance cracking like an eggshell.  Even after all that had happened, all the bad blood between them, the King still cared for her as a father; even now, she still was her father’s daughter.

“But it is a stretch to say that the Princess is not vindictive,” she mumbled, nonetheless.  “I mean, tonight . . .”

The King sighed.  “Daughter, did you really think the Princess had shown up tonight for something as petty as vengeance?  Did you think your brother had managed to reclaim the Heart Crystal because the Princess had truly crumbled under his might?”

“But--” And Anthy stopped, at last getting her father’s drift.   “Father . . . you don’t mean . . .?”

Giving her a meaningful look, the King lifted a hand, swiped it downwards, and created what appeared to be a space gape. Akio and Utena could be seen situated against a sword-cluttered backdrop; the former stood poised and assured, the latter –- appearing female -- was down on her knees and holding onto the comatose Touga, crying. 

Though worried for Utena, Anthy gradually picked up on what was off with this picture.  “Father, do I see . . .?”

“You see correctly,” stated the King, watching what became of his once noble son and heir with stone-hard eyes.  “The tides are about to change . . . no; everything in the World is about to change soon.”

***

“This can’t be . . . ?”

The Duelists, having regained their footing, now stared dumbfounded at what their opponent had drawn out of his body.

“Why so surprised?” asked Tatsuya, brandishing his highly unusual “soul weapon” with a savage grin upon his sculptured face. “There are, after all, as many types of blades as there are people.”

Saionji eyed the revealed object in horrified fascination.  “But . . . a flying guillotine what the FUCK--”  He only narrowly managed to dodge the guillotine’s sharp-edged disc -- hooked to long loops of chains controlled by Tatsuya’s agile hands -- sailing straight for his head.  “This thing . . . !”  And they battled amidst the invisible audience’s diffused, echoing rounds of applause.

“I see.”  Miki observed the ensuing battle between the kendoist and the specialized weapon user with face drawn tight.  “What is an idol if not someone who can  make people lose their heads over them?”  Gradually, a sharp glint came visible within his eyes of blue.  “However!” 

Foil in hand, the intelligent fencer dived past Saionji -– currently struggling to keep the flying disc at arm’s length with his katana –- and straight for Tatsuya’s seemingly unprotected body. 

“A ranged weapon like this will certainly leave its wielder wide-open to up close attacks!” exclaimed Miki . . . before getting whooped a bad one by the guillotine’s swishing, serpentine chain.

“Kaoru-san!”  The Triple H girls screamed in fright at seeing their childhood idol fall back in a grotesque shower of spilled blood.

“Tatsuya!” Wakaba moved hastily in front of the tweens to shield them from the violent sight.  “Stop this right now you hear me!  Stop!” 

Wakaba’s words fell on deaf ear, as Tatsuya –- long limbs flailing dramatically about –- performed some intricate moves that sent the guillotine’s deadly disc diving repeatedly at Saionji like some vicious boomerang given a life of its own. 

“Tatsuya . . .”

“So, the flying guillotine doubles as a multi-chain-whip as well,” rasped Saionji, apparently tiring fast under the guillotine’s relentless attacks. “What fun.” 

“Whatever you do keep distance,” warned Miki from where he was scampering painfully off to the side.   “The entire area within the guillotine’s reach is a death zone!”

“I’m not gonna--”  Whatever else Saionji was about to say got cut off by the guillotine’s disc abruptly opened up maw-like to bite the blade right off of his katana.  The weapon retracted, leaving the tallish man –- green eyes wide and glassy –- to collapse as though the life had gone out of him.

“Saionji-sempai . . . !”  Overwhelmed by the turn of events, Wakaba found herself trembling.  “W-Why . . . why are things turning out this way? Tatsuya . . .”

Retracting the guillotine, her unrecognizable old friend then examined the snapped blade clamped within the snapping disc with showy disdain.

“Saionji Kyouichi, born to wealth and beauty, who used both to walk all over the ordinary students back at Ohtori Academy; look at him now . . . so sad.”  Collagen-puffed lips thinned, Tatsuya dropped the broken weapon to the ground, and raised his shoe over it . . .

“Sempai’s soul sword . . . ” panted Miki, watching in worry from where he crouched down in a bloodied mess.  “If it gets smashed, like how Tenjou-sempai’s was . . .” 

“NO!”  screamed Wakaba, already charging forward.  “Tatsuya!  You can’t--”  A whish of  a whopping chain, hitting the ground right in front of her shoe, froze her in her tracks.  “Tatsuya . . .”

“Wakaba . . .you’re still attracted to this man even now?” asked Tatsuya, gripping the flying guillotine so hard that his finger joints were whitening.  “Even though he is now a nobody with no discernable career to speak of?  Even though . . . even though I’ve been through so much -- sacrificed so much -- just to get to the top –- just to be seen by you?

“Shinohara Wakaba . . . even now, you would still overlook me in favor of Saionji Kyouichi?” 

“Tatsuya . . .”  In spite of everything, Wakaba still found herself moved by the hurt, wet glimmer she now saw within Tatsuya’s surgically-altered eyes.  “Tatsuya, that’s not the point!  I’m stopping you because it’s wrong what you’ve been doing, being a pawn to that awful Ohtori Akio--”

“I’m not a pawn to that sick freak!” snapped Tatsuya, seemingly appalled by her words.  “He is the one who needs me to procure human souls for him, to keep his fairytale kingdom running!  I know him . . . the so-called prince might’ve been big in the past, but he’s NOTHING without me now!  NOTHING!”

Wakaba was baffled by his response.  “Then . . . then you also hate Ohtori Akio, don’t you?  So why are you even helping him?”  Her question was met by Tatsuya’s sharp laugh, one near-indistinct from a shrill scream.

“Oh Wakakba . . . you don’t change . . .”  Gigging with high-strung hysteria, he pointed at her like a brat at someone he had punked.  “You ditz . . . you knew the ‘old me’; how do you think I come to be like this?” 

Before Wakaba could even begin to reply, Tatsuya’s wardrobe opened up as though moved by phantom winds, baring to her wide eyes his current torso and hips.

It was undoubtedly the most beautiful male body she had ever seen, on screen or in person.  The elegant lines, the lean musculature, the luminous complexion . . . everything was exactly as would best please the eye. 

Wakaba, who could find nothing of the old Tatsuya in this body, felt only a peculiar numbness at witnessing its current, improbably beauty.

Said numbness frosted over into chilling horror at what Tatsuya revealed next:

“The nails and eyeballs are the only external features on me that haven’t been fiddled with, the rest are all artificial.  Flesh was cut, fat was drained, bones were broken, blood vessels and nerves were re-routed . . . reckless changes were made to this body to make it what it is today. 

“Now how do you think everything is kept from falling apart despite the excessive reconstructions?”

Wakaba, who felt her brain got fried by the grotesque info, shook her head with numb slowness. 

Eyes on her, Tatsuya kicked Saionji’s broken blade up and off the floor.  Wakaba watched, in shock, the soul sword morphing into what looked like half of a red, glowing globe, soon to land upon Tatsuya’s upturned palm.   At the bisected globe’s appearance, the sword hilt laid forgotten beside Saionji (still comatose) flew off the ground and straight towards it; the two merged together into a complete red globe

“The penguindrum, the apple of the spirit, the egg of the soul . . .” purred the idol, prior to shoving the organic-seeming globe right through the skin of his firm chest.  “This, here, is the magical glue that keeps this hazardously reassembled body in one stable piece.”

Wakaba watched, in involuntary wonder, how Tatsuya’s face and body -- already spectacular in appearance -- sharpened and smoothed and glowed and darkened in all the right places to become even more stunning than before.  Now she found herself captivated by him, or, rather, those various physical details making up his outstanding beauty.   Her gaze strayed -- as though drawn by forces unseen -- across his long neck, his defined shoulders, his waspy waist, his Adonis’ belt . . .

“It was for you that I’ve undergone this change,” said her prince, his voice -- the only thing about him she found familiar -- enriched by the passing of years.  “It was you who gave me the will to seize a power that my humble birth had denied me.

“I’ve gone from an ordinary sob into becoming one of the richest, most influential man in Asia, hoping to catch your eye.

“This onion has defied all odds to sprout a garden in full flower, just to be seen by you.

“Won’t you come back to me . . . Wakaba?”

“Tatsuya . . .” murmured Wakaba, heady from the sweetness within his words, and the passion within his beautified eyes.  “I . . .”

“ . . . SEMPAI!  Saionji-sempai!”

Shocked out of the trance she had since fallen into, Wakaba turned to see Miki -- having since struggled over -- holding desperately onto Saionji , whose large, rugged frame was slowly rounding out into what looked like a male gender symbol –- one indistinct from those airy multitudes cluttering up the background like phantom-ish balloons.

“Saionji-sempai!” Hurrying over to Saionji’s side, Wakaba held onto what become of him in horror and desperating.  “Miki-kun, what’s happening to him?”

“No . . .”  Miki examined what become of the transformed Duelist with creased brows.  “Sempai has been rendered an invisible person, just like these crazed fans!”

Said fans, milling around their immediate surroundings all along, started to tug at the invisible-ized Saionji, drawing him into their invisible, identical midst.   The two hurried to hold on to their old school’s now handless stump of an arm, to keep him with them.

“Don’t let them take him away!” cried Miki – weakened from injury -- to Wakaba.  “We won’t be able to find him again should he get lost in the Invisible Storm!”   Knowing this to be true, Wakaba worked with the other Duelist to secure Saionji, as they both struggled to ward off the gender symbols now swarming them.

“What do we do?  What do we do?” gasped Wakaba, watching helplessly as Saionji’s now basic, slippery form now threatened to slide out of their hold.  “Tatsuya . . .”  In desperation, she turned towards the one responsible for Saionji’s current plight.   “Tatsuya! What have you . . . done . . .”  The accusation in her voice –- in fact, her entire voice –- dropped as she saw the look on Tatsuya’s face.

“Even now, after his fall, after my triumph . . . you’re still ignoring me in favor of the likes of him,” said Tatsuya, smiling a harrowing, almost deranged smile that made even his current beauty a macabre sight.  I’m still transparent to you; you still can’t hardly see me.”  A single tear escaped his wide, wild eyes to streak down his chiseled cheek. “Just like  . . . that time.”

“W-What . . . time?”  Tensed. Wakaba found herself looking away, somehow unable to face Tatsuya. “I don’t know what you’re talking about . . .”

‘Don’t you know?   Don’t you know?
‘Don’t you wonder what we know?’


Even as the eerie, familiar girlish voices drilled into her ears, Wakaba’s surrounding had dimmed with theatrical swiftness.  She saw a condensed beam of light (originating from the projector, perhaps?) speared down to right beside her.  Within that light was a holographic apparition of a vaguely familiar scene . . . it took Wakaba a moment to recognize it to be Ohtori Academy’s ivory-white Front Gates, currently reddened by the sunset.

In front of those gates stood teenage Tatsuya in streetwear, looking just like how she remembered him from around the time when she left Japan.  Wakaba, who saw him cast into silhouette from the harsh lights, thought he very much resembled those shadow-plagued Takakura boys in this scene.

It was then that she noticed the bouquet of roses he now held in his hands.

“Green Roses . . .” murmured Wakaba, eyes widening as a long-forgotten memory –- one that she considered inane -- started resurfacing in her mind.

Having rekindled her friendship with Tatsuya since his transferring to Ohtori, she had, in those days right before she left Ohtori, came to be an item of sorts with him.  No, they were never really a couple; though, thinking back, Wakaka now came to remember that they came fairly close to being one.  In fact, there was that one time where she made some casual comment about liking green roses, and Tatsuya had –- in a moment of cute contrivance –- offered to take her on some rose-themed date . . . which somehow never did happen, because . . .

. . . because --

“Kazami, weren’t you supposed to be off on that date with Shinohara?”

Wakaba now saw that members of the basketball team –- a number of whom she recognized by face from having watched Utena playing against them –- now were walking through the gates as though having returned from an off-campus game.  They now were gathered around the bouquet carrying Tatsuya in boyish curiosity.

“What?  Don’t tell me she’s ditching you last minute?”

“Isn’t this already her last day here?” 

“Isn’t she is leaving Honou like tomorrow?”

Tatsuya remained silent; the boys continued chatting on amongst themselves.

“Well, I saw Shinohara hanging around the Kendo Dojo just earlier on.”

Wakaba jolted at hearing that.  Yes, that was it, the missing piece from her incomplete memory of that time . . . 

“To meet Saionji? Even after that love-letter fiasco?”

“Rumor has it that she had Saionji hidden in her dorm room during his expulsion earlier on, but got kicked aside right after he got re-admitted . . .”

“Well, you know how girls are with elite guys from rich families, especially one so special as to be on Ohtori’s Student Council.”

“Yep.  Average girls had no problem sucking up to special guys who walk all over them hoping to land one, but will demand us average guys to suck up to them.”

“Arggg!  Why do all the girls only want rich, good-looking guys like those fake princes in mangas and dramas?”

“Ordinary guys like us are invisible to them, they can hardly even see us . . .”

Only vaguely listening in on the teens’ juvenile speculations, Wakaba thought back to what had transpired on that, in retrospect, rather fateful day.

It was her last day at Ohtori.  After classes, after she had since changed into a cute dress she bought off the rack on her meager allowance, fourteen-year-old Wakaba was on her way to meet Tatsuya at the Gates, when she heard the following while passing by the Dojo.

“ . . . how many years has it been since we’ve been like this?”

It was Saionji’s voice, coming low and raw; he now sounded more vulnerable – almost forlorn -- than she had ever heard him sound, no even when he was hiding at her doom room.

“Even after all that crazy we’ve just been through, you haven’t changed . . . but then neither have I.”

And, before she could even summon her better judgment, the girl had since tip-toed her way towards the dojo’s entrance.  Even knowing nothing good will ever come of her having anything to do with him ever again, she still could not resist peeking in from the outside.

“Since when have I ever refused you anything?” murmured Saionji into his cell phone while he leaned his elongated frame against the dojo’s hardwood wall. 

It was his expression –- downcast, with a faint hint of a pout developing over his shapely lips –- that betrayed the intimacy he was sharing with the person on the other side of the line.

“We’ll talk further on the bike ride to the woods--” He turned his head towards the door with a swift, abrupt violence that sent his green high tail whipping through the air.  “WHO?!”

Wakaba was already fleeing across campus as though chased by some ravenous monster she could ill face.

So, even tough, high-flying Saionji Kyouichi –- who treated innumerable fawning girls like they were mere wallflowers –- would open himself up like this to someone.

Who was on the other side of the line?  Himemiya Anthy?   No . . . Himemiya had disappeared fairly soon after Utena’s disappearance.  Besides, the vibe she got back there was way different from what she had witnessed between Saionji and Himemiya.

Then . . . who--

*Splash!*

Stumbling to a stop, Wakaba saw that she had inadvertently ran into a mud puddle pooled beside an old building. 

Seeing the stagnated water marring her dress, and feeling its coolness upon her skin, the girl -– still panting from exertion -- gradually recollected her wits about.

Whoever Saionji was now close to, it does not and should not be her concern.  She was, after all, just some ordinary girl whose sanctuary he took back when he needed it.  He left her with hurried haste the moment he got back on his feet again. Was that proof enough that the Student Council Vice President would never be with an ordinary girl like her?

Was that not why she was now settling for Tatsuya--

Settling.

Indeed, that was exactly why she was wearing this dress planning on going to this date with Tatsuya, when Saionji still held such prominence in her thoughts.  She was settling for Tatsuya because a “easier” catch than Saionji.  And she was leaving Japan soon; even if it doesn’t work out with him, there would be little to be awkward about afterwards 

Shinohara Wakaba, born into middle class and average looks, settling at fourteen. 

It was with such grim thoughts that young Wakaba had returned to her own dorm room, changed out of her ruined new dress, showered, and spent the rest of the evening packing up for her trip out of Honou and back home.  It was only much later that it occurred to her she should have contacted Tatsuya to cancel the date.  But by then, it was already near midnight, and it would be awkward for her to call and apologize for standing it up.  Besides, having just changed her mind on settling for Tatsuya, she now found herself leery of contacting him. 

And that, as the woman now recalled, was how her younger self took the coward’s way out –- she fled the country without even saying goodbye to the boy who was, at the very least, her oldest friend.

“So . . . you still can't get that much-anticipated kiss from your princess?”

“Ohtori Akio . . .” Twenty-four year old Wakaba jolted back to the present at hearing that familiar voice.  Blinking, she now saw that the basketball boys hanging around Tatsuya were gone, replaced by the Acting Chairman now glancing down upon the downcast, bouquet-hugging boy from his superior height.

“What’d a guy like you know about not getting kisses?” mumbled Tatsuya.

“That is no way to talk to a school official,” chided Akio, smiling as he waved what looked like two business cards in front of the sullen boy.  Seeming disinterested at first, Tatsuya’s eyes soon widened at what was written on the first card.

“This is . . . ”

“The ticket to you revolutionizing your humdrum life.”

“A talent agent . . . what nonsense!” Tatsuya laughed then.  “I don’t have the height or the face to be an idol.”  Said laughter died out as he studied the second card.  “Dr. Watase Sanetoshi . . . a cosmetic surgeon?”

Akio’s eyes narrowed in a smile.  “Things can always change for you, long as you are willing to cast aside your past baggage and accept new changes.”

The bouquet slipped out of Tatsuya’s hand and fell to the ground, forgotten.

“I . . . can change . . .” murmured the boy, holding the cards with both hands now.  “I can become someone she’d deem important, look up to, see as a prince . . .”  His voice dropped to near inaudible. “. . .just like how it was when she first came to me.” 

“I'll leave these contacts for you,” said Akio, patting the boy on the shoulder prior to walking off.  “Should you ever desire change, call them.”   He stepped casually on the fallen bouquet, crushing the green roses bound within.  “I suppose you have no choice but to revolutionize the world, now that the way before you has been prepared.”

“Shinohara Wakaba,”  Tatsuya’s low voice turned into a ragged hiss.  “I . . . I will be seen!”  With that statement, he, too, stepped over the fallen bouquet while exiting off view.

‘Do you know?  Do you know?  Do you now know what we know . . . ?’ giggled the girlish voices emitting through the thick shadows rippling around the past fading apparition. 

“Oh, Tatsuya . . .”  Wakaba found herself chilled to the bones at realizing just what –- and whom –- had driven her once sweet-natured friend towards the ends of his world.  “Tatsuya, you dummy--”

*SWISH . . . !!!*

The lights came back on stage, revealing to her just what has been happening present-time.

She saw how the area within a five-meter radius of the “revolutionized” Tatsuya had since become a whirl of whipping, looping chains; the powerful idol now executed a complicated kata with his exotic weapon to form a metallic twister of sorts flaring around his taut, lanky figure.  A number of gender symbols bumbling too close burst like bubbles upon getting sawed by the chains; Tatsuya, appearing high on rage, did not seem to care.

“Do you know?” he hissed from between gritted teeth. “The actual flying guillotine has more uses than simply decapitating people: it is also designed to rip the heart out.”

“What’s your old friend up to now?!” asked a frantic Miki of Wakaba.

Weighted under a combination of fear and guilt, Wakaba nonetheless forced herself to step up and towards this beautiful monster the friend she hurt had since become.

“Tatsuya!  I’m sorry!  I understand now, that I’ve hurt you back then . . . but you have to stop--”

The guillotine’s disc shot forth at Wakaba trailing a hail of chains . . . passed her, where it then incited shrill, girlish screams from behind.  Turning slowly, fearfully around, Wakaba saw, to her horror, the weapon securing its actual target.

“No . . .” whimpered Takakura Himari, pallid-faced, as she slowly clasped her small hands upon the disc –- now clamped firmly upon a red globe hovering in front of her light-basked chest.  From beside her, Double H could be seen watching on, agape.

Tatsuya’s gaze -- maniac to the point of making even his new face ugly – was now trained upon that red, vibrant globe.

“Then, Himari-chan with your penguindrum all ripe to keep me the handsomest of all . . . shall we continue?”


End Finale Arc Part II


Endnotes:  There you have it: Utena’s issues in this story laid bare.  Watching the Utena Movie back when it came out, I was surprised by how the BePapas have Movie!Utena use crossing-dressing -- the denying of her feminine self -- to repress her painful memory of her boyfriend’s death.  When I decided to write this post-series story in 2012, I tried incorporating that idea into the TV!canon: how will Utena deal after the Final Duel, having believed she failed as the swords rushed her?  Plus Akio attacked Utena’s amoral lust for him during Final Duel: how will that translate to another confrontation between the two years later? Thus how the painful Utena scenes in this story came to be. 

The idea that Chu-Chu is Akio and Anthy’s father comes from a plot twist near the end of Pet Shop of Horrors (fans of that series will know what I’m talking about).  Somehow, the other characters’ parents also found their way into these last chapters, thus making the Finale Arc far longer than I’ve previously anticipated.   

Either way, the next update really should be the last.  Then, how will the night end? Will Utena lose against Akio, who also got powerful and secretive forces working against him behind his back?  Will Anthy be able to find a happy future with Utena?  We now know Tatsuya’s reason for being Seen, how will his situation with Wakaba be resolved?  Will Himari survive to save Kanba and Shouma from “invisibility”?  What in the world is Mrs. Ohtori planning for Mamiya, and how does it relate to Akio catching the Fate Train?  What happens to everyone and their world after all this is over?  All this and more shall be revealed in the next update, please keep an eye out for it!  P.S.  never forget the update-hastening power of C & C!

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (02-19-2016 05:52:10 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#174 | Back to Top03-01-2016 10:02:49 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Have just gotten my Banana Fish fanfic updated to ch 3, as I've previously promised a reader.

Can again focus on finishing up this one emot-smile


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#175 | Back to Top04-28-2016 07:43:50 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

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

Part Thirty-Eight UPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see

http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

or

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621


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.   

Notes: This is still not the final chapter yet (goddamnit!), but I do hope the cliffhanger is enough to keep people interested.  Will thank everyone who has been reviewing/cheering on this project by the next update, be it the Final Chapter or not.   PS. QQQQQ, the idea about Fate Transfer mechanics that we spoke of via PM has been incorporated into this chapter. Hope it makes sense (cross fingers). 
  .

The Day We Shine Together III


“At last, the fateful moment arrives.”

Akio watched, with glinting eyes, the Fate Train slowing as it approached the Castle, before casting his gaze down and upon Utena, crouched-down in a puddle of pale fabrics streaming off her Bride Gown -- identical to what she once wore a decade prior.

“It’s about time,” he spoke in a gentle voice soft to the point of approaching whispery. “Won’t you at last give me back my Light?”

“. . . tell me again,” Utena spoke without lifting her long-haired head.  “What do you plan to do with Dios’ Light?”

“I will revolutionize the World for my sister’s sake,” stated Akio, his gaze never leaving the Train.  “Tenjou-kun, my Light.”

Utena remained still from where she was down on the ground, cradling Touga’s red haired head to her pink-covered lap.

Akio turned to observe Utena for a moment in stoic silence, before further softening his stance and expression.

“I see.”  He then crouched down himself, such that the distance between them lessened into one approaching intimacy. “Is that what this is all about?”  The man clasped a hand down and upon not Utena’s lap, but Touga’s red tresses, which he ran his fingers through with great familiarity.  “You’ve been fighting me to protect your precious memories of this bitter life, haven’t you?”

Utena held Touga tighter against herself, saying nothing.  Akio’s expression softened with something like empathy.

“Indeed.  However bitter one’s life is, there still are moments of supreme value to the person -- moments that they would hold desperately onto, unto their bitter ends.

“The memories of those precious moments you share with your friends are important to a human like you, aren’t they?

Shapely lips curled in smile, Akio rose again into his full, towering height.

“Then, I promise you this . . .”

***

“We, who bore the guilt of Kiga, are here to support Takakura Himari as the new Bearer of the Light of the World by reason of her superior qualification.”

Without waiting for the Captives of Fate’s responses, Takakura Kenzan gestured at the LED screen to the side of the train car, currently showing what appeared to be a sword-cluttered space, against which Utena -- now physically female -- could be seen crumbled on the ground in front of a tall, standing Akio, cradling a comatose-seeming Touga to herself.

“Tenjou-sempai . . .” grimaced Tsuwabuki.  “And Touga-sempai--”  A nudge to the side from Nanami had the boy shutting up.

While petrified herself, Nanami -- older and more wary of the malice of others -- knew to hold her tongue due to the presence of the Kiga Ghosts now trying to dethrone the Duelists’ Victor.

[//“I promise you this,”// said Akio, //“should you give me the Light, I will arrange it so that, when the Fate Transfer is over, you will get to keep your current consciousness in the new, better reality I’m about to create.  This way, you will get to live a sweet new life while still remembering this bitter present.”//]

“I don’t know what the heck he’s offering, but listening to him seem a very bad idea,” muttered Tsuwabuki.  Beside him, Nanami clenched her fists.

[//“No.”//]

For a moment, the one word from Utena filled Nanami with wild hope that yes, perhaps there was some defiance left in their quasi leader after all.  But then . . .

[//“Not just for me,”// clarified Utena in her quiet, almost resigned voice.  //“There’s also Touga-sempai, Juri-sempai . . . everyone.  Promise me that every one of us Duelists will get to remember everything even after the transfer into this new world you’re about to create.”//  Her voice further lowered, becoming near inaudible.  //“Everyone’s life experiences will still be trivialized by this change, but . . .”  And she left her sentence hanging.//]

“The idiot . . . ” moaned Nanami, slumping in disappointment along with Tsuwabuki, all the while conscious of the Children of Fate’s watchful gazes.  “And to think Oniisama trusted her so . . . !”

[//“How greedy.”//] Akio, as Nanami noted, now had the gall to don this sad, wistful smile while looking down upon the obviously defeated Victor.   [//“I wonder if you know just what such a request would cost me, the one to enact this Fate Change?”//] Utena kept her head down as though refusing to look up at him. [//“Well, no matter.  Things have gone too far for either of us to back down now.  It’s a deal: should you give me Dios’ Light, I will ensure that all Duelists would get to remember this current reality even when in the new one.”//

“Then, should we take a look at what’s happening to our proposed candidate?”

At Mr. Natsume’s words, the scene switched to one showing the disheveled stage below, where Takakura Himari could be seen struggling against a strange and dangerous-seeming weapon as wielded by the now beautified Kazami Tatsuya.

“Himari-chan!” cried Shouma and the Ringo girl in alarm.

[//“It may be that you’re very handsome, and talented . . . but I can’t surrender my soul to you.”// stated Himari, staying on her feet despite wincing in pain.//“Because I need my soul to change the way people like myself and my brothers are treated in this country.”//]

“This girl . . .” murmured Tsuwabuki; Nanami, who shared his awe, did not begrudge her fellow Duelist for admiring the Maiden of Fate’s courage.

[//“I need my soul . . . to make real that bright future I know I will have alongside Kan-chan and Shou-chan!”//  Teeth grinded together, the surprisingly tough girl was then seen prying at Tatsuya’s blade-lined weapon with her hands to bloodied, glove-tearing effects.  //“I definitely can’t just give it up for you!”//]

“Himari . . .” breathed Kanba, overwhelmed by emotions that Nanami could only guess at.  Beside him, Masako’s stern features could been warming up with grudging respect.   

“Himari-chan is certainly a special girl.”  Takakura Chiemi took her turn speaking then.  “She is the perfect candidate to shoulder Dios’ Light of the World.  Even though she is a ‘princess’ instead of a ‘prince’ . . . no.”  Nanami saw, to her startlement, a solemn edge now hardening her mother’s soft features, thus revealing the determined character underneath the demure façade.  “Especially because Himari-chan is a princess instead of a prince.”

“The Prince’s reign over people’s hearts ends tonight,” agreed Kenzan, holding his wife’s hand while keeping an arm around Mr. Natsume’s shoulder. “From now on, it is the Princess who shall become the shining beacon of hope in the hearts of the masses.”

***

There once was a little girl who got labeled an “onion head” by her little schoolmates.

Eager to counter the bullies, the little girl latched onto a plain but gentle boy, and turned him into her “onion prince”, such that she had someone on her side.

Time passed.  The onion prince grew to love this girl, whom he came to see as his princess.

Yet this girl did not fancy the onion prince.  Having blossomed into a young woman entrenched in worldly values, the girl had her eye only for the strong and the beautiful -- the “real” princes as per her world’s standards.  To her, the onion prince was endearing but not charming: someone who was only good as a friend.

And the onion prince would have been fine with that too, had the girl not, in a moment of weakness, given him false hope by trying “settle” for him.  She flee though, at the very last moment, leaving her vulnerable friend with neither a farewell nor an explanation.

It was only ten years later that the girl -- now a woman -- was to finally realize the graveness of what she had done in that one careless, hurtful moment.

“How strong-headed you are, Himari-chan!” snarled Tatsuya, currently trying to rob Takakura Himari of her penguindrum right in Wakaba’s presence.  “But with my brute might so vastly superior to yours, I wonder how long can you hold on to your pure heart?”

“Tatsuya . . .”  Wakaba watched with wide, uncomprehending eyes the robbery now unfolding  front of her very eyes.  “The you I remember would never even hurt a fly . . . let alone causing a girl to bleed.”

“I won’t . . . lose to you . . .” insisted Himari, prying stubbornly at the guillotine’s blade-adorned disc with her cut, bloodied fingers as she tried to free her penguindrum. “You won’t have my soul!”

“Himari-chan!” cried the Double H, both pawing desperately at the guillotine trying to help their friend.  “We’ll definitely save you!”  Their gloved fingers, like Himari’s, were also bleeding from the weapon’s many sharp edges.

“Stop it, Kazami!” cried Miki from where he was desperately holding onto Saionji and keeping distinct from the invisible people.  “You’re hurting them!”

“Fools!”  Beautiful, powerful Tatsuya laughed at their displayed friendship with the crassness of a stock villain from any melodrama.  “None of you can stop me from getting what I want, because no one is a match for what I am today!”

“And what are you today?”  asked Wakaba.

Her voice, barely above a whisper, apparently got through to Tatsuya, who froze mid-laughter.

“You, a twenty-four year old man, are hurting not one, but three thirteen year old girls . . . just so you can stay ‘beautiful,’ ”continued Wakaba, now brushing past the cold, extended chains lining her surrounding as she walked up and towards him.  “Is that the kind of monster you’ve become?”

“Wakaba . . .” Eyes wide, Tatsuya’s petal-soft lips parted to reveal his gap-less, cosmetically enhanced frontals.  “What’re you--”

“Is that . . . the kind of monstrous beast I’ve turned you into?” asked Wakaba, hastening her stride as she closed the distance between herself and her old friend. “If so, then surely I’m the only one who can turn you back into a prince!” 

“Stop!”  Fair complexion blanching from what looked like fear, the idol/Duelist held tightly onto the chain of his weapon, as though gripping his lifeline.  “Don’t think I won’t hurt you!”

“Do it,” replied Wakaba, undeterred.  “I alone owe you this massive debt; I alone will pay you back, with ‘interest’ on top!”  With that, her run sped into a dive as she pounced straight at Tatsuya amidst Triple H’s and Miki’s alarmed cries.  “Let go of Himari-chan!”

“You--” started Tatsuya . . . before going silent at what Wakaba –- now in front of him -- was pressing against his chest.

“See?” rasped Wakaba, straining from having just produced her penguindrum, which she now offered her old friend.  “I’ve got something even better for you.”

***

“Fate -- the royal steed that escaped its harness -- has returned to its rightful master at long last.”

Listening to Akio’s words in numb detachment, Utena watched the massive Fate Train getting pulled right through the Castle’s opened gates by the animated vines to stop in front of them.

She saw how this Train -- resembling the regular model used on the Tokyo Subway Lines -- somehow appeared superimposed against what looked like a stout steed pulling a grand, massive carriage behind its shadow-cloaked figure.  Bound under its former master’s current might, the fairytale creature’s body language exuded a tension-filled disgruntlement that Utena herself now felt.

“Tenjou-kun.”  The one who used to be her childhood prince now was leaning down to speak against her ear, bringing with him a torrent of rose scent gone cloy.  “My Light.”

“ . . . what will Anthy think about this?”

Akio answered Utena’s quiet question without hesitation: “Anthy will have her prince again.”

“Will Anthy accept Dios again knowing he could turn into you any moment when things went wrong?” pressed Utena, who, even in defeat, insisted on having her enemy clarify something that still left her in denial about the current situation.

To that, Akio moved to in front of her, such that they now faced each other and properly.  “To you, and to the other humans, the Ends of the World is simply a “serpent’, a cancerous occupant upon this tainted land,” said he who destroyed her life with thoughtless wantonness. “To my sister, however, I’m a necessary evil –- one necessary for realizing her dream.” 

“Anthy’s . . . dream?”  Utena glanced towards where Anthy’s coffin should be, but could not find it from underneath the piles of swarming swords.

“The Ends of the World, along with the Rose Bride, exist to do all the dirty work Dios and his original sister cannot do on their behalves.  Then and now, I am the only one who is doing what it really takes to save her.”

“ . . . save . . . her . . . ?”

“Tenjou-kun.”  Akio sounded mildly insulted.  “You may think you are so noble trying to change my sister according to your own ideals, but I am the one willing to go against even my ideals to get her what she needs –- a prince she can believe in. I am the only one who truly loves her.”

“Ohtori Akio.”  Utena now turned back to look him in the eye.  “If you truly do plan to enact a Fate Transfer to erase Dios’ Fall, you -- the Ends of the World -- will no longer exist in this bright new world you seek to create.  Can you really look forward to such a ‘future,’ supposing a positive future outlook is important to controlling Dios’ Power?”

“I can.”

The readiness in Akio’s reply both frightened and enraged the crumbled Victor. 

“My sister and I are not siblings as human siblings are: we were one entity in two bodies, with her being the ‘Yin’ to my ‘Yang,’”  explained Akio with much patience (although Utena was certain that he was seeing right through her ploy to shake his conviction at the last moment).  “Once, the two of us can even feel each other’s pleasures and sufferings with our own bodies and souls.  Back during those long years, back when she suffered under the Swords of Hate, I, too, can feel every blade of hatred cutting through my heart.”

“I always feel your wounds, your sufferings, with my own body,” said the Prince with tears streaking down his chiseled profile, before taking the Victor’s sword from the Witch and stalking up towards the Rose Gates . . .

“When my sister gets saved by her prince, my long time suffering will likewise ease,” thus concluded this ‘necessary evil’. “I am happy to be erased off the World’s Scenery if it means my sister finding happiness at last.”

He smiled then -- a sight so hopeful, so contented, that it stung Utena like needles to the eyes, and darkened whatever hope she might have of triumphing over the ends of her world.

***

“So what do you think of your brother’s proclamations?”

Anthy, who had been observing Akio and Utena’s exchange from within her dream, merely balled her (no doubt metaphorical) fists tighter; her father spoke on:

“Are you angry at him?

“You know that just like Tenjou Utena, your brother, too, believes that he is helping you.”

“Or, are you angry because you see your own behavior mirrored by his?”

The Witch jolted at having her mind read; the King sighed.

“You know Utena does not desire Dios’ Light, nor the title of a prince,” he spoke gesturing at Utena’s crouched down, downcast figure. “You know what it is that Utena really need from you, and that it is in your power to give it to her.  But still, you . . .” 

He trailed off as tears started escaping his daughter’s eyes. 

“Daughter . . . are you only willing to give someone –- even someone you love -- the kind of help you are comfortable giving?    Or, are you willing to go the distance, and give them what they actually need from you?”

“I’ve . . . always wanted Utena to keep Dios’ Light for herself,” said Anthy, forcefully shutting her lids in a vain effort to stop the tears from spilling on.  “No, not just because she reminded me of the Dios I once loved, but also that she had earned it by her heroic feat throughout the year of the Revolution.” Memories flooded her mind, of the many instances the human girl had risked herself -– both physically and emotionally -– to defend her throughout the many trials she got put through.  “Having already seen her going through so much for me, I want her to at least get to have the Prince’s Power as consolation.” 

She had to pause, to recollect her multiple trains of racing, scattered thoughts, before finally voicing the following: 

“But . . . in the end, I was really being conceited about trying to help Utena.

“Just like how she said she was being conceited about trying to help me ten years ago.

“Just like how Brother is still being conceited about trying to help me by being the Ends of the World.

“Just like how I was being conceited about trying to help him as the Rose Bride!”

“Then you forgive your brother?” asked her father, his tone cautious in its neutrality.

“No.”  Anthy shook her head.  “But it is long past the time for me to be holding grudges.  Utena . . . Brother . . .I need to stop them both from continuing on with this stupidity thinking it is for my sake.”  Her eyes opened to reveal determined, emerald irises.  “This time, it’s my turn to save them both from their coffins!”

“It’s time,” said the King, his voice husky with gravity.   “You are now ready to wake up.”

She saw, for the first time since their reunion, her father’s genuine, appraising smile, before the dream came to dissipate like mist under dawning sun . . .

***

“Either way, your time to play ‘prince’ is over.”

Utena saw, through her tear-blurred vision, Akio now back on his feet towering over her again.  Unbuttoned shirt flaring open upon phantom winds, the Ends of the World revealed a brilliant, heart-shaped pink crystal glowing up from right underneath his dark flesh, over where the heart was.  At its appearance, something within her started surfacing as though somehow summoned.  Already, her body was arching backwards in a rapturous, offering pose of its own accord, as through eager to offer up its best –- against her conscious will.

“I, who have since reclaimed the missing piece of my heart from the Princess of the Crystal, am the rightful owner of Dios’ Light,” proclaimed the once-prince with definite finality as he reached an unturned palm down and at the wide-eyed Utena.  “Return to me what is mine, for I am the only one who can use that power to save your mortally wounded allies, to save Anthy . . . to save this broken World by bringing it true Revolution.”

Out of steam, ideas, or anything at all that could have helped her hold onto the power that she could ill-command, Utena felt helpless as an oyster under heat as the Light of the World gradually came surfacing through her physical vessel . . .

//“Get down, Tenjou!!”//

The warning -- blasted out via some kind of mic -- came not a moment too soon, as Utena narrowly dodged what looked like rockets flying right over her back, before exploding inside the Castle’s hall to fiery, smoke-filled effects.

“Wha . . .”  before Utena could further react, a robotic arm had since grabbed onto her waist, pulling her towards a pink combat chopper that she immediately recognized to be Mikage.  The aircraft remained aerial as it hovered just outside the Castle’s gates.

//“We’re taking you away,”// continued Kozue, leaning out from a window while wielding a loudspeaker.  //“The others will take care of the rest from here.”//  Utena saw, to her bafflement, what looked like Ohtori Kanae now peeking out from where she was huddled from behind the blue-haired woman.

“W-Wait!” stuttered Utena, gesturing wildly at her fallen comrades.  “We can’t just leave Touga-sempai and the others here--”

//“They will recover with Himemiya’s power,”// assured Mikage -- who had apparently regained his ability to speak -- through his speakers.  //“Right now, we need to get you to--”//

A number of vines shot through the torrents of red-tinted smoke now flooding the Castle’s hall to snap their thorny lengths around Mikagechopper’s robot arm, keeping the transformed Duelist from taking Utena away.

“Nemuro-kun.”  Akio, appearing disheveled (if still poised), stood against the wreckage of the burned swords and tarnished castle walls.  “You don’t seriously think you can just waltz out of my Castle with Tenjou Utena before I get back what’s rightfully mine?”

//“Ohtori Akio.”//  Mikage’s voice came crisp and cold.  //“The only thing you’re getting tonight that’s rightfully yours is karma.”// 

“Hey . . .” Caught in the middle of a tug-o-war between these powerful opposing forces, Utena looked warily from one to the other.  “You two--”

And the space around her became a whirlpool of flying swords, launched rockets, whipping vines and deafening explosions –- the combination of which overwhelmed the exhausted Duelist out in no time . . .

***

High up above, sparks and flame were bursting out of the upside down castle -- now with the Fate Train’s serpentine length sticking out of it  like a worm from an apple --  like boisterous fireworks, the extravagance of which went largely unnoticed by those occupying the stage below.

“The thing . . . loosened,” commented Hibari, who, along with Hibari, cautiously unclamped the guillotine’s disc from Himari’s penguindrum; the red globe, once freed, slipped smoothly back into Himari’s body.

Having backed further away from the sinister weapon with hurried haste, the girls of Triple H now watched, with wary eyes, the confrontation currently unfolding between Seen and this Wakaba-san (an old friend?), who just shoved her own penguindrum at the stunned idol, before collapsing against him as though leaning in for an embrace.

“Here; search no further.” Wakaba-san could be heard speaking softly, intimately against his chest. “This is what you need to stay beautiful.”

“No . . .” Seen, so famously gallant, now shook his head in the jaunty, graceless motion of a man on edge.  “You don’t understand . . . if you lose your penguindrum--”

“I understand.”  Wakaba-san cut him off, her voice breathy but firm. “I was the one who pushed you down this path of no return.”  She reached up to cup his face from her lesser height.  “It was my thoughtless, inconsiderate cruelty that turned you into . . . this.” 

Seen jolted at the gentle contact as though he had been slapped.  “ . . . Wakaba . . . !”

“If it means changing you back to the Tatsuya I once knew, then I don’t mind becoming invisible,” rasped Wakaba-san with labored effort, though a faint smile still graced her pale lips.  “If it means . . . Prince Onion . . .”  And her petite frame started blanching out to approach transparency.

The shrill, ear-cutting scream that Seen let out then was a far cry from his usual sweet voice; even more gruesome was the dramatic outburst of red globes now exploding out of his upper back like a vast, fiery cape unfurling upon violent winds.  While everyone else watched on in fearful awe, Wakaba-san alone could be seen tightening her arms around the agonized idol, unwilling to let go even in her weakening state.

“Just like . . . that time,” murmured Himari, taking in the dramatic scene with a pang to her heart, as it reminded of the embrace she shared with her foster brother right at the tip of the Fate Train Transfer . . . 

“But I can’t stop yet,” angst-ed Kanba, his resolve to continue with Subway Attack Take II wavering in face of her desperate, soul-baring pleas. “I haven’t saved you yet . . . Himari!” 

“Girls.”  Kaoru Miki -- dragging the gender symbol his kendoist friend had become along  -- have since come up to besides Triple H. “Let’s go – now’s your chance to escape that monster.”  He gestured at Seen, still wailing away as penguindrums –- ones that he had likely reaped from his many fans –- continued to erupt from his body.

“No.”  Himari shook her head, pained gaze remaining upon the trail of red, which now has formed a crimson ‘rainbow’ over the stage.  Incidentally, it so happened to bisect the castle above from her point of view.  “Seen-san is not just some monster.  He’s--”

‘Just another poor soul driven towards the ends of his world.’

Jolting at that too-familiar psychic voice speaking into her mind, the Maiden of Fate
noticed the Penguinhat suddenly appearing from the heights above.  Upon closer look, there now appeared to be a ghostly apparition of a little girl wearing the Hat, who was currently smiling down upon her with a mature, older-sister-like indulgence: 

‘Together, we can help everyone, Takakura Himari.’

***

“I can’t . . . shine together with you, after all.”

Weary with resignation, she, who had since lost everything, leaned her forehead against the upright coffin situated upon a place that seemed neither here nor there; the middle of nowhere.

“I'm sorry, Himemiya; sorry for ending up just an incompetent adult incapable of giving you a happy future,” mumbled the un-championed Duelist, all the while conscious of her pink hair matted to the coffin’s cold surface by her olden, dried tears.  “Forgive me . . .”

“There is nothing to forgive, Utena-kun.”

Startled by the unfamiliar voice, Utena turned around . . . and did a double take at whom she saw.

“. . . Chu . . . Chu . . . ?”  She faced Anthy’s “friend”, currently blown up to human-size, agape.    “But . . . how?”   

“Thank you for being Anthy’s friend -- for trying to help her -- though all this time,” spoke the mascot-like Chu-Chu in this articulate, almost cultured manner. “Don’t worry, now is Anthy’s turn to help you.”

“No way.” Utena shook her head, baffled by the sheer outlandish quality of the situation.  “I must be dreaming this.”

“Just because this is a dream doesn’t mean it is without meaning.”

Even as the speaker revealed himself from behind Chu-Chu’s rotund figure, Utena was already rushing forward in wild, child-like desperation in spite of herself. “PAPA!!” 

“Shhh . . . it’s fine now, Pumpkin . . .”  Welcoming her with open arms, the father she had lost for sixteen long years now enveloped her in his strong, supple embrace.  “You’ve done well coming this far.”

“No, you don’t understand, Papa . . .” Utena shook her head even while cuddled against the man’s broad chest.  “I’ve failed in every sense of the word; I couldn’t become the Prince for this most important person in my life, but I couldn’t become a functioning adult either . . . I--”  She ceased at seeing yet another person standing behind her father.  “ . . . Mama!”

Her mother’s flawless model’s face now was softened by her gentle, indulgent smile.

“Utena.  You’ve been trying so hard to become like those various role models you admire all along.” She reached over to cup Utena’s face with her fine-boned hands.  “You can stop now.”

Utena grew downcast at her mother’s words.  “Mama, I . . .”

“Don’t be afraid of facing the true self you’ve been dodging all along,” urged her mother, keeping Utena’s head high while looking her in the eye.  “Confront your true wants, your true needs, and live a life that is meaningful to you.”

“Make precious memories with those whom you love, as your true self,” continued her father, speaking tenderly in her ear.  “Change the things in the world that you don’t like, as your true self.  Living like this, you can surely find happiness in any future that may come your way.”

“Happiness . . . ” murmured Utena, the heavy haze of gloom clouding her mind clearing as the words sank in. “. . . in my future . . . ?” 

Gazing at Chu-Chu’s plushie-like face -- currently smiling at her with an uncanny warmth approaching humanity --  the beloved daughter listened on as her parents continued:

“Your father and I may have had our lives cut short, but make no mistake that ours were full, happy lives.

“So, be happy with who you are, Utena.

“And revolutionize the World into one where your happiness can bear you your fruitful future!”

Heeding the encouragement -- one that she held onto like a newly-earned sword -- Utena opened her eyes to find herself down on her back.  She saw, through blurry vision, familiar emerald green eyes staring down into hers.

“Anthy . . .” 

“Utena.”

Indeed, it was Anthy, again looking her current age from where she was cradling Utena’s head upon her bare lap.  Utena soon realized how she could see nothing beyond her soulmate’s beautiful visage -- as though there were neither skies nor ceilings blanketing the heights above them, nor any solid ground to support their existences.  In fact, Anthy’s rippling hair -- unbound, lengthened, animated -- appeared to be the only thing falling over both their nakedness.

Even an unperceptive fool the likes of her could tell that while this was no dream, it was not exactly what she would call reality either.

“What’s going on?” she asked, feeling lost like always when it comes to all things Anthy. “Where are we?”

Anthy’s face, inverted from Utena’s point of view, was shrouded under both shadows and regrets.  “We’re at the Destination of Fate, where the division separating the living and the dead is at its weakest.  Those whose lives had ended by way of the Subway Attack had a connection to the Fate Train, thus why you got to see your parents . . . if only briefly.” Tears welled in those eyes of green, falling upon Utena’s cheeks in hot, scorching drops.  “I know this is not much, but it really is the best I can do--”  She jolted to a stop at Utena cupping her face with a palm.

“It’s enough,” managed Utena, tight-throated from all that was happening and revealed.  “I never expected to have them back just like that.”

“Utena . . .”

“Thank you for letting me see my parents again, Anthy.”

“Utena.”  Seeming moved as she was anxious, Anthy clasped a dark hand over hers.  “You know that I’ve been manipulating you into fighting my brother all along.”

“You want me to have Dios’ Power,” murmured Utena, making a careful effort not to sound accusing.  “You want me to become a prince you can believe in.”

“Guilty as charged,” admitted Anthy, in a far more ready manner than Utena had anticipated. “Eternity, shining things, miracles, revolution, I wanted you to have it all . . . because I really wanted those things for myself.”  She faced Utena’s no-doubt visible surprise with a sad, self-depreciating smile.  “Once, I believed that Dios’ Power is beyond a girl’s reach, that the closest she could come to having that precious power was to become princess to the Prince.”  Her tresses, moving as though of their own accord, flared around her face and body like the tongues of a dark, infernal flame.  “Thus why I devoted myself to Dios, thus why I played along with the World End’s games . . . thus why I had been pressing you to take up the massive burden of the Light of the World.”

Utena opened her mouth to speak, but was silenced by a fingertip to her parted lips.

“It’s fine now,” assured Anthy, smiling down upon her with an almost maternal indulgence. “I will not press you any further on this matter; there is simply no need . . . I can see that now.  Before, I was blinded by willful ignorance, and had used my femininity to excuse my own cowardice; I know now I alone am responsible for my failure to become independently powerful.  But it is different for you, Utena; you don’t have to fight my brother, or anyone else, for the Light of the World anymore . . . because the Light is already in you.”  Her smile deepened as per the widening of Utena’s eyes. “It is already there, in your tears when you cried in sorrow for my sufferings, in your smile when you beam with joy at my small triumphs, in your forgiveness when I confessed to you my shameful crimes . . .”

Listening to Anthy’s words, Utena found herself recalling scene after scene of what had happened between them throughout the past ten years.  She saw her long-again pink locks now braiding themselves to wisps of the other woman’s dramatic tresses, keeping their bodies as entangled as their lives had been for all this time.

“. . . your pure, simple acceptance of all that I am,” finished Anthy, now cupping Utena’s face by both gentle hands.  “Thank you for being the ‘Light of My World’, Tenjou Utena.”

“I love you,” blurted Utena, her confession as spontaneous as she knew it to be truthful.  “But not in the way Juri-sempai loves Shiroi-sempai.  I love you for the person you are, but I don’t lust after you the way I might with guys.”  Eyes on Anthy’s, she had to force down the thumping of her heart  prior to getting to the point.  “Hey, will you accept this kind of love from me . . . Himemiya Anthy?”

In reply, Anthy leaned downwards to claim Utena’s lips in an inverted kiss -- one that had her world brightening up with the gradual, growing ferocity of the dawning sun . . .

***

//“Not so tough anymore, are you?”//

A crash, metal against stalk,sent snapped vine tendrils flying off into the air; the Ends of the World watched what were essentially his fingers and limbs twitching worm-like upon the Castle’s red carpet with growing trepidation. 

What in the world was going on?

//“Kazami Tatsuya had since crumbled under Shinohara Wakaba’s sincerity,”// stated “Mikage” a.k.a. Nemuro, currently in the form of a military chopper wielding agile robotic arms. 

“In other words, there is no one to redirect the audience’s energies towards you anymore,” piped Kaoru Kozue -- having since lost her speaker during the prior crossfire -- from within the chopper.  “Your magic swords are rusting away even now!”  And, as if echoing her statement, a number of the Hate Swords lining the walls started disintegrating into grainy deposits dirtying the Castle’s hall.

“The tides are turning.”  Kanae, standing by her sister, regarding him with something like pity. “You should stop now, Akio-san.”

“Foolish life forms,” murmured Akio, confident in his own might even in face of the peculiar turn of events. “I have since consumed millions of human souls via the many broilers located across this country.  As long as I have this accumulated power . . .”  He trailed off at noticing the peculiar, condensed globe of light currently enveloping Utena’s comatose form like glair around the unborn chick.

His heart sank at recognizing the distinctively curvy silhouette currently embracing the unconscious Duelist from within the light-globe. 

“Himemiya-sempai!” exclaimed Kozue, also recognizing the enigmatic figure now appearing.  “About time for you to get back into the action!”  Anthy made no sign of having heard the brash Duelist.

“You should have slept on,” murmured Akio. “Just a little longer, and I could have given revolutionized the World as per you desire.”

Anthy, naked but for having Chu-Chu perched upon her shoulder, ignored him as well. 

“You know Tenjou-kun is not attracted to women,” persisted Akio, unable to keep from raising his voice in his current baffled state.  “She is, in fact, just another girl needing a prince -- your competition, to put it lightly.  Don’t tell me you seriously intend to keep up this love charade with her while knowing the whole truth?”

“Truth?”  At last, Anthy glanced up and towards him, revealing a clarity within her green eyes that he had never seen before there.  “Truth is that no matter what you do now, we can never go back to that time in our fallen country.  Though, you will always be special to me . . . Brother.” 

“What . . .?” Each and every word she spoke stabbed into Akio’s heart like barbed thorns.  “H-Hold on there!” Vaguely, he noticed how his many branches and shoots shriveling up at the edges; he ignored it for now, so preoccupied was he with having to retort his sister’s words. “Then and now, I am the only one really doing what it takes to help you!” From Anthy’s shoulder, Chu-Chu could be seen hanging his head, the sight of which conjured in Akio memories of their parting moment ten years ago.   “I’ve never stopped working to give you your prince, not even after you’ve turned your back on me! Anthy . . .  ANTHY!!!”

Making no further acknowledgement of her brother’s beckoning, Anthy leaned down to kiss Utena full on the lips. Right then, a glossy, opaque film started appearing around the light-basked pair.  It developed into an oval shell around the two, effectively blocking Akio and the rest of the outside world right off.

“ . . . traitor,”  muttered the again-rejected Ends of the World, unable to keep from slumping against the wall even with the adversarial Duelists present to witness his fatigue.  His vines, no longer energized-seeming, stewed messily across the floor like discarded cables, looking ready to collect dust.  He one remaining hand was clutched at his heart, the purple aura from which cast a pasty hue over his now sweat-drenched face.

Indeed, he had his accumulated might, the Fate Train and basically all essential items in place.  But, can he truly help bring about a revolution for someone so uncaring of all that he was doing?

By now, even the almighty Ends of the World -- with all his accumulated might, plus the Fate Train in sight -- was starting to feel less than certain as to just how things might end on this night of his own making.


***

“Utena, to have Dios’ Power is to have the power to live any kind of life you want.  If given this power, what kind of life do you see yourself living now, as a twenty-four year old human?”

“I don’t know. But . . .”

“But?”

“But whatever kind of life I may have, I want to be living it with you . . . Anthy.”

Dark complexion flushed, Anthy beamed up and at Utena with eyes like flowing water.  “I want the same.  This time, it is my turn to fulfill your needs, all of them.  You just wait and see, Utena.”

“I believe you.”  Love and anxiety, coming in equal portions, had Utena’s heart aching as she held her soulmate close against herself. “Just that . . . whatever Fate may bring our way tonight, promise me that we’d get to stay together afterwards?”

“I promise you,” breathed Anthy, tightening her dark arms around Utena’s fair figure.  “Nothing can keep us apart this time around; nothing.”  Assured by her words, Utena closed her eyes, content and determined. 

“Then . . . it’s time.”

“It is time.  Time for us to get back out into the real world and wrap things up, Utena.”

And hard, impenetrable surfaces appeared over their skin wedging apart their formerly conjoined nakedness, as the shell confining them started to crack open at long last . . . 


End Finale Arc Part III


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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