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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

#1 | Back to Top01-02-2014 08:49:22 PM

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

[Fic]Brake Failure: Driven Princes Running Amok in the Night

Brake Failure: Driven Princes Running Amok in the Night (BETA-ed by TheOnlyFlorence)
Written as a gift for the talented Jougetsu.  Jou, I hope you deem this a worthwhile read ;-)

Utena and Penguindrum characters belong to their various owners.

NOTE: While part of Seinen Kakumen’s Universe, this work fits the canon and can standalone.  Story fills in a number of gaps left open by the TV series.

AO3 Link: (http://archiveofourown.org/works/111663 … rs/2249155)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Case I:  Saionji Kyouichi
Vehicle Detail:  Tandem Bike, duo-witch-operated.  Has double the pedaling power of conventional bike, but also more frictional loss in the drive train.  NOTE: Witch riders refusing a compromise on cadence (on purpose?) may worsen instability issues. 

Case II:  Kiryuu Touga
Vehicle Detail: Motorcycle, prince-operated.  Driver’s seat on the main vehicle.  Large sidecar attached to carry witches coming onto vehicle as mere passengers.  NOTE: May shift gears.

Case III: Mikage Souji
Vehicle Detail: Modified Van, witch-operated.  Old model with square-ish, practical design.  Might have been through fire damage according to rumors.  Later re-equiped with quasi-perpetual motion engine, which is actually fueled upon the sacrifices of others.  Has changed hands since modifications applied.  WARNING: Harbors bomb just waiting to drop.

First Recorded Case:  Dios / Morning Star
Vehicle Detail: (Extremely) Modified Luxury Carriage, princess/witch-operated.  Vintage Vehicle.  Had gone through numerous incarnations before donning the current form of a red convertible.    (EX) USER STATEMENT: “A prince driven by a witch is like a brakeless car -- there is no stopping him once he speeds down the path of princehood.  So, when he is to inevitably head towards certain collision, the only way for his witch to save herself is to jump off before he crashes.”

Final(?) Case: Kazami Tatsuya
Vehicle Detail: Safe Car, princess-operated.  Nondescript of appearance and short on fancier functions.  Was retired into the scrap yard for not being ‘special’ enough, where vehicle now sits simmering.  NOTE: May still be saved from becoming scrap by some buyer looking to modify an old vehicle.

MORE TO COME SOON

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (01-30-2014 09:34:15 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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#2 | Back to Top01-20-2014 05:03:44 PM

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

Re: [Fic]Brake Failure: Driven Princes Running Amok in the Night

AO3 Link (http://archiveofourown.org/works/111663 … rs/2319042)

Case I:  Saionji Kyouichi, Part A (BETA-ed by TheOnlyFlorence)

[Vehicle Detail:  Tandem Bike, duo-witch-operated.  Has double the pedaling power of conventional bike, but also more frictional loss in the drive train.  NOTE: Witch riders refusing a compromise on cadence (on purpose?) may worsen instability issues.] 

NOTE: Employs SKU writer Enokido Yoji’s canon a.k.a. what happened to Young!Touga in the movie also happened in the TV series.  Those who have been following Seinen Kakumei Utena will notice certain scenes as being modified versions of those from that story; but hey, the TV series itself is famous for repeated reusing of old footages.   Descriptions of certain ‘uncomfortable’ events will remain tastefully non-explicit (yes, I’ve taken note your fic preference, Jougetsu).


Time: Year of the Revolution
Place: Ohtori Academy, Japan

Within the pristine academy was a tower erect; atop the tower was a vast planetarium, where the shutters were down and the shadows were thick.  Not all was quiet within its dark, seemingly deadened confines, with the planetarium’s projector droning as a restless cicada in a muggy night.

A voice, manly as it was sultry, hung adrift over the projector’s humming like a tendril of smoke:

“Now then, I shall reveal to you the secrets of princehood; yes, even you.

“Do you know? A boy cannot become a prince on his own: it takes a princess to turn him into one.

“Driving her prince down the path of princehood, the princess becomes the prince’s driver –- the one to keep him running, through day and night.

“It’s noteworthy how those who begin the drive as princesses can easily become witches as their rides drag.”

*SNAP*

A focused, white beam projected a film against a tall wall.  The screen was split to display a quadruple scenes: a disheveled redheaded child swarmed by cabbage butterflies while pinned down by adult hands, a dark-featured girl in a theatrical red dress staring up at a castle in the sky, the redhead –- now a handsome teenage boy –- lying upon satin sheets while clamored by amorous females, the dark girl -- now in regular school uniform –- being demurely poised while surrounded by wolfish schoolboys . . .

The light upon the screen also served to illuminate parts of the interior space.  Revealed in the planetarium was a dark-featured, powerfully-built man reclining indolently against a velvet sofa; he –- the speaker -- was currently speaking into the vintage phone’s earpiece.

“Usually, each prince will only have one princess riding him at a time; yours, however, now finds himself driven by two princesses at once.  This makes him doubly driven.  A lucky situation, no?”  Pausing as he listened to the other’s reply, the man let out a husky laugh.  “Indeed, a compromise on cadence between the two ‘riders’ is crucial to keeping this driven prince stable.”  His shapely lips curled in a sardonic smirk.  “Then, I’ll be counting on you to steer him towards the desired direction, Witch-kun.”

Hanging up the phone, the man focused his attention on the projected film, now showing a new scene: the dark girl was seen struggling against the grip of a maddened green-haired teenage boy –- one who was raising a hand as if to strike her, only to be restrained by the redhead from the prior scenes.

Both the redhead and the dark girl could be seen twinkling in the eye.

*** 

‘It’s your own fault, kid.’

. . . hands, calloused and rough, pinned him down to the dirty ground.  Fingers, knotted around his hair, dragged his head up such that he had to face the leering adults . . . 

‘You’ve made the wrong friend, that’s why . . . . ’


Jolting, Saionji Kyouichi came awake with a gasp. 

Vision blurred, groggy mind confused, while definitely still feeling those fingers on his hair, the young man flailed wildly about in acute fear. . . before an impact with something small and delicate (and crying out) brought him out of his frantic state.

He was in his luxury suite, on his double bed, waking up from his recurring nightmare while unintentionally hitting Himemiya Anthy . . . whose hand happened to be on his hair.

“Saionji-sama . . .” Dark features veiled under early evening shades, Anthy currently looked very much like a stylistic silhouette . . . one whose body language still managed to suggest that damsel’s distress –- that which made the beholder (him) feel more monster than man.   

Lately, she had been getting increasingly good at making him feel low.

“Anthy . . .” Saionji heard his own voice rumble with irk, “just many times do I have to tell you not to touch me while I’m asleep?!”  Anthy, for her part, looked and sounded exaggeratedly, nerve-gratingly, timid.


“But . . .” she then produced an envelope via a limp-wristed, matronly gesture, “a letter addressed to Saionji-sama came from Nemuro Memorial Hall--” 

Grabbing the envelope, Saionji opened it up to reveal something that got him doubly annoyed: a notification –- not invitation –- to attend a session with this genius student / guidance counselor Mikage Souji at Nemuro Memorial Hall.  Attached to the notification letter was a photocopy of an interview application form . . . one that he had no recollection of ever having filled out.

“The hell?” Flipping on the lamp, he quickly scanned over the form’s contents.  “When did I ever file . . .”

[Interview Application Form

Please answer the following questions.

Name --- Saionji Kyouichi (Note: Vice President of Ohtori High School Student Council)

Age --- 17

Sex --- Male

Recommended By –-- Kiryuu Touga (Note: President of Ohtori High School Student Council)]

Saionji crushed the paper in his balled-up fist.

‘Why that--’ 

“ . . . all because Saionji-sama had such terrible childhood experiences.”

Hair raised at the back of his neck, Saionji slowly glanced over to see that Anthy now was down on her knees, picking up pieces of a shattered vase (one likely broken by his earlier panic attack) and looking the picture of the stereotypical, unhappy wife caught in some loveless, abusive marriage with some brute.

“That’s why Saionji-sama is always so paranoid and on edge.  I’ve discussed this with Touga-sempai, and he thought an appointment with Mikage-sempai would really help-- ”

*SLAP!*

“I’m not seeing some wannabe campus SHRINK!” snarled Saionji, after delivering a slap that sent Anthy’s petite form crumbling like a trampled flower; he knew, of course, that it was only her outward form that appeared to have crumbled.

Nothing can crumble a thing like Himemiya Anthy for real.

“Why are you even talking with another Duelist?  I, am the Champion Duelist, your rightful owner.  Don’t you toy with me . . . Rose Bride!”

Right, Himemiya Anthy was not an ordinary girl; rather, she was really a ‘thing’ by the name of the Rose Bride -- the ‘prize’ that he won far and square from this Dueling Game that members of the Student Council now found themselves engaged in . . . despite how none of them really knew what the game was really about.   

The way it played out, the Dueling Game consisted of a progressive series of sword duels between the competing Duelists, all taking place upon a fantastical Dueling Arena.  Hidden within the deceptively ordinary-seeming forest located behind the school, the Arena somehow looked to be located high up in the sky –- a sky made surreal by an inverted white castle hanging above the platform like some colossal chandelier hooked on thin air.  The fantastical quality of the Game’s setting got the young competitors hooked; hooked enough to overlook their trepidation over being potentially manipulated by the Ends of the World –- the mysterious, faceless overseer of the Game who apparently held absolute power over Ohtori Academy (with supernatural powers on its side, how could it not?).

Even more intriguing than the architecturally impossible Arena was perhaps the ‘prize’ given to the Victor from the latest match of the Game.

The Rose Bride, a student by the name of Himemiya Anthy, is really the human sheath to the Sword of Dios, a powerful magical weapon harbored within her body.  Fighting on in the Duels wielding this sword, it was said that the Victor would eventually be given the chance to ‘revolutionize the world’ (whatever that meant), and be granted whatever he desired in his heart . . . .

“Someday, I want to go to the castle hanging in the sky,” said the Bride to her Victor upon his moment of victory.  “There is something eternal up there.”

The Rose Bride’s words from back then –- their resonance with Saionji’s deepest desire –- entranced the young man into opening up to her despite their being strangers prior to the game . . .

“Only you, the Victor of the Duels, can take me there . . . Saionji-sama.”

. . . opening up to this peculiar girl with peculiar ties to forces unknown, to the point of allowing her residence at his campus suite, to the point of acting like a couple . . . to the point of letting her know more that he should have let on . . . .

Thinking back, Anthy had been frighteningly good at pushing his buttons since day one.

Currently, the Bride faced him with wide, tear-rimmed green eyes, such that he could see his own rage-twisted, deranged face as reflected within her mirror-clear irises; the young man faced away, feeling ashamed and even further agitated.

“Saionji-sama is always suffering on his own,” murmured Anthy, her sob-choked voice perhaps even more guilt-inducing than her expression.  “As your flower, I thought . . . if I could ease your suffering . . .”

“Just stop crying already . . . DAMMIT!”  Slamming a fist against the wall in a futile attempt to let out his frustration, Saionji could only hang his head in weary resignation. “Why did I even tell you about it?  Everything was fine between us before you knew . . .”

*RING!*

Picking up his cell phone, he saw none other than Kiryuu Touga’s name listed on the Caller ID.  Teeth grinded together, he pressed the talk button.

//“I gather you’ve already received the letter for your appointment at Nemuro, Saionji?”//

“TOUGA! What’d you think you’re--” 

//“I still got time before having to attend tonight’s Charity Gala,” said Touga, cutting off his developing tirade with the smoothness of a katana swipe. //“The Chairman demands that the Student Council President be present.   The party’s at the top of the Tower, so . . . let’s say we meet at the Balcony in fifteen minutes?”// And the call ended before Saionji could get in a further word.

JeRK . . . !!!

***

‘Just wait till I get my hands on him . . .’

Geared in his customary Student Council uniform, with his sleep-disheveled waves now forcibly pulled into a high tail, Saionji rode the elevator up while fuming all the way.  Just who did this ‘old friend’ think he was, that he dared to meddle in his affairs to such ridiculous, unforgivable extent . . .

The elevator gates opened, revealing the Balcony –- a place so often used as meeting place for the Student Council, that the members had came to see it as their personal office of sorts.  Technically speaking, the elegant aerial platform was actually just a semi-public space connecting . . .

. . . a semi-public space where Touga, cloaked under the shades of the darkening night, was currently engaged in a visibly intimate conversation with some tall, shapely female, whose earlobe he was currently murmuring right against.

“Kiryuu Touga!” Barking, Saionji, stomping up and at the two, ready to do violence.  “You dare to call me here to watch you make out with one of your whor--” Whatever he was about to snap out instead remain lodged up in his throat, as he finally got a good look at just who that female was.

“Mrs. . . . Ohtori . . . sama . . .”

“Student Council Vice President-san,” Greeting Saionji with a perfunctory nod – as if the rash youth’s earlier outburst never happened --  the Chairman’s agelessly beautiful wife turned to smile meaningfully at Touga.  “Then, I’ll be upstairs.”  With that, the society matron sauntered past the boys and into a waiting elevator car, going up.

Through it all, Touga’s shapely lips was curled in this shamelessly smug smirk –- one that Saionji itched to slap right off his face.

“Goddamned . . .!”  Fists clenched, Saionji snarled bestially at the other boy. “Touga, you’re even messing around with the Chairman’s wife now?!”

“I most certainly am not,” replied Touga, appearing deeply amused . . . and condescending.  “Mrs. Ohtori and I were merely going over some details regarding the Gala’s rundown--”

“You ARE!”  Now enraged, the green-haired young man pointed an accusing finger at the redhead. “You  . . . you just can’t keep you pants on, you--” A dreadful thought occurred to him then.  “Oh God . . . the rumor about the Student Council Election being a complete farce . . . that the members are really decided by the Chairman’s Office . . . .  Touga, did you . . .” Hesitating briefly, he still ended up voicing his scandalous guess out loud.  “Did you actually liaison-ed Mrs. Ohtori just to become the current Student Council President?”

“And if I did . . . what’s it to you?”

Touga’s deliberately cutting counter-question impacted Saionji into stumbling backwards.  Expression softening, the redhead spoke on in a softer, more persuasive tone.

“Saionji . . .  I called you here so we can talk about your appointment at Nemuro Hall.”  Blue eyes narrowed in a smile, the redhead then leaned forward and into the green-haired, fist-clenched young man’s personal space. “As you know, the genius student Mikage Souji is as highly esteemed for his side job counseling troubled students as he is for his research--” 

In a swirl of long green locks –- snapping unbound with their owner’s sudden movement –- Saionji had rushed Touga backwards and against the Balcony’s marble railing, such that the latter’s upper torso now was hanging beyond the edge, supported only by a fist to the lapels.

“Saionji . . .”

“ARE YOU INSANE!?”  Saionji was mad enough then to just throw the other guy off the railing and be done with it; never mind the consequences; never mind their shared past. “Do you actually want people to know!? You blabbermouth . . . if you told that Mikage punk even one single word about what had happened to me back then . . .” 

“Blabbermouth . . .?” asked Touga, who appeared strangely . . . rapturous in his current arched backwards, hair-flowing-in-the-wind state.  “Saionji . . . I wonder just who was the ‘blabbermouth’ who let the Rose Bride in on his dark, secret past?”  The redhead’s hooded eyes glinted as Saionji’s heart sank.

Last month, a mishap on Saionji’s part had gotten the Student Council in some mild trouble.  Touga had, of course, pulled rank on him as the President to harshly reprimand him in front of ice-queen Juri and smart-boy Miki, both of whom greatly enjoyed the chance to cast verbal stones his way.

That night, the disgraced Vice President returned to his suite drunk and miserable.  His Anthy, then to him an uplifting ego booster, took care of him while he threw his guts out at the toilet.   The way the Rose Bride lovingly endured the mess he was –- and the messes he made – moved her Victor into spilling his heart’s sorrows to her:

“ . . . thinks he’s such a big shot now, dissing me on Council meetings and shit –- goddamned POSER!!  He ain’t even a real Kiryuu, just some catamite sold to their household!  I watched him get screwed by old man Kiryuu right on the fields, out in the open where everyone could see!  If I hadn’t helped him back then, if I hadn’t gotten involved thinking he was my friend . . . I’d never . . .

“ . . . I’d never have gotten flipped by his sugar daddy’s goons . . .!”

His carelessly spilled words acted like some magical curse, washing the genuine look of adoration off Anthy’s face and replacing it with something affected and fake . . . something with narrow cracks revealing both disillusionment and disgust.  What once was his almost-princess now had become a hideous witch, the very sight of which made him feel mocked.

“ . . . what’s with that look on your face?!”

Thinking back, that was the first time he ever hit her . . . or any girl for that matter.

“I . . .”   Presently, Saionji had since pulled Touga back up, allowing the latter to regain his footing.  “Anthy is my flower!  What goes on between us is our business only!”

Soothing a wrinkle in his Student Council uniform, Touga let out a husky, derisive laugh. “Your business only . . . then why was I mentioned?  More importantly . . . why would I even know about it?”  Seeing how Saionji could not reply to that, Touga exhaled in mock empathy. “The Rose Bride may be your ‘flower’ at the moment, but make no mistake -- she’s nobody’s bride but the Ends of the World’s.”  A pause. “You, Victor of the moment, actually spilled your deepest secret to the Bride, your possession, without finding out anything further about her in return.  On top of that, you even let her spill your secrets and mine to others.” His sideways gaze upon the other boy narrowed with disdain.  “I have to wonder . . . can the likes of you truly control someone like Anthy, and make her an asset in the Duels?  Or, will you simply let her control you instead?” 

The redhead’s words left Saionji red in the face with shame and anger.  “You--” 

“At least have the guts to do something about this obvious problem you’ve got!” Touga’s raised voice, mature as it was assured, impacted Saionji like a blow to the head.  “On top of being a physicist, Mikage Souji has a master’s in psychology -- his involvement can only do you good.  Being emotionally stable is a crucial requirement in having a smooth run as a Duelist.  You do want to make it to the end, don’t you?”  And the authoritarian edge was gone from his (well controlled?) voice and expression, replaced by a raw, quiet sincerity that hammered at the other boy’s heart.  “There is something eternal that you want, that you’ve been wanting since that time, isn’t there?”

“Touga . . .”

“I’ve checked: you’re free from eleven to one tomorrow.  Your session at Nemuro Hall starts at twelve, don’t be late.”

With that said, his old ‘friend’ took off (presumably to join Mrs. Ohtori at the Gala), leaving Saionji standing alone in the dark, open-mouthed and blinking slowly. 

Thinking back, Touga had been frighteningly good at pushing his buttons since day one.

***

While seemingly an ordinary old building on the outside, the interior of Nemuro Memorial Hall was anything but.

Beyond that non-descript entrance was a long, ill-lit corridor flanked by lines of chairs, all of which carrying a ‘pointing hand’ cardboard sign signaling for visitors to move towards this ‘Interview Chamber’.  The signs led towards a woodened door with an occupied sign hanging off its knob.  Pulling it open, Saionji found the interior to be that of a dim elevator car, one set up with a mirror, a low seat facing the mirror, and a display case to the side.

“Ain’t even got a frigging receptionist . . .” muttered the young man in disgust, prior to raising his voice while stepping forward.  “I’m coming right in!”

The moment he stepped into the elevator, the doors closed behind him as it started to descend.  A voice, even and stark like the elevator’s minimalist design, came through the speaker:

//“Saionji Kyouichi, eleventh grade, Class A . . .”//

“You forgot to mention my rank as the Vice President of the Student Council AND Captain of the Kendo Club, Mikage-san,” commented Saionji pointedly as he popped himself down on the seat.  Wincing at just how stressed his mirrored reflection appeared under the crappy lighting, he proceeded to fix an untamed curl tangled about his hairline.

If Saionji’s dismissive attitude bothered this Mikage, that robot-smooth voice did not show it. //“Then, please begin.”//

“Begin what?”

//“Tell us what brings you here, Saionji Kyouichi-san.”//

“ ‘Us’?”  Saionji’s eyes narrowed suspiciously at the term.  “I’m here because a meddlesome guy chose to make an appointment for . . .”  The words trailed off, as he finally got a good look at just what was being displayed inside the case on the wall.

A small. White. Butterfly.

//“Rape.”//

Saionji jolted at that he heard.  “HUH?!”

//“Rapae,”// repeated Mikage (or was he really saying the same word?).  //“Pieris Rapae, commonly known as the Small Cabbage White.  This troublesome insect is one commonly seen ravishing the greens around cabbage fields.” The way he said ‘ravishing’ sent goose bumps down the back of Saionji’s hand, currently balled up in a tight, vein-bulging fist.

“Mi-ka-ge,”  Did Touga tell?  Impossible . . . Touga had even more to lose than him should everything come to light.  “You . . . how’d you . . . ?”

//“All those who come for my consultation had their unforgettable memories.”// To Mikage’s credit, the young man somehow managed to keep his even voice smugness-free –- though it now sounded smoother and much more hypnotic.  //“Precious, precious memories . . . memories they would fight to make last forever.”//  Sometime during the talk, the display case on the wall started to fog over, obscuring what was inside.
//“Then, could you begin from the beginning of your precious memory, of when you met your special someone –- the very one to change your subsequent life forever . . .”//  The glass cleared on the display case, revealing a butterfly chrysalis – one upon a cabbage leaf.  //“ . . . unto eternity.”//

Saionji’s paling lips, pressed into a tight, horizontal line throughout Mikage’s speech, slowly began to part.

“My precious memory . . . you say?”

***

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

Even at seven, Kyouichi had known that life was a running race.

“Dun you run ‘way from me!”

His father’s persistent yelling from behind –- hoarse, slurred, drunken –- only served to make him run faster. 

“You little shit!  Wait till I get my hands on--” the heavy sounds of tripping and falling was like music to the boy’s ear.  Forcing down an involuntary, almost hysterical chuckle, the bruised child darted off the forest trail and slipped smoothly behind a cluttering of dense, prickly shrubs, positioning himself such that none could see him from the outside.

Only then was he finally afforded the time to wipe at those tear tracks streaking down his burning cheeks.

His mother died giving birth to him, that was why his father hated him so; or so he overheard from the house’s gossipy servants.  The boy never knew his mother, so he could not have cared for her enough to miss her; the fact that she married the drunkard he knew as his father made him disdain her a bit, actually . . . .

. . . was he to be punished forever for being born into this world? 

Was this to be . . . his eternity?

“ . . . don’t cry . . .”

Startled by the voice, distant and faint as to be near inaudible, Kyouichi peeked out from behind leafy branches and at the farm fields beyond the forest, swarming with white butterflies like always.

“. . .  aren’t you?   You don’t want people to see you crying like some . . .” 

Through the veiling of fluttery whites, the boy saw a trail of squashed cabbages marring the field, at the end of which was an immaculately attired middle-aged gentleman pressing someone down into the muck.

That someone looked to him like a disheveled, struggling little girl with long red hair fanning out on the ground like tongues of a fiery flame.   White butterflies, delicate of appearance yet also ravenous of movement, swarmed the redhead like hungry pests around exquisite flora. 

“These fields, along with the surrounding areas, are all part of my estate: everyone here works for me.”  The man –- whom now Kyouichi could recognize as Kiryuu-sama, his father’s boss –- spoke in a low, lulling whisper still audible from the boy’s downwind position.  “Do you understand what I’m saying?” The redhead struggled on against the man’s grip.   Obviously enjoying the fear he could cause the pinned child, Kiryuu-sama deepened his voice with sweet venom.  “Is this really too much for you?  Then . . . perhaps I should take to your sister instead?”

At that, the struggling child went statue still –- to the point that the many butterfly-pests now could perch comfortably upon her fair complexion; her teary blue eyes now were glassy and wide.

Kyouichi –- watching on in secret all along -- found himself seeing red.

Powerless children loathed nothing more than those monstrous adults who thoughtlessly trampled upon them.

Jaws set, the boy crouched further down, picked up the heavy piece of rock beside his foot, and went charging out of the shrubs and down the fields.

“. . . such a lovely girl, and with such heavenly blonde tresses too.  I’m sure she’d be more . . . appreciative of my loving--”  The man stopped his spewing of threats as he finally took note of the boy rushing him from behind.

“ARRRGGGGGGGGG!!!!”  Snarling out his child’s version of a battle cry, Kyouichi ran up towards the predatory adult wielding his rock . . . and a solid blow from behind knocked him down before he could reach his target.  Even without looking back, he knew it was his unloving father –- few others would display such savage enthusiasm when beating a seven-year-old.

“You little shit!”  Amazing how he could feel his father’s spittle spraying his skin even amidst the vicious strikes hammering at him.  “I told you to stop running!  I told you-” 

“Saionji-san.” Zipping up his fly, Kiryuu-sama got off the young redhead he was abusing to face the other man.  “What a . . . pleasant intrusion.”  Kyouichi’s father, a wild man but moments ago, now was somber and meek and taking a step back tremblingly.   

“A-Ah!  Kiryuu-sama!”

Painfully lifting his face off the ground while his father busied himself with making feeble apologies to his superior, Kyouichi turned towards the redheaded girl he had been trying to save . . . and froze. 

Fine clothing ripped and disheveled, trousers included, it was clear that the abused redhead was really a boy.

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

***

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

“You’re really a boy, huh?” asked Kyouichi, staring in unconcealed bafflement as the two do their thing at the trough while standing; the redhead rolled his eyes in annoyance. 

“Look who’s talking.”

“Wha-What?!”  Was the girly boy now trying to call him girly? “It’s been a while since I could cut my hair, and lots of guys got wavy hair in these parts!”  To that, the redhead simply zipped up and walked off to wash his hands, thus making the insecure boy felt an even greater need to explain himself.  “There were all those butterflies, and I couldn’t see you very well . . .”

“. . . you have to cut your own hair?” asked the hand-washing redhead without glancing up at him; his voice came laced with both mild curiosity and disdain. Coming up to use the sink beside the other boy’s, Kyouichi studied that straight red mane up close, and found it to be beautifully layered.

“Father’s . . . too busy with work to take me to the barber,” he muttered, feebly; his own untamed mossy locks were managed by either his elderly house servant or by his own hand.

“Saionji-san is Kiryuu’s right hand man,” mused the redhead, somewhat knowingly. “I would imagine that takes up much of his time.” 

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

“Did it . . . hurt?” Kyouichi –- increasingly bothered by the calmness the other child displayed after his ordeal -- could not help but ask.  That got a reaction out of the icy cool redhead, who finally did look (more like glare) his way.

“Look, you . . .” the redhead’s narrowed eyes then widened as if only now discovering something, “. . . those are some really bad wounds your father gave you.”  Even though his tone was non-malicious, that sharp, painful hurt his statement induced still prompted Kyouichi to strike back on reflex.

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

It was a low blow: one that cracked the redhead’s icy composure, and made his slight frame rigid with tension.

“You . . . do?”

“I’ve seen my father do it to the women . . .” For children, hurtful words came much like gushes from a broken pipe; once they got let out, it was difficult to hold them back completely; Kyouichi could not have stopped himself  . . . even though he did try as the remorse started settling in.  “. . . he brought . . . home . . . .”  Just like that, the damage was done; the redheaded child now had his small fists clenched while moving towards him, enraged.

“So, you were peeping, huh?” The contempt in the other boy’s expression and voice cut at him like a sword’s jab.  “Thinking I’m a woman . . . were you waiting your turn, you--”

*SLAP!*

It was only after having delivered the slap –- one that almost knocked the redhead headfirst into the sink’s mirror -- that Kyouichi realized what he had done.   

“I . . .!”  Ridiculous how he was the one tearing up, despite how it was the other boy who just got hit.  “I was hiding from Father, and still came out to try n’ help you!”  Blurred, his visage of the struck redhead –- currently touching his face -- wavered as if underwater

“Why . . . was your father beating you up?”

The quietly, genuinely-asked question felt to Kyouichi like salt upon his opened wounds, prompting him to react defensively once more.

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

“’Cause he likes doing it.”

The redhead’s causally-given reply washed what reflexive spite was left from the boy’s system, replacing it with harrowing bleakness. 

Unlike himself, the more mature, yet equally powerless boy had since resigned himself to being trampled upon by monstrous adults –- to the point that the hurts he suffered could no longer pain him.

“Kiryuu-sama adopted me just so he can do that to me whenever he wants.” The redhead further revealed his horrific situation, in a tone impassive as it was detached.  “And he adopted my sister too, just so he can have a hostage to better control.  I think the old man’s playing things too safe – if he can fuck me out in the open in broad daylight – what chance does a kid like me have of defying him here?”  A pause.  “Why was your father beating you up?” 

“. . . ‘cause he likes doing it,” mumbled Kyouichi with his head hung low; there was no point in further avoiding the question now. 

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

“Yep.”

Nodding to himself, the startlingly precocious redhead then pressed a watered paper towel against a bleeding cut on Kyouichi’s now tear-streaked cheek.  The boy flinched, and was held in place by the other’s hand on his chin.

“Hold still,” commanded the redhead, before he was to deliberately soften his voice.  “The cut will fester if you don’t keep it clean.” 

Dodging the redhead’s gaze at first, it took a while before Kyouichi finally did face the other boy; being within close proximity of each other, he found himself strangely entranced by the seemingly infinite range of shades within the redhead’s sapphire blues.

“It feels like it’s only now that I could really see you,” murmured the boy, gradually overtaken by a feeling he could not yet fully comprehend . . . a feeling that he would want to make last forever, unto eternity, should that be possible.  “I’m . . . Saionji Kyouichi.” 

“Touga,” answered the redhead, expression seemingly more awkward -- and definitely less assured -- than before.  “Kiryuu Touga now.”

“I think . . . we’ll be seeing each other around starting now,” said Kyouichi, hesitantly offering this Touga kid a smile; said smile broadened into a wide grin as he noted the unmistakable bashfulness now taking hold of the other boy –- to the point that he was glancing away while blushing.

“Ah.”

***

Time: Year of the Revolution
Place: Ohtori Academy

“. . . what makes you think I’m going to tell you something so goddamned personal, you frigging CREEP?!” snarled Saionji, standing up with such violence, that he toppled over the low seat.  “You,” he glared around, searching for any visible sign of a surveillance cam, “let me out before I tear down this goddamned elevator!”

//“Saionji-san,”// soothed Mikage, in the voice of a doctor trying to calm a berserk patient,  //“there is no need to panic--”//  He was promptly cut off by Saionji grabbing the display case –- now showing a cabbage leaf with butterfly eggs -- off the wall and slamming it into the mirror with dramatically destructive effects.   //“ . . . very well then.”//

With that, the elevator stopped descending, as it slowly began to ascend amidst Saionj’s ragged breathing.  Standing upon sharp, glittery glass shards, the raging youth glanced down upon the smashed display case . . . and found it empty.

There now was a white butterfly perched upon the elevator doors, idly beating its lively wings.

The doors opened to reveal the main floor’s sinisterly theatrical hallway, into the shadows of which the white butterfly rapidly flew off into.  Following it, Saionji stepped out of the elevator’s ruined confines in loud, boisterous steps.

“Who knows what could’ve been accomplished had you the courage to go deeper.”

Alarmed at being caught unaware by Mikage Souji, whose voice signaled his being within close proximity, Saionji whirled around preparing to bash his nerd face in . . .

. . . only to find himself doing a double-take as he got an actual good look of the other boy.

Now, he was used to seeing androgynous boys: Touga used to be one before he packed on the muscles post adolescent, and waif-like Miki still looked feminine enough to rival his twin sister in prettiness . . .

But this Mikage, this genius student a year above him . . . he actually looked a picture of a fine-featured young woman; a young woman who looked strangely familiar to Saionji, somehow.  Even his longish hair was --

Right.  It was exactly because of that pink, longish hair that Saionji found him familiar; to the point of almost mistaking him for --

“Remembering something, Saionji-san?” asked Mikage from within the elevator (when had he gotten inside?), clearly meaning his question to be rhetorical.  Girly looks aside, that gaze he directed at Saionji was sharp as a sword’s point.

“You . . .”  Saionji glared down upon the much smaller boy from his own towering height, “don’t you ever let me see your mind-fucking mug again . . . or ELSE!!!”  He punctuated his final word with a resounding fist-slam against the wall outside . . . one that had no apparent effect on Mikage’s icy-cool, almost robotic front.

“You will be seeing me again, Saionji-san.”

The closing elevator doors separated them before Saionji could have reached in and throttle the sinister young man.  Still bottled up with rage, he settled for the next best thing: downing an entire roll of sign-carrying chairs via one brutally well executed kick, prior to storming off and away from this hatefully unnerving spot. 

***

Walking through the immaculate white campus under the bright sun (bright to the point that his vision went hazy), Saionji could not help but keep thinking back to what happened earlier on –- not the psychological ordeal he got put through, but rather, that slimy nerd Mikage Souji . . .

. . . Mikage’s longish pink hair, to be exact.  To see that kind of hair again, after all these years . . .

‘ . . . just like . . . that time . . .’

“Saionji-sama.”

Startled out of his thoughts by the demure voice, Saionji now found himself outside the Rose Garden Greenhouse, where Anthy came up to him exuding the flora’s sweet, cloying scent.  Saionji tensed up at remembering what Touga said last night.

“ . . . will you simply let her control you instead?” 

“How is Saionji-sama’s session with Mikage-sempai?  Did it help--”

“I, got played for a fool,” grunted the boy, with his best guilt-inducing gruffness.  “And it was all your fault.”  The dark girl blinked her eyes uncomprehendingly at his accusation.

“Saionji-sama . . .”

“I told you something in private.   You, my Rose Bride, actually had the gall to yap about your Victor’s private matters in front of other people . . . you wrote explicitly in our exchange diary that you love and respect me.  Are you going back on your own words? Have you no shame?” 

At his words, Anthy lowered her head . . . albeit not in remorse.  “But . . . Touga-sempai is not just anyone . . .”

Saionji clenched his jaws at hearing that; even now, this woman still was making excuses for the grievous wrong she committed against him . . . with a dose of passive-aggressiveness to boot. 

“Touga-sempai told me how close he is with Saionji-sempai.  I thought . . . if it’s him--”

*SLAP!!!*

“You will listen only to what I tell you,” hissed the Victor, brutishly grabbing onto his Bride’s slim wrist such that she could not dodge his backhand, “do you get it, Anthy?”  Leaning forward, he glared down upon her exquisite dark face, currently reddened by a developing bruise.  “Now come with me back to my suite: I won’t have you wandering about embarrassing us any further with your blabbermouth!”

‘Now, will you finally apologize and beg for forgiveness?’

Quivering, Anthy’s lips parted as if she really would apologize.  And then . . .

“But . . . I’ve barely begun my gardening work,” she said, tearing up as if he was so bad to have bullied her so.  “I understand that Saionji-sama is displeased, but . . . to take it out on these poor, innocent roses . . .”

‘What a load of . . .’  Madder than ever now, Saionji would have really belted Anthy one for the BS he saw her pulling on him . . . had he not then gotten physically restrained.

“That would be quite enough from you.”

“Touga . . . !”  Saionji turned to glare at the one suddenly showing up to hold back his hand.

The expression on Touga’s now handsome face -- no longer girlishly attractive like Saionji remembered from their first encounter -- was hard and judging. “Hitting a female student in broad daylight where everyone could see . . . have you no shame, Vice President?”

“Why, you . . .”  Saionji would have really chewed Touga out for the (vastly pointless?) ordeal he just suffered over at Nermuo Hall, had he not immediately noticed the girl watching them from a corridor railing high up above.

Technically, there were two girls . . . two strikingly different girls, really, with one being plainly non-distinctive, and the other eye-catching in her non-regulatory uniform; to Saionji, however, only one of their existences truly registered with him.

The eye-catching one with the long, tapered, pink hair -- the one he now saw Touga subtly glancing at through a reflection on the Rose Garden’s glass screen . . .


End Case I, Part A

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (01-30-2014 09:32:55 AM)


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#3 | Back to Top02-16-2014 07:21:21 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
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Re: [Fic]Brake Failure: Driven Princes Running Amok in the Night

AO3 Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/111663 … rs/2440053

Case I:  Saionji Kyouichi, Part B (BETA-ed by TheOnlyFlorence)

[Vehicle Detail:  Tandem Bike, duo-witch-operated.  Has double the pedaling power of conventional bike, but also more frictional loss in the drive train.  NOTE: Witch riders refusing a compromise on cadence (on purpose?) may worsen instability issues.] 


Time: Year of the Revolution
Place: Ohtori Academy

To each their omen.

Black cats, red moons, comets . . . different people believed different things will foreshadow their own bad luck.

Saionji himself learned the hard way that nothing good could ever follow ominous encounters with pink-haired people.
   
‘Ever since that time . . .’ thought the Kendo Club Captain, currently practicing  alone at the School Dojo.  There was apparent agitation marring the precision of his moves; so much so, that the hardcover exchange diary he carried with him always was threatening to fall out from under the kendo robe . . .

“You’re Saionji Kyouichi, right?”

Pausing at the harsh, girlish tenor snapping at him in this blatantly disrespectful manner, Saionji turned slowly to see the pink-haired girl from earlier on (the one he caught Touga ogling) standing at the door. 

“Wanna explain this?” asked the angry girl, waving a crumbled mess of a letter accusingly in his face.

“You’re Saionji Kyouichi, right?” asked the leering man, waving a tangled mess of red hair accusingly in his face. “Wanna explain this?”

Triggered, Saionji could not stop himself from slipping into the impending slap fest with this girl -- a reputation ruining moment for any self-respecting man -- even had he tried.

Pink hair was definitely bad luck for him.

***

“It's me.”

Watching the Kendo Dojo -- now rife with the sounds of heated quarreling –- from some distance away, Touga spoke into his cell phone:

“Saionji really is having a slap fest with the girl you picked –- the duel you want will happen.  But, are you sure a girl like that has what it takes to compete as a Duelist?”

Then came a brief pause, before the young man let out a husky, semi-awkward laugh.

“Well . . . I didn’t exactly know her from before. . .

“Anyway, as per your direction, I made sure to catch glimpses of the girl in a seemingly subtle way that I know Saionji will notice.”

Another pause came, this one ending in a smugly derisive snort.

“Of course I know my way around his buttons; we had a past, after all.  Oh, your idea to involve Mikage Souji worked like a charm in further cracking his weak psyche--”

“Chu . . . Chu . . .”

Alerted by the sound, Touga glanced down to see Anthy’s diminutive pet lurking in a corner.  Currently, the monkey-like creature was tying a strand of pink hair together with a darker one into a girlishly pretty ribbon knot.  Phone to his ear, the redhead’s indolent gaze gradually came to narrow with something sharper; darker.

“. . . indeed, Himemiya’s dramatics are also crucial in driving Saionji to this raging, easily manipulated state.

“Did he recognize this new Duelist?  Saa . . . who can say?

“As far as I know, Saionji had only met her a few times as a kid.”

***

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

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

“Geez, you get so excited . . .”

Eyes wide, the boys watched as the many new-formed butterflies infesting the plants started unfurling their wings with the languidness of coral polyps.  Cheering aloud, the flush-faced Kyouichi then grabbed Touga into a bear hug – one that the latter only struggled half-heartedly against, as he had his attention focused upon the growing insects. Sensing little resistance, the green-haired child continued snuggling against the pretty redhead in his fervent (and somewhat greedy) manner.   

‘Please God, let this moment last longer . . . just a little longer . . .’

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

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

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

“I wish moments like this can last forever.”  Smiling still, Kyouichi nonetheless felt his exuberance slowly but surely weighted down by a growing wistfulness.  “We don’t ever have to see our fathers again.”  Just the thought of having to be home again in less than an hour, and be again subjected to his father’s drunken rage . . . Already his knuckles had whitened against the bike’s handles: something he knew would not be lost on his observant companion, distant though his blue eyes now seemed.

“I’ve stopped wishing for anything since.”   

“Since . . . ?”

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

“Huh?”

“I can’t remember how it was like before I got here, not my old life, not my old home . . . not even that couple’s face.”  The redhead’s voice dropped low, as to be almost inaudible. “I can’t remember anything before that day at the cabbage field . . . before you.”  Somewhat furtively, he glanced Kyouichi’s way, prior to quickly facing away again.  “When things change completely, when even the scenery changes, it’s almost like . . . a revolution.”

“Yeah . . .” agreed Kyouichi, understanding exactly what his friend and fellow victim was saying.  “It’s been almost two years since you and your sister got . . .adopted.  Is Nanami-chan doing okay at the Kiryuu household?”

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

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

“At least there’s tha--”

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

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

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

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

“Oh, this daughter of yours . . .”

Even long after the merry family had passed them, Touga’s gaze remained upon their departing silhouettes . . . or rather, the now distant figure of that pretty pink-haired girl. Watching him watch her, Kyouichi started to feel uneasy inside without fully understanding why.

Was it . . . was it because this girl was drawing Touga’s attention away from him?

‘Kinda . . . reminds you of Nanami-chan, doesn’t she?” asked the green-haired boy, attempting to influence the redhead into thinking of the girl in unromantic terms.  Seeing his friend jolt, he ventured on in this tangent.  “So bubbly and energetic, and determined . . . I bet she’s also a type-B too.”  The redhead remained resolutely silent; he spoke on. “Just now, I saw you watching her . . .”

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

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

Diary . . . how Kyouichi had always wanted to share an exchange diary with Touga; had, in fact, proposed the idea to the other boy, not very long ago . . .

“Kyou-ichi!  That’s girl’s stuff!”

And that was that.

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

“You . . .” Shocked at having this stranger point out his dark secret, Kyouichi quickly rolled his sleeves back down. “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

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

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

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

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

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

“What’re you, a witch?” snipped Kyouichi.

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

“Momoka-chan!”

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

“Auntie . . .”

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

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

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

“No.”

“No . . . ?”

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

“Momoka . . . !”

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

As an onlooker, Saionji found this Momoka girl’s current expression to mirror that of a portrait of Joan of Arc he once saw on in some children’s book; years later, he would recognize the expression as one of strength and nobility.

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

“But these boys--”

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

“Nutjobs,” muttered Kyouichi, determined to deride the girl and her relative (despite having sensed something extraordinary in her).

It would not do to have Touga paying attention to this ‘Momoka-chan’ too.





“Say, Touga, your birthday party is coming right up.  I want to come, but Father said we’re not going . . .”

To that, Touga’s expression darkened along with the dimming skies above.  “Unless you want to join in the after party, there’s really no point in coming.”

“After party . . .” Kyouichi’s mind drew a blank, before comprehension dawned upon his reddening face.  “They . . .”

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

“What’re you gonna do?”

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

Heart sinking, Kyouichi reached out to grab a handful of Touga’s damnably enticing red tresses; the latter remained impassive to the touch. 

“The grownups all like that hair of yours,” murmured the young boy, his pained, husky tone sounding so old in that instant, he almost startled himself.  “What if you cut it off?”

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

Eyes on the wild shrubs up ahead –- the ones with their outgrown branches eating into the path –- an idea slowly dawned on the boy. 

“Then . . . what if you have to get it cut because of some accident?” asked Kyouichi, gesturing up ahead at those unruly shrubs.  Sharp as ever, Touga immediately got his drift, as the boy then practically leaped onto their tandem bike’s front seat.  Excited at being able to help his friend with something this big,   Kyouichi grinned like the Cheshire Cat as he eagerly latched onto the redhead’s slim waist.

‘Maybe afterwards . . . maybe this time, he won’t shot down my exchange diary idea anymore.  Maybe this time, we could . . .’

“Ready . . . set . . . GO!

***

Time: Year of the Revolution
Place: Ohtori Academy, Dueling Arena

‘. . . when . . . where . . . who . . .?’

Amidst the sounds of ringing bells, along with the mild shower of scattered petal green against the tone-perfect blue skies, the newest Duel had just ended with definite finality.

“It can't be . . .” gawked Saionji, uncomprehendingly, from where he had fallen after getting his rose cut by his female opponent’s snapped bokken.  “I've... lost?”   A shadow befalling him had him looking up and at his Bride and Flower.  “Anthy . . .”

“Take it easy,” said she who once was his Bride, her smile now perfunctory to the point of being spitefully condescending within its current context, “Saionji-sempai.”  And she left the Arena together with the unbelievably lucky pink-haired girl, leaving him sitting stupidly on the floor.

‘What was that . . . WHAT IN THE FRIGGING HELL WAS THAT?!?!

***

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

It was at night, when he was out on the bike trail alone –- where he usually was on those nights his father brought women home -- when that happened . . .

“You’re Saionji Kyouichi, right?” asked the leering man, waving a tangled mess of red hair accusingly in his face. “Wanna explain this?”

In the end, even a smart kid like Touga couldn’t make Kiryuu believe that the hair was lost to simple accident, after all.

Kyouichi would have ran, would have screamed, had that man –- and those others he had with him –- not been so much quicker and stronger than his oft-drunk father.  In no time at all, they had restrained and silenced the boy, effortlessly dragging him into the dark toilet block beside the trail.

“It’s your own fault, kid.  You’ve made the wrong friend, that’s why . . . .”

. . . hands, calloused and rough, pinned him down to the dirty ground . . .

‘. . . Touga . . .’

Touga, whom he first met on the fields outside, whom he first got to know right here in this filthy place . . .

. . . was Touga now going through this same ordeal at that ‘birthday party’?

Fingers, knotted around his hair, dragged his head up such that he had to face the leering, unbuckling men about to violate him . . . 

“. . . every bit as cute as Touga-chan, this one . . .”

“. . . Kiryuu-sama don’t know what he’s missing out on by not being here . . .”

‘With this, we’re at last on equal footing . . . aren’t we, Touga . . .?’

With that hysterically irrational thought, Kyouichi found everything suddenly becoming a whole lot easier to endure; yes, even this . . .

***

Time: Year of the Revolution
Place: Ohtori Academy

Jolting, Saionji Kyouichi came awake with a gasp. 

Vision blurred, groggy mind confused, the boy pressed his palm against the dull ache plaguing his right temple.

“Anthy! Go get me the . . .” and his voice trailed off at remembering how Anthy did not live there anymore.

The Bride had since gone off with her new Victor.

His carelessness had cost him the only one who could lead him towards what he wanted.

*Thump . . .*

Glancing down, he saw his exchange diary having dropped to the floor beside the bed (had he actually fallen asleep holding onto it?).  Downcast, he turned on the light before reaching down to pick up the item.

“No magic to this diary at all . . .” grumbled the moody youth, somehow recalling that strange little girl with her ‘magical’ diary at this moment.  Anyway, what he once naively thought would help him better control Anthy -- to better secure his chance at ascending the Castle of Eternity -- was, in the end, just some childish ploy. Childish; how utterly childish of him to think--

And then he saw.

A strand of pink hair was poking out from between the exchange diary’s pages.  Prying open the hardcover book with trembling fingers, he saw what looked like an intricate, girlishly pretty ribbon knot.  Artfully woven together, the knot was formed from two longish hair strands: one pink, the other dark blue as to be indigo.

The page bookmarked by the purposefully placed hair knot was Anthy’s latest entry, dated only just the day before:

[Saionji-sama is my love.

Saionji-sama is my reason.

Saionji-sama is my eternity.]

***

*Ring.*

“Ah, it’s you.

“So, Saionji-kun really is having a breakdown, huh?  Are you with him . . . (brief pause) Oh, I see; you were right outside his suite when he threw a desk lamp right through the glass window.  Heh, things must be highly dramatic on your end.

“Keeping your prince . . . pardon me, your friend monitored so late into the night just to give me first hard reporting; how diligent of you.

“Saionji Kyouichi will duel Tenjou Utena again, only to lose again.  The Kendo Club Captain’s repeated defeat at the hands of a sword novice will pique the interest of the more cautious Duelists, prompting them to engage this new challenger.  Sore loser that he is, Saionji-kun’s predictably abrasive actions in the coming weeks shall also be pivotal in drawing new candidates onto the Arena.   

“Simply put, the Game is staying on course upon the continued sacrifice of one unstable boy’s pride . . . and sanity.

“Now, are you truly fine with continuing to help me with this?  You had quite the past with this boy, after all; if this is at all difficult for you . . . (pause) Very well then.”

“Yes, you’ve been very helpful to me, Witch-kun . . . (brief pause) Oh, you prefer to be called the President now?   Right . . . a proper title does have its importance, after all . . .

“Then, President-san: won’t you agree that more than anything else, it is my sister’s ‘parting gift’ that truly drove Saionji Kyouichi into his current raging, easily-manipulated state?

“My sister will be counting on your continued assistance as she steer Saionji towards just where I want him to go.  Keep up the good work, President-san.” 

Putting down the phone receiver with a smirk, the seated dark man glanced up and at the smiling dark girl now standing demurely in front of his velvet sofa. Reaching up a long arm, he then undid the petite girl’s updo in a casually intimate manner, sending luxuriant indigo tresses rippling down her shapely frame.

“Let me comfort you tonight too . . . Anthy.”

***

Closing the lid over his cell phone, the redhead stepped quietly away from the First Class Student Residence, where the sounds of room-tearing rampage now was gradually dying down, to be replaced by loud, wounded sobs . . .

“ . . . Anthy . . .”

Blue eyes narrowed at hearing Saionji’s faintly audible whimper, Touga sped up his steps walking away along the unlit sidewalk . . . before almost falling forward as he tripped on something in the dark.       

It was a bike; a tandem bike, to be exact.  Rusted from age and ill-maintenance, the bike now was carelessly sprawled upon the ground, desolate-seeming in its discarded state.

Fists clenched, Touga pulled back his foot . . . before twin set of lights speared at him with an almost violent abruptness, pinning the young man to the spot.  Peeking at the light source from between his fingers, he saw, to his non-surprise, the idling red convertible with the plate reading ‘OHTORI’.

//“No need to kick them when they are down,”// said the womanly alto coming through the from the car radio, //“things and people both.  Won’t you agree, President-san?”//

“Just call me by name like you always do,” muttered the moody youth, who nonetheless got up to the car, opened the door on the passenger’s side, and got seated.  “We’ve known each other too long for word games . . . Mrs. Ohtori.”  He sounded unsurprised by how the driver’s seat was visibly empty.

//“There’s no point in feeling blue over this.”//  Even mildly distorted by the radio speaker, Mrs. Ohtori’s husky laugher still sounded (unintentionally?) sultry enough to melt bones with.  //“The Devil’s partiality towards the Witch is hardly anything new.  We, who operate as his aides, only need to concern ourselves with getting the power we want out of him; the rest are all but minor details.”//

“The Power of Revolution,” muttered Touga, appearing strangely childlike in his current moment of unguarded, undisguised stubbornness.  “The power to make anything possible, even at the cost of defying existing logics and status quos . . . the power to change things.  For what have I -- a man -- entered Witchhood, if not to grasp this power?”  Waist arched indolently back against the contours of the car seat, he stared up and at the indigo skies above.  “If I cannot even change something so simple as the Devil’s preference, then all the years I’ve devoted to this--”

//“Touga-kun,”// Mrs. Ohtori cut him off, in a softly chiding voice that now had gained a maternal edge.  //“You were a boy desperate to free yourself, your sister, and your friend from the abusive adults hounding you all at the time.  You took up the Devil’s offer of Witchhood for just that: protection.  You’ve already gotten what you once wanted, only now you no longer think that’s enough.”// The discontented teen now had his mouth flattened into a tight, horizontal line.  Obviously seeing his expression somehow, the woman made an effort in softening her tone.  //“To be honest, I’m rather bewildered by your current treatment of your friend, being that he was the main reason you got into--”//

“Only fools believe in real friends,” Touga cut her back off, all the while stretching in this bratty manner, displaying an immature side he would not show to someone less trusted. .  “It’s late; I want to call it a night.”

//“Very well . . . . Are you sure you don’t want to take the wheel yourself this time?”//

“You know I’m still under-aged.”  The young man’s matter-of-fact reply incited a smoky sigh from Mrs. Ohtori. 

//“That, you are.  Riding the bike really does suit you better, Touga-kun.”//

“Move along, Mrs.”

To that, the red convertible floored the gas petal on her own. Engine roaring, the car/woman then sped off into the night with the sulky boy witch (shirt undone, arms out, eyes closed), leaving the abandoned tandem bike where it remained in the dust.


End Case I, Part B


Note to Florence:  I have decided to stick with “Ba-ka” after all, since few English words has quite the same meaning/effect.  Also, I’ve added the scene with Touga and Mrs. Ohtori at the last moment for coherency’s sake, so any mistake(s) ensuing is my fault only.  Thanks for understanding, and for again working so quickly and efficiently!

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (02-16-2014 08:37:40 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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