This is a static copy of In the Rose Garden, which existed as the center of the western Utena fandom for years. Enjoy. :)

#1 | Back to Top03-25-2013 03:45:05 AM

Covert Diarist
Registered: 11-18-2012
Posts: 829

On Unions Civil and Otherwise- Post-series fanfic, unfinished, linked

So, y'all.

First chapter is here.

Totally been up to this for a while.

Disclaimer and Content Warning:

Things that do not belong to me still do not belong to me.

Themes are adult in nature, and may include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.  There is a shit-ton of psychological fuckery.  Nothing is explicit, and that's intentional-- it's significantly less explicit that And Surrender Unto Night, for example, though the stakes are probably higher.  This is not a happy story.  I try not to be all doom an' gloom, but if I'm being honest, even the sweeter moments exist primarily to showcase how bad things get when the shit hits the fan.  Except for the planned ending, which is... kind of surprisingly not terrible.  Proceed at your own discretion.

End Disclaimer

As far as my inspiration/influences for writing this: first of all, I found Archimage fantastically depressing, so maybe I wanted to fix it?  I dunno, but the timing lines up and Saionji joined the military, and I don't think that was an accident.  And WE VOTED FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY!  WOO!  GO WASHINGTON STATE!  And there was a very interesting sermon in church leading up to that about how marriage equality would, in fact, change the institution of marriage in a way that it very much needed to be changed.  Not sure how much that theme comes through, though.  Also Shinto is awesome, but my research has not been complete enough for the bits that actually relate to that to be written, I keep putting it off.  And then I got a job, and there were kids, so I guess that's working its way in, too.  GODDAMN KIDS.

In terms of content/technique goals, I want to portray a relationship that is right on the fucking edge, between what I'll leave up to interpretation, and I want it to be/read like a sort of mumblecore melodrama, and then of course there's the narrative structure, which is just downright odd.  I seem to be gravitating towards vignettes in fanfic writing, that's what the "chapters" are, so some of them are going to be very short.  And then there's perspective shifts on top of that.  Yaaaaaaay.

Promise it's less terrible than the last one.  For one, I've done some goddamned editing, so the Very Intentional Pronoun Confusion doesn't get lost in the sea of typos.  If there was any Very Intentional Pronoun Confusion.  There are totally bits that I actually like.  Like the kid-aged-flashbacks.  Those are adorable.  Too bad there's not very many of them, and they start... like... I'm pretty sure I'm not going to write one that comes in before we get to Ohtori, and that happens twelve pages into a 30-page Word doc.  And that's the part that makes any goddamn sense, because the rest is being written out of order, so there's some crazy time-skip shenanigans going on.

That's the good news.  The bad news is... well, actually, that's the bad news: it makes sense chronologically, but I'm not writing it in that order.  And I want to do some editing, so yeah, this is gonna update slower than frozen molasses, and I'll probably still publish (well, it with the time-skips.  Confusion ahoy, but not for a little while.  Or not, given the crack-tastic nature of the narrative structure.  Post your wildest theories here!

But how this is gonna work is: I'm not gonna weigh the flow of the story down with incessant notes, I'll do all that here.  And if you want a response on a response (please, please critique!) this is probably the place to stick it, since comments are more likely to get ignored.

And, uh, if anyone knows which Famous Dude said something about wanting to die by slitting his wrists in a hot bath, please let me know.  I know it was a quote, but I don't remember the exact wording, and the subject is such that my search hasn't proved fruitful so far.

Aside from that, Chapter 1 notes:

Yeah, I need to do the chapter title thing.  I know.  I'll probably have some chapters with titles that happen when they're put up, some that get titles pretty quickly, and some that sit around with Chapter [insert chapter here] on them for ages.

And I've got some art in mind, but I haven't inked in ages, I don't know if I can even do the style, AAAAUGH FANFIC.NET DON'T TEMPT ME.  Fanficcy visual art is not a rabbit hole I need to go down.

Yes, there is a playlist, again.  I should probably figure out how to work 8-tracks so I could just set the whole damn thing up and post a link, but... I tried, it was a huge pain in the ass and didn't work like it was supposed to.  So Chapter One has Sometime Around Midnight, by The Airborne Toxic Event and Yes by Coldplay.

As far as content goes, this is probably all you're gonna see of Miki until he shows up briefly to do a spit-take at, like, THE VERY END.

And drunk blackouts keep everything PG-13!

Possibly Humorous Tallies!

TOUGA DROWNED: (aka Please Disregard The Haunted Video Game) none so far
Everybody Got Cancer: none so far
And Then Touga Was a Chick: 2 (both in the playlist)

Last edited by Kita-Ysabell (01-29-2014 08:24:08 PM)

"Et in Arcadio ego..."



#2 | Back to Top03-25-2013 03:40:50 PM

Covert Diarist
Registered: 11-18-2012
Posts: 829

Re: On Unions Civil and Otherwise- Post-series fanfic, unfinished, linked

Posted Chapters 2-10.

Still fumbling about with the formatting for the note.  It's not particularly clear at the moment.

Oh dear, now I have a whole bunch of chapter notes to do.  Not sure how long this is gonna take.

As far as playlist goes, I kind of consider this whole segment to be kind of one unit, it's got songs that work for all of it.  But not many.  I considered posting it all as one chapter, to have chapters that are more like chapters and less like what the hell is this author up to, but some of the narrative WTF works better the further I stand from it, and I swear that makes sense in my head.  But songs!  People Who Die in the Desert by Liz Isenberg, Full Circle by Loreena McKennitt, and Matsukaze performed by Stan Richardson, which this is not, but there's some things that YouTube isn't very good about, and obscure white dudes performing traditional Japanese music for meditation is one of them.  I think there's a TOUGA DROWNED count for the Liz Isenberg.

Chapter 2, which has been somewhat tentatively named "The Morning After."

This was originally part of the first part, but then I decided that the drunk blackout needed to be more of a hard division, and that I had nothing against putting what I'll call basic story segments back to back.

Chapter 3

Oh, yes, the second person narration.  Hi there, neurotic second-person narration!

I'd originally meant it to only happen once- and not here- to strengthen the impact and WTF of the section, but then the mood worked so well, I just kept going with it.

Chapter 4

And here's the first person narration!  That's three out of either four or five narrative voices in four chapters.

Aside from that, well, I am trying to write as if this is translated from Japanese, because hey, I'm trying to make it believably take place in Japan.  I get the sense that I'm terrible at it, mind.

Chapter 5

Yeah, I have pretty much nothing to say about this.

Why is it not in first person?  I'm not entirely sure.

There's also some ambiguous sentence organization, that's intentional.

Chapter 6

Hoo, boy.

Another really, really short chapter.  I'm increasingly inclined to think that they aren't chapters, and shouldn't even get chapter titles.

And here we get a bit of discussion on what the phrase "The Ends of the World" means, and what the implications of that are or might be for the characters.  It has to do with what I've heard of as "Leveling": a technique of propaganda in which the argument builds up a conceit for the purpose of tearing it down, thus falsely implying that what is said after the fake conceit is deconstructed is not itself a conceit.  Or, stated another way, "the lie that revealing a lie also reveals the truth."

This is kind of my excuse to make the plot happen, and kind of something I think Akio actually does in-series.

Chapter 7

Ah, Juri.  I have her acting as a bit of a naive prophet, in that she says things that other characters take as significant in ways that she did not intend them to be.  Also this characterization of her is drawn as much from my perception of her as something of a lesbian icon amid the fandom as what I think she might actually be like ten years later.

And this is the school that Saionji's attending.

And that job offer that Juri got...  Yeah, you should take note of that.

Hrm, I should probably say that this is what I think Miki's been up to:  He's a nuclear physicist, probably in the field of weapons engineering.  Hence he had to get a security clearance, and Saionji's military record turned up on it.  But those aren't the only closed doors he lives his life behind!  He has a habit of sleeping with his coworkers and/or their spouses.  Usually and.

If you now wish that this story was about Miki, well, I made my theory of his exploits a bit cracktastic largely because he's pretty much Sir Not Appearing in this Story.

Chapter 8

I have nothing to say about this.

Chapter 9

I actually rather like this section.  Wrote it at fuckall o'clock, but I think it turned out well.

Ah Anthy.  Back to instigating, I see.

Chapter 10

I love this one.  I really do.

The psychological underpinnings are so enjoyably terrible, and the language is just so... flamboyant.

And with that, we would return to Ohtori, but there's some dialog that's sort of taken a trip to Flying-Off-the-Handle-ville, and I want to see if I can get that spiffied up before posting it.


Everybody Got Cancer (and shit): none so far
And Then Touga Was a Chick: 2

Last edited by Kita-Ysabell (03-25-2013 07:39:09 PM)

"Et in Arcadio ego..."