~*A Revolutionary Girl Utena Fanfic*~
~*Original Anime Directed By Mr. Ikuhara and Written By Be-Papas*~
~*Original Manga Created By Ms. Saito*~
Disclaimer: Utena's not mine. Only Sirius is.
Summary: What if Ruka had had a Black Rose Duelist counterpart? Sirius Okura, a lifelong servant to the Tsuchiya family, seems nice, but is there a psychopath with a grudge against the Rose Bride beneath that smile?
Utena Tenjou clenched her sword and stood in front of Anthy protectively in the dueling arena. She could not see her foe's face. All she could determine was that he was one of those strange duelists who had been after her friend's life lately. Nothing moved. Not even the wind blew.
"Who are you and why are you after Anthy? Show yourself!" the teen demanded.
The enemy slowly turned around and his golden hair glinted sinisterly.
"It's you," Utena gasped, "Why are you of all people doing this? We had just become friends!"
Utena had never seen this battle coming. In fact, she had made friends with her enemy to be two weeks ago. It all started when she and Wakaba were watching Juri practice fencing.
Juri had been nicknamed the beautiful leopard, and she certainly lived up to it. She was in rare form today. She cut down opponent after opponent in milliseconds, and the only sounds in the fencing hall were clangs and star struck titters. The redhead was truly a spotlight in the midst of a hundred candles.
"Woo-hoo! Juri's really cool, isn't she?" said Wakaba as the matches finished.
"Yeah, I wish I had her fencing talent," Utena agreed.
"Don't be silly Utena, you're already perfect! That's why you're my one true love!" she chirped.
She playfully tackled her and almost sent them plummeting to the first floor.
"WHOA! Wakaba, get off of me!" she shouted.
"Oh Utena, Utena, Utena, my lo-o-o-o-ve!" she squealed.
It took every ounce of Utena's strength to back up. She and Wakaba dropped to the floor with a great "ker-plop." That girl was going to kill her one of these days.
"Oh dear," someone said, "Are you girls all right?"
They looked up and saw that its owner was a senior with short spiky golden hair and frosty blue eyes. He was neither extremely handsome nor a Quasimodo, and he spoke in a soft baritone. He would have been very easy to disregard if it had not been for his strong cologne.
"Um, yeah," Utena said sheepishly, "It happens all the time."
He chuckled and said, "I heard you talking about Mistress Arisugawa. Are you her friend?"
"I'm sort of a friend. My name's Utena Tenjou and this is Wakaba Shinohara," she said.
"That is perfect. Perhaps you can assist me with my job. My name is Sirius Okura, and my employer and Mistress Arisugawa are very close. I was trying to get his homework and any messages from the Student Council from her," he explained.
Utena suddenly grew wary. Anybody associated them was bad news.
"What do you know about the Student Council?" she inquired.
"What's there to know? They plan events and help shape school rules," he replied.
Thank goodness! The boy probably just worked for a Student Activities aide. She never knew Ohtori's Student Council had time to plan dances or organize fundraisers. Then again, it was an ideal cover-up.
The Student Council was composed of five students who secretly dueled for possession of Utena's best friend and the power to revolutionize the world. She didn't know exactly what that meant, but couldn't stand by once she had seen how barbaric they were to Anthy. It made her blood boil to think that anyone could treat a human being like an object. As long as she and Anthy were "engaged", she could keep her safe.
Just then the Rose Bride walked up with a bento box and said, "Miss Utena, I finished preparing lunch for us. Would you like to eat outside today?"
"Sure Anthy, that sounds great," she replied.
For just a tiny split second Sirius's face changed from demure and polite to homicidal.
It's her. My God, it's HER! Hasn't the Rose Bride caused me ENOUGH pain and suffering? I don't think she even remembers me! he thought.
"Is something wrong?" asked Utena.
"NO!" he shouted.
The girls jumped back. He composed himself.
"No," he repeated softly, "I…just need some fresh air. It was a pleasure to meet you, Utena Tenjou."
Anthy watched Utena heave a javelin with all her might on Ohtori's field. It soared through the air like a missile and landed nearly six times its length away. The other girls cheered and jumped gleefully.
"Utena, you're so cool!" squealed one.
"Teach me to do that!" said another.
"Nobody is as graceful as you!" cried a third.
She laughed and waved at her fans. Anthy applauded from the sidelines in her gym uniform, and for once her courtesy was genuine. Utena was much kinder then most of her previous victors and she was also the first to encourage her to be a normal girl. However, that also made moments like these bittersweet because they reminded her of the prince she'd loved long ago.
Sometimes she wondered why she kept trying to become a prince. Girls couldn't do that, could they? The poor thing didn't really know what she was getting into. Dios had been just as naïve.
No, she wasn't like Dios. No one could ever be like Dios. Yet…Yet… after she won her back from Touga Kiryuu the swords hurt a little less for the first time in ten thousand years.
The coach blew her whistle and shouted, "Himemiya, you're up!"
"Oh my," Anthy said nervously.
She twiddled her thumbs and the girls around her snickered. Anthy hated gym class. It was opportunity number four-thousand, two-hundred two for people to bully her.
"Don't listen to them. Go for it," Utena encouraged.
"I will if that is your wish, Miss Utena," she said politely.
The Indian girl got on her mark and waited for the coach to hand her her javelin.
"Darn it, where's the equipment? The rack was just behind me a second ago. If one of you smart-alecks thinks that playing a prank will get you out of exercising, you're wrong!" she snapped.
"But Coach, we didn't see what happened to it," insisted one girl.
"Yeah, and we certainly didn't see who stole it," said another.
"Be quiet! I'm going to close my eyes and count to ten. When I open them the equipment better be here or you ladies are going to jog laps for the rest of class!" she warned.
The group groaned loudly.
She blew her whistle and shouted, "Quiet! One...two...three..."
Anthy fidgeted and her stomach churned. Everyone was glaring at her as if she had been the one who threatened to make them jog. They were all so focused on her that no one saw a mysterious person aim a javelin at her from behind the fence.
Then all hell broke loose. Anthy whirled around and froze on the spot as it sailed straight toward her midsection. The group screeched and scattered from hell to breakfast. She winced and braced herself.
Yet at the last second she felt Utena whisk her out of harm's way. It came so close to impaling them that a few pink strands of her hair fell to the ground. Both girls grunted as she dropped and rolled.
"Oh my God, are you all right?' asked one of their classmates.
"Yes. Where… on Earth… did that thing come from?" Utena panted.
No one knew.
"Don't worry, Himemiya," said the coach, "The faculty will take care of this. It's probably just a bunch of punks who think they can cut class and play pranks."
That didn't make either of them feel any better. Utena knew strange people who aligned theirselves with an organization called the Black Rose had been after Anthy's life lately. She wanted to tell an adult about how she had been treated from the first time they met, but she'd begged her to keep quiet for fear her older brother would find out she was the Rose Bride. Regardless of how nervous she was, she was on her own. Besides, princes had to deal with obstacles like this every day.
All of a sudden, a familiar musky scent tickled her nose. She gasped and realized some of it was coming from the javelin.
That smells just like Sirius's cologne! But… But this is freshman phys Ed, so he couldn't have been responsible…could he? she wondered.
Utena could not shake the feeling of dread that evening in the campus sanctuary. There were still statues of saints, stained glass windows with rose crosses, and a baptismal fountain, so why was she so cold? She shook her head and convinced herself the fear stemmed from its emptiness.
Bam! Lightning crashed outside and she jumped. A rainy day at a sanctuary didn't exactly bring back the best memories for her. The girl rubbed her eyes to adjust her vision…and gasped.
A lame ram limped up to the altar under a dangling oil lamp and two great tarot cards had replaced the windows. One was the five of swords, and the other, which was reversed, was the emperor. Before she could help the poor creature she was blocked by a figure that was completely shadowed except for its long blue forelock.
"Get out of my way," she ordered, "That lamp is full, and if I don't save that ram it's going to get-"
It was too late. The stench of burnt animal flesh filled the room. She screamed.
The young tomboy jolted up in bed in a cold sweat.
"What's wrong, Miss Utena?" asked her best friend.
"Uh…nothing," she murmured, "I just really need a glass of water."
Souji Mikage and Mamiya carefully observed at the black rose in the inky bowels of Nemuro Memorial Hall. It was practically shrieking to be picked.
"Just how do you plan to ensnare our next duelist, Souji?" Mamiya asked.
He held out a fake letter with the Tsuchiya family seal and answered, "You needn't worry, Mamiya. Let us just say a cuckoo is about to finish an exhausted young father bird's nest and steal his sickly chick's love."
"How cruel you are."
"Well, this is for the sake of making you the Rose Bride. I promise you that the whole world will be your nest when that happens."
Mikage smirked. A dewdrop fell from a petal and echoed hauntingly.
The girls expressed their concern to Anthy's older brother Akio later that day over some rose-hip tea. He did not seem very worried about the boy's behavior, but then again Akio never seemed too worried about anything. Utena deeply admired that about him.
"Hmm…If you trust this young man, then that's good enough for me. Besides, that cologne is very trendy now, so there are countless suspects," Akio said to Utena.
She blushed and replied, "Still, I wonder why he's acting so snappy and secretive. He doesn't seem very aggressive. It's not like him."
"Perhaps it is because the Dog Days are approaching."
"What are Dog Days?"
"They are the hottest days of the year when the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major usually rises and falls with the sun. The ancient Romans used to believe it brought terrible heat, misery, and madness."
"Ha ha! You think he just needs a dip in the pool?"
"Perhaps he does… or perhaps something is already burning inside of him. You should be on the lookout until we find the culprit, Anthy."
"I will, Big Brother," Anthy said with perfunctory sweetness.
Sirius furiously shoved several people out of his way as he stormed through the courtyard with a mysterious crinkled piece of paper in his hands. His worst nightmare had come true. There was nothing left for him now.
Thwump! He shoved a random jock onto the pavement.
"Hey asshole, what's your problem?" snapped the boy.
He ignored him.
"I said what the hell's your problem?" he said, grabbing his shoulder.
The former punched the stranger as hard as he could, and then stomped away before any of his stunned colleagues could retaliate. It wouldn't matter if he was beaten up. Nothing could hurt more than the letter in his fist right now:
My Dear Anthy Himemiya:
I have not forgotten how kindly you treated me during our engagement. No language on Earth is sufficient to express my gratitude to you. Therefore, I would like you to be a guest of honor at my semifinals fencing match. The doctors say I will be well enough to come back to school in one week, and I can think of no one more valuable to me.
He swallowed a tennis ball of sorrow and rage. There was only one place to go now.
"Hello? Is anybody here?" Sirius called.
The school counselor was the young servant's last hope of not falling off the cliff of sanity. He had been told that many students had received good feedback from him lately, but this didn't seem like a very good place to hold therapy sessions. He could barely see and a musty stench clogged his nose.
"Please…I need someone to talk to…anyone," he said shakily.
Suddenly a solitary white light blinded him from above and he found himself in an elevator with a window that was tinted on one side. He gasped and rubbed his eyes. When did that happen?
"Welcome," an unseen man rasped from behind the window, "Have a seat and introduce yourself."
"High School section, twelfth grade, Class C: Sirius Okura. Age eighteen," he murmured.
"All right," said the man, "please begin."
"I've served Master Ruka ever since I was thirteen. Even though he is only a year younger than I am he has always been like my baby brother. My very…ill baby brother. I care about him and he treats me well; h-he really does. Except…"
The elevator shook and began to descend. Bitterness slowly bubbled in his chest, his gut contracted, and his breath hitched.
"Deeper. Go deeper," the voice urged.
"Except… he never thanked me once. I could have done without all the fancy titles and raises. All I really wanted was some genuine praise," he said.
Their descent sped up just enough to make it rattle like a mobile of human bones. He clenched his fist and ground his teeth so fiercely he almost chipped a it his imagination or had the pressed butterfly regressed into its pupa stage?
"To top it all off... when he c-came to this school... he got a temporary servant and thanked her when she made him breakfast on her first day!" he cried.
They finally plummeted at ten-thousand miles per hour, and he screamed as Anthy Himemiya's nauseating smile painted his mind. Panting furiously, he knocked his chair over and the light flickered as though the bulb were in danger of exploding from the sheer energy of his rage. Everything was suddenly muffled as if his eardrum had popped on a plane.
"WHY?! What's so special about HER?! I've served him for five fucking YEARS and he has yet to thank me for it! Am I just some broken toy now?! I hate her! I hate the whole WORLD! I WANT TO WIPE IT AWAY! I WANT TO DESTROY EVERYTHING!" he screamed.
WHAM! The ride suddenly stopped, and he slumped lifelessly. His heart was as hollow as a cave in wintertime. He had not wanted to face it, but the truth was that gratitude was just a myth. Fucking Tsuchiyas! If they wouldn't acknowledge him then why should he or anyone else exist?
When the lights came back on, he noticed a gentleman with whitish-pink hair in a blue blazer standing behind him. He looked refined but very cunning.
"I understand. The path you must take has been prepared for you. Come," he murmured.
Damn this tuberculosis, Ruka thought.
He didn't know what he hated more: being drenched in sweat at four in the morning or being too weak to turn his pillow on its cool side. A fat lot of help his perky nurse was. He didn't want encouragement or a bucketful of pills; he wanted Juri to dare him to recover and promise him a kiss when he did.
Ah, Juri. You would probably crinkle your beautiful face and sneer if you saw me like this, wouldn't you? You give me more strength than any medicine can, he mused, smiling weakly.
The bluenette summoned the strength to reach for the call button only to have his hand pinned violently against the wall. Frosty aqua eyes and a feral grin met his face. He was too surprised and ill to defend himself. Why was Sirius being so rough? For that matter, why was he there? He tried to speak, but a harsh coughing fit chose that moment to grab hold of him. The older boy stroked his hand like a doting mother and shushed him eerily.
"Sir…that is much too strenuous. Let me move for you," Sirius purred.
Ruka screamed and gagged helplessly he slowly drew an epee from his chest, Sirius's eyes blazed with bloodlust. His Black Rose crest ring glinted in the darkness.
At last the whole world will know my name, he thought.
"Geez Louise, it's not fair! Why do I have to take these silly make-up exams?" Wakaba groaned.
"Well, you did spend half of math class passing notes to me," Utena noted.
They opened their lockers when Utena almost dropped her backpack in shock. There was another note from an anonymous challenger! She bit her lip and struggled not to let Wakaba see her distress. When would these people quit bothering poor Anthy?
Just then, a drama club member randomly decided to perform a one-woman shadow play behind the wall. She switched back and forth between the roles of a dog and an old man.
"Woof woof! I brought you your slippers, master," she barked.
"I can't have slippers without something to read."
"Woof woof! Here's a newspaper! Can I have a treat now?"
"But what about my pipe?"
"Woof! Here you are! Gimme, gimme, gimme!"
"Not until I have a pillow!"
"Grrr! If you won't give me a treat then I'll find another home!"
"Why are you angry? Your master can't speak Dog," said Utena.
The tomboy inhaled deeply and unlocked the gate with her rose seal. Water gushed everywhere and it groaned like a dying man. Her chest puffed up with fierce determination as she walked up the flight of stairs. Utena never knew what would wait for her whenever she fought any of these duels, but princes were supposed to get used to unexpected fights. She would become a prince for Anthy's sake or die trying.
She struggled to deduce her foe's identity after her friend had prepared her battle outfit. All she could see was the back of a young man in a black jacket and silver pants among desks with oil lamps on top of them.
"Who are you and why are you after Anthy? Show yourself!" the pink-haired teen demanded.
She gasped when familiar aqua eyes met blue. It couldn't be! She had to be dreaming! What did he have against the Rose Bride?
"It's you," Utena breathed, "Why are you of all people doing this? We just became friends!"
"Upon the Black Rose I swear... I shall win this duel... and then kill the Rose Bride!" he declared.
He attacked Utena so quickly that she barely escaped with a cut on her cheek. There was no doubt that he was another brainwashed opponent. Well, if he wanted a fight he had come to the right place!
"Quickly, Anthy!" she cried.
"Rose of the noble castle," chanted the Indian girl, "Power of Dios that sleeps within me, heed your master and come forth."
She glowed ethereally and her partner gently drew the sword from her chest. The clanging bells echoed for miles as Sirius licked his lips. Oh yes...he could already see Anthy Himemiya's head on his wall.
"Grant me the power to revolutionize the world!" cried Utena.
They charged at each other in half of a nanosecond and struggled at a standstill. Utena huffed. This guy was good. Whomever he had learned from was a true genius.
"Did you think I was going to be a pushover, Utena Tenjou?! You don't serve the Tsuchiyas without picking up a few things!" he boasted.
"Snap out of it! We have no reason to fight!"she exclaimed.
He violently shoved her down and thrust. Swoosh! Clang! Utena got on one knee and blocked him from below, but he overpowered her and slashed the side of her uniform. She zipped to the left and they dashed around opposite sides of the arena to look for openings.
Almost...almost...NOW! she thought.
He gasped and stumbled as she slashed him from behind and started cornering him. Her blade whizzed within a millimeter of his rose. No! He'd be damned if he didn't get revenge!
"Do you know what it's like to play second fiddle to a girl your master barely knows?! If you whip a horse enough it will kick you, and you're about to see just how big my hooves are!" he screamed.
He sliced her shoulder. She screamed like a banshee and plummeted as he went in for the kill. It couldn't end like this! How would she ever see her prince again if someone like this bested her? She braced herself...only to feel a mysterious surge of strength. A shining phantom had descended from the sky and possessed her.
"What the hell?" he growled.
Warm power spread through her soul like melting butter and her eyes blazed. She was a prince, and princes always triumphed in fairy tales when things looked their most hopeless.
"Yaaaahhh!" cried Utena.
Swoosh! With the ease of an acrobat, she leapt through the air and sliced off his black rose!
For just a tiny split second, the world ran in slow motion. Anthy gazed solemnly at the exhausted victor and Sirius stood stone still, eyes dilated. His ring shattered and then, to Utena's horror, he collapsed in a pool of his own blood.
Utena's heart splashed into her stomach and all the color drained from her face. She couldn't possibly have done what she thought she had...could she?
"Oh...my gosh. No!" she cried.
"What happened, Miss Utena?" Anthy asked, rushing over.
"Anthy, I…I killed him. What have I done?" she whispered shakily.
"You are guilty of nothing but defending yourself," she coolly reassured.
"Tell that to his family! What have I done? What have I done?" she moaned.
"Nothing. Shh, banish this man from your thoughts. I will take care of this."
"Wh-What do you mean 'take care of this?'"
"I have to turn myself into the campus police!"
"I couldn't live with myself knowing I had killed someone!"
"Please don't try to stop me, Anthy. I'm going right no-."
Before she could protest Anthy pressed a rose bouquet filled with sleeping pollen to her nose and she fell unconscious. She laid her on the arena floor and sighed. It was a good thing her brother was the chairman because it guaranteed a cover-up. Hopefully she could dispose of the body before she woke up.
Don't worry, Miss Utena. You won't remember a thing when you wake up, she thought.
Ruka Tsuchiya was convinced that he had a very strange dream. He never saw Sirius again, and received a letter that he had taken a job overseas. Although he was sorry to see him go, he understood that he had other opportunities to pursue.
Utena recalled neither servant nor master as Anthy had planned. The Student Council heard of the battle shortly after it occurred, but believed this particular fighter had no counterpart like Kanae. Nevertheless, they continued to investigate the mystery of the Black Rose Duelists.
A few weeks after the incident Utena and Anthy were eating lunch in the courtyard when they noticed a Labrador guiding his blind owner. It deeply touched Utena since she had never had a pet.
"I cannot help wondering if that dog is truly happy working all the time," murmured Anthy.
"Huh? What do you mean?" asked the pink-haired girl.
"Most dogs think of walks as fun, but he spends all his time walking that he might have forgotten what fun is."
"I'm sure his master's love and praise makes it all worth it."
"Perhaps. Let us hope he receives plenty."
She gazed sadly into the rose garden and a single black blossom opened in the sunlight.
"After all," murmured Anthy, "every dog should have his day."