Trysts in the Sunlit Garden
Summary: There are rumors going around Ohtori Academy about two lovers meeting in the school's greenhouse. Anthy is an obvious suspect in this mystery, but who else is involved? Utena takes it upon herself to find out.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Utena series.
Anthy hummed a song to herself as she tended to her rose garden. With great care, she watered each rose, making sure every single pedal had at least one drop of water hanging off the edge. She smiled at their brilliant, glowing color. They were at the height of their beauty, meaning she had done well for the past few weeks. Yes, they were fated to die someday, but wasn't that true of everything? She had decided to enjoy them while they lasted and replace them when it was necessary.
"Don't you have to hurry to class?"
Anthy set down her watering can and slowly turned to the intruder. She smiled unwelcomingly and tilted her head. "I should be asking the same of you," she countered softly and politely. The intruder laughed as they moved forward.
"You're right. A kiss before I go?"
Anthy played with the thought in her head. Kisses were always nice, but it would be very inappropriate during school hours (especially when she was late for class). Anyone could see through the glass walls of the greenhouse, and surely the recent rumors would only intensify.
"Only if you stay a little longer."
A laugh signaled confirmation.
Utena stared out the window as she ate her lunch. She looked down at the commons and stared at all the students running, laughing, and playing. She would be outside too if it weren't for all the gossip going on in the classroom. Although she was never one for rumors, the latest one was actually very interesting. The only thing she didn't like about it was that people didn't care when or where they spread these rumors – even when the subject of the scandal was in the room.
"Hey! Are you listening to me?"
Utena blinked as she whipped her head around to see who interrupted her thoughts. Wakaba was standing right in front of her, a pout on her face. "Did you here a word I said?" she repeated. Utena apologized and asked her to recount all the details once more. Wakaba sighed, drawing closer to the pink-haired girl to whisper. Not that it mattered because she was never really good at it.
"The word is that Himemiya-san has been meeting someone in the greenhouse…"
"Could you be any louder?" Utena murmured with a shake of her head. "The poor girl is right there." She turned her gaze to the girl in question, whose head never turned once. It was obvious she heard what virtually every girl in the room was saying, but she chose to ignore it. That took real strength not to blow up on everyone.
"I guess it was supposed to be a secret, though a terribly kept one. No one knows who meets her," Wakaba continued, not changing her volume at all. "Apparently, the glare of the sunlight hitting the glass makes it hard to see." Utena rolled her eyes and sighed. She stood up – surprising Wakaba, who was ready to go on another rant – and plopped herself down next to Anthy. The dark-skinned student didn't look up from her lunch but acknowledged Utena's presence.
"Rumors suck, don't they?" Utena asked immediately. She didn't have much tact, but it added to her likeability (at least she thought it did, since no one seemed to dislike her for it). She and Anthy were generally friends – though it didn't really show during school hours – so she could say almost anything she wanted. Although they were in the same class, they didn't interact too much. They shared the same dorm and talked more towards the end of the night, but it wasn't very serious.
"Who said they were rumors?" Anthy asked simply, making Utena raise an eyebrow. They were dead silent, listening to the students behind them chat about trivial things. Anthy always had that way of shutting people up even though she seemed to be a quiet, polite girl. Utena liked that about Anthy because it made her so much more interesting.
Anthy looked up into Utena's eyes and giggled at her expression. "You of all people should know what's going on," she said, not caring who heard. Utena figured that everyone was so wrapped up in their own conversations that no one took notice anyway. "We may live together, but I don't know every aspect of your life," the taller girl pointed out. Anthy giggled again as she turned away. "You know that is such a lie."
"I'm serious. I have no idea what's going on."
Anthy said no more on the subject much to Utena's chagrin. Utena could see her friend's eyes dancing with mystery and playfulness. She didn't like it when Anthy didn't tell her stuff, but what could she do? Surely Anthy would spill the beans when she was ready. The two ate their lunch in silence until order returned to the classroom and their next class began.
As Utena stood up to get back to her seat, Anthy stopped her. The smaller girl motioned her to bend down a little so that she could whisper in her ear. "Tomorrow, come by the greenhouse," she said, "when the sun hits the rose garden just right." Utena contemplated those words before giving her a little nod. She wanted to see this for herself and if Anthy was offering, who was she to say no?
Utena had no idea when the sun 'hit the rose garden just right.' It was just like Anthy to be vague! Right now, she was missing out on class and was really late. At this rate, her teacher wouldn't believe that she stepped out to 'use the bathroom' right before class started. She quickly trekked to the greenhouse, hoping that no one was following her. If she got caught, she would totally blame Anthy for this.
When she arrived to her destination, she waited for a bit. She looked around to see if anyone was going to walk in and sweep Anthy off her feet, but it didn't seem likely. At this point, she was simply annoyed and decided to talk to Anthy about all this nonsense. She walked in and found Anthy tending to her roses, which were as beautiful as ever. She stared at them for a few more seconds before focusing on Anthy.
"I don't see anything going on," Utena stated. "I busted my ass to come here and for what?" Anthy put down her watering can and turned on her heel. The smile plastered on her face was deceptive, and Utena knew better. She stayed silent as she watched Anthy walked closer to her. "Complaining?" she asked, smile still on her face. Utena stared down at her with a curious eye. Anthy's hands enveloped her own, but she didn't flinch. She wanted to see what would happen next.
"Just a little," Utena said. "And while we're on the subject of complaining, I'd like to say that you've been really mean to me lately." Anthy's smile changed in meaning, becoming more genuine with a coy edge to it. "Only because I like messing with you," she admitted. "And if I may, I want to let you know that I don't like this. Pretending that we're only friends, skipping class…it's too much."
Utena chuckled as she squeezed Anthy's hands tightly. "I know," she said softly. She kissed the shorter girl's forehead and lingered there for a few seconds. Afterwards, she gazed into Anthy's eyes and said, "We don't have to pretend anymore if that's what you want. No matter what happens, I'll be with you every step of the way." Anthy's smile grew wide enough to let her teeth show. Utena was being serious about their relationship and was even willing to take the next step – coming out. Yeah, this girl was a keeper.
"So how about a kiss before class?"
"Only if you stay a little longer."
My first foray into the Utena section! It was mostly an experiment to see if I could write a oneshot from start to finish without stopping because I have a tendency to start stuff but never finish. Anyway, I love this series and this awesome pairing. Surprising how not a lot of people write for this pairing though ): Hopefully I can write more on them in the future! Til next story