Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ Alongside the Geese ❯ Alongside the Geese: Part 5 ( Chapter 5 )

[ A - All Readers ]

(Author's Note: It's taken a while, but it's still going. Sorry but if you've read my Bio you'll know why. My thanks goes out to JoJoDancer, Lokiador, Hobbes the Cat, and Inverse Rose for their reviews on chapter four and to the others who've read and review AtG so far. You're all awesome.)

Alongside the Geese Part: 5

Anthy's time in the shower was brief. Even so, when she stepped out she found that Utena had already left for her an extra towel and a change of clothing, consisting of a pajama top and bottom that was much too long for Anthy's smaller build. She slung the shirt over her shoulders. The sleeves, meant to cover only until the biceps reached just past her elbows. The shirt probably stopped around the navel on Utena but on Anthy, the material ran half way down her hip. Anthy chose not to wear the pants.
She emerged from the room to find that Utena too had changed; exchanging her work clothes for a towel which hung from her shoulders and a pajama set similar to what Anthy wore.
Utena turned to her in greeting and froze at the sight of Anthy with unkempt hair, her fingers pulling the few strands in her face to the side. The large pajama top unbalanced from the motion and buttoned only until below the collar bone, revealed a great deal of skin around her neck and left shoulder. Her eyes continued downward making particular note of Anthy's bare skinned legs.
More than a few seconds passed before Utena caught what she was doing. She turned, slightly coughed and dumbly commented, “the. . . uh, hail stopped while you were in there.”
Anthy allowed herself a smirk. It hadn't been her intention to befuddle the other woman so. She was reminded then of the intimacy they shared when they were bride and duelist champion, and how their relationship, though it was platonic in nature was so much deeper.
“It's just raining now, hard as it is to hear.”
Anthy began to make her way into the kitchen, “so it would seem.”
There was a brief pause.
“Shall, we?” Utena said with haste as if trying to erase the moment of her awkwardness.
Anthy complied and sat, Utena followed after. She picked up the tea pot in gesture. “It's English. I hope you don't mind I've sort of become accustomed to it.”
“Not at all,” Anthy replied. “I wasn't expecting the traditional.”
They both gazed lethargically as the liquid flowed into the cups. Anthy's eyes then found interest in Utena's hands and how they prepared their drinks.
“Your tastes haven't changed have they?” Utena said, her hand on the small milk holder.
“Not for tea at least.”
A happy silence ensued briefly as they drank their tea. When conversation finally started up it was Utena who spoke first. “So, how did you find me?”
Anthy looked up from her cup. “I did nothing special, if that's what you think. I was certain I had met yet another dead end.”
“You mean you didn't know that was where I worked?”
Utena thought a moment. Noticed Anthy's empty cup, and refilled it, “Then why were you there?”
“For work. You didn't catch me at the piano?”
Utena paused just before she refilled her own cup, “You were…” she said quietly as if this news were unbelievable. “No. I didn't. Really? But I've never seen you there before, or was this your first night?”
“I've been under their employ since the reopening.”
Utena's mouth gapped.
Anthy's lips curled into an amused smile, “and you?”
“Same.” Utena uttered.
“Is that so?” She took another sip of tea. “You don't exactly strike me as one for food services.”
A blush fell over Utena's face. “Yeah, well. . . I just sort of fell into it; I knew someone who knew someone and, uh, here I am.”
Anthy reached for a cookie and took a bite. They hadn't been touched as of yet.
They went on to talk about how their lives had been since Ohtori. There was very little on Anthy's end. She left, to the amazement of Utena, of her own accord. Not dramatically but abruptly, before her words had time to register with her brother. She had done little else other than search for Utena, work, and acquire a cat. There was a little more to Utena's story.
“I can't remember things very clearly from that time,” Utena said.
“That is not surprising,” Anthy countered. “Though I suspect by that time you were beyond his grasp.”
“Hm?” Utena gave her a puzzled look.
Anthy took on a more somber expression. “You were. . . pierced by the swords, were you not?”
“The Swords. . .” the other woman echoed. In Utena's mind she recalled silver streaks cutting through the air. Target-less and wildly destructive because of it.
She heard more than saw. Their tips screeched with rage and hate, impaling themselves on whatever they came in contact with, echoing witch.
“Utena?” Anthy called again, stirring her from the unwanted reverie. The colour had left Utena's face. Her dark skinned hand fell over Utena's.
Utena looked down and took in a deep breath. “I'm alright.” She puffed. “I just, I usually make it a point not to think about it. I feel ill when I do. I don't know what happened I was barely conscious. . .”
Anthy nodded with sadness and guilt in her troat.
“Himemiya?” Utena tentatively spoke.
“I don't even know if the swords got me but I heard them, and I saw what they did to you-how, how did you manage? How could you survive that? It wasn't just that time either was it? It happened before. . .”
Anthy offered her a faint smile. “For a long time, I didn't think it was that great a sacrifice. It was horrible, yes, the pain-but I believed it was my burden to bear, that for my brother, for his protection, I had to take them. For love, I believed I deserved it.”
“No one deserves that.” Utena said acidly. She left her seat, unconsciously kneeling, one knee on the floor, before Anthy, holding her hands tightly. “Least of all you.”
Anthy partially turned in her chair, looked down to Utena's face of blind resolve. Again Anthy smiled sadly. “You're. . . so very compassionate.”
Utena rose slightly, “It's tru-”
Anthy's head slumped forward, touching Utena's, to the strain of her back muscles. She could feel the head of Utena's cheeks; again she had her blushing.
“Anthy,” Anthy muttered. “Please.”
Utena noted that the other woman's hands to the base of her neck. In turn, her hands had somehow found their way onto Anthy's lap. “Anthy. . .”