Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ The Most Unexpected thing... ❯ Chapter 7

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Revolutionary Girl Utena: The most unexpected thing...

Part Seven

"The free sword competition," the announcer's voice loudly declared, "the free sword competition with begin soon!"

"Juri," Wakaba murmured, the brown haired younger girl safe in the gentle circle of Juri's comforting arms.

"Thank you," Juri said softly, finally letting her go.

Wakaba looked up at Juri, a bit startled, "For what?"

"I had a moment there," Juri said softly, "when she was winning. Then I looked over and saw you, and it became easy."

"You're welcome," Wakaba blushed faintly, a smile on her face.

Juri hesitated, a blush appearing on her cheeks as the orange haired duelist looked down into those eyes. "There's something I want to tell you," she said softly, "will you meet me after the free sword competition.."

Wakaba reached up, putting her finger on Juri's lips. She took a deep breath, then with a smile said, "Juri, I think I love you."

"I was... I mean I was going to.." Juri stammered, then she grinned, pulling Wakaba close to her once again, "I love you, too."

"Ahem," Miki cleared his throat uncomfortably. Juri gave the blue haired boy a look and he shrugged, "Sorry, but we've got to get ready."

"I'll see you later," Juri released her reluctantly.

"You'll win, Juri," Wakaba smiled as she walked back to her seat, "see you!"

Shiori had the oddest look on her face, watching the two of them together. Nanami looked at the violet haired girl, "Are you all right?"

A muscle in Shiori's jaw jumped as she clenched it hard. "No, I'm not," she said to her softly. The look on Juri's face, the joy in it, it was something she hadn't seen before. 'Wakaba makes her happy,' Shiori admitted, 'happier than I ever did.'

"I'm sorry," Nanami said simply, her golden hair tied back in a simple braid. Shiori looked at her in surprise, hearing the gentle sincerity in her voice. Nanami smiled wryly at the look on Shiori's face, "I know what it's like to love someone who doesn't love you."

Shiori hesitated, it was clear the girl wanted to say something biting. Instead she simply said, "Yeah, I guess you do." She looked back to where Juri and Wakaba were reluctantly parting and asked, "How do you manage?"

"I'm not a very good example," Nanami admitted, "I lashed out at anyone he dared care for." She paused thoughtfully, "I suppose I eventually just had to let it go."

"It can't have been that easy," Shiori said softly.

"No, it wasn't," Nanami quietly acknowledged. "I still have some feelings for him, but... it's not that obsessive love. I care for him, but that's it."

"I suppose you don't give lessons?" Shiori asked half seriously.

"We'll see," Nanami gave her a slight smile.

"Wonder what they're talking about?" Miki asked, nodding to where Shiori and Nanami had their heads close together, talking intently. The two had slipped away to change out of the fencing gear to their duelist's uniforms.

"Good question," Juri murmured, swinging her sword cautiously, limbering up her arm. She looked up to see Touga and Saionji doing similar preparations, both of the young men entirely focused on their actions.

"You heard about how we're going to be doing these duels?" Miki asked curiously, his own rapier humming as it cut through the air.

"Rose duels," Juri quietly agreed, "just like in the arena. I wonder who made that suggestion, our acting chairman?"

"Wouldn't surprise me," Miki agreed. He frowned, his eyes narrowing thoughtfully, "I do wonder why, though."

"If Utena does get defeated in the duels," Juri noted, "he needs to know which of us could seriously challenge him. So, we fight here among ourselves."

The referee walked over to the scoring board, where the order of the free sword bouts was being set up. Miki would be fighting against Juri first, then Saionji, and finally their student council president, Touga himself.

"You know," Miki said hesitantly, "I am going to be going against you all out, right?"

"I wouldn't expect anything else," Juri smiled at her friend, "you know that. And I'm glad that you decided to compete, even with this whole mess."

"Me, too," Miki gave her a salute with the blade he carried, even as the referee called out a minute warning before the start of the duels.

The announcer's voice came over the hall's speakers, "The contestants will be doing a unusual form of dueling today. Each will wear a rose in their breast pocket, and the winner will need to cut away the loser's rose. A test of skill, these will be impressive matches."

Juri was a bit surprised to see Anthy there, holding the roses dressed in her usual school girl's uniform. An orange rose was put into Juri's pocket as the girl smiled, "Good luck, champion."

"Thank you," Juri smiled wryly.

Anthy strode over to Miki, placing a blue rose in his own pocket. Instead of a circle a large square had been cleared, with posts set up to define the edges of where they could do. It was a generous territory to fight in, allowing the competitors room to move.

"Fighters, to your positions," the referee called. Juri and Miki each took their place, gazing at each other intently. "Ready," the referee paused a moment, "fight!"

The two fighters moved almost at the same time, swords coming together with a ring of metal on metal. Swords slipped along the length of the blades as Miki tried to slip under her guard, but Juri quickly countered that. There were broad smiles on each face, both clearly enjoying the competition as they fought for minutes.

Later on Juri couldn't really explain what she saw, the opening that she used to win the match. Maybe it was because of how well she knew Miki, maybe it was something else. All she knew was that her sword moved, slipping by the boy's guard to send the petals of a blue rose blowing away on a gentle breeze.

"Arisugawa wins!" the referee declared excitedly.

Miki stood there, a stunned look on his face, then he grinned. "Congratulations, sempai," he beamed, offering his hand.

"Thanks, I..." Juri started, only to be hit by a flying glomp.

"Juri!" Wakaba squealed, "That was incredible!"

"Five minute break between matches," the referee called, "Five minutes."

"That doesn't give you much time to regain your strength," Miki frowned.

"It doesn't matter," Juri smiled as she looked down at the beaming Wakaba, "with you cheering me on I can't loose."

Wakaba laughed softly, tightening her arms around Juri's neck. "I could stay like this forever," she sighed happily.

"Me, too," Juri agreed. "But I've still got two matches to go before I can rest," she said softly.

"I'll be waiting," Wakaba slipped free, walking back to her seat by Utena and Anthy.

Miki looked a bit surprised, looking at the group sitting there. "Is it me," he mused as they walked towards a bench to sit, "or does Shiori look happy you won?"

Juri looked towards there and nodded slightly. "I guess anything is possible," she admitted.

"What do you think Saionji will do?' Miki asked as they sat down.

The green haired duelist was limbering up, performing generous swings with his katana. "Power and speed," Juri noted, "but I've got something better."

"What?" Miki blinked.

"I'm going to avenge my girlfriend's honor," Juri smiled nastily, "I'm going to make Saionji regret ever hurting her feelings."

"He's doomed," Miki agreed.

To be continued...