Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ The Only Girl for Me ❯ Liberated Bride ( Chapter 2 )

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

Chapter 2 - The Liberated Bride
“But big brother!” Nanami whined yet again. “We've been at the estate for two days and you haven't done anything but practice swordplay. When are you going to do something else!”
Touga wiped sweat from his brow. He'd been like a man possessed practicing both his fencing and his kendo, hoping to awaken his skills yet again as it had been years since he had used a sword. He looked an Nanami and replied, “Your right, I really should do something else.”
Nanami's smile brighten and she prepared for her brothers attention. However Touga seemed to have other plans and he flipped open a cell phone and dialed a speed number dial. “Yes it's me…. I know it's been a long time… I'm looking for someone that I bet you know where they are…. Why yes I had heard that… No I hadn't heard that…. Well we can discuss it all in person… Yes in person I'd figure I'd come over and perhaps we could even spar a little… excellent…. I'll be over in a few hours.” Touga hung up the phone.
“You're not leaving, are you?” Nanami sighed.
“Of course I am Nanami, couldn't you tell by the phone conversation?” Touga replied coldly, “I have to go see an old friend.”
“But big brother, you promised.”
“And I always keep my promises Nanami, that's the whole point of this.” He left Nanami there to consider what he said.
* * *
Nanami would just have to learn to be disappointed now that she was an adult it seemed. Not that Touga was in the right state of mind to be too worried about how his attention starved younger sister handled things. He had become a man possessed since seeing End of the World. His memories, long repressed, of Tenjou Utena had been flooding his mind for days now. He couldn't help but react to them.
There were many girls in Touga's life. It could almost be said that he used to collect high school girls like other people collected baseball cards. Since going to college there had been little change in his collecting ways. However there was only one girl out of the hundreds that he ever wanted to keep forever. There was only one girl that deserved the attention of his heart as well as his loins. When he had lost her it had hurt him deeply, by suppressing his memories of her he had been able to exist as if she hadn't existed.
But now Touga remember fully, Utena was no longer so backward memory in the back of his mind. She was now, once again, and the forefront of his life. He had become certain that End of the World held her prisoner in that chamber he had found in the Observatory. In that chamber something horrible was happening to her, she was not free, she was not herself. Touga needed to find a way to rescue her from it so that she could once again be herself. That's what brought him here.
Touga looked at the small Japanese house. In all his years he never imagined things would end up like this, him having to seek out the counsel of others to achieve his goals. Yet here he was swallowing his pride to ask for help from someone who may not give it to him. Someone who many amends were needed to be made to restore their relationship. Touga walked to the door and waited to be let in. He waited for a long time before he realized that it seemed no one was home at all.
He slide open the door slowly looking inside. The lights were all out inside the home as he wandered inside it slowly. “Hello?” Touga cried out hoping to hear a voice of some kind.
What he found instead was a loud piercing shriek of a man. He looked to the noise just in time to jump to the side and avoid the quick slashing blow of a master of Kendo. This particular master was the closest thing Touga had to a close friend, Saionji. Why Saionji was attacking him with a seemingly very real katana was something for Touga to consider later. Right now he had only one concern, staying out of the way of that sword.

“Saionji!” Touga announced, “It's me! Touga! What are you doing?”
“I'm quite aware of who you are Touga. Why do you think I'm doing this?” Saionji replied again before performing a perfect overhead swing with the sword. The sword struck the floor and even managed to slice into the hard wood.
Touga barely had enough time to get any distance before Saionji attacked again. Saionji had always seemed to be the superior swordsman of the two on the surface; Touga had only ever defeated him in Kendo twice. However Touga never considered mock sword fights important enough to put the all of his skill and ability into it. However against a real sword, Touga's instincts had been finely tuned. In a real duel, Saionji had no real hope. Unfortunately for Touga this wasn't a real duel, it was one unarmed man against a skilled swordsman.
Saionji cried out again, a technique in Kendo to distract and unnerve a defender in light of an upcoming attack. Touga however had well scouted Saionji's methods over years of sparing and watching him in the duels; he knew that when Saionji yelled it meant an upward thrust. He was ready for it and as a result the blow went far to wide causing Saionji to over extended his thrust.
Touga took this as an opportunity and charged forward knocking Saionji to the ground. Taking the katana sword and putting it to Saionji's chest, “Are you crazy Saionji? What are you doing?”
“I was only doing what she told me to do,” Saionji admitted as he outstretched his hand to Touga, “Do you mind helping me up?”
Touga hesitated for a moment before moving the sword to his side and helping his old friend to his feat. “You know a simple hello would have been more than a sufficient welcome for an old friend,” Touga informed Saionji with a grin.
“Like I said it wasn't my idea,” Saionji reiterated.
“It was mine,” came a female voice from the adjoining room.
Touga turned to the voice and saw a very familiar woman. She was Anthy Himemiya, End of the World's sister, though years ago knew her more by her title, the Rose Bride. She looked different than he remembered her though, she wore her hair down now, it was longer than he had ever imagined it to be stretching to her waist. Also the former Rose Bride now wore casual clothing that she would have never worn when she was the prize of End of the World's duels. She was dressed in clothing that made her look more like Utena than Anthy.
“So you did know where she was, Saionji,” Touga said aloud, “I figured you out of anyone would be able to track her down for me.”

“Your wrong about that, Touga.” Saionji replied, “I didn't know where she was until she came and found me last week. She arrived asked to stay here with me until you arrived.”

Touga looked rather impressed, “So you knew I was coming did you?”

“I see things much more clearly than I ever did while I was at Ohtori Academy,” Anthy replied simply.
“I see. Then you know why I'm here, I suspect.”

“Absolutely, Touga. I've been expecting you for years.” Anthy replied and looked at Saionji, “Saionji, could you be a dear and make us all some tea.
* * *
Although they should not be able to know what was going on, K-ko, L-ko and J-ko knew what was happening with the former Student Council president, Kiyruu Touga. They found it to be the most fun they had in the years as members of the Drama Club. To watch him muddle through a new chapter of an old story and have no idea what was coming next, even though they did.
The backdrop of Ohtori academy stood ever present as it always did. K-ko's shadow came into view as she announced, “I must redo my past wrongs and then I'll be a real man.”
L-ko came in to the scene and announced, “Repent your sins my son and you'll have a place in Heaven with us all.”
“Who is `us all' Father?” K-ko asked L-ko scratching her head.
“Why all your family and friends are up in Heaven right now waiting for you.” L-ko replied gesturing up high and pointing to the sky.
“Really? But Father, I don't have any family or friends,” K-ko told her seemingly saddened by the revelation of it all.
“Oh no? Well even better. If you repent now I can offer you family and friends in return for telling me all your sins?” L-ko answered, she had replaced her priestly mannerisms with the mannerisms of a game show host.
“Wow, Father, what a deal that is! But I have a whole lot of sins, are you sure we have time for them all,” K-ko said and as she did a huge bag rolled into view to show emphasis how many sins she was carrying around.
“Holy cow, my son! With that many sins I don't know if you can ever get into Heaven. And even if you could, no one there would like you,” L-ko almost fell over in shock on how many sins K-ko had carried around for so long.
“But, you told me I could finally have friends and a family. Was that true? I mean what kind of priest are you anyways?” K-ko finally asked.

“Oh, my son, who ever said I was a priest,” and as L-ko said this her hair took on horned points and fire seemed to burn in the shadows behind her, “Don't you know who I really am?”
K-ko, L-ko and J-ko came to the favorite part of their production as they all announced loudly, “Do you know? Do you know? Do you know?”
* * *
Sitting around a small table with an ornate tea set that Saionji apparently owned on his own, though it seemed rather delicate for a brute like him, the three former classmates sat together as equals for the first time in their knowing each other. For Touga, it was awkward to say the least, he had always treated Anthy like a thing and a possession, he doubted her opinion of him was very high.
“So, why have Saionji attack me on my arrival?” Touga asked to start things off.
“I needed to make sure you were up to the task I'm going to put in front of you,” Anthy answered bluntly. “Having not seen you in years I was unsure if you had the skill or constitution required.”

“You could have just asked,” Touga replied.
“Don't question her, Touga,” Saionji snapped at him. “She knows more than what's going on than any of us. She holds your answers and she knows what needed to be done.”
Touga couldn't help but chuckle at his old friend's fawning over Anthy. Years ago it the dominant one between Saionji and Anthy had been Saionji, in a rather abusive manner on occasion. To see Saionji behaving like a housebroken dog certainly made him laugh.

”What's so funny?” Saionji barked.

”Nothing, Saionji, nothing,” Touga smiled back at him.
“So ask the question you have in your heart Touga,” Anthy said, interrupting the brewing argument.

“Is she alive? Does Aiko really have her?” Touga shifted right into Anthy's conversation.

“Does Aiko have who?” Saionji asked obviously confused, “Who are we talking about.”
“Hush Saionji,” Anthy replied quickly, “This part of the conversation doesn't concern you. You don't have the memories necessary to participate.”
“What do you mean-” Saionji began but was quickly cut off by Anthy.
“Yes Touga, she is in the Rose Bride's Chamber. She used her will to revolutionize the world with Dios's power. Now she is trapped in there as I once was.”
“But you weren't always in there. You were the,” Touga hesitated not sure how to tactfully continue, “prize in our duels. We saw you daily.”

“The Rose Bride's Chamber is both there and not there. I was always there and never there. It's Aiko's will to have the Rose Bride as the prize of his duels so I was there.”
“You're talking in riddles Anthy. You're not making any sense to me,” Touga replied obviously growing frustrated already.
Anthy sipped her tea before speaking again. The waiting was making Touga feel even more frustrated that he was initially. “If Aiko wants her to be somewhere else as well as in the chamber, she will be somewhere else. At least that's the way it worked with me. She is not the Rose Bride though, she is the one who could wield the power of Dios,” she looked Touga in the eyes, “I don't know how it would be different for her.”
“So I will free her from it. Just as she once freed you from that dreaded chamber herself,” Touga demanded.

“That may be your intentions, Touga, but you will find it to be much harder than that. My brother is not to be underestimated and in your current state you can not defeat him,” Anthy plainly stated in a manner that made Touga feel much smaller.
“Then there is no hope?” Touga asked, his heart heavy already fearing her answer would clinch his pain.

“There is always hope, Kiyruu Touga. There is always hope,” Anthy replied as shaking her head softly, “Instead of beating him by who you are now, you must accept who you were and push past it all and become who you are meant to be.”
“More riddles, Anthy.”
“I'm sorry Touga I'm being as clear as I possibly can,” Anthy replied smoothly, “But if you really wish to make the attempt. Go to the place that you first saw her. Where you first understood who you wanted to be and who she may have been. When you accept and repent for who you are, you will find who you were and where you go.”
“Is that all?” Touga asked, somewhat disappointed with the direction this meeting had gone.
“That is all I can tell you for now,” Anthy said nodding her head.
Saionji just looked back and forth between the two of them, “What are you all talking about?”