Utena, Revolutionary Girl Fan Fiction ❯ The Only Girl for Me ❯ Strength and Nobility ( Chapter 5 )

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

Chapter 5 - Stength and Nobility
The time for mystery plays and muses was over. K-ko, J-ko and L-ko, knew this but they were saddened by it. With End of the World gone and Anthy free of her prison, there would be no more duels, no more fun.
With that the three girls turned on the house lights and hugged each other goodbye. In the light they seemed like normal everyday girls. K-ko had silver hair, J-ko with blonde and L-ko with deep black hair.
With the last challenge defeated the ending was clear. No need for allusions and allegory. Not even a need for metaphor. All that was left was revolution. They all hoped that there would be a reason for them again, but they all doubted it.
But you never know. You never know. You never really know.
* * *
It seemed bigger to him somehow, he had seen it last only a few days ago but it seemed smaller in his memories. The Rose Bride's Chamber and it's iron doors seemed to dominate everything that stood before it. Including Touga himself. Touga approached it's door slowly, he was unsure what could now happen with End of the World dead.
The circular window that had been there the last time he had come here was still there allowing him to peer inside the chamber. The inside of the chamber seemed something out of a horror movie, a single color, oddly pink, filled the entire interior save for the large brown spikes and tendrils that lashed out in every direction of the circular chamber. And in the center of the chamber, a woman, pierced in every direction by these spikes and tendrils.

Touga squinted, trying to get his eyes to focus on the features of the woman. It was so dark inside the chamber it was hard to make out anything from the shadowed form at its center. But he was sure, he was sure that it was she. The mere shape of her body made him believe it was Utena. He banged on the door loudly, trying to get her to move, to speak, to show some sign that she was truly alive still.
He banged and banged and shouted her name as loud as he could. At first she didn't respond at all, he feared that he did something wrong, or had taken to long to get here. He couldn't accept failure though. He struck at the chamber with his sword over and over and over again. His blade didn't seem sharp enough. It couldn't break the seal on the door.
He dropped the sword to the ground and banged on the window again. Finally a reaction from the girl trapped inside, she lifted her head and her hair moved away from her face, her eyes looked ahead at the chamber door and she mouthed the word, “Touga.”
It was indeed Tenjou Utena; she was there and alive. She even recognized Touga, something that made his heart and his confidence leap alive. He gripped at the side of the door, desperate to pull it loose, to open it and free her, as she must have done five years ago.
He pulled and pulled, he could feel his muscles straining and weakening, but he felt the door giving way. He clawed at the crack between wall and door trying to sneak his fingers in, trying to find a way to get it open. His efforts were soon rewarded.
As his body reached the point of exhaustion, as his muscles reached their breaking point he felt the surge of energy. He felt the door open to him, he could feel it in his chest and his head, he was flooded with a new energy he had never felt before. “The Power of Dios?” he mused to himself but it was only a passing thought. He had more important issues at hand.
He pulled the door fully open, his body rejuvenated by the power that flooded him from the Chamber. He retrieved his sword from the ground and dove into the chamber, not caring if there was floor, or a ceiling or anything. The spikes and tendrils reacted to his presence immediately coming at him from all sides. But he slashed and sliced at them, hacking them to pieces as they approached. Using them as jumping points and staging grounds to reach Utena.
“Utena!” he shouted to her. He had noticed that her eyes had been on him since he opened the door. She knew he was coming for her.
“Touga!” she tried to shout back to him, but it came out almost a whisper, her strength, sapped by the tendrils that penetrated her.
But even her whisper was enough for Touga, he continued forward with firmer resolve. He was ruthless in his attacks against the tendrils, slicing them apart with no quarter or hesitation. He leapt from tendril to tendril until he finally reached the epicenter of the chamber where hundreds of tendrils pierced into Utena, holding her lithe, nude form into place.
“Touga,” she whispered again, a grim smile appeared on her face as she contemplated his presence.
“Just hold on, Utena, I will have you free in a moment.” Touga announced and began to slice at the tendrils holding her up, taking hold of her torso with his free hand.
As he attacked the spikes he pulled her towards him breaking her free of even more of the tendrils until finally he pulled her free from their grasp on her and he leapt for the door to the chamber, a door that was already swinging it's way closed.
Touga prepared to attack anything that would prevent him from leaving but found that with Utena disconnected from them, they tendrils had lost their fight and the chamber itself was fading. He had won, it seemed, the right to leave.
He jumped a final time making it through the chamber door, with Utena in tow, mere moments before the chamber locked itself again. He rolled with the impact of the unplanned jump, using his body to cradle Utena from any further impacts.
He then pulled off the jacket of his uniform and wrapped it around Utena's torso; to allow her a sense of modesty in her newly found freedom. As he looked down at her, he noticed that even though the open wounds she had received were not bleeding like they could, she herself looked very pale, and very weak. Five years of torment was over for her, but it had taken a toll on her body.
“Touga,” she muttered out barely, her eyes seemed to be staring directly at him, “You came. I knew you would,” she managed to finish.
“Of course, I'm sorry I'm so late. I was told you had died. Had you not come to me in the rose garden,” he trailed off not wanting to waste the moment.
“Garden?” Utena tried to ask.
“Nevermind, you're safe now, that's what matters most.”
“Touga,” she said with a forced smile and a sense of satisfaction.
“Yes, Utena.”
Utena managed to move one hand to the other; she pulled something off her finger. It took Touga a moment to realize it was her duelist ring. The rose sealed ring given to her by End of the World so that she would participate in his duels one day. “Touga,” she weakly muttered again, “Take this ring, and promise me that you'll never loose your strength and nobility,” she held the ring up to him shakily.

Touga's eyes began to tear up as he took the ring from her hand. It was almost like an engagement in the presentation to him. So he took the ring and did not say anything but, “I love you, Tenjou Utena.”

“I,” Utena began her strength seemed to weaken a bit and she started to pass out, “you too,” She finished a word being lost with her strength.
Touga rose to his feet, carrying Utena in his arms, like the noble knight he always liked to pretend he could be. He walked out of the room that contained the Rose Bride's chamber and never looked back. End of the World was gone, and Utena was liberated. There was nothing here anymore.
At this moment he was unsure if she would live or die, but he knew now that she had her love and respect. And that was a gift that was forever his. It did not belong to Anthy or End of the World, nor to anyone else. He had her love. And she was the only girl for her.
He walked out of the darkened room, and into the light.