Return of the Victor
Rating PG-13 (strong language and innuendo)
I do not, will not, cannot, own Shoujo Kakumei Utena. Sadly, other, bigger companies do.
Author's Notes: Okay, Saionji is up next (I'm doing this in the order that they dueled (and I'm sticking only with the Student Council)) and we all know how that relationship was . . . it kinda makes you wonder if they've changed at all.
It was a great feeling, walking out of Akio's office forever. Now she understood that feeling that Anthy had described to her once they had met in the outside world. Anthy had said that it was like weight had been lifted away from her soul. Utena had laughed at first, but now she understood. Now she knew what it was like to be free from every hold that Akio might have still had on her.
She continued to wander around campus, looking for sign of the former student council. She was interested to know how they were doing since the Revolution.
As she neared the wing of the school that housed the kendo club, there was a sense of familiarity that took hold of her. Looking around, she searched for some little sign that Kyoichi Saionji might be lurking about.
She found it when she stepped into the room. He sat before the alter that held the school's katanas and was in the middle of praying, but he seemed to perk up when he heard her footsteps. Grabbing the katana at his side, he stood to meet her.
"Whoa, I'm not here to fight you."
The puzzled look on his face reminded her of what Anthy had said to her one night as they discussed the events that had brought them together. "They wouldn't remember you. Or if they did, they wouldn't know why."
"Utena Tenjou, what brings you back?"
She let out a sigh of relief. He did remember her. "Oh, curiosity mainly."
"I would have thought that since the Rose Bride is with you all of the time, you wouldn't have time for us."
"I was never after the Rose Bride, stupid. I was trying to keep Anthy as my friend. And if I had to be engaged to her to be her friend, then I would keep winning the duels."
"Odd reasoning, if you ask me."
"I thought that you wouldn't remember me."
"I didn't until a few months ago. Then I found the exchange diary that I had kept with Himemiya. I said some awful things about you in it."
Utena's eyebrow twitched. "I know."
Saionji looked sheepish as he remembered the curry incident. "Oh yes. I remember now."
"But that's in the past," Utena continued. "You know, Anthy's a new person."
"She's actually quite independent. She has excellent opinions and she's an interesting person to talk to. I can understand why all of the guys fall for her."
"All . . . of the . . . guys?"
"Oh yes, Anthy attracts them in hoards. It's pretty funny to watch them vie for her attention."
"Vie . . . for her . . . attention?"
"I think that you might actually have a chance with her, that is, if you left Ohtori completely behind you. Akio wouldn't miss you, not since the Revolution."
Saionji moved his line of sight from Utena's face to the floorboards. "I don't think that I could ever leave."
"Sure you could."
"I don't think so."
"Why not? Anthy left, didn't she?"
"She did, but I don't think that I could survive in the outside world. Here I know where my life is going."
"All the more reason to leave. Akio shouldn't control your destiny, you should."
"Have you seen the others?"
"Not yet. I'm going to find Miki after I'm done with you."
"Oh. Are you going to tell them the same thing?"
"Of course. Akio is holding you back, Saionji. And to tell you the truth, I think that Anthy misses you. Even if you did hit her and were a complete and total control freak and-"
"Thank you Miss Tenjou, I get the point."
"Well, at least you weren't as bad as Akio."
"Oh, that makes me feel so much better about myself Miss Tenjou."
"Well it should!"
"Are you done yet?"
"That's what Akio asked me."
"You saw Akio? Are you sick in the head or something?"
"What else was I supposed to do? If I didn't go see him, then I never would have been able to break his final holds on me. But I'm free of him now. Forever. No more Akio and no more feeling like I'm still being held prisoner."
"Are you sure? You're living with Anthy, if I'm not mistaken."
"Yeah, she's a great roommate. She always has been."
"Indeed. Well, what about her? You say she's moved on, yet has she really?"
"Anthy moved on when she left."
"I see. And have you moved past Ohtori completely? Have you really been able to put all of this behind you? Or do you still wait for your own prince?"
Utena could feel the blush rising in her cheeks. How did he do that?! "I'm working on it," she answered slowly, hoping that she wasn't going to betray her true feelings.
"You won't have to look for him. He'll find you when the time is right."
Utena blinked a few times. "He'll find me?"
"He'll find you." Saionji turned around and knelt again. "I need to return to my meditation. Good afternoon, Miss Tenjou."
"Uh, yes. Um, good afternoon, Saionji." Utena headed for the door, and paused only a moment to look at him, kneeling before the alter. "Promise that you'll leave this place sometime. There's so much more our there."
That was interesting . . . I figured that Saionji had to grow up sometime, but the short conversation between the two seemed fitting since they really didn't get along at all, and they really have no reason to start being friendly. Hopefully Saionji wasn't too out of character (and I figure after ten years there has to be some changes in their personalities). If he was I apologize profusely.