Pairing: Saionji + Wakaba.
Disclaimer: Shoujo Kakumei Utena does not belong to Becka; characters are used without permission for a non-profit purpose. No infringement is intended.
The day at Ohtori Academy was bright and sunny, full of promise. It was mid-day, and the sun hovered in the sky, having almost reached it's full peak. With a soft, gentle breeze, the perfume of roses in the air, and a few scattered birds chirping high in the branches of the cheery blossom trees, there was no way that anyone who witnessed such a scene could not be content.
Yet as Saionji Kyoichi lie beneath the sun's glory, sheltered only by a soft, pink ceiling of cherry blossoms, he didn't feel the least content. He felt frustrated and angered, and a hundred other bitter emotions whirled up into one dark torrent which encompassed his entire mind and being.
As it was, he reclined, propped up on one elbow, his eyes following a volleyball game in the nearby court. Almost the entirety of the campus was within his view, and yet he couldn't seem to tear his eyes from the girls as they laughed and played, carefree. One girl in particular held his eye, with soft amber hair pulled up into a high pony tail and a smile which never seemed to stop. Bright, intelligent eyes framed in a slightly heart-shaped face, smooth slightly-tanned skin- to everyone else, she was beautiful. To him, she was breathtaking.
At one time, he hadn't even known of her existence. He'd been so caught up in his own, small-minded little world that he hadn't seen the beautiful girl while she was still a part of his life.
Now it was too late.
He remembered the first time he'd heard of her. She was so innocent, and she'd sent him a love letter. He remembered that letter clearly, a gift of having photographic memory, though it served more as a curse than a gift. How he wished he could forget the naïve words of a girl in love, written in fragile, delicate print. "I dance with you in my dreams," she'd said. He'd laughed then, like the cruel, heartless bastard he knew himself to be, and thoughtlessly tacked her letter onto the public board. "I dance with you in my dream." He'd believed those words a lie, frivolous poetry. Now those same dreams haunted him.
The gods must have been laughing at him. He knew both Ohtori-san and Touga were, so he supposed that was close enough. Why did they laugh? Because for some reason he couldn't fathom, that beautiful girl had given him a second chance.
And he'd screwed it up… again.
After his crushing defeats against the current Victor of the Duels, Tenj'ou-san, he'd been obsessed with winning, with regaining his honor. It was rather funny, now that he thought about it. He fought to regain lost honor… honor that he'd never had to lose in the first place. And that had led to his disgusting, cowardly action. Craven would be a better word- to strike an enemy from behind- he never would have believed himself capable. But he had. His insane lust for the Rose Bride, for winning his honor, for proving himself better than his childhood friend, they had led him to strike an enemy from behind. And that fatal stroke had nearly ended his only true friend's life.
Expelled. That's what had happened. He'd been expelled for almost killing his friend. It would have been better, he though, if they'd shot him instead. He knew he'd gotten off far too easy.
His cowardly action, his corrupt behavior, no one should have been willing to take him in after that. But _she_ had. She'd brought him into her home, into her heart, and he'd done what he was best at. He trampled over them without a single thought.
He'd traded her heart for his reinstatement into Ohtori Academy, and into the Student Council. Small wonder she hated him. He knew she must, because he hated himself. At one time he'd thought it a fair trade- he would have given anything to return to his former position as Vice-President of the Student Council, anything to be looked up to and adored by the rest of the student body. How stupid he'd been. He might have the respect of the student body, but he didn't have _hers_, and hers was all that really mattered.
At one time he'd thought he was in love with Himemiya Anthy, the Rose Bride. He'd thought that there was nothing he couldn't do if he had her by his side… and that thought was the one that finally showed him it wasn't out of love that he wanted Anthy. It was out of lust- a lust for power. Yes, with her power, he _could_ do anything. He could rule the world.
But in truth, he never could have controlled her power. Having her was nothing more than a pointless farce, a balm to sooth his ruffled ego. Funny how one never discovers important truths like that until it's too late.
The brown-haired girl glanced up, and for a moment their eyes met, and her smile faded. Saionji's heart contracted in pain, and the tightness in his chest was almost unbearable. He knew he loved this girl- this laughing, smiling girl. He knew it without a doubt, but all his presence brought her was a constant reminder of his idiocy. It would be better for her, far better if he stayed away, never letting himself be seen.
Bastard that he was, he couldn't even do that. Being away from her hurt far, far more.
A true man wouldn't have let that stop him, but Saionji made no claims to be such a man. It was selfish of him, cruel and heartless, but he couldn't keep away from her. He had to let out a bitter laugh at that.
He loved her.
And he only discovered that after he had destroyed her love for him.
He wanted her to know of his love, and he wanted her to love him back. He wanted to be her prince, and she, his princess. He wanted them to be happy, to find comfort in one another. He wanted, more than anything, for her to smile that breathtaking smile at _him_. He wanted her smile, her love, her laugh… and he could never have them.
There wasn't a word strong enough to describe the hell he had build for himself. "Damned" didn't even begin to cover it.
The girl looked away, refusing to even glance in his direction for the rest of the game. He didn't blame her.
He could never bring himself to blame her.
The game ended as the bell for the next class rang clear and true. The girls, laughing and smiling, walked off the court, but his eyes weren't on those girls. His eyes were one the one girl who wasn't smiling, wasn't laughing. His eyes were on his amber-haired princess.
The princess who he had forsaken all rights to.
Glancing down, he murmured softly, "I'm sorry, Wakaba."
And when he looked back up, she was gone.