butterfly in nine laps : akio

Court: Don't ask. Utena movie spoilers. Some squick.
Butterfly in Nine Laps was originally a nine-part Utena movie fic. Because of FF.net's stricter guidelines, not all chapters can be posted here, so only the finished non-explicit parts have made it up.

No one in Ohtori has ever noticed that half the doorways are upside-down.


Few in Ohtori write to their parents. Fewer yet have their parents write to them.

"It's not game yet. Try again."

The two conditions are symptoms of the same disease; most correspondances come by means of phone to one of the grade teachers assigned to keep track of the herd, detached from the personal hand of script and turned sterile through the crackle of long-distance.

There are waivers present to be signed when each new foundling comes to the door, and, attempting plastic chirpiness through mealy-mouthed benedictions, the one with the duty of delivery--rarely the parent, usually an older sibling or a yawning uncle--scrawls away the creature to our care. Released at graduation, the last print says. In the decorative ivy underneath, they like read as well, and not to come back.

It is insanity, plain and simple--insanity that comes on the brink of being tossed out like dishwater, tumbling cold nestlings, told to pick a path that would be with their blessings as long as it was away, and no matter what they told you before about what you should come to them to say, it's actually perfectly common.

That is the second of things that brings the disorder of the students together, shivering naked the first nights in their beds and wondering if they are or are not allowed clothes beneath their sheets; you roll over and confront the bunkmate you are slated with and you both realize that you hunch your shoulders in the precisely same way upon being startled by the other.

My opponent lifts their Queen's Knight--always so partial to using the Queen's side and allowing the King's to hang back in trap like a feigned limp--and a bishop is carried off to bliss.

Now you are expected to select what to do with your life while still wallowing adrift of any bearings save those you can carve out. All the students in Ohtori cleave to the Rose Signet instead; it is the order which has replaced the one that has abandoned them.

So in the midst of all this, it makes sense that what you see is impossible. Everything else is, so why not what your eyes report? My father is marrying someone my own age, the stairways move sideways on a pulley system. The chimes of the school bell pair in perfectly with the words you pen dutifully when they bother to contact you, yes, I understand why I will never say what I know, I know that it will never be said.

Roses are raining from the sky.

It is only rational that all becomes insanity, or that sanity is ebbing in and out on the tides of the waters of the sink.

Her clothes sound like shower curtains as they slide down her legs.

It becomes slang. In a world where words are cheap weapons and gestures addenduem, you change cant to symbols; even I found myself doing it long ago when I stood before a blank wall and could not stop my hand from lifting and smearing the colors of my dinner upon it.

I reached out to my sister one night and she did not say no, and now though I have sinned she said to keep going, keep going please. The truth, which is so wretched should I dare to speak it, becomes calmer on the canvas.

I changed to more official styles of painting to preserve the sanity of the maid service.

No one counts the death toll in Ohtori for the neat rationale that death does not happen. It would be too easy a way out of this world, and so it is not allowed to exist.

Else the students would be flinging themselves from the heights in droves; instead, they gather to throw roses when they can, in mindless unison of painted whites and reds and pinks.

Turn, toss, bow. Back to lunch.

Marionnette marchings sounding in step, and if you focus on how the students descend as the balloons ascend, you can keep from thinking about just what it was you caught your cousin doing the other night to you.

The human brain turns to fit order into chaos. Given none, it will delve into nonsense and come back with the answer to the riddles it itself has formed in desperate hope that there be some logic to the whole.

Some students take up music. Others turn their carefully trained suppressions onto physical arts instead. Juri Arisugawa is one of them, having never been able to master her sense of betrayal by the adults she had expected to be the model she would grow to; she is well-known to be indulgent in the habit of the swingset, enacting old riddles of old ghosts to keep them from haunting the hallways in her skull during math period tests.

Ritual might keep you safe. Some students obsessively burned candles in accordance to the odd or even number of the day. Others were certain to stand at intersections of hallway bearing various symbols--at the clock's hour of noon they would assemble for precisely the amount of minutes of the troop's number, and then disperse meekly to their next class. To a stranger visiting, they must be part of a secret message displayed; sailor-skirted cultists with blank faces, all concealing the master plan.

The truth is that we are all helpless and scrabbling for a little rag of sanity, but no one wants to hear that.

"I love you," she says as she sets down the rook with a click, and that is only somewhat more perverse than it should sound.


Anthy always wins when she plays with me.