Disclaimer: I do not own Ai Yori Aoshi and Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi. This is the property of Kou Fumizuki, Pioneer/Geneon, and JC Staff.
Dear reader, thank you for clicking the link and giving this Ai Yori Aoshi story a chance, even if the little description did not seem promising.
First and foremost, a warning: You will not like Blue Monarch, as an Ai Yori Aoshi story, on principle. I say this because I have committed a "great evil" against the fandom: I break up Aoi and Kaoru when he cheats on her! (If any of you are up in arms about the very concept already, please go to Media Miner . org and look for Necessary Evil and Home by A-Z Mark II. Lemon warning: there is graphic sex in these stories.) Here are some more red flags to get out of the way: I have included an OC - an Original Character - and a male one at that, who just so happens to be related to Aoi. I've also included a lemony/lime-ish "Interlude" chapter that is a bit graphic in its depiction of female sensuality. Finally, the story is based around the anime canon, so if there are any discrepancies between this story and the manga, it's because I haven't read the manga.
With these grave flaws marked against me, I still present this story to you and hope that you, the reader, will grant me the courtesy of reading the entire tale with an open mind, or even part of it, and leave me with a criticism or a comment. Even if it is to curse and call me a "heartless bitch" or an "indecent hack." If you decide not to give me any chance, and you click the back button away from this story right now, then at least I warned you and you took heed of it.
If you are still with me, dear reader, let it be known that Blue Monarch is not intended to be a love story; this is an unhappy tale. It is meant to be sad and angry and crazy and melancholy and full of hurt and longing. The process of writing Blue Monarch was a cathartic release during a very tumultuous and dark time in a relationship of mine, where I had experienced something similar. But this confession is much too personal and incomplete to appropriately tell you at the beginning, before the story even begins. When you have reached the end, when you have read Blue Monarch in its entirety, the notes at the end of the second epilogue will hopefully bring you some clarity, understanding, and appreciation for what I've written.
Graduation day was a marker of change and of moving on. The superstitions said that love confessions on such a day would mean everlasting happiness; in reality, love confessions on such a day were just a last chance grab for a possibility. It was a safe day for if there was rejection, you would most likely never see who rejected you or who you rejected. It would surely save a lot of embarrassment for all involved. It would be isolated to that one special day.
That was why Aoi was not so surprised when Kaoru-sama had told her about his graduation day. It seemed that he had received a love confession from a friend. He was not specific as to who confessed, most likely wanting to be respectful of that person's privacy, but Aoi was surprised, and yet not, all at once.
Really, she knew that Kaoru-sama was attractive to the other girls in their small circle of friends. Among them, some were more vocal about their attraction to him than Aoi was comfortable with, but she had assumed the strength of her relationship with her beloved was enough to deter them.
Apparently, the occasion had steeled their resolve, even if only for a day.
Aoi was sure that Kaoru-sama would have gently rejected them. From what she had come to know of him, he was kind and never one to hurt his friends. He loved her, his actions and behaviour with her said so, and that love would surely be stronger than any temptation and flattery he felt.
That was why she was doubly surprised when he admitted to seeing another possibility with the confessor.
Then she was devastated when he admitted to giving into temptation and being so unrestrained with that other girl.
And this was where Aoi and Kaoru stood, on opposite ends of the kitchen in their home. The tension and the distance was enough to make this home feel like nothing more than an empty house.
Aoi stood, her back to her promised one. Her posture was stiff, exuding restraint and dignity. Even the tremor of her clear voice was artfully glazed with unshed tears.
"Which one is she?" Soft words lined with an edge.
"Which one is she?" Clipped words repeated.
Kaoru approached her back and embraced her from behind. He felt her tense at his touch and he waited until she would relax into the feeling. He would have been kept waiting.
He tried to placate her. "I'm sorry. It won't happen again, I swear."
"Liar." The first time she had ever sharply spoken to him.
"I'm not lying. We'll put this away and forget it. No one will ever know."
Aoi's shoulders were still tense as she contemplated his words. She felt his nose nuzzle into her hair, breathing in.
"Just like no one will ever know that we were together."
A nervous chuckle rippled through his body. The tremors almost made her want to run from him and find cover.
"Ne... They will know, Aoi-chan."
"Look me in the eye and tell me that you can go through your entire life with only me."
"Can you go through your entire life with only me? No other women? I was bound to you first by tradition, and that was a tradition you did not want."
He knew what she could offer him, and so instead of answering her, his head turned, nose sliding away to be replaced by his cheek.
It was foolish of him to do this to her.
The red threads of fate that bound Aoi to Kaoru wove a rich cloth, and it was something that Aoi wrapped around herself so tightly like a blanket and kept before her eyes like a veil. Every woman needed to hold onto her precious illusions. He was her first and only love. Patient, understanding, sensitive and caring, and he would stay by her side and never stray. His fidelity would be just like hers: unshakeable, unbreakable.
That was her most precious illusion.
She may have been patient, demure, graceful, selfless and kind... but she was only a woman. A woman with her own insecurities and jealousies. He took the beautiful curtain of her hopes and tore it away, as if it were the cheap fabric of that other girl's dress.
The very thought pained her.
But none more than the uncertainty she was cruelly exposed to.
"Say something, Aoi-"
She had made a small step away from his body, not strong enough to break his hold, but enough to let him know she wanted release.
Her hand smoothed itself over a wrinkle on her chest, and she looked straight ahead so that he would not see the disobedient tears running from her eyes. Her throat burned and stretched as she tried say these words, as if each one were a heavy stone. It may have been impulsive to say it, but she had to save face and salvage both of their dignity, her dignity, while they still had it.
"No. I do not know you, Hanabishi-san. Please do not dishonour me. I can not act so intimately with a man who is not my husband."
With that declaration, his arms fell away, and with them, all she ever knew.