* Warning: The fanfic you are about to read contains spoilers. For those who
* have not watched all of Utena and do not wish to know the ending, I suggest
* you read no further. This is a post-Utena fanfic that comes after the end of
* the anime and my first. But don't expect it to be sloppy just because it's my
* first purely Utena fanfic, it's not as if I have never written one-shot
* vignettes before. If you have constructive criticism to offer, please, don't
* let my lack of experience with this catagory of fanfic hold you back. Though
* I may not agree, I will listen nonetheless. This is not a romance, I want the
* characters I love to have a place to shine and to be real, not to just use them
* for the purpose of getting two people to kiss or some cheap melodrama. Hopefully
* you'll enjoy the story as much as I did writing it!

* Catagory: Drama
* Rated: PG (though ideas and themes within are for an older audience)
* Summary: In the wake of the revolution set by Utena and Anthy, Juri and Miki both
* discovered that they have indeed been changed by what had happened in ways neither
* would ever have imagined, as well as new insight on those around them as they found
* themselves unexpectedly growing up.


Are you ashamed?
Have you spent your days in the dark too long?
Or have you opened your eyes,
And your heart,
And your mind...

Did a drop of poison fall through that opening,
And bloom within?




.Moth Blossoms.
(The Final Cycle)


What do you dream of in your sleep?

Have you ever dreamed of a prince who would kiss away your tears? Have you reached
out to a lover who saw the depth of your soul and embraced you with his heart? Or was it
the strength and faith in miracles that you crave the most?

Which can set you free?

Which can chain you down?

Which has stolen your innocence?

* * *


Steel against steel, strength against strength, and skill against skill. Here in
the four walled room, empty except that strip that had become a fencer's life, sweat,
blood and destiny. White against the golden-brown of the buff and shining wooden floor,
squeaking against sneakers and dodging feet.

She sat, throned against one wall, a spectator to that strip for the moment. The
wide windows backed the silhouettes of the duelers. She sat, Prince of that strip of
white and ruler of the room. Though many were not watching her, but her presence was
felt as the match progressed; as one duelist became bolder whilst the other retreated,
whilst a daring lunge took the other by surprise...


The silence once broken only by squeaky shoes and metal blades was shattered,
drowning out the gasp of surprise that left the lips of the one who failed to block the
attack. Others took the place of the two who left the strip, people came and went,
gossiping about the wins and losses of that day.

"Impressive," her hair shone like orange-flames against the the sunlight spilling
through the window as she rose from her seat. Her green eyes looked to the blue-haired
boy next to her, voice dry with a hint of sarcasm lacing within. "It looks like some
of the matches today took longer than usual." The boy blushed at this, knowing whose
match she was referring to. "I guess you didn't steal all the talent in the family."

At this Kaoru Miki frowned slightly, "Kozue was always the more daring one."
Looking out past the empty floors and closed windows, he glanced towards the world

"A mite careless, almost without thought or direction to focus her aggression." The
Prince closed her eyes while one finger sought out to lace itself through the missing gold
chain that had once adorned her neck, wanting to toy with it as she toyed with the
thoughts within her mind. "She could become good with practice, as good as you..." the
woman paused as her hands stilled when it had grasped nothing. She turned then, to look
at her companion, "if she had direction."

Miki blinked at this, "Juri-sempai?"

Arisugawa Juri turned her head away from the startled gaze of her friend, looking
out to the same world he was searching to find. "If you can get her to return," Juri
continued, "she might actually make something of herself." Whatever distaste that might
have been in that statement was forgotten as Miki gasped at the offer.

"Juri-sempai?" An innocent, hopeful smile came upon his face.

"It is a favor," she finally consented to his question. "No more."

At this, Miki's face was once more composed and serious. "I will try," he finally
agreed. A comfortable silence fell between them before Miki turned to her again,
confusion on his face, "A-no, Juri-sempai?" He blushed slightly at his own thoughts, not
sure how she would handle his question.

"Hm?" She questioned as she flipped back a few strands of her curly hair.

"Where was Shiori-san today? I didn't see her at practice." Miki inquired.

"She called earlier about having a headache," Miki looked concerned at this,
studying his friend and companion. "She assured me she was okay."

"Will you be visiting her today?" Miki asked.

"No," Juri's answer surprised the blue-haired boy. "She promised that she would be
at practice tomorrow, that it wasn't anything big."


Juri smiled, for the first time that whole day as she rested one hand on her hip and
faced her companion, "No more chains," the curly-haired woman glanced out the window again
and Miki thought he caught a glimpse of sadness in her eyes at those words. Juri's
other hand rubbed her neck as if to sooth an ache or the kiss of memories. "Isn't it a
miracle?" Juri whispered, but to that Miki had no answer.

* * *

Wrapped in the robe and the scent of roses, she stood by the fountain waiting, a
pale rose of orange-gold in her free hand. Those who knew she was here all had their
own opinions on why she was dressed as she was, and those who were more arrogant even
thought they knew who she was waiting for.

Her fingers dipped into the cool waters, her eyes gazing at her reflection. "What
do you see in that water, Juri-san?"

Her fingers stilled but she did not glance up at her intruder. "What do you see,

The red-haired man smiled at the question and turned his head away from her, "The
other side," he commented and she knew it was not her he was really speaking to.

"Might have beens?" It was more a statement than a question.

"Perhaps," he lifted a hand from one of his pockets and ran his fingers through his
long hair.

"What are you doing here?"

At this, he turned to her and their eyes met. Power against power, will
against will. "I wonder what is beyond the End of the World," he said.

She raised one brow of amused surprise, but her face betrayed no other emotion.
"You are still thinking about her?"

At this he bowed his head and his smile became slightly less seductive and slightly
sadder, "Do you think she ever found what she was looking for?" He finally asked.

Juri looked away, noting that since the incident that sparkle of arrogant shine in
Touga had lessened and though it had not completely disappeared, he was... humbler
than he had ever been before. "You had tried to protect her and failed," Juri commented,
her eyes shrewdly studying him. Had that girl changed him that much? Juri narrowed her
eyes. Is this the effect of the power of miracles? "This world has already forgotten
her." Juri finally stated as she turned to watch the contrast of the green treetops
against the blue skies, "Whatever has happened no longer matters when concerning her, not
here, anyway."

Touga sighed in agreement, acknowledging his own failures though not entirely to
her. "But," he looked into her eyes, "I will remember her forever, and the powers of
miracles that she believed in." And with that he was gone, leaving her slightly shaken at
how close her own thoughts had been.

Her hand closed around the pale orange rose convulsively, feeling the thorns dig
into her flesh before she realized that she still had a hold on it. Raising the flower
to her face she watched her blood run between the green stem and her pale flesh, one
drop falling and sinking into the depth of the fountain, dissolving from angry crimson
into diluted pink before fading completely. Indiffernt, she touched her nose to the
inner petals, smelling the wafting scent at the heart of the rose. "Tenjou Utena," with
a flick of her wrist, the rose was flun away, sailing through the air and across the
waters before crashing into the center of the fountain, splashing and sending droplets of
water and ripples in all directions.

Perhaps we are all destined to drown in our innocence, maybe we will wake and maybe
we will drown...

Purple hair with wide, clear eyes and a small smile on lips that had captured her
from the very beginning appeared before her in her mind, that fragility that Juri had so
wished to hold and protect was still there. Miracles... Juri closed her eyes, her mind
cynical to even the mention of such a word whispered in the silence of the darkness behind
her eyelids.

*You are so cruelly innocent,* Juri slowly opened her eyes at those memories.


* * *

The rose garden had yet to wither.

The roses were tougher than anyone would have suspected, perhaps more than even he
had expected. He reached out a hand and brushed his finger against one pale orange petal.

"That Himemiya-san took good care of this garden when she was still here," blue-green
eyes widened in surprise, "ne, Miki?"

"Kozue," he turned to his sister in surprise.

"You said you wanted to talk to me about something," the blue-haired girl lazily
surveyed her environment though Miki could tell she was annoyed that he was here. "So

At this Miki blushed slightly but his eyes hardened in determination. "You were
very good the last time you were at the competition," he said.

Kaoru Kozue narrowed her eyes in a glare at her almost reflection, "What about it?"

Miki sighed at this, she was on the defensive and that won't be good. This
conversation could get ugly, he knew, but he had to try. "Juri-sempai and I thought that
you might want to join the fencing club." He smiled at her, blushing slightly, "With the
right training you could become a great fencer," he insisted.

Kozue looked amused at this, "Juri-sempai?" Her smile widened, and soon she was
laughing hysterically, "Juri-san and you?" Her face suddenly became ugly as she
approached him, eyes shining with anger. Her hand flew through the air and he knew she
was going to strike him but he stood there watching her sadly, as if he was already
defeated. The slap rang throughout the garden, "Baka!" She said to him calmly, coldly.
His cheek was now red, his face averted from hers because of the force of her blow. "You
think I don't know about you two?" she demanded hotly.

"Us... two?" Miki blinked startled, turning back to his almost reflection with
confusion in his eyes.

"Do you think I'm a baka like you, Miki?" she whispered incredulously, her hand
rising again only this time it never had a chance to land on his cheek.

A gasp of surprise startled them as Kozue turned, eyes narrowed in suspicion. "A-
no, am I interrupting something?" the brunette girl asked uncomfortably. In her hand was
the same golden water sprinkler that Anthy once used.

"Wakaba-sempai?" the girl put her free hand behind her head, embarrassed. "You're
the one who's been taking care of the roses?" Miki looked surprised.

Kozue, having already lowered her hand, smiled at the strange girl she had seen
hanging around Utena glanced down at the golden container nervously. "Hai," the girl said
softly, shyly. Blue-green eyes narrowed as Kozue studied the other girl, perhaps this one
might come of use, she thought. "Demo, it's for Utena, really." Wakaba looked up at them
with a bright smile, before her eyes glanced back and forth between the twins. "I hope
I'm not interrupting anything though, am I?" Wakaba repeated her earlier question once

Kozue spoke before Miki could answer to his surprise. "No, nothing at all," the
blue-haired girl watched amused as the brunette sighed in relief.

Miki glanced at his sister, suspicious at her sudden change of mood. Perhaps he was
worrying too much, but he didn't want her to drag Wakaba into this. Especially since
Wakaba was Utena's best friend, Utena who believed in him after all that he had done,
Utena who kept her faith in miracles even after that incident with the End of the World;
it was Utena who had succeeded where he had failed.

"Wakaba-san," Miki whispered to himself.

"Hai, Miki-san?" Brown eyes met his startled blue ones as Miki began to blush
harder under her questioning gaze.

"Yes, what were you going to say, Miki-san?" Kozue mocked, Wakaba blinked but
did not comment.

Miki paused and the garden fell to silence before he looked up and faced Wakaba with
a determined shine in his eyes. No, whatever it takes to keep her away from being used by
Kozue, he would endure it, "I wanted to thank you for taking care of the roses, Wakaba-
san." Wakaba blinked at this surprised but before she could reply, he cut in again as he
passed by her, "Both of them would have appreciated it," at this Wakaba's eyes widened and
the sadness of remembrance fell upon her face.

"Ara, ara," Kozue put one finger to her chin as she studied the retreating back of
Miki. A sly smile suddenly came upon Kozue's lips, "On second thought, Miki," Miki's hand
stilled on the knob of the garden door, "I'll join the little club that you and your Juri-
sempai run," Kozue smiled.

For a long while there was silence, "Whatever you decide," Miki finally said, his
voice a little more forceful than usual but he did not turn back to face her. Kozue
glared at his defiance against her as he opened the door and left.

Wakaba watched silently, a frown marring her usually cheerful face, wondering what
exactly had occurred.

* * *

She swung out her feet, feeling the cool air push against the edge of the material
of her pants before her heel touched the stone walls that enclosed the arena. Her eyes
watched the night skies above her, brightened by starlight, no longer obscured by an
illusionary castle. At last, each star could blossom and shine in the heavens with its
own beautiful light.

The platform where the duels were once held had reappeared, but there were no more
castles, princes or duels. Perhaps it had to do with the decision that the Rose Bride
eventually made. Yet even after the Rose Bride's departure from Ohtori High, when this
place held no more meaning for any of them anymore, Juri had returned back here where it
had all began. The memories of this place and the people that once fought here, both
against others as well as themselves still remained, like she had remained. This place
that had changed her so completely; this place that had trapped her and freed her all at
once. "You surprise me, Juri-san, I didn't think I'd find you here."

Juri turned her head, herself surprised at the interruption. She didn't know any
other duelist who had returned to this place. Touga might have, but he had his own
reasons. The others moved on, choosing to forget the battles fought here. Her eyes
immediately narrowed in distaste once she saw who it was, "What are you doing here,
Ohtori?" No -san, no -sempai, none of the titles she found suitable for this vile man
that she neither respected or liked. His presence was intolerable.

Akio's smile remained charming, though she could tell somehow that he was no threat
now. Without a princess the prince was nothing, Akio was nothing. "So angry, Juri-san."
The man was still too outwardly arrogant and that irritated her. She rose to leave not
wanting to linger there any longer, "You are what you are now because of me, you know?"
Akio said to her retreating back.

She stopped abruptly at this, "What do you mean by that?" she demanded harshly.

"Now you're defensive," Akio observed her stiffened back but she remained quiet,
waiting for his answer. He finally relented having thought that she would've figured it
out by now the answer to her question, "Who do you think made it possible for Ruka to come
back? Who could possibly give that boy the strength to face you in his final days?"

Ruka's final days...

Juri's hand tightened and she turned slowly to face the monster, the monster prince
who once described himself as Lucifer -- a fallen angel. Now she found herself staring at
a man who she might have become in her desperation to forget the pain of believing in
miracles. Her fist clenched, her body wanting to strike him for those words. She had
never gone beyond admiration when it came to Ruka and she never would. He had been cruel,
cruel to both himself and Juri, cruel in his love and his desperation to break her chains.
She hated him, but she was thankful, thankful because on some levels she was free and now
she was waking from her dreams. "Don't give yourself airs, Akio. Ruka's return was his
own decision." Juri finally said.

Akio ignored her as he turned his head to the stars, "He knew you would lose," and
though the statement startled Juri, she did not show it. "He wanted so desperately to
change you nonetheless, knew no other way than to hurt you and hoped that he was doing the
right thing by trying to forcefully break those chains that you had put around yourself."
At this Akio smiled at the memory of it all.

"You had no trouble using those chains," Juri answered coldly.

Akio laughed at this, his laughter melodious but she could hear the worthless song
he sang. Juri couldn't understand why so many fell for his charms, she could see
exactly how weak this man was, how much he needed others to do things he had no more
powers to make possible. "Yes, I know how much you hate me, Juri-san." Akio nodded, not
once glancing over to her. "But this illusion was your own creation, what you allowed
Shiori to do to both of you was your own choice, I simply put those feelings to use."

"You're disgusting," Juri spat, unable to keep her calm exterior. Yet as soon as
she said those words, she realized it was worthless to argue with this broken man, he was
nothing now. Only a title as the Chairman of their school, but he was no longer special
and she was sure that knowledge gnawed at him more than her words ever would.

The white-haired man shrugged his broad shoulders, watching the sky, "He loved you,
you know?" Akio questioned. Perhaps he thought he could still use her; whatever he
believed in, she was no longer interested in anything else he had to say.

"Does it matter?" Juri's anger melted as she looked to the sky with him, "He got
his miracle." Akio turned to her sharply at that, a gasp parting his lips. She didn't
need to say any more words after that confession because saying that out loud had made her
feel better. For the first time in a long time, she felt the strength of miracles that
lightened her heart and her step and she was grateful.

With that she turned and left Ohtori Akio in the empty arena to stew over his
inescapable normality and failures.

* * *

Shiori stood before her as Juri held her trembling hand, noting the deep blush
on pale cheeks. On one side of the room Miki was showing his sister how to parry a thrust
better but Kaoru Kozue was not paying attention. Instead, those sly aqua eyes watched
Juri with a trembling Shiori in her arms.

"Shiori," Juri murmured.

"H-hai, Juri-san?" Shiori gave a shaky answer.

"Focus and this would go a lot faster," perhaps the comment had been harsher than
she had intended but she had a feeling Shiori knew that the hold that she had on Juri had
lessened. And in these quiet hours after the other dualists in the fencing team had left
she would help the purple-haired girl improve her skills as Shiori fought to catch up with
the rest of her team with a new determination to please Juri, and perhaps this time to
become stronger in a more honest way.

Shiori breathed in an unsteady breath before her grip tightened on the saber. Juri
wondered if the girl knew what type of potential she had, but doubted that the other would
ever think better than what Shiori thinks of herself now. That jealous, innocent cruelty
that Shiori had displayed was really from that self-same hatred that the purple-haired
girl held within. Juri didn't know when her pity had turned into love, but it did.
Still, there were times when Juri was gripped with the need to protect this girl, mostly
from Shiori herself.

"If you put more of your weight in your lunge the opponent would be less likely to
block it. It should quicken your movement," Juri said. Somehow it felt like deja vu,
only long ago it was her at the receiving end of this type of tutoring with Ruka's arm
around her waist. Only then, unlike Shiori, she had not trembled at his touch. Then, she
had only felt that unquenchable desire to be better, to be stronger, to be able to break
free of her memories. It had made her a very focused pupil and somehow Ruka saw her pain,
choosing her as his successor in the art of the blade.

Speed, confidence, and aggression, three things that Shiori needed to learn. The
girl already had a basic grasp of tactics and she had raw talent when it came to
technique, but her lack of confidence in herself slowed her down, several times doubting
her own ideas she had lost far too quickly than she should have.

"Do you trust me?" Juri asked her and the girl gasped.

"Of course, Juri-sempai," she nodded, not wanting to insult her.

Juri smiled at this and shook her head, "Then trust me when I tell you that if you
trust what is up here," Juri lightly tapped Shiori's forehead, "you will get better."

Shiori blinked and glanced up at her, and Juri felt a familiar tug at her heart.
The effect was much fainter than it had ever been before when she had denied to herself
exactly how much Shiori had affected her. After that last duel with Utena, after the Rose
Bride's escape into the outside world, she understood herself a little better and with
that, she understood Shiori a little better as well.

Ruka's sacrifice was not for nothing.

"Now, Shiori, try that move again." Juri instructed and stepped back to watch the
girl attempt the lunge once more with a lot more force than before. "Much better," Juri

At this, Shiori turned to her surprised and smiling, "Arigatou." And Juri returned
her smile, a far easier act now than it had ever been before.

* * *

"Who was that today, with your Juri-sempai?" Kozue questioned her brother.

Miki straightened, surprised at his sister's question. He recalled seeing Juri
instructing Shiori earlier that afternoon. A smile fell upon his lips when he remembered
how Shiori finally was able to achieve the lunge that Juri had told him the other was
having trouble with. "Oh, that was Takatsuki Shiori-san," Miki answered innocently.
"She's Juri-sempai's friend," he continued as he turned to his sister smiling, relieved
that she had not caused one commotion that day in the fencing club. "Shiori-san has a lot
of talent."

Kozue glanced at him, suspicion in her eyes as they faced each other in the garden
once more, "Ara?"

The way that Kozue had pronounced that single word, a sigh with the undertone of sly
thoughtfulness that made Miki pause. He glanced at her then, the girl that he
had loved in his youth, the sibling that once was his glow. She was his first
inspiration, his blood, his reflection, and the other half of his soul. Yet she couldn't
accept that. It was not enough, but then again, it had never been enough.

His eyes were in shadows when he uttered those words to her, shocking her to silence
and anger. "I need to be alone, Kozue."

She paused and glanced at him, "What did you say?"

Miki laced his fingers together, the shadow of his hair masked his eyes as the scent
of roses weighed heavily in the air as the tension continued. "It wouldn't matter if I
told you that I loved you, Kozue," he said softly to the ground before his eyes so he
would be spared from seeing the disbelief in her eyes as she stared at him. "It wouldn't
even matter if I told you that the garden we shared had been important to me. You were
once my glow and when I lost you, I lost a bit of myself as well." He smiled wastefully
at the memories of the past, "It didn't help that we didn't have the most conventional
family, did it? But we had each other than, so we made it through. Still, everything is
different now, Kozue."

Kozue narrowed her eyes and rose, "I know," Miki looked up at her surprised,
"traitor!" Her accusation surprised him. However, for once, her slap didn't land. He
had caught her wrist this time and her moment of surprise gave him just enough time to
rise. "Maybe one day, Kozue, you might realize that I will always love you."

She yanked her wrist from his grip, her eyes burning with anger. "Idiot," she
whispered before she turned and both of them came face to face with Wakaba who stood there
silently, watching them with sad eyes. "What are you staring at?" Kozue asked harshly
before straightening and walking out. She paused as she stood next to the brunette girl,
her eyes looking out, "Speak of this to anyone and I'll make sure you're ruined, that
everything and everyone you care for will be ruined with you. And when you wish for
death, I'll be there." Kozue threatened before walking out the garden.

Miki sighed when his sister disappeared from sight, "Are you alright?" Wakaba
finally spoke. Miki glanced up startled at the questioning gaze the other sent him,
almost forgetting her presence in the silence and his own thoughts.

"I'm sorry about what my sister said to you," he apologized.

"No," she smiled at him, "it's alright." Wakaba held Anthy's water sprinkler in
her hand as she approached him, her friendly, brown eyes meeting his with a smile on her
face. "I understand how she feels," she finally admitted, "I was once like her."

Miki looked at her skeptically, noting the innocent curve of her mouth and the
bright glow in her eyes. "I can't imagine," he admitted.

She continued to smile at him, before tilting her head slightly, "I know," she
finally answered, "what it means to love someone so much that when you hurt you want
them to feel it to, so they would understand how much you love, so they would be sorry
for being so forgetful. But we all grow out of that selfish love, and from it we learn
courage as well, ne? After all, Miki-san, a rose grows throns before blossoms... so that
one day we won't have to be so plain and ordinary or painful to behold, nor will we have
to fear the chance of being discarded again so carelessly." Her last comment having more
to do with herself than Kozue.

Miki ran his hands through his hair as he watched Wakaba turn and give life to the
roses like Anthy once did, but she was not like Anthy, she gave more freely and was more
naive and innocent than Anthy had ever been, than any of them had ever been. "You are not
ordinary," he finally said. In a way, he understood his sister a little better now. Hadn't
he fought over Anthy in a similar manner? Thinking that he was the only one who could
understand, that he was the only one who could gave her real happy? Hadn't he wanted to
hurt Utena when he had felt threatened, thinking that she was the obstacle to Anthy's
happiness and his own? Wasn't he once consumed the the green-eyed monster of jealousy,
selfishly hoping to covet a treasure and protect it? Is that what Kozue had always felt?
If so, then perhaps he had been a bit cruel as well, though not as knowingly as she had

Maybe, he should stop thinking of Kozue as so monstrous... so strange in his eyes.
No matter how far apart they have grown, perhaps he also helped in widening the gap
between the two of them and not just blame it all on her jealous insecurities. And Kozue
was not really evil, there was a part of her that she shielded from the outside world.
The part of her that cared for him deeply, almost obsessively, the part of her that would
risk breaking every bone in her body just so she could save the baby birds, the part of her
that he remembered to be uncertain but trusting. It was the part of her he loved, still
loved, and will always love. Now he knew, now he knew that the part he believed to be gone
had not, just hidden away like a treasure that was waiting to be rediscovered after long ago
sins and doubts were exausted, when the barriers were finally down, and her fears were put
to rest...

"Do you really believe that, Miki-san?" Wakaba asked when she turned to him, eyes
wide with wonder, bringing him out of his thoughts.

At this Miki smiled shyly at her, feeling the heat in his cheeks and the ease to
please, rising out of his days of innocence. *Traitor* was what Kozue had called him but
enveloped in the comfortable silence that Wakaba provided, one without question or a need
for words or explanation, his sister's words didn't hurt as much as they once did . "You
are Utena's best friend," she glanced to him surprised at his use of tenses. "In the end,
none of us turned out to be just ordinary, you know that? All of us in the end have a
strong desire that we fought for, and though we have failed once because our motivations
were not pure, it doesn't mean we cannot succeed. Even love, unrequited, does not mean an

"So serious, Miki-san, you almost had me forgetting that I'm the older of the two
of us!" With that, a bright smile lit the face of Shinohara Wakaba as her laughter
covered the glass walls that once were filled with peaceful sorrow and hidden turmoil.
There was a lightness in Miki's chest that he hasn't felt since he had heard the last
note played by Himemiya Anthy on that lone piano, feeling his hope of re-attaining his
glow fill his heart with brightness and hope. Now the feeling was softer, more subtle
and with less realization and identification. But Miki was at peace, as peaceful as he
felt when that song had once poured through his fingers with his other self playing next
to him.

"Arigatou, Wakaba-san." He mouthed to her as she continued to water the roses that
now bloomed under her care, eyes sparkling still with a joy that had been so easily
abadoned in their prusuit for world revolution. Now, in the quieter aftermath of things
gone and done, Miki had found, perhaps, another reason to continue to fight for his
beliefs and though it may not seem as depth-defying as his earlier goals, it meant just as
much to him.

This happiness, this time he will atain it the right way, "Arigatou." His mouth
moved to shape the word whose sounds never got past the tip of his tongue.

Her ignorance to his gratitude silenced the garden but her smile was like an
uncovered star in the sky, no longer shining as dimly. Instead, this time its glow will
last for all to see, if one would only look to uncover it in the dark, evening skies.

* * *


Here, you'll find escape.

Those were the seductive words that had drawn us in, that Akio used to keep us
deuling for our desires. It was grand plan for disillusioned believers. We were foolish
then, all of us, running from pain, trying to covet the few moments of happiness that we
could as we wallowed in power and corruption, selfishly fighting for what was no longer
there, reaching for an illusion, instead of building a brighter future for ourselves.
And in that pretty cage, that hell, we became lax and weak, our strength saped out of us
bit by bit as we all became fallen angels, losing the way to true happiness.

What the End of the World had promised us all when we had first entered into the
kingdom where fairytales came true, and the anxious desires of children playing grownup
games blossomed, we believed. We were trying to escape from that pain, were we not?
Trying to rediscover innocence and hope, but having too much fear to grasp out or even
to speak our hearts. Yet when she came with her heart on her sleeve and a past she
found too painful and dark to recall, we fought the only person who could break the cycle
we had created. But she went on, on a promise she could not recall and a noble desire
to unleash herself from the chains of pain even at the loss of security.

She was hurt by her ideals like the rest of us; only she gave all that she had
instead of staying in the silence of safety, fear and fascination. She reached out her
hand to grasp what she desired and gained freedom. She was the first to grow and sprout
those wings to fly away.

Tenjou Utena, arigatou. You and your belief in the Rose Bride has ripped us from
the shadows of youthful desires so that now we are free as well. We were scared and so
you lighted away the shadows in attempt to free yourself. Now we have no choice but to
step out of the darkness, perhaps even journeying to where you have gone? But now we can
grow again, instead of being frozen in place by things of the past that can no longer hurt
us unless we let it, things that can no longer change us into monsters if we only try once
more to find the way we had strayed from.

We were all a part of you, Tenjou Utena, another you, another possibility.

Because of us you are free, learning from the mistakes we had made in our pursuit
for justice, friendship, miracles, and love.

Now we are free.

Now we can change.

And now, we have all become revolutionized.

.The End.


- Ara "Oh"/"Hey"
- Arigatou "Thank you"
- Baka "Idiot"/"Stupid"
- Hai "Yes"
- -san - address used for people one is not
totally familiar with.
- -sempai - address used by younger classman
talking to an older classman

The end of my first Utena fanfic ^-^v Yeah!
I'm a Juri-sama fan ^_^v and I love Ruka...
though I don't think it's fated that they
will ever get together ;_; (at least not in
the anime) And I love Miki-kun, too ^-^v
But my favorite episode was definitely
Wakaba's! (Though the two, back-to-back Juri
anime ties with Wakaba's.)

Special thanks to Jon Carp who pointed out
all the mistakes from some really obvious
ones to a few not so obvious ones ^-^;;
Though we still differ in opinion on some
of the characterization and character
motivations, had it not been for Carp-kun,
this fanfic would probably not have come
into being. And I absolutely have to thank
Lunaludus Scribex, who's criticisms got me to
rethink some of my crucial scenes, and in the
end, gave me the reason to come back and improve
this one-shot vignette. Rewriting dialogue
and scenes with a clearer view of what was
and what was mis-interpreted on my first time

I apologize to younger readers who might not
understand all that is written here. But that
cannot be helped. Maybe one day you will return
and revisit this story and understand it better.
Till then, I hope life is kind enough for you
to understand the characters in Utena without
having to live the twists and turns in their
lives. If you mail me I will tell you why I
wrote certain scenes, but most of them are open
to interpretations, so if you can, form your own
ideas. It will defeat the purpose of the fanfic
-- which is to provoke thoughts and questions --
if I just spelt it all out for you.

This is my first Utena fanfiction. I hope you
enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.

Domo arigatou gozaru for reading!