Disclaimer: I do not own Utena or profit in any way from this story.

AU story featuring fencing as an integral part of Utena Tenjou's school life. I wanted a less fantasy, less surreal version of RGU. I have not watched anime in ages so I really do not remember the story or characters that well but I am doing my best to have an internet refresher. My friend has the series so if I feel chipper I'll go over and rewatch everything but that really isn't likely. Too much work.

I also don't know a thing about fencing. Never watched it before in my life until today. Everything here is based off of pages found on the internet and the sport is very interesting. I've enjoyed everything about it so far. If you are into fencing and my portrayal is so awful you cannot stand it please provide me with suggestions as to how I can fix the story.

Jeez, I don't remember the story and I don't know anything about fencing. Why am I doing this?

Please read and review!


The tinkling sound of metal on metal filled the auditorium. Echoing around was the sound of shuffling feet, a padded fall, and then, breaking the rhythm of breathing and concentration that filled the arena came a guttural scream.

"Winner by penalty," announced the judge to cries of disbelief from the losing sabreuse.

"I would advise that Miss Tenjou restrain herself from such theatrics as she has already been warned twice today not to make a disturbance," added the Directeur. No competitor could resist shouting from time to time but some self-control was required for the lively strawberry blonde now turning beet red.

"What a load of bull," started Utena before her stepfather and coach clamped his hand over her mouth.

"I've told you time and time again, Utena, you shout too much. They will penalize you for it," he said to his stepdaughter.

"But Richard you saw that shot, how could I not be psyched?" whined Utena Tenjou.

"You're scaring the competition, Utena. They believe wild beasts have swarmed the arena," he joked trying to settle Utena down and succeeding. "Learn from the mistake and finish strong."

Richard Tenjou: stepfather, coach, and mentor to Utena was the only person who could calm her down. He was the catalyst in her fencing career and she was grateful every day for that . It was the only sport her mother semi-approved and Utena could not imagine life without it.

"Right," she told him. Her next bout was her last and she had done well so far in the competition. Losing this round was not the end of the world.

While catching her breathe Utena looked across the room and caught the eye of her friend Wakaba Shinohara. Although Utena had been involved in fencing for many years this was Wakaba's first competition, and she was participating in foil. Utena knew that Wakaba did not love fencing like she did, but she appreciated that her friend had taken up the sport to spend more time with her. Right now Wakaba was sweating and pink from exhaustion but she looked happy. Their eyes met and Wakaba managed to make her face even redder with a blush.

"We need to move to strip five," said Richard to Utena, who grabbed her gear and followed him to her next match. She relaxed, breathing in and out, in and out. The girls were finishing up quickly and Utena was certain she'd only have about five minutes more before it was time to fence. She stretched to keep limber and to give herself something to do; there was no need to give herself time to get nervous.

"Utena Tenjou representing Washington High on the left and Clarice Simms representing Ellington High on the right," announced the Directeur of Utena's last match. Her opponent was a tall girl from Canada whom Utena had never fought before. The world of fencing could be quite small at times so Utena was simultaneously exhilarated and nervous to be fighting an unknown opponent.

"En Guard," started the referee. The girls touched sabres and bounced in anticipation. Utena found herself going into the familiar trance of dueling. Now was all that mattered in the world. The only things that existed were her and her opponent.

"Pret. Allez," started the fight.

So the conversation began. The blades whisked the air, swishing nearer and nearer to each other, daunting the other forward. Her opponent advanced and then lunged towards her. Faster than eyes could see Utena parried, Clarice riposted, and Utena counter-riposted.

The green light flashed on the scoreboard and the point went to Utena.

Clarice bobbed up and down, impatient. Before she could make a move Utena gave a quick flying lunge in her opponent's direction.

Point to Utena.

She had used the surprise to her advantage but it would not work a second time. Tink, tink, tink, went the blades as the girls refused to hold back now. They were both tired from the day and eager to get on with the fight.

Coupé, the taller girl cut-over and struck Utena in the flank.

Point to Clarice.

The engagement of the blades was all that Utena heard. The only things seen from her helmet were her opponent.

Ballestra, a hop forward. A flèche followed, missed. The extending of the arm and sabre. The retreat. Utena was the aggressor in this battle and she felt in control. A slash to the side of her opponent.

Point to Utena.

"Touché," said Utena.

Now Clarice took control. Despite her riposte the point went to Clarice.

A cut to the head, a circular cut to the flank, more conversation as the girls leapt back and forth along their alley.

La puntata di filo, glide with the point of the blade. Utena struck Clarice's shoulder.

Point to Utena. Only one left to win the bout.

Utena could see the brown curls whipping the air around her opponent. The beating of swords filled her ears. A lunge from Clarice followed by a sixte from Utena. Following the parry with a double feint landed a strike to the head.

Match to Utena.

The girls removed their helmets and bowed. Utena could see that Wakaba had finished her match and was now cheering wildly on the sidelines. At that moment Utena was glade that she won the fight so that she could look like a champion in Wakaba's eyes. It was a feeling that made her slightly ashamed, like her motivations towards her friend were not virtuous.

"Oh, Utena, you were marvelous!" said Wakaba. Her large eyes brimmed with admiration.

"Good job," said her stepfather with a strong clasp to her back.

The trio watched the remaining matches (there were few) and stayed to see the final scoring. Utena changed into sweats and a baggy t-shirt and leaned comfortably against Wakaba. The two split a bag of skittles. Utena only liked the red ones while Wakaba enjoyed every flavor.

"Utena, you placed first in your division," said Wakaba.

Indeed she had landed first in the final placing. It was a great relief to Utena who needed the notoriety to get into her preferred college in the upcoming year. She wanted to go to Ohtori Academy in the fall, although only an invitation from the elite fencing team would be enough to convince her mother that it was the right university for Utena.

"Wakaba, you aren't last," said Utena to her friend. She hadn't meant it to come out so tactless but her mouth always got the better of her.

"Second to last. I should just quit, I'm awful at everything," said Wakaba in a fit.

"Oh, it's only your first year. You did great Wakaba. It takes a lot of guts to do what you did today, and you should be very happy with yourself. I bet over half of these girls have been doing this their whole life and this is the first athletic club you've joined, right?"

"Mm hm," said Wakaba, keeping tears down.

"Than none of these girls learned as much as you this year. I am so proud of you, I just want to give you a hug," said Utena and proceeded to do just that.

"Stop! Stop, it tickles! Oh shoot, you got skittles everywhere," shouted Wakaba.

"I'm going to check out the university tomorrow instead of going to school; do you want to tag along?" asked Utena to Wakaba.

"Yeah, I'd like that," said Wakaba who had remained in Utena's arms.

"Sleepover?" suggested the strawberry blonde tentatively.

"Heck yeah!" said Wakaba. "And I am so beating you at karaoke tonight."

"You have found my weakness, fair maiden. I will be at your command."

"Then get me some new skittles, good knight, and you will let me eat all the red ones."

"Oh what I do for you, Wakaba. What I do for you."


Glossary:

Allez: have at each other

Ballestra: a jump forward

Coupé: to flick the blade over the opponent's blade as opposed to under it

Fleché: when moving forward fling yourself aggressively over your opponent to make it hard to hit you should you miss

Lunge: a forward attack, there are many different types of lunges

Parry: a defensive move. There are many different types of parries

Pret: the fight is about to begin

Riposte: a hit following a parry

Sixte: parry 6, this covers the upper right torso and fencing arm (if you're right handed)