wingblossom: (fandom (sku))
[personal profile] wingblossom
In the spirit of making an SKU-related post: I remembered writing this fic for bell some time ago, and found that when all was said and done, I still liked said fic a lot! Which almost never happens, so I decided to share it. Warnings for...metaphysical strangeness ahead?

Utena, post-series, 678 words.

After, she bears no scars. The skin on her back is smooth and well-formed, with nothing to mar its pale surface. When she presses her hand to her waist, glances at herself in the mirror, she looks like any other fourteen-year-old girl. Like she has never been kneed in spots below her stomach or shoved to the ground. Like she has never been bruised or hurt; stabbed in a place where wounds will never form.

When she wakes up, she touches her callused fingers. Co-workers at the bakery shop comment on them, on her quick wrists and nimble gestures. "Ah, Tenjou-san," they say. "You're a born athlete. You should be on a sports team." They never specify what kind of team, but the intent is clear: you're good at what you do, but you belong somewhere else.

It's true. At work, she wears long baggy jeans and aprons over her sweaters. Heavier clothing to cover her invisible injuries. Her hair is pulled back into a clumsy ponytail, and that ring (the one she can remember wearing from before forever) is curiously absent. The lack of metal should make her more free, but she only feels bound in yet another way.

On sky-blue mornings, she itches to run with the wind. Throw on her sneakers and stand outside; laugh. Be the person that she once used to be, instead of pressing a hand to her scalp and feeling that familiar ache.

She can still be that person, she knows. And when she least expects it, she sees echoes of the people she loved in those around her. The girl at the cashier, with her quick wit and sunny grin, is Wakaba. Another boy who comes in, dragged by his younger sister, has the same thin wrists and shy gaze of Miki. And their stately manager, imposing but with flashes of wry humor, shows flickers of a happier Juri.

There are so many people: dozens, millions more than in Ohtori Academy. It's something to be grateful for. Every week, she sees someone that she thinks she once knew, and people that she will never see again. They spill into the shop, and even if she forgets some of the names, she still remembers every one of their faces.

So it's good, even if she never asked for this: the longing, the nostalgia, the strange recollections. Or that faded photograph, with her hand clasped in another (darker) one, shining in the weak light of her apartment building. The memories of longer days and steel sliding over skin.

Now, how can she think of herself as Tenjou Utena, the noble prince, after being brought into a world where none of that even matters?

Himemiya is out there, too. She might be smiling. She might even be wearing a spring-colored dress, instead of one sewn in fresh blood. But of all the people she's seen so far, nobody looks like her. Nobody resembles Akio-Dios either, but she is certain that Himemiya exists. That Himemiya must be out there somewhere, waiting to have tea and laugh together in ten years like they promised. And if she is, then-

She wants to be strong, and she wants to be kind. She wants to have courage, and most of all, she wants to be herself again. Not under the pretense of an illusion, and not to be what she once was, but who she can still be. Her life keeps on changing, but like a rock under water, the focus of her world remains the same.

It's for her own sake as much as anyone else's.

The thing is, she doesn't want to get hurt. She never did. But given the choice, she knows that nothing will improve unless she gives this life a chance. Unless she spins the wheels of change by making something happen yet again.

Her scars never show. But under the weight of each invisible line, she knows that some growth can come only from taking risks and experiencing pain.

She thinks that, and aches a little less every single day.

on 2010-07-16 01:04 am (UTC)
cyanwitch: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] cyanwitch
♥ ♥ ♥

on 2010-07-18 06:18 pm (UTC)
salinea: the Huntress brooding (sad)
Posted by [personal profile] salinea


wingblossom: (Default)
let's go exploring

November 2011


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