I just coded all night.
> Spankins! [Ruka Tsuchiya]

Written by Giovanna and Yasha.
     Laughing softly, Ruka pulled the girl to him, laying his cheek on the top of her head. "Clumsy girl. Three times this week…"

    She stared mournfully down at the broken glass and the water that had splattered everywhere. "I'm so sorry," she said, pulling away and kneeling down to gather up some of the pieces. "At this rate, you won't have any dishes left…"

    "Leave it. I'll get a broom or something," he chuckled, shaking his head. "I appreciate the thought—I was just thinking I might like to stop practicing for a drink. I'd better get it for myself, though." He walked toward the door, pausing to set his foil in the rack on the wall.

    "Such an idiot," she whispered to herself. "If I wasn't so clumsy all the time…" Sighing, she began to sweep the small shards up with the side of her hand.

    Footsteps soon heralded Ruka's return; his tolerantly amused voice sounded from the door. "Here, stop it. Use this."

    As she glanced up, another awkward movement drove a shard of glass into her hand. With a soft cry of pain, she lifted her hand, staring at the blood already welling around the flake of glass. The dustpan and broom Ruka had been holding clattered to the floor; he rushed toward her, kneeling down to inspect the damage. "Hold still," he commanded as he caught her hand in a firm and gentle grip. Taking hold of the glass chunk, he quickly jerked it out, ignoring her wince, and dropped it near the pile she'd accidentally scattered. "You should have waited," he said, putting pressure on the bleeding wound.

    "I know." She frowned, irritated. Carefully sliding her fingers under his, she held the gash tightly. "It's just not my day to be graceful. Any day."

    "Let's get a bandage for that," he said, disregarding her self-deprecating comment and helping her up.

    As they walked toward the bathroom, she stared down at her hand, biting her lip in dismay. Nothing ever helped—she was always so clumsy. Ruka had admonished her many times to be more careful about what she was doing, but it never seemed to matter whether she paid attention or not. Something was likely to go wrong no matter what. Whether she tripped or dropped something or knocked something over, something always happened.

    Stealing a glance at Ruka, she grimaced as she saw his graceful movements. He never accidentally broke glasses or cut himself or fell down stairs. She envied him that—everything he did was as graceful as his riposte. Even the pressure of his hand on the small of her back was just that; gentle, light, graceful. He was never frustrated by the awkwardness of his own body. Sighing in annoyance, she looked away, ignoring the puzzled glance he gave her. Maybe it was just getting her down because today seemed worse than usual.

    Once in the bathroom, he turned the tap on, rinsing her blood from his fingers and directing her to hold her hand underneath the water in case any glass was left in the scratch. "Flush it out well," he said, rummaging through the drawers in search of a bandage. "I'd rather not have to take you to the infirmary because of glass in your hand."

    "I know," she said quietly, watching the rust-tinged water run down the drain.

    He soon found a suitable bandage, and she dried her hands and held still while he bound the deep scratch. "There," he said, smiling slightly and lifting her hand to place a little kiss over the wound.

    Smiling sheepishly in return, she said, "I must be such a bother to you. I'm always breaking something."

    "You're just having bad luck today," he said, his smile widening. "Just pay more attention to what you're doing."

    "I will," she murmured, feeling a little less embarrassed. "Are you going to finish your practice now?"

    "The glass needs to be cleaned up first." Casually laying his arm around her shoulders, he ushered her out of the room. "I'll get that drink I wanted."

    "All right."

    Once back in the room he practiced in, she swept up the glass, using the dustpan to carefully carry it out of the room. She almost gotten as far as the door when the handle of the broom she was also carrying swung a little bit too far, catching one of the foils in the rack. The noise caught her attention; she turned just in time to see the foil she had knocked out of place hit one of the other foils, causing a domino effect that ended up in the loud clatter of all of the foils hitting the ground. Startled by the noise, she jumped back, forgetting the dustpan full of broken glass.

    Sudden frustration brought tears to her eyes as she surveyed the mess. Broken glass all over the place, foils scattered around like broken toys—she felt like just sitting down on the floor and crying. "Oh, I'm such an idiot! Stupid, clumsy—"

    Glancing toward the door, she saw Ruka watching her without expression. Her face flushed in shame. Dropping the broom and the dustpan, she bent to pick up the fallen foils.

    A hard smack on the behind shocked her right out of her embarrassment. Eyes wide, clutching Ruka's favorite foil to her chest, she quickly straightened and looked at him.

    He simply looked back at her for a long moment, and then shook his head. A small smile began to surface. "There's no reason to insult my girlfriend," he said, ripples of humor in his voice. Gently taking the foil from her grasp, he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. "She's just having a very bad day," he murmured, leaning down to steal a kiss.

    The Ruka we meet in the series is not an accurate portrayal of him. What we see is a man backed into a corner, and with his death so close at hand, he's not the same person he would naturally be. However, enough is given away in his motives and attitude to clue you in to what he was like back when he led the fencing team.

    Ruka's clearly got a playboy streak. However, he has more moral restraint than Touga, so in practice he's less a playboy than he is a helpless flirt. He's a very personable and social character, but strong bonds are not easily made for him, and prospective friends and lovers will hit a brick wall early on and have a hell of a time scaling it. He's manipulative; he employs a Machiavellian 'ends justifies the means' strategy in his time on the series, and does so with an efficiency that would not be present in someone who didn't typically work this way.

    It's exactly that that you have to keep in mind about Ruka: he believed the ends justified the means. And his ends were just. No doubt had Ruka had more time to execute his plan, he would have made some serious attempt to win Juri over for himself. But in his situation martyrdom was his only option, and he did it well. Ruka's mannerisms make him seem dangerous; he was quite comfortable mingling amongst the wolves in the Akio Car, and that's rarely a good sign. However, he's an okay guy, and while he might not be a prince, he plays the part with more feeling than the show's other attempts.

    All this said, it comes to bear that Ruka has true 'princely' values; he's chivalrous beyond an innate desire to be seen that way. It would not cross Ruka's mind to punish a woman in such a manner as spanking. Indeed, he's slow to feel justified in punishing a woman at all. (It took a direct assault on his beloved to get Shiori on his bad side. It's safe to say his fuse for feminine insolence is pretty long.) Ruka would not pursue spanking for its sexual appeal, either. He has no interest in forced submission or even the illusion of it; he sees women as submissive by nature, but only because they're supposed to be that way. Not from a need to be put in their place, or from a natural inferiority, but because that's just how it is. The sexism inherent in the prince/princess ideal is a repeated theme in the show, and Ruka's definitely part of it, even if he means well. This mode of thinking is mirrored in Touga, and interestingly enough, both of these men find their true romantic interests outside the stereotype they place on women.

    So spanking as discipline and spanking as sex are out. That leaves spanking as play, and that's where Ruka lands. As previously mentioned, he's a helpless flirt; worse than Touga even, for his not following up on it. He's not limited, as many flirts are, to sexual suggestiveness. Ruka is just as comfortable flirting in a 'sweet' teasing manner as he is in a sexual one. After all, not all girls, and clearly not the girl in this scenario, prefer outright sexual innuendo when they can get vaguely sexual but ultimately harmless teasing they can giggle at.

    In fact, Ruka is most in his element with this sort of flirting. Not being a playboy, Ruka would find repeated sexual suggestiveness undignified and rude. This isn't because he has some basic problem with sex and sexuality. It's just that he's not a player, and faithfulness rates highly to him. He stayed faithful to Shiori during his last days alive; this was not so much respect for their relationship but habit, he's too princely to entertain promiscuity. Because he's not going to be making good on sexual flirting, he feels it would be rude to lead women on that way. This might seem paradoxical, as he does still flirt, but to him that's all it is. There's a fundamental difference in the various kinds of flirting that allows for him to frequently indulge in one, but have to tread carefully with the other. Chalk this one off to the convenient boundaries he sets for himself…he is still a man, after all.

    The girl in this scenario is clearly Ruka's significant other, and is the type of girl that would land in a loose, typically high school relationship with him. While his true attentions are on cold and dominating Juri, for less serious times Ruka would end up with a 'princess' to complement him. This girl is clumsy, and as such conveys a need to be protected. Also, she's naturally submissive to him, which is exactly what Ruka would choose for himself.

    Being his girlfriend exposes her to whatever shameless flirting happens to strike Ruka's fancy at the moment. An amused slap on the ass is playful in the way that appeals to him. It's also got a sexual connotation that limits it to boyfriend/girlfriend behavior, so it's vaguely possessive. Doing such a thing to a girl kinda says "Hey, this one belongs to me."

    This sort of teasing behavior is usually random, and women with men who enjoy it quickly get used to a slap whenever they walk by their lecherous mate. This certainly has appeal to some, or a lot of men would never get the chance to pass on their filthy butt-slapping seed, but it's not quite Ruka's style, and it's not what he's doing here. He didn't slap her at random or whim. He chose a flirtatious but slightly disciplinary reaction to the girl's repeated self-deprecation; a personality trait Ruka would not approve of, and maybe even find painful to watch. In a strange way, it was the kindest thing to do: he successfully stopped her self-loathing party and got a sweet and intimate moment out of it. Awww.

Personality + Relationship + Narrative + Miscellany + Music

Introduction + Characters + Reference + Submission

Go Home
Analysis of Utena + Empty Movement

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