Loki Unties Fenris the Wolf
Utena and its characters do not belong to me.
Shoujo-ai content warning. Hetero content warning.
The night and the wind rushing passed always reminded her of her high school days. She would drive down winding roads into the country and then back to the city and she would practice a trick she learned when she was just fourteen. She shifted the car into gear as the road reached a long straightaway. Sometimes she thought she knew the road better than herself. Sometimes on really dark summer nights she would find herself wishing for him. She didn't know why. He had been such an evil man, but evil never bothered her. Only humans cared so much about that trivial verbiage, that philosophy to separate themselves from the truth, but the truth was so very evident. It was so very plain, and the truth was always so simple.
"We're all just wild animals," she whispered to the night as she turned up the volume on her radio. With a deft and eager leap she did the trick. Hopping over the windshield of her deep red convertible and sitting out on the hood of the car with her back against the glass. She let her hair down and she laughed as the wind rushed by her for a few moments of the purest kind of freedom. And then she would hop back over and continue the drive.
She left the radio blaring.
She did not love him, that evil man, the chairman of her school, a man that was known as the End of the World. She could not love him, but she respected him. She admired his talent, and the way that others acted as if he had some kind of magical power. But the power he had, what he possessed was nothing extraordinary. He was just a magician, and a trickster, the master manipulator, and oh how easily he could make people dance. He turned people into puppets, and she bit her lip as she conceded that she had allowed herself to be one of them. But she was not as blind to her role as some of the others were; after all she was Kozue Kaoru.
She had a bad reputation at the school. She wanted a bad reputation and she honed her amateurish skills by manipulating her twin brother. She loved him, but she hated him. Even though there was something that had changed in her heart part of her still felt the same. Part of her was still raw, because her brother wouldn't see her. He would not acknowledge the darkness in their lives. He only saw the light. She could have stabbed him to death and he still would only have seen her light. She hated that. She loathed the optimism, because things were not so bright. Things were never so bright.
Darkness led her to seek the chairman out. She'd heard some of the girls talking about him and her curiosity drove her into something she probably was not ready for. The lessons were like salvation though. The lessons she learned in his car were unforgettable. How she had wished she could be like him, to be a trickster, and magician. To make people fall under a spell that didn't want to break.
She was an adult now and no longer a sly little girl, but a woman with a few tricks up her sleeve. She created illusions and people called her magical. It wasn't the same as he had done though. He could tease and tantalize and be called a prince, girls it seemed could only be princesses or witches. She laughed then, at that thought, forgetting; princes and witches were human titles. She... was a wild animal. She would always be wild, the wolf just off the path.
Kozue pulled a sharp u-turn pushing the sports car to its limit and she speed back towards were she had started from. The night was refusing to get colder. It was very warm. She considered trying the trick again but decided against it.
She remembered how fast her heart had beat when she had first seen him do that trick. The way she thought the car would crash, and the overwhelming satisfaction that came as she realized how he did it. It was still dangerous there was no doubt about that, but learning that is was a trick... that is was just a bit of acting on top of a practiced skill was a wonder. It made her all the more eager to learn from him. She wondered often what would have happened if things at the school had not changed. She wondered if he would consider teaching her everything he knew. Would he concede all that precious information to a girl? She was uncertain, but he was certainly willing to give some of it up. And she prided herself on taking on lessons that even the student council president would not. She wondered if her willingness to learn made him think any more of her.
Of course he probably did not. He only thought of himself.
She sometimes wished she could run into him one day. She hoped for a moment to swagger up to him and show him how much she had learned over the years. Knowing that anything she had to show him would never impress him, but maybe he would be amused by it. Maybe...
She had to stop the car, pulling off to the side of the road and looking up into the dark sky that would not let the starlight through. Even so far from the city lights the night refused to show the stars. A tear ran down her face. A tear for him? No, it was for herself. It was for all those lovers she could never really love. All those hearts she tricked and left and played merry little games with. Some of those hearts that she wanted, somewhere deep inside, to love back. There were a few...they dotted her conscience and reminded her that she was still learning to be wild. Even at her age she was learning to let go of that pressure to be tamed. A wolf would not regret. Or perhaps a wolf would not remember. She wasn't quite so sure anymore.
Kozue shut her eyes and fought against changing the song that played on the radio. It was cutting at her. She missed him. She missed that rose scent that on anyone else would have been too floral. She missed the way he knew just where a kiss should go, and just where to touch her. She gritted her teeth as the thought of him faded to that of another. The other so very unlike him and yet... There was only that other that found such a way beneath her skin and so differently... She recalled how there were nights when she wished she could have had them both, together. But while he was sure to play and indulge in such a thing, he would never stay. He wouldn't ever be roped into staying, not for anyone.
She wanted a pack. She needed more than one person always and she had found the perfect two only at different times in her life and with the knowledge that it would never work out the way she wanted. He had been such a force in her early high school years, but the other... well the other had made the frustrations of college seem like nothing.
She started the car and began to drive again. She had to. It was easier to think of Juri when she was moving fast. It helped to dull the ache that might come from lingering too long on everything she had ruined. And when she ruined something she smashed it all the way to the foundations.
Juri Arisugawa... She was... She was an unexplainable force of nature. Not like the chairman had been. The chairman made it impossible not to like him, and even if someone thought he was a jerk he still found a way of making that person move to a beat he was playing. But Juri...Juri was different. Juri was subtle. Juri was quiet. She snuck in under the skin until it was impossible to let go of her, all that silent and stoic wordless affection. She could say she loved without actually saying that she loved you. She could never say the words. It was as if she was always afraid they'd break whomever she directed them at. She could be a strong and curt woman in the fencing hall. She could be a cold panther, and statuesque angel to the entire outside world. And she would use that image to make people fear her. If people feared her they wouldn't get close to her. If no one was close then Juri could never be hurt, and that was just it. She made herself into such a fortress that no one could see how broken she really was until someone got up close (and that rarely happened).
The curves became sharper as the car plummeted down hill, and she occasionally found herself pressing on the break as a small amount of fear rose in her chest. She was going too fast, but she couldn't slow down. Slowing down was beneath her.
She thought of the fencer more. She thought of those soft lips, and that way...That way that the panther would wrap her arms up around Kozue's waist. It staked a claim and left invisible marks all over her. She hadn't been so monogamous in her entire young life. But with Juri what else was there to need? How could she want anything more than what Juri gave because the panther gave it all away, and that's why the panther got hurt? That was why it was so easy for her to break the fencer in two when she began to feel too smothered by love and light. All that endless light Juri radiated, like her brother. She couldn't handle the light. She wanted it so much, but she could not allow it.
She sucked in a sharp breath as she came to a screeching halt at the bottom of the hill. The red light stared back at her with unending prejudice. She looked at the clock on the dashboard and quirked an eyebrow, and then when the light turned green she sped off along the road back into civilization.
She hated regret. In her self especially it marked a type of defeat.
The lights of the city grew and soon she was in a bustling downtown area with a few clubs and bars dotting a long strip of restaurants and shops. She parked in a near by garage and then left for the pulse of the dance floors.
Would she find them there? Would she enter a club and see them sitting at opposite sides of a room waiting for her to make some kind of permanent choice? Would she ever find them sitting together at a table having drinks?
No. No, she'd never find them. It would never really be them. She would find pale doppelgangers, and dim witted clones. She would find pretty young faces and eager young bodies that would flock to her and ask (without asking) for a lesson. And she knew how to teach these days. She knew how to really drive the lessons home. She'd spin some magic, she'd perform a trick, and she'd make the puppets around her dance.
Kozue hated nights like this, nights when she had spent too much time driving and remembering. She hated the summer for all its warmth and eagerness, for the scent of youth and passion that it would drive forth. Nights when all she could do was sacrifice some unsuspecting beauty to her memories and her dreams, and she would leave that poor soul burning for more of what he or she would never again receive.
She entered a club and bought a drink. She slammed it down and then took up safe haven on the dance floor. Who was the girl she just kissed? Who was that boy dancing so close? She would never know, because she'd close her eyes and see him. She'd close her eyes and feel her. And in the morning when she woke up in some strange bed and in the lock of a foreign embrace she'd be herself again. She'd be okay and she wouldn't care that she was going to hurt someone.
The beat went on and she went on. And then there was a familiar scent in the air. It was far too real to have been imagined, and it was drawing nearer to her. That rose scent that would have been too floral if it were on anyone else but...
She turned around and she was already in his arms. They moved together as if they had never been apart, as if they were always dancing in the same rhythm. He looked the same and she nearly felt ashamed for aging even the slightest bit.
"Would you like to revolutionize the world with us," he asked and his voice moved through her until she shivered.
Before she could answer Kozue felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around. It was not Juri. She didn't think it would be. It was someone else. A woman she vaguely remembered from her days at Ohtori. Someone older, refined, and elegant who also did not seem to have aged passed what she remembered. There was something about that woman, something tantalizing that reminded her of how she wished Juri could be. She licked her lips and then her eyes moved from the woman towards the chairman, but no, not the chairman. This was not Ohtori any longer. He was simply Akio. He was simply the trickster, and he grinned because he saw her arrive at the conclusion. He saw her understand what he was offering her.
"Will you help us revolutionize the world so that you might receive your wish," he asked again with a sly grin that she understood all too well. And then woman next to her whispered something into her ear. It was a soft question, the gentle push of a promise that would probably never come true.
Her eyes shut as she let the music take her back over. She reached out her arms and they followed her into the center of dance floor. They moved against her in time, each touch a reminder of her dreams and their lips would meet hers, every kiss a call to a wish she'd never make out loud. There was pleasure in every moment as they lingered together on the dance floor. She thought she could feel the music growing louder, but it was just a trick. She thought she could feel the world move in slow motion, but it was just a trick. She thought and she thought and finally... she opened her eyes and said:
"Yes. We'll take back the world... together."