Utena:is not mine don't sue
Pairings: with pleasure I say Chigusa Sanjouin and Juri Arisugawa...watch
as the sparks ignite and the panther strikes out.
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The word hit the air like divine justice. Always just short of
viciously mocking the challenger who left the fencing track. It
was amusing to watch, and she watched. Ever since the unbeatable
panther joined the club, she watched. Just far enough away never
to be noticed and just close enough to see every ounce of raw and
formed talent the girl had. Her reddish brown eyes moved coolly
over the captain of the fencing team, regarding her wisely, and
waiting…Waiting for the perfect moment to step from her place
in the shadows and challenge the auburn haired beauty. The sound
of foils tackling each other, punishing the air with quick bursts
was suddenly halted by that unseeming yet perfectly stated word.
The time was close. She slipped from her place and sauntered closer
to the track, listening carefully to the way the panther’s
opponent moved in a vain attempt to keep up the dance. His shoes
squeaked along until finally the high rattle of his foil hitting
the ground silenced them. She smirked as she drew her mask over
her head, waiting patiently for an elegantly harsh word to caress
She pushed through the crowd and stepped to the track. The statuesque
angel across from her waited in silence, possibly wondering whom
the new challenger was. With a quick step the dance had begun. Light
and nimble her advances were well placed…but her blade was
even better. It was a good long run about the track. The easy back
and forth was clearly drawing a lot of attention. She cared nothing
for the crowd though. She cared only for the steady rhythm of her
foil beating against the fencing captain’s. For the sound
of actual exertion spilling from the girl’s mouth. Preparing
for her final strikes she wondered the last time her opponent had
needed to fight this hard. With a quick step, and a lunge her blade
met its target. The sound of cheers from the gallery was quickly
forgotten as she removed her mask and the defeated girl before her
stiffened. The panther’s mask was thrown off without care.
Hazel eyes just a breath from shocked.
She rather enjoyed the way the girl spoke her name. All that respect
and clear admiration wrapped in surprise and slight bitterness was
just what she always wanted. “Getting a little rusty”,
she breezed. “You’ve been too busy teaching the novices
to improve your skill.” She smirked as she looked around at
the other team members who only slightly recognized her. It was
fun not to be known. She addressed the rest of the team firmly,
“For those who are not used to seeing my face let me introduce
myself. I am Ms. Chigusa Sanjouin, the administrator in charge of
this team. You’re working your captain much harder than you
should be, and by the way she has been extinguishing you from the
track I can see she could use some help planting your lessons into
your head.” She paused, taking a breath to glance over at
the team’s captain. Her focus removed she shot in again. “All
that said…I look forward to working with each of you. And
now”, her icy glance washed over the whole of the room. “I
suggest you all hit the showers.”
If the stoic girl was offended by her sudden loss of control she
didn’t show it. She was about to go to the showers herself
when the smoky voice of the administrator hit her ears with polite
“Would you mind seeing me in my office for a second Miss
“Not at all”, she replied stiffly and walked along
to the office.
It was a miserable little room. Two giant filing cabinets pushed
up against the far wall, the flickering fluorescence of lights,
and an overly tidy desk cast the scene for darkness. But the mostly
strict woman smiled warmly as the girl followed her, loving the
way her guest tried to remain unmoved by the invitation to talk.
“I didn’t think you wanted to get involved with the
team”, the angel stated. Her bluish-green eyes coldly assessing
the woman across from her.
“You are quite right…I hadn’t meant to interfere
at all. The day you met me I made that clear. I trust the team’s
“Because as accomplished as this team is, you are the only
one holding it together. You graduate soon…I don’t want
the team to fall to pieces just because you leave.” She believed
it a solid and unquestionable answer.
“Miki is more than capable of handling this team”,
was the unexpected argument.
“He is…but he isn’t respected as you are. They
may fear you but there is no denying the respect that is there.
They trust you to guide them when they make a mistake…Miki
does that, but with a little too much gentle ease. I want to make
sure the team keeps its discipline.” She sat in what looked
to be an uncomfortable chair. It had most likely been part of the
office since before she was the administrator. “You don’t
mind do you?”
Auburn locks swayed with a silent answer. “Anything else
you want from me?” It was asked with some harshness, like
an old wound that could never be forgotten.
“Nothing…at the moment.”
“Hey”, her cool voice invaded like a song. “Juri…tell
me about the mysterious fencing administrator. I didn’t even
know there was one.” She smirked wickedly, ocean blue eyes
begging for an answer.
“There is little to tell.” Her voice was colder than
usual, distant and nearly dark. “She keeps to herself. She
teaches one or two classes, but that is all. And”, she paused
fixing her gaze on her newly found friend. “At one time she
was the youngest member of the Ohtori staff...only seventeen when
she was hired on.”
A light hand breezed through topaz hair, her previous smirk fixed
into a delighted smile. “Leave it to you to know everything…about
“No one knows everything”, she stated as if confirming
something that had never been asked.
Again the darkness in her tone caught the girl’s attention.
“Hmm…well…How delightful. I should go acquaint
myself with this Ms. Sanjouin.”
She had meant that comment to induce a response, but it didn’t.
It sat like an eerie fog, a curse around the stoic angel it had
been aimed at. Hazel eyes merely looked away in, something bordering
“Wow”, she said softly. “I haven’t seen
you like this in a while. What happened? You run into Shiori?”
“Not Shiori”, She replied harshly. She regretted her
tone, knowing it would only cause the girl before her to prod a
“Juri?” The wicked fire in her eyes faded. The panther
was hurt…or rather nursing an old wound. And because Kozue
prided herself as the only other wild animal on campus she felt
she could be of help…without getting herself bit in the process.
“Well then…what has you all frozen. I’ve never
known anything but a certain past to make you this silent. Maybe
I should go ask the fencing administrator she seems pretty-“
Her voice was cut off as a graceful hand took a violent hold on
her wrist. It was really serious, for such a reaction. The fallen
angel was getting a bit too emotional.
“Do not go searching for her.”
“Bold warning, love…She must have shattered your world
to have you like this.”
The grip on her wrist disappeared, and an answer that was not
needed leapt from the panther’s lips. “She did.”
Eyes deeper than the ocean blinked in slight wonder at the confession.
It was so unlike Juri to be anything but a solid wall of strength.
But she would heed the warning…after all wild animals had
to stick together or be caught and killed by shadowy poachers. In
a quick thankful moment a bright and cheery Miki appeared to cast
away the dark that had begun to hover. He smiled mentioning the
great luck he had with his new piano instructor, and off handedly
touched upon the shock of the fencing administrator deciding to
become more active. His light blue eyes did not notice the way his
closest friend cringed at the sound of the woman’s name.
“So Miss Juri...Are you ok with her deciding to take things
over I mean I guess she has every right to but…” He
trailed off thinking he was perhaps asking too many questions.
She forced a smile and stood up. “It’s fine Miki.
I’ll talk you two later.”
“Oh? Well, ok then. See you around.” He smiled as
she walked out of the room, his expression marred only by his sister
swatting him upside the head. “OW! Kozue what are you-“
“Gods you’re an idiot”, the cruel girl stated
and stormed off leaving her brother to his vast confusion.
She was unsure of how she managed to calm Kozue’s curiosity,
but after days of well placed masks and deceptions she got the girl
to leave her alone. To stop asking exactly what it was Ms. Sanjouin
had done. Conversations returned to their normal vein and Juri was
happy to have accomplished the task. The guilt that she felt at
hiding the truth was nothing compared to the truth itself. And the
truth was something she had to confront on her own terms and in
The fencing hall was vacant, and she was used to the emptiness
by now. Used to the feel of the ghostly walls calling her away to
another time. The quiet reminded her of what she had let go. The
panther she let slide from her grip out of something that wasn’t
quiet fear. She called it responsibility, but it felt like something
else. She was arranging the extra foils placing them neatly on the
large rack before her, considering moving the bulky piece of furniture
closer to the practice room. Nimble steps echoed down the hallway,
and she recognized the footfall. She found it amusing being able
to recall the way someone moved. The sound of the way someone walked
was something that not everyone could decipher. Her back turned
to the fencer she continued her arranging. After a long stint of
struggled silence she conceded and turned around, a feral if not
delighted grin on her face.
“Come for a rematch?” Her tone was, reminiscent of
a dying fire. She stood doing her best at guessing the fencer’s
purpose for being there.
“Something like that”, was the cold statement that
The way the stoic angel pretended was brilliant. Made Chigusa
want to embrace the girl like she had done years ago. The memory
broadened her grin, extending it to a light smile. The older woman
noted with some interest that a familiar piece of jewelry was no
longer strangling the girl’s neck. She tried to contain her
shock. Her reddish brown eyes, moved passed the panther just a bit
to catch another recognized face enter the hall.
“My if today isn’t the day for visitors”, she
quipped and calmly ventured to expel the violet-eyed intruder. Upon
returning she winked and said, “You expelled her from the
team, but she seems to think I may be able to get her back on.”
“She missed four practices in a row”, the auburn haired
beauty stated firmly. “My rules are my rules…I make
no exceptions.” Her eyes seemed darker than before. “But
if you want to change my policies too I suppose I have to accept
The woman huffed. It was an interesting little side note to the
team captain’s original purpose for being at the hall. “Shall
we to my office? Or would you rather not?”
She enjoyed the extreme quiet much more than she figured she would.
The intense glare that shot from the panther as they entered the
office, burning with long dead things. Wounds that had obviously
scarred, and still stung in full view for both women to see, a delightful
little mess that had been created and never really cleaned up. The
lights in the office were painful to stand under, but she figured
if she turned them down the fencer would become alarmed. An easy
hand moved through turquoise locks and she leaned against her desk
as the door shut with a violent thud.
“What’s on your mind Miss Arisugawa”, her formalities
biting at the past with elegant tact.
“I think you’re up to something much more than making
sure the team keeps its discipline”, the icy voice of the
Her eyes shut as she shook her head, arms thrown up in mock defense.
“Caught me did you?”
“Don’t patronize it’s rather insulting.”
“Is it? I’m serious about the team Arisugawa. Very
serious.” She shrugged and then relaxed back into her former
stance. “So…what do you think I’m up to?”
She considered the past as she spoke, trying not to let the conversation
tilt back to all those years ago. “I think you’ve been
watching me far too closely …So I gather your plotting to
bring me down…or…” The word lingered, thinning
softly and then dying.
“Or?” She perked an eyebrow, her arms now across her
chest. “Maybe you think I’m going to pull you into something
you don’t want? Maybe”, she moved across the tiny room,
getting closer than she needed to. “Maybe it’s all just
your vivid imagination.”
The panther’s cold exterior slipped into a toothy grin.
“When a panther looks like that…one must beware of
getting mauled”, Chigusa remarked. “I should have ripped
that golden trinket from your throat the minute I saw it.”
Her grin vanished, washed back into the cold of her heart. “Maybe.
Why didn’t you?”
“You wouldn’t let me.”
“Never stopped you from being forceful before”, she
whispered, an old look of shame breezing over her.
“Oh that was a nice little wound to reopen.” She enjoyed
the ease with which it was placed though, reminded her of what she
let go. “But as you know school rules are school rules…and
no matter how many professors end up getting away with it…you
know full well I would have been caught.”
“And now”, the angel questioned. “What if I
came to you now as I did then…would you do the same thing?”
“Yes.” The answer felt too quick.
She purposely positioned herself as close as she possibly could
get. “I’d tell you no…and then I’d rip that
locket from your neck. Send it to the incinerator…watch it
burn so you could live as an angel instead of a thing fallen from
grace. “ There was fire to her low voice that could not be
denied. “Now, was there anything else gnawing at your pride
or was that it?”
Somehow she knew it would come down to a moment so wonderfully
intense. She felt it rising in her like a tide. The sea of one’s
emotions was a fun little pool to play in, and carefully sailed
life was easily managed and predictable. So when the soft challenge
graced her ears she tired not to smile, she just backed away and
prepared for the duel. And there on the fencing track that’s
where everything could be decided and ended. It was such a polite
way to settle things she wondered why it ever went out of style.
The mask hid her eyes but the older woman could feel the burning
glare that was gracing her. Felt the heat of a thousand old things
that needed to be replaced and defeated. Briefly she recalled another
match she had that was similar. It was oddly noble when she remembered
it. She was ready to begin, and if she wanted to she could have
let silence rule all but she didn’t.
“Don’t go getting too emotional Arisugawa”;
Chigusa called. “Last time you got that way Ruka wiped the
floor with you.”
Her eyes narrowed behind her mask, that was an unnecessary comment.
“So he told you?”
She shrugged and swished the foil. “For some reason all
you fallen angels trust me with your secrets. And I keep them…safe
and sound. Maybe I’m fallen too.”
The blades met with a shrill clack. There were no real rules to
follow for this bought. The entire practice room was fair ground.
So the duel moved much like those the panther had fought in that
lamentable arena just outside of the school. The older woman staggered
forward, a misstep that was very unlike her. Juri gracefully moved
to the side.
“Talk about getting emotional”, she quipped.
Again a shrill clack filled the air. It would have been a great
match to talk about with others, but there was no audience to discuss
all the little noticeable asides that took place. The way the panther
would let herself fall to the defensive only to regain her position
with a quick twist of her wrist. The irresistible way mysterious
administrator would lead things into a nearly still volley and then
lash out with unexpected strength…like a flame suddenly given
breath. The fight seemed to have no meaning. It seemed a simple
enough exercise, but both women knew what was being fought. Heartache
was a slow demon to slay, and the two had inflicted it well upon
each other, one for all her past desperate and childish want, and
the other for her inability to save her favorite girl from something
so slick as the unrequited. Both were clearly tiring.
“Why don’t we both agree to be equal on this floor”,
the older woman offered as her mask flew off. She made a quick catch
up step and took the mask from the fallen angel.
Auburn locks spilled down, but her sword continued to attack.
“Because things have to be decided. I’m sick of wondering.”
“Wondering or wishing?”
The question only prodded the girl to move quicker, causing the
older woman to stumble. Juri caught her and tossed her to the ground.
The fiery-eyed woman sprang up off the floor, her anger apparent,
that last move was very uncivilized. Her foil caught the fencing
captain’s with sudden strength and they were locked together
in firm force. One pushing against the other and it was there that
all the similarities between the two were clear. Equal height, equal
weight, one the soul of angelic fire, the other the cold of a cat’s
eye. And both fought against what they had been when they had first
met. Only four years had separated them in age, and four years ago…that’s
when everything was decided.
“Would you have let me take that trinket from you, if I’d
given in and said yes”, she shouted, trying to maintain her
“No.” It was soft but her stance remained strong.
“Would you have accepted my offer if that chain had never
She lost her baring with the answer. Lost her will to hold to
the duel and was happy to find the girl in front of her had lost
as well. Their foils were still locked, but loosely. They fell to
the ground as both women pulled into a violent kiss. Juri was the
first to push away, and she did so harshly. Her breath ragged and
her eyes clearly lost in shock.
“What are we doing”, she whispered. A gloved hand
covered her face. “Why do we always end up like that?”
The older woman shrugged. “Know idea…it’s rather
annoying though isn’t it? But I suppose you can’t blame
mutual attraction for trying.”
“Oh please…you may be stoic and hard to read but you
aren’t blind.” She sighed and sat up. “I mean
that first time…”
“That first time someone cruel had just left me…Can’t
use that as an example. I was too young remember…that’s
what you said”, the panther said a slight bitter ring to her
“Yes, well you were”, Chigusa confessed. “And
I was new to the staff…and well…we’ve been over
it haven’t we?”
She nodded slightly. “What about the funeral?”
“Chalk it up to deep sorrow…but you were the one to
say no that time”, she reminded with a smile.
“Yes well”, she paused as she brushed some sweat-drenched
locks from her face. “Let’s not get bogged down in every
“Oh and I was just going to mention some of the other events”,
she breezed sarcastically. “Like you want to explain that
night you just appeared on my doorstep roaring about how there were
no miracles that it was just blind luck?”
She began to pull her gloves off and tossing one aside grunted,
“I was having a bad day.”
The other glove was tossed shortly after as the memory struck
her. She began to laugh. The prince proved her wrong and instead
of residing herself to her room, to wallow in the memory of how
much she hated Shiori for being so naïve, she ran to the fiery-eyed
woman across from her. Ran and ranted, and like a regal lioness
the older woman had listened. She shook her head at the realization.
“I’m just too damned stubborn”, the fallen angel
She looked over and smiled widely. Hazel eyes calming from the
storm of the duel. “I’m stubborn Ms. Sanjouin. And you
are too by the way. We get far too caught up in protecting ourselves
from being hurt to see what we’re doing to each other. Tell
me…did you ever find the time to throw your own chains away?”
“I tossed them away one link at a time…I think I’ve
only a few left. Why do you ask?” She grinned.
Her voice hit the air a tamed roar. She assessed the skill of
the challenger who approached her, smiling under her mask. The movements
were graceful and the dance was long, but she lost. Feeling the
foil stab mercilessly at her heart. She tore off her mask, turquoise
locks billowing to her shoulders. Her eyes narrowed a bit.
“I suppose you think that makes us even”, she stated
under the low claps from the gallery.
“I think it makes me better”, the girl replied with
Fiery eyes tore around the room and then settled on the clock.
“Practice is dismissed”; she shouted and watched with
joy as the team scurried at the sound of her voice.
The elegant team captain began to wander off.
“Where do you think you’re going Miss Arisugawa?”
Hazel eyes met her, a little dark. “I was going to the showers.
Did you need me for something?”
The last of the observers was leaving the hall and she could barely
contain her laughter, the stoic angel joined her.
“I think we may have gone too far today”, Chigusa
said trying to stifle her chuckle.
“What you don’t like the play we put on for people?
I thought you wanted to be extra careful. But I think we may be
acting too well…Rumor is we want to kill each other”,
she replied coolly.
“Kill? I thought we were old rivals still disgruntled over
some tired old flame?”
“That was last week”; She corrected. “Now we
can’t stand each other.” She stalked over to the administrator
and placed a light hand on her shoulder. “We don’t even
like to be in the same room”, she purred.
“That will definitely put a damper on things.”
She shrugged, “Thought you might enjoy dinner…You
know a real meal as compared to those instant science experiments
you normally eat.”
She chuckled slightly. “Why Ms. Chigusa Sanjouin…are
you actually asking me out?”
“Maybe”, she replied the fire in her eyes growing.
“But if you’d rather just stay friends I’ll understand
The panther sighed. “If the fencing administrator will let
me hit the showers we can discuss ending our play over a nice meal.”
“Then the captain is dismissed, and is reminded that reservations
are at six”, Chigusa stated. “No brooding in the shower.”
“I’ll see you soon then”; she whispered and
walked back to the locker rooms.