Withered Roses Don't Always Die
It was the day after Touga’s Duel with Utena. Neither he, nor Saionji, spoke to anyone besides each other about the strange swords they had found within each other. After finally leaving the dueling arena, they both retired to Saionji’s mansion. They spent the night together, thankful that they were not disturbed by Nanami.
Saionji stood by the window in his bedroom. Mouse was curled up on his feet. Touga was currently in the shower. Saionji gazed down at the students on their way to class. His eyes soon fell upon a certain pink-haired young lady.
‘She looks different…’ the Green Rose thought as he watched Utena walk alongside Wakaba Shinohara.
He was brought out of his thoughts when strong, but gentle arms wrapped around his waist. Saionji mentally groaned as he felt Touga’s damp red hair touch his skin.
Touga was quiet as he held him, the taller teen wearing only a white towel around his hips. Saionji was curious of the fact that his friend had been oddly clingy and affectionate. Though it annoyed him, he found himself enjoying Touga’s attention.
“Later…” came Touga’s voice, “I want you to go bike riding with me.”
“Why?” Saionji asked, glancing back at the red-head.
“Because, Kyouichi…” Touga whispered, “Just because.”
“Alright…” Saionji said, having no idea why he agreed so easily.
Touga gave a kiss to the Green Rose’s shoulder, before pulling away. Saionji shooed Mouse away, and then headed for the bathroom. It was his turn to shower. Why was he not surprised when Touga stepped inside with him?
Touga’s left arm was around his waist and he used his other to push the wet mass of evergreen hair out of his way, letting it drape over Saionji’s right shoulder. The Green Rose stood still as he felt Touga’s lips on the back of his neck, kissing and nipping.
“Really, Touga… Again?” Saionji asked dryly as Touga pulled him closer to his body.
“I can’t help it… You’re so beautiful, Kyo-chan,” Touga whispered, his hands starting to wander the other boy’s body.
Saionji’s eyebrow twitched as he heard that horrid nickname. However, what made him remain in Touga’s grasp was the tone of the Red Rose’s voice. It sounded almost sincere.
Saionji’s plum eyes became half-lidded as he felt Touga’s hands traveling south. He gave a small gasp as Touga’s hand wrapped around his length. Saionji relaxed back into the red-head’s arms as Touga began to stroke him.
“Don’t hold back, Kyouichi…” Touga whispered into his ear, “I want to hear your voice.”
“Ah…Hah…” Saionji panted as Touga’s skilled hand stroked him harder, making him fully erect.
Color rushed to the Green Rose’s cheeks as he felt Touga’s own erection pressing just above his rear. It was so warm. Saionji’s attention was brought back to the hand on his shaft when Touga rubbed over the tip with his thumb.
Saionji moaned in surprise when he felt a slender finger invading him, soon to be joined by a second one. “A-Ah!”
Saionji leaned out of Touga’s arms and braced himself against the wall in front of him with his forearms. “A-Ah…Nghh…T-Touga…” he moaned softly, now pressing his forehead against the wall as well.
“Kyo-chan… I need you…” Touga whispered, kissing along Saionji’s lower back.
“A-Ah… D-Do it…” Saionji whispered in return, wanting the red-head within him.
The Green Rose held back a whimper as he felt Touga’s fingers slip free of him, but he knew it would only be replaced by something even better. Saionji was right. Touga entered him with one steady push, the younger boy unable to contain a cry of pleasure.
Saionji’s legs felt weak beneath him, and Touga seemed to sense this. The red-head began to help support him, holding his hips gently as he began thrusting. “Moan… Let me hear you, Kyo-chan,” the Red Rose panted against the small of the other boy’s back. “Please…”
Saionji could only comply, moaning lustfully as the warm water rained down on their bodies. It felt so good. It was almost like the old days, when he and Touga were indeed best friends. They belonged to each other back then. What was happening?
Touga wasn’t teasing him.
He wasn’t hurting him.
He wasn’t making him beg.
He wasn’t being…cruel…
There was only pleasure.
‘God…what’s happening? Could it possibly be that…?’ Saionji wondered, though his thoughts were suddenly cut off. Without warning, Touga pulled out of him, making him whine.
“Turn around, Kyouichi…” the red-head whispered, assisting Saionji in doing so. Touga turned him around so that they were facing each other, offering no explanation as he captured the other’s mouth in an almost bruising kiss.
Saionji found himself wrapping his arms around Touga’s neck, holding onto him. This was exactly what the older teen wanted. Touga grasped the area behind Saionji’s knees and lifted him off the floor, holding him a sitting position against the wall.
The next thing the Green Rose knew, Touga was inside him again, thrusting and pounding into his body harder than before. This new position caused a radical sensation of pleasure to race through Saionji’s lithe body. His arms remained around Touga’s neck as he moaned into the red-head’s mouth, the Seitokai leader swallowing every whisper of bliss Saionji let escape.
Touga smiled to himself when Saionji wrapped his long legs around his waist, clinging to him as if his life depended on it. Touga thrust harder and faster into his friend’s beautiful body, soon striking the spot inside Saionji that made him scream without shame.
“A-Ahh! Ah! T-Touga! Ah!” the Green Rose cried, his face buried in the other boy’s shoulder.
“Scream for me… My Kyo-chan,” Touga whispered, panting as he hit the younger teen’s sweet spot again and again.
“I-I’m… Ah! C-Clo…se…!” Saionji gasped, hardly able to form words as he felt his climax approaching fast.
“Th-Then come…” Touga moaned in his ear.
The Green Rose came not two minutes after hearing his friend’s words, the boy screaming out in orgasm as he clung to the red-head. Touga gave a grunt of pleasure as he came as well, being forced over the edge when Saionji’s hot inner walls camped down on his manhood. He released his seed deep inside the green-haired boy’s body.
They became still, both boys panting softly as they basked in their afterglow. Touga pulled back a little after several moments, slowly lowering Saionji back to his feet. He held the Green Rose gently by his waist, making sure he didn’t fall.
“Kyouichi…” Touga whispered.
Opening his glazed eyes, Saionji looked up at Touga, the red-head touching his cheek as they stared at each other. Neither said anything to the other, but Saionji was able to see something in his friend’s eyes that almost looked like pain…
After a few moments, Touga pulled Saionji to his body and hugged him. It took several seconds of thought, but Saionji soon returned the action.
‘Just go ahead and torture me…’
‘As long as… you love me…’
When the sun began to set, Saionji could be found atop the summit with Touga. During that day, both boys had gotten letters from End of the World. Farewell letters. As their bike ride came to an end, they both spied Utena Tenjou on her way out of the school. The girl seemed to be heading to the dueling arena.
“So…it’s happening already,” Touga said, the wind blowing through his crimson hair.
“The Duel called Revolution…” Saionji murmured, watching as Utena strode through the halls below them.
Determination and hope shown brightly in the pink-haired girl’s eyes as she traveled through the halls to the exit behind the school, where the arena was located. As she walked, she recalled the words from her letter she’d received earlier that day.
The time has come. When you pass through the Rose Gate, the path to the castle will open. There, you will gain the power to bring the world revolution. And there, we shall meet once more.
“I didn’t think you’d go…”
A familiar male voice caused Utena to pause. Utena glanced behind her to see that Touga and Saionji were standing there.
“Do you want to see your Prince so badly?” Touga asked.
“It’s not just that…” Utena answered softly.
“Then why? Why would you do it?” Saionji questioned, standing to Utena’s left.
“For Himemiya?” Touga asked after a moment, curious as well. Utena said nothing, so Touga continued. “Whoever is devoted to true friendship, is a gullible fool…”
Utena gave a chuckle. “Didn’t you know?” she asked as she resumed walking, “I am a fool.”
Touga and Saionji silently watched the girl exit the school, before both turned to go back inside.
As Utena came down the stairs of the academy, she heard Anthy’s voice reading the letter from her Prince. When Utena reached the purple-haired girl, Anthy stood from her seat on the stairs and held out Utena’s letter.
“Miss Utena, there is still time…” Anthy said. “You can still turn back you know…”
Utena only smiled and held up her left hand, her Rose Crest ring gleaming in the setting sun’s light. “Let’s go.”
Anthy smiled as the wind began to blow stronger, the girl releasing the letter and the two watching it fly away into the sky.
It was time.
“If it cannot hatch from it’s shell, the chick will die without ever truly being born…” Touga said as he placed a red rose inside a golden vase, which sat upon a white coffee table.
“We are the chick…” Miki continued, putting a blue rose inside the vase.
“The world is our egg…” Juri said, placing in an orange rose.
“If we don’t smash the world’s shell, we will die without being born…” Nanami said, inserting a yellow rose in the vase.
“Smash the world’s shell…” said Saionji, adding a green rose.
“For the revolution of the world!” the five Student Council members said in unison.
“Alright, everyone, it’s begun,” Miki announced as he sat the coffee table, holding his stopwatch.
“Yes,” Juri said, standing not far from Miki.
“Utena Tenjou…” Nanami murmured thoughtfully, leaning against the summit’s railing.
“Of course,” Saionji stated as he gazed out at the Dueling forest, arms folded across his chest.
“I just have to wonder…who will win this game in the end?” Nanami said.
“No one knows the answer to that question, but the final ordeal now stands before her. After all this time, the Duel called Revolution…has begun…” Touga said, looking down at the golden vase now filled with pink roses, her roses.
It was dark out, and yet the five Seitokai members had not left the summit. They sat around the white coffee table in silence, though it was not an awkward one.
The silence was broken when Miki gave something of a whimper. All eyes turned to the young pianist. “Miki? What’s wrong?” Juri asked.
“I’m…worried…for Miss Tenjou…” Miki said, his blue eyes downcast. The others looked confused.
“I’m just suddenly…very worried for her. Like something bad is happening…” Miki explained softly.
“Now that you mention it…”
Eyes turned to Nanami.
“I kind of know what you mean… like a…sudden feeling of dread…” the blond girl said, looking down at the table top.
Saionji glanced at Touga. “What do you suppose this means?” he asked the red-head.
Touga was trying to remain composed, though this same feeling was beginning to plague him as well. “I…I don’t—“
“Everyone, look! A-An Ocean!” Nanami suddenly shouted, standing up. The others did the same, and their eyes widened in shock and disbelief. It was true, a massive body of water now stood between the arena and the academy. The arena itself now sat upon an island, miles away from the school.
“What the…? How the hell…?” Saionji whispered, stunned by the sight.
Nanami ran to the edge of the summit and looked down at the few students active outdoors. “It’s like…they don’t see it…”
“They don’t…” Touga said, “We’re the only ones who can…”
“E-End of the World did this… I-It must be him… But why?” Miki stammered.
“Because… Because he doesn’t want anyone to interfere…” Touga said, frowning now.
“Then…Then Miss Tenjou really must be in danger!” Miki realized, very worried now.
“She was in danger when she entered the Duel… The question is: What’s he going to do with her?” Saionji stated, hating the fact that he was becoming worried as well.
Nanami clung to Touga’s arm, “Big brother, what should we do?” she asked, looking up at Touga.
“I don’t think there’s anything we can do…” Touga whispered.
“But we must!” Miki shouted, “M-Miss Tenjou is in there as our representative…w-we’ve got to do something to help her! Who knows what could happen to her if we don’t do something!” the blue-haired boy yelled to the other teens.
“Touga, I agree with Miki. We can’t just sit here. All our lives and futures are at stake. It isn’t fair to let Utena bare this sort of burden alone…” Juri said, frowning.
“They’re right, Big Brother. We should help…somehow…” Nanami said, looking up at the Seitokai president.
Touga was quiet for a moment, before he smiled and nodded in agreement. Four roses looked to the fifth, awaiting his opinion. Saionji stood stone-faced to Touga’s right, his usual scowl back in place.
“No one’s asking you to come, Saionji…” Juri said, looking at the Green Rose. “But it’s only fair that—“
Juri stopped speaking when Saionji held up a hand, indeed having something to say. The Green Rose walked forward, looking at the glistening water. “As the Student Council, the five of us have never agreed on much… but I think the vote on what we must do is unanimous. But I have absolutely no idea about how we’re going to do this…” Saionji said, looking back at the others.
“It doesn’t matter how…” Touga said, managing to free himself from Nanami’s grip to come and stand next to Saionji. “We just have to get to her…”
As he said that, Touga’s Rose Crest ring began to glow bright red light. Not a moment later, the rest of their rings began to shine.
“Wh-What’s happening?!” Nanami cried as the yellow glow from her ring spread to her body.
“Our rings…” Saionji murmured as the green light enveloped his body as well. The same thing happened to Touga, Miki, and Juri. Soon, the five Duelists began to rise into the air. Their lights mixed together, creating a multi-colored sky that ranged over the entire academy.
Inside the Observatory’s Meeting Area
This was the same place where Akio had given Touga and the others their new rings. The room was currently empty, save for the five crystal coffins and their guardian statues. All was silent, but suddenly the statues began to glow, just like the Duelists had.
The mighty Pegasus with the horn of a Unicorn that guarded Touga flared bright red light, the horse’s mane, tail, and wings bursts into crimson flames seconds later. The flames didn’t seem to harm Touga’s coffin.
The beautiful nine-tailed Kitsune that protected Nanami beamed yellow light and a whirlwind then began to surround her coffin.
The majestic Gryphon that defended Juri shined orange light and began to radiate a powerful energy that caused the ground beneath the coffin to crack.
The graceful Plesiosaur with the circular fin around its head that safeguarded Miki glowed a sparkling blue light and water began cascading down Miki’s coffin.
And the angelic Oriental Dragon with the long winding body, wings, and the elaborate fin-like ears that shielded Saionji glimmered green light, the spines along the dragon’s back starting to spark green bolts of lightning.
What did this all mean?
And she lay there…bleeding and gasping softly for her breath. Betrayed by her best friend, who really wasn’t…and by the man of her dreams, who really isn’t. Utena felt tears welling in her eyes. She felt like such a fool. But in a way…she almost believed that she deserved this punishment…
“Anthy… The sword,” Utena heard Akio say as she lay at his feet, at his mercy.
The purple-haired girl stood near Utena, clutching the blood-stained sword. She whimpered, hesitating to give her brother the blade.
“N-No…” Utena whispered painfully, “Don’t do it, A-Anthy…”
“Good girl, Anthy,” Akio said then as his sister placed the sword in his hands. “You know what to do…” he said to the Rose Bride as he began walking away.
“Yes, Big Brother…” Anthy answered and began to follow him, until something caught the end of her dress.
“N-No, Anthy…” Utena said, weakly gripping the hem of the girl’s dress. She got no answer from Anthy before she disappeared from her dress, the garment falling limply to the floor.
The room had changed. Everything was white, and the Rose Gate was mere feet away from Utena. That’s where Akio was going.
Anthy was now suspended in midair, naked and hanging by her wrists, which were pinned to the wall by a sword. The girl’s long purple hair hung past her ankles as she hung there, waiting.
As Utena fought to push herself upright, she gasped as she saw shadows passing overhead. She looked up just in time to see a massive amount of swords impaling Anthy’s body, stabbing through her flesh over and over.
“Anthy!!!” Utena screamed, tears in her eyes as she watched the sight above her. She collapsed back to the floor, partly from pain and partly from despair.
This was it…
It was the end…
There was nothing she could do…
She wouldn’t become a Prince after all…
“What a silly thing to think, Little One…”
Utena opened her tear-filled eyes as she heard a familiar voice in her head. It was identical to Akio’s, only gentler, not seductive and manipulating. God… could it be…?
“I know it’s hard, but you can’t give up yet… I believe in you, Little One.”
“B-But…But I…I c-can’t d-do it alone…” Utena sobbed, responding to the voice in her head.
“You’re not alone. There are others who believe in you too. They’re coming to help you, so just be patient. It hurts now, but things will work out just fine in the end.”
“O-Others that…?” Utena murmured, an image of the Student Council flashing in her mind then. “But h-how…?”
“Clang!” a noise rang out.
The sword that Akio had gotten from Anthy broke in two as he tried to cut through the stone-like rose vines that covered the gate. “Hmph. I guess this sword is useless too…” Akio said, before tossing the sword’s handle to the dizzying darkness below.
“The gate can still be opened. It is not he who shall do it: it is you. Don’t give up. You must get stand!”
“I-I c-can’t…” Utena whispered. “I-It hurts s-so much…”
“You can! You must get up, little one. How else can you save her? How else can you put a stop to this monster’s reign? How else can you set them free? Please, little one, don’t give in.”
Utena trembled on the ground, before she slowly began to push herself up. “I will…become a Prince…” she panted, managing to get to her knees.
“It is useless… You shouldn’t push yourself to do that which is impossible… especially for a girl. So just be still and—“ Akio said, though his words were cut off by a loud screeching roar. It seemed to come from outside the room.
“What the hell…?” Akio murmured as he ran to one of the huge windows with the sliding metal shades. He gasped at what he saw outside, anger showing clearly on his usually calm face.
The dark sky outside was lit up by the fire of a mighty flaming Pegasus as it soared through the air. The horse had a cream colored body, a white Unicorn horn, and its mane, tail, and wings were red. In addition to the horn, the horse also had the Kanji symbol for Fire on its forehead.
To the horse’s left flew a majestic golden and orange Gryphon, its body glowing a bright orange light that contributed to the glow in the sky. The gorgeous bird-like creature was a tad smaller than the Pegasus, but its large wings were about equal in size. It had the Kanji symbol for Earth on its forehead.
Flying to the right of the Pegasus was an angelic Oriental Dragon. Its top scales shimmered a vibrant evergreen color and its underbelly was silver. The dragon’s long body, neck, and tail spiraled through the air like a ribbon floating on the wind as it was carried by a set of large webbed wings. This creature was slightly larger than the Gryphon and Pegasus. More lights were added to the sky as electricity danced along the spiny mane on the Dragon’s back. The flying reptile had the Kanji symbol for Lightning on its forehead.
This wasn’t the end. Down below, a bellow came from the creature sailing gracefully through the ocean’s waters. A blue Plesiosaur with a circular fin around its head was speeding towards the arena. Though the largest of the creatures, it easily kept up with the winged animals. It had the Kanji symbol for Water on its head.
The last of the animals was darting alongside the Plesiosaur. A beautiful yellow-golden Kitsune with nine long tails ran along the ocean’s surface, also heading in the direction of the arena. It had the Kanji symbol of Wind on its head.
Akio was practically shaking with anger, “How did they…? How dare they!” he growled as he looked out at the approaching animals. Utena didn’t know what was happening, but she wasn’t waiting to try and find out. She was painfully hobbling towards the Rose Gate, thinking that while Akio was distracted, this was her chance to unseal it.
“No you don’t!!” Akio shouted to her, his eyes glowing purple light. The room began to shake and rumble and rearrange itself. The Rose Gate was lifted higher into the air. It revealed a second giant spiral staircase now in Utena’s path. No elevator... in her current state, there was no way she could climb all those stairs.
Outside, the animals had arrived. “Now Miki!” the Pegasus shouted, though its mouth did not move. It was Touga’s voice… It was Touga.
The Plesiosaur bellowed. “Right!” came Miki’s voice. The water lizard then created a giant tidal wave. The water crashed into the side of the arena. Miki, able to ride the wave up, burst through the walls of the room where Akio, Utena, and Anthy were. The others entered after him as seawater poured into the room.
Akio growled and Utena watched in awe from where she sat on the bottom step of the giant staircase. ‘E-Everyone…? The pink-haired girl thought, somehow able to see through their new forms. ‘B-But how…?’