A Mid-Revolution Night's Dream
The list was stuck on the wall outside their classes. All alone it stood. Then, the bell rang, and all the people crowded around the poster on the wall, to see if they made the cut. A number walked away disappointed. But one fair haired young woman pushed her way through the crowd. She read the names and grinned.
"OHHH!" Nanami yelled with joy, "I'm playing Queen Titania!!" she screeched, "But who is my fair Oberon?" She asked, returning her eyes to the list. When she read the name, she shouted for joy and ran the hall spreading flower petals around. Miki walked by, unknowingly hit in the head by a few thousand rose petals.
"What are you so happy about?" he asked her. She grinned.
"Cast lists are up!!" she sang. He hurried over, where the crowd had gleaned to a meager few, namely Saionji, Utena, Anthy, and Wakaba. Miki glanced at the cast lists. His jaw dropped.
"PUCK!" he shouted, "But I tried out for Peaseblossom!" he panted. Utena scowled.
"At least you don't have to play a guy," she grunted, looking at her part. Lysander.
"Puck is a guy," Miki said. Utena blushed.
"Oh, sorry," she said, "Anthy did you get a part?" she asked. Anthy nodded, her perpetual cheery self.
"I will be playing Hermia, Lysander's love," she proclaimed. Utena's eyes widened.
"Oh… So how about you Wakaba?" Utena asked. Wakaba smiled.
"I'm playing Helena," Wakaba said, glomping onto Utena.
"Great…" Utena said, choking, "Who else is there… Hm.. Peaseblossom, hey that was supposed to be your part, eh Miki.. Mitsuru? But he's just a little kid!" She said.
"That's okay.." Mitsuru said, suddenly appearing out of nowhere. A dominant woman's voice saying his name could do that, "Nanami asked them to let me," He said, just as suddenly fading back into the elementary school.
"Oh.." Utena said, "Kay, well. The next three parts are more fairies, played by-"
"Tanaka!" The three clone guys announced themselves.
"Yeah, that's right, you three are the rest of the fairies, namely, Cobweb, Mustardseed, and Moth." She said, attempting to point to whoever had the part in turn.. It didn't do very much good, as you couldn't tell which was which. Saionji, through all this time, stood staring at the board. It was obvious he wasn't searching for his name, anymore, as he was only staring at one place. Utena looked over at him.
"What's wrong with you, Saionji, didn't get the part?" she asked disdainfully. He gave her a sharp glance, "Well?" she prompted.
"I will be playing Demetrius." He said, with a resigned depression. Then he walked away. Utena turned to Wakaba.
"You know what that means?" she asked her. Wakaba shook her head, "You didn't read the play?"
"No, Only enough to do my reading," She said. Utena smirked.
"That means that you have to follow Saionji around like a lovesick puppy the entire time." Utena said. Wakaba's eyes lit up momentarily, then she remembered where she was. She jumped on Utena.
"But Utena, you're my true love!" she said. Utena rolled her eyes.
"So anyway, looks like first rehearsals are tomorrow. See you there!" Utena said.
The list read as follows:
Theseus- Ohtori Akio
Hippolyta- Ohtori Kanae
Lysander- Ten'jou Utena
Hermia- Himemiya Anthy
Demetrius- Saionji Kyouichi
Helena- Shinohara Wakaba
Philostrate- Kaoru Miki
Oberon- Kiryuu Touga
Titania- Kiryuu Nanami
Puck- Kaoru Miki
Peaseblossom- Tsuwabuki Mitsuru
Fairy one- Keiko
Two weeks later…
"The spring, the summer, the childing autumn, angry winter, change their wonted liveries…… What DOES that mean?" Nanami asked.
"Just read the lines, little sister." Touga said, rolling his eyes.
"But Onii-sama!" she shouted, stamping her foot. Miki, crouched onstage, awaiting his cue.
"Director, can we just go on to my monologue?" he asked. Akio Ohtori looked over, and nodded.
"Go on, then," he said, in his typical Akio fashion.
"Okay. If we shadows have offended, think but this and all be mended: that you have but slumber'd here, while these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend, if you pardon, we will mend." He was abruptly interrupted by a clapping and cheering from the audience.
"YAY! Go MIKI!" Kozue shouted. Akio turned.
"Who is that?" he asked in his typical Akio manner, "Oh, Kozue," Any other person he would have kicked out, but hey, right on, "All right, Kiryuu-san!"
"Yes?" Nanami and Touga said simultaneously.
"Nanami? You do your lines with Bottom." He finished.
"B-bottom?" she said in horror. A small creature, face entirely enclosed with the mask of an ass' head, ran out.
"Chu! Chu!" it yelled.
"Ugh!" Nanami yelled, "Why did you cast this.. thing in the play?" Anthy called from the shadows.
"But Chu Chu is my friend!" she said. Then she turned back to the task at hand, mending Utena's costume.
"Ow, that was a pin!" Utena said.
"Gomen, Utena-sama," Anthy said. Utena rolled her eyes.
"Can we do away with the sama?" she asked.
"But I am your bride, Utena-sama!" Anthy said.
"Yeah, well, if that's the reason, don't you think that most brides refer to their fiancees as Miss?" Utena asked.
"No," Wakaba said, walking in, "Most brides refer to their fiancees as Mr., If they have to."
"Oh, um Wakaba…." Utena said, flustered.
"Oh, um what?" Wakaba prompted. Just then, Saionji walked in.
"Oh, it's you," he said, upon seeing Utena., "I-" Just then, his thought was interrupted by a shriek.
"OHHHH EWWWW!!!!!" Nanami screamed, "I'M NOT GOING TO KISS THAT THING!!!!!" she shouted.
"It's in the script, little sister." Touga said, pointing to the script.
"But it- And I- And then-" Nanami said, "BUT ONII-SAMA!!" She said. Touga rolled his eyes. Mitsuru, Tanaka, Yamada, Suzuki, and Keiko all ran onto the stage.
"La la lalalalalal!" Mitsuru sang. They commenced with their capering.
"La," the three clones said. Keiko refrained from capering at all.
"I am boycotting capering, I can't believe I have to SING!" she said. Touga shrugged.
"It's in the script," he said. Keiko's eyes grew all wide and big.
"All right Kiryuu-san," she said lovingly. Akio smacked himself in the forehead.
"We have to finish this, dress rehearsal is tomorrow!" he yelled. The entire cast stared at him.
"TOMORROW?!?!?!?" they shouted simultaneously.
"Yes, tomorrow, and you all better know your lines," He said, shaking the script at them.
"Damn, can you catch measles twice?" Miki asked of Utena.
THE OPENING NIGHT:
Ohtori academy was crowded with people, and the auditorium was packed. Everyone wanted to see the play starring most of the student council, and everyone's favorite cross dresser. The play began. Akio and Kanae walked out onto the stage. Kanae was clinging to Akio's arm like it was her lifeline. Akio rolled his eyes, then, back in character, spoke the opening lines,
"Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour draws on apace. Four happy days bring in another moon; but, O, methinks, how slow this old moon wanes! She lingers my desires like to a stepdame, or a dowager, Long withering out a young man's revenue." Kanae smiled.
"Four days will quickly steep themselves in night, four nights will quickly dream away the time; and then the moon, like to a silver bow new-bent in heaven, shall behold the night of our… Solemnities," she finished. She grinned with the sharp teeth of a lion, and whispered in Akio's ear.
"How did I let you talk me into this?" he smiled, in his usual Akio way. Kanae paused, "Oh," she whispered. Akio gestured to Miki, who was crouched in a corner.
"Go, Philostrate, stir up the Athenian youth to merriments, awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth, turn melancholy forth to funerals; the pale companion is not for our pomp." Miki left, grinning, "Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword…" Akio continued. Miki laughed, backstage.
"Is my costume ready yet?" he asked Anthy.
"Yes," Utena said, "But we have to go now, our cue is coming!" She ran onstage, followed by Anthy and Saionji. Miki watched the goings on of the stage. Wakaba ran up behind him.
"It's almost time for my cue.." she said. Miki turned. He noticed Wakaba's eyes wavering as she watched the scene. Then he turned back. Utena was saying,
"I am beloved of beauteous Hermia, why should not I then prosecute my right? Demetrius," she said, gesturing to Saionji, "I'll avouch it to his head, made love to Nedar's daughter Helena, and won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry, upon this spotted and inconstant man." He turned back to Wakaba.
"Huh, I guess this hits a little too close to home for her…" he thought. Her eyes were closed, but tears ran down her cheeks. Suddenly, it was her cue.
"Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena." Utena said. Wakaba ran out on stage.
"God speed fair Helena! Whither away?" Anthy said, striving to have her voice be heard by the audience. Wakaba turned.
"Call you me fair? That fair again unsay!" she said, with a little too much feeling, "Demetrius loves your fair. O happy fair!" she yelled bitterly, "Sickness is catching. O, were favor so, yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go; my ear should catch your voice, my eye, your eye, My tongue should catch your tongues sweet melody. Were the world mine Sai- Demetrius!" Wakaba paused, she had almost said the wrong name, "Being bated, the rest I'd give to be to you translated. O, teach me how you look, and with what art you sway the motion of Demetrius' heart!" Wakaba panted, Anthy gave her a sweet smile, but in it, something bitter was found. Just a hint, of something bitter.
"I frown upon him, yet he loves me still." She said, pleasantly.
"O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!" Wakaba returned.
"I give him curses, yet he gives me love." Anthy said.
"O that my prayers could such affection move!" Wakaba said, tears nearly running down her face. Miki, backstage, gaped.
"Look at that! Look at that," he said, astonished. Saionji walked over to the curtain.
"What's going on?" he asked.
"She's really getting into the character." Miki said.
"But what's there to get into? It's just a play.." Saionji said softly to himself. Utena and Anthy were exempt from the stage. Now, Wakaba was alone, for her monologue.
"..I am thought as fair as she. But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so; he will not know what all but he do know!" Her monologue went. Saionji listened to the words, somewhat astonished. There was a tone to her voice, a desperate quality, something that told him that there was more to it., "If I have thanks, it is a dear expense: But herein mean I to enrich my pain, to have his sight thither… and back again." She said, looking straight at Saionji, offstage. He stepped back as she walked backstage. Miki glanced at the two of them….
"All right, next is my scene," he said.
".. Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone. Our Queen and all her elves come here anon," Keiko said to Miki, in the next scene.
"The King doth keep his revels here tonight! But, room, fairy! Here comes Oberon!"
"And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!" Keiko replied as Nanami burst onto the scene. Touga walked in.
"Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania," he said. Nanami huffed.
"What, jealous Oberon! Fairy, skip hence. I have forsworn his bed and company." Nanami said. Just then, Miki tripped.
"Oops," Keiko said. Nanami rolled her eyes.
"Do you amend it then; it lies in you: Why should Titania cross her Oberon? I do but beg a little changeling boy, to be my page." Touga said. Nanami put on a suitably pissy look and began her chew-out.
"Set your heart at rest! The fairy land buys not the child of me!" she said. Backstage, Utena was a little worried about Wakaba.
"It sounded like she really meant all those things she was saying." Utena remarked.
"If that's what you think, Utena-sama," Anthy said agreeably. She always has to be agreeable, doesn't she? Nanami walked by, followed by Keiko.
"Nanami-sama, this costume is uncomfortable!" Keiko said.
"Suffer," Nanami growled. Onstage, Oberon was explaining his plan to Puck.
"Fetch me that flow'r; the herb I showed thee once: The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid will make or man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature that it sees…" Miki nodded, and ran offstage.
"Ironic that it is a purple flower," Miki thought.
"The next thing then she waking looks upon, Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, on meddling monkey, or on busy ape, She shall pursue it with the soul of love," Touga said, onstage, rubbing his palms together. Saionji and Wakaba lit upon the stage, as Touga stepped back.
"I love thee not, therefore pursue me not! The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me. Thou told'st me they were stol'n unto this wood. And here am I, and wood within this wood, because I cannot meet my Hermia. Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more!" Wakaba sidled up to Saionji.
"You draw me, you hardhearted magnet; but yet draw not iron, for my heart is true as steel. Leave you your power to draw, and I shall have no power to follow you." She said. Saionji growled.
"Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair? Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth tell you, I do not nor I cannot love you?" Saionji said. Wakaba turned her eyes on him and spoke.
"And even for that do I love you the more. I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius, the more you beat me, the more I will fawn on you. Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me, neglect me, lose me; only give me leave, unworthy as I am, to follow you. What worser place can I beg in your love- and yet a place of high respect with me- than to be used as you use your dog?" She finished with such feeling that Saionji had to scramble to remember his next line.
"Uh, um, Tempt me not too much the hatred of my spirit, for I am sick when I do look at thee." Saionji said, not with quite as much feeling.
"And I am sick when I do not look at thee." Wakaba said, with the most sincerity the student body had ever heard.
"Whoa," Miki said, "Saionji's dyin out there,"
"Really?" Utena asked, "Seems like they like it," Miki nodded, the audience was leaning forward for, something, they didn't know what, was about to happen.
"I'll run from thee and hide me in the thickets, and leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts." Saionji said. Wakaba stepped close to him, and made her speech.
"The wildest hath not a heart as you. Run when you will, the story shall be changed: Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase; The dove pursues the griffin, the mild doe makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed, when cowardice pursues, and valor flies." Saionji paused. Evidently he had forgotten his next line. Wakaba leaned over to remind him, but she had barely gotten out the 'I will-' when he caught her by the waist and kissed her. The audience leaned forward and gasped. Miki dropped his stopwatch (come on, he has to have the stopwatch) Backstage, Akio stood up.
"That's not in the script!" he shouted. Then he paused, "I'll have to add it." He took a pen to the script. Saionji let go, and stood for a moment. As if remembering he was ON STAGE, he looked out at the audience. Then he regained his composure.
"Uh, there be a taste of what you may never have, uh, I will not stay thy questions. Let me go! Or, if thou follow me, do not believe But I shall do thee, uh, mischief in the wood," Saionji finished. (The word mischief was taken in a way other than it was intended when he said this) Wakaba stood there, eyes wide like the hind (doe) she had mentioned before.
"Ay, in the temple, in the town, in the field, you do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius! Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex. We cannot fight for love, as men may do; We should be wooed, and were not made to woo." Saionji left the stage, a little worse for wear.
"What happened out there?" Miki asked. Saionji shrugged, "Whoa, odd." Miki said, prancing onstage with a deep purple rose in his hand. Touga stepped forward.
"Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer," Touga said.
"Ay, there it is." Miki said. Touga hid in some bushes as Nanami walked out with her fairy minions.
"Sing to me!" Nanami shouted. Keiko and Mitsuru exchanged a glance.
"Miss Nanami, that's not how the lines go…" Keiko whispered.
"I don't care, I want this over with!" Nanami whispered urgently back. The minions sang, and Titania fell asleep. The minions left. Touga crept out from the bushes.
"What thou seest when thou dost wake, do it for thy true love take; Love and languish for his sake. Be it lynx, or cat, or bear, leopard, or boar with bristled hair, in thy eye that shall appear when thou wak'st it is thy dear. Wake when some vile thing is near." Touga scampered offstage.
"This is a disaster!" he shouted in an urgent whisper as he came backstage, "Nanami just scrapped about six lines, and that whole escapade with Saionji!" Akio brought a finger to his lips.
"But look," The audience was on the edge of their seats, laughing when they should, being sad when they should, and it seemed like they were really enjoying it. Utena and Anthy were on stage now, adding more fuel to the fire of the rumors that had been floating around school. The scenes went by so quickly, it was no time at all before they were already onto Act three.
"..Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.." Nanami said, cringing.
"Chu CHU!" Chu Chu replied.
"Out of this wood do not desire to g-go. Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no. I am a spirit of no common rate. The summer still doth tend upon my state; and I do…. Love.. thee. Therefore, go with me. And I will purge thy mortal grossness so….(she paused as the ramifications set in) That thou shalt like an airy spirit go. Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! And Mustardseed!" Mitsuru and the three clones came in.
"Ready!" Mitsuru said.
"And I!" one of the guys said.
"Where shall we go?" they asked simultaneously.
"Chu Chu!" Chu Chu yelled. The four gasped, and drew back.
"This is my… love.. treat it as such!" She yelled. They cringed.
"Hail, mortal" Mitsuru said.
"Hail," The three clones called.
"Chu Chu!" Chu Chu called. Anthy clapped quietly backstage.
"Chu Chu is doing a great job!" She said. Utena nodded mildly.
"Yeah…." She said. Wakaba walked up behind her.
"Utena! Utena! Utena!" she shrieked, jumping on Utena.
"What? Oh, Wakaba…" She said. Wakaba leapt back down.
"What? What's wrong?" She asked. Utena smirked.
"Am I still your true love?" she asked, grinning and pointing to Saionji. Wakaba blushed.
"Of COURSE!" She said, hugging Utena. Anthy frowned.
"Tryin to take my man, see I don't need that.." She thought. Then they had to hurry out onstage.
"Captain of our fairy band, Helena is here at hand; and the youth, mistook by me, pleading for a lover's fee. Shall we their fond pageant see? Lord, what fools these mortals be!" Miki laughed. The play was nearly over, and only one act was left. For now Lysander hated Hermia, and loved Helena, and Demetrius loved Helena, and the entire thing was a mess. All that was left was Puck, to straighten things all out.
"On the ground sleep sound. I'll apply to your eye, gentle lover, remedy. When thou wak'st thou tak'st true delight in the sight of thy former lady's eye: and the country proverb known, that every man should take his own. In your waking shall be shown. Jack shall have Jill; Nought shall go ill; the man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well." A scene later:
"My Oberon, what visions have I seen! Methought I was enamored of an ass." Nanami said.
"There lies your love." Touga said.
"Onii-sama! I mean, Oberon, How came these things to pass? O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!" Nanami crowed. Akio straightened his outfit.
"Almost time for us to go on," He said. Kanae scowled.
"Yes." She said. Akio gave her that look again, "Oh, yeah." She said thoughtfully, "Let's go."
"Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of." Kanae said.
"More strange than true. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, such shaping fantasies that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are of imagination all alike. One sees more devils than vast hell can hold, that is the madman. The lover, all as frantic, sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt. The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; and as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet's pen turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing, a local habitation and name." The scene goes on, and all six of them get married. As the sun rises on the night of their marriage, the first day of the rest of their lives, Puck comes out.
"If we shadows have offended, think but this and all be mended: that you have but slumber'd here, while these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend, if you pardon, we will mend. And, as I am an honest Puck, if we have unearned luck now to scape the serpent's tongue, we will make amends ere long; else the Puck a liar call: So good night unto you all. Give me your hands, if we be friends, and Robin shall restore amends," Miki finished the last speech, and a roar rose from the crowd. Akio and Kanae bowed, then out came Utena and Anthy. Miki and The fairy minions bowed, but for some odd reason, the most applause was when Saionji and Wakaba came out. Both smiling, Wakaba blushing for her life, and they got the most applause.
"Spectacular opening night!" Akio said, raising his glass of random iced drink in toast, "Now, if we can just do that same thing for the other five shows.." Miki and the rest of the cast gasped.
"FIVE SHOWS!?!?!?!?!?!" the screamed, running out of the room as fast as their legs could carry them. Akio smiled.
"There, now we're alone, let's go." He said to Kanae. They left the house and went outside to.. you guessed it, the Akio car. They were just about to get in, when they noticed, there was someone already there!
"WAKABA!! SAIONJI!!" Akio yelled. Of course, it could just all be a dream, couldn't it?
"If we shadows have offended, think but this and all be mended: that you have but slumber'd here, while these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend, if you pardon, we will mend."