Author's Notes: This is an Utena/Himemiya fanfic that I found soothing to write after all the angst and depression from the end of the show. This is my wishful piece of thinking.
Inside Ohtori Rose Garden
10:00 AM, Thursday
"Himemiya, the roses are looking good today," I said, lightly rubbing a blue petal between my fingers. It feels like velvet. Like the softest skin. Like Himemiya's skin … No! I can't think like that. Can't think perverted thoughts … but it's so hard.
"Utena-sama?" Oh no. Did she say something? How long has she been speaking? Okay, don't panic. Just act natural.
"Uh … yes, Himemiya?" A little stutter but otherwise, I think I pulled that off rather smoothly.
"Utena-sama, are you feeling ill?" She asked with concern. "You're acting strange today."
So much for acting naturally. But it's so sweet that she cares. And then, before I know it, her hand is on my forehead and her body is way too close for comfort. What happened to my personal space?
"You don't feel hot," she continues, sweetly unaware of what her very presence is doing to me. "But maybe you should still lie down, Utena-sama."
"No, that's all right. I still have classes to go to and my teachers have been on my case lately."
She smiles sweetly, somewhat vacantly -- but no one's perfect. Still, I think she's pretty close though. Oh wait, she's still looking at me. Say something stupid before you freak her out.
"Well, I guess I'll go now." But I don't want to. Not really.
"I'll see you later, Utena-sama."
My legs should really start moving right about now.
11:00 AM, Thursday
Class is so boring. My eyelids feel so heavy. Must. Not. Fall. Asleep.
Argh! My head almost hit the table. Wouldn't that have been embarrassing?
Okay. I just have to think about something fun. Something that won't numb my mind and kill off brain cells. Think! Something like …
How did I know that was coming up? It's not like the girl doesn't pop up in my mind about a thousand times a day. It's not like any thoughts come into my head that doesn't involve Himemiya in some way or another.
And it's not like she feels for me like that, you big baka! Himemiya is my friend. Stop thinking about her like she's your lover.
I should listen to myself and follow my own advice but I can't help it. She's so pretty and she's so nice. It's like she's put a spell on my heart … among other things.
At first, I only tolerated her because she was the Rose Bride and it wasn't like I could kick her out of my dorm when she was assigned there too. That wouldn't have been fair. Then I started liking her even though she insisted on calling me 'Utena-sama' even though I told her again and again to just call me Utena. That was annoying. But I guess if you hear something often enough no matter how weird it is, you'll get used to it eventually.
But for the life of me, I can't tell when exactly, I started falling for her. When did it become more than companionship, more than friendship, more than infatuation? For so long, I'd fixated on one thing -- to find my Prince. When did my Prince become a Princess?
When did I start loving Himemiya?
Outside on Balcony
2:00 PM, Thursday
"UUUUU - TEN -- NAAAAAA!!!"
I'd know that yell anywhere and my body automatically tenses up for its ritual glomping. Wakaba, my best friend, didn't disappoint as her flying body nearly took us both over the balcony railing.
"Ooomph." I staggered about, trying to adjust to the added 100-pounds of pure genki-ness. Did she put on weight? If I asked, she'd probably smack me.
"Where have you been lately, Utena?" My brown-haired friend clung on tighter than a leech. "It's like you're trying to ignore me, your oldest, dearest friend."
I started walking down the hall with my burden firmly entrenched on my back with seemingly little intention of getting off anytime soon. "That's not true. I haven't been trying to avoid you. Where would you get an idea like that? I've just been busy, that's all."
"In that case," she said, pausing to consider thoughtfully. "I'll only punish you a little bit."
I sweat-dropped and ended up carrying her all the way to her dorm. If you don't think that's hard, you try doing it sometime. And part of the way is straight uphill.
My back was absolutely killing me. Shouldn't these problems not crop up until I'm well into middle-age? By the way things are going, I'll probably need the assistance of a cane in the next year or two, if not an actual walker.
Not only am I used as a pack mule on a regular basis but those stupid duels are also taking a toll on my nerves, not to mention my poor uniform. But if you're dealing with sharp pointy objects such as swords, I guess the occasional tear or rip is unavoidable. Even so, I wish they'd leave us alone already Himemiya should be free to choose where she wants to stay and who she wants to stay with. She's just an ordinary girl. She's the girl I love.
But can I tell her that?
I can never do that because I already know how she would react to the news. She'll want to please me. Maybe she'll even say the words 'I love you too'. But I'll never know if she's saying that because she really does love me or if she's going along with it because she's my Rose Bride and I won her in some stupid duel.
How did things get so complicated?
And how did my mind wander so easily back to Himemiya again when I'm still talking to Wakaba?
4:00 PM Saturday
I fingered the tear in my jacket. Well, look at the bright side -- I was really getting handy with a thimble and a needle.
Those beautiful green eyes were looking at me and I felt my heart lurching … again. The last thing I needed was for her to move closer but that's exactly what she did. She was so close. If I leaned in a little more … just a little …
"Utena-sama?" She called again and I snapped out of whatever it was I'd fallen into.
Snap out of it, you baka. Just what were you trying to do anyway?
"Um … Himemiya, do you … I mean, have you … " Oh man, I think I'm making her more confused. Heck, I'm making myself confused. "Never mind."
Yeah, that went really well.
For my next trick, I'll make an ass out of myself in front of two people instead of just one.
How long have I been lying here awake? Must've been two, three hours at least. My mind can't seem to calm down which is weird 'cause you'd think it'd get tired from so much overuse lately. What have I been thinking about?
Give you one guess.
And if your answer didn't have Himemiya's name in there somewhere, I'll have to whap you upside the head because you obviously haven't been paying very close attention.
This can't go on. I know that. But how am I supposed to end it? I've thought of putting some distance between Himemiya and myself but even the thought of it makes a knot form in my throat. I don't think I'm strong enough to do that. I guess I'm stuck between the proverbial rock and the hard place -- I can't stand to be around Himemiya and yet the thought of separation is like death to me.
"Utena-sama?" The whisper coming from above on the bunk bed startles me so much, I almost choke on the second sigh I was about to release.
"You're awake?" I would give my right arm if she was just talking in her sleep but no such luck.
"Is something wrong, Utena-sama? I heard you sigh."
"I'm fine," I lie through my teeth. "I just couldn't sleep, that's all."
Her silence was the only response and I hoped that was that.
When have I ever been that lucky? The next thing I know, she's climbed off her bed and somehow wound up in mine. God, I'm trembling. Her body feels so warm -- like a living furnace. She's pressed up against my left side and I can't move away even if I wanted to since the bed's so small.
I really wanted to scream 'What are you doing?!' but it seems I've lost the ability to make words come out of my mouth. Words people can understand anyway.
This couldn't be happening - I must be dreaming, I thought. I watched the scene unfolding, almost as if I was watching someone else. I felt wholly disconnected and the feeling left me aching for something I couldn't name.
I hate it when that happens.
Himemiya's arms wrap around my waist and she pulls me tight against her slim body. It was the most wonderfully delicious feeling and the most excruciating at the same time. I almost bit my tongue off because all of a sudden, I was flung back into my own body again -- no longer an observer but a participant now.
"Hi-Himemiya?" My breath comes in such short bursts that I thought I might be having an asthma attack … or maybe a panic attack. Whatever it was, I thought I was going to black out for sure. Imagine my surprise when that didn't happen.
"Shhh … it's all right. Go back to sleep." Then there was the lightest of kisses at the corner of my mouth. How in the world did she expect me to sleep now? She'd just … she'd just kissed me.
I feel all tingly inside. Tingly. Warm. Soft. Cherished. Loved.
I feel loved.
"Himemiya, I love you." Oh, wait. Did I say that out loud?
Her hand starts petting my hair. Is that a good thing? Or does she think I'm out of my mind and is only trying to appease me somehow like you would a crazy dog?
"I … I love you too." She said it. The words and their meaning slowly sink in and I feel like somebody's just lit a bonfire inside my chest. I wish I could just leave it at that -- I love her and she loves me and it's happily ever after, right? Right? But some part of me won't let go of the doubts and it's this part that forces me to speak, wrenching my heart into my throat.
"Are you just saying that because you know it'll make me happy? Please tell me the truth," I beg shamelessly.
She's quiet for so long that I'd almost given up on her answering but then she moves and positions her body on top of mine so that every inch of her is touching every inch of me with only flimsy fabric in between. The feeling was absolutely … where are my words when I need them? Well, it was way better than anything in the whole world, I'd bet.
Then when I thought things couldn't possibly get any better, she places a soft kiss on the top of my chin. I was almost sick, I felt so good.
"How could I not love you, Utena-sama?" Her voice drifts into my ear like the sweetest music. "You're my Prince. The one I've waited my whole life for. I have loved you since the first time I saw you."
She laughs and the sound tickles my ear. "Yes, really. I love you and if you'd like, I'll keep saying it until you believe me."
The only words my happy brain could come up with was "I like."
I know we'll have issues to hurdle, problems to face, and an uncertain future ahead of us. But right now, none of that seems to matter because I'm happy … totally ecstatic even and I know I can make her happy too.
I can and I will.