Utena Muyo! or No need for Utena!
"Anthy," Utena asked her eagerly, "have you heard about this?"
Anthy looked inquisitive, as Utena pushed the printed notice over the table to her. On the top, in bold letters it read, "The Ohtori Girl's Drama Society presents: Tenchi Muyo! Auditions will be held in the main auditorium, tomorrow. Every girl is welcome!"
"Here's a chance for you to make lots of new friends!" Utena smiled.
"But I already have a friend, Utena-sama." a visibly confused Anthy answered, gesturing to Chu-chu. Utena blinked and sweatdropped.
"But you need more friends," Utena finally said, "and this could be fun. I'll try out too, to keep you company, OK?"
"Whatever you say, Utena-sama." Anthy answered her cheerfully.
Utena sighed softly.
The next day, the two woke up very early, and headed for the auditorium. There was a good turnout, and Utena recognized several of the students, including Wakaba. She was really surprised to see Juri standing there, looking about her curiously. A nervous Shiori stood nearby her, staying as close as she could to the fencing captain.
For two of the plays parts, there was a sword fighting element, so Utena, Juri and, strangely, Wakaba all asked to try out. Wakaba hurt herself with the practice sword a few seconds after picking it up, so Juri and Utena were paired up for the next big test. Juri was asked to jump around while engaging in a mock fight against Utena.
Juri frowned at the young ladies, "Must I?"
Two of the girl's stepped back, clearly fearful of the fencer. "Please?" Keiko managed to ask, her twin ponytails bouncing as she plead, "We just need to see how we can best carry off this fight scene on stage."
"Well, I asked you to do this," Utena sighed to Anthy, "so I may as well play along." She picked up the practice sword, meeting Juri's eyes across the stage.
It wasn't like the last time they had fought a duel, more like a dance as they moved together across the small stage. In a few moments, they were done, Juri pretending to be defeated, to the applause of the would-be actresses.
The leaders of the Drama society gathered to confer for a moment, then they walked towards to where Juri and Utena were standing.
"Congratulations," Nanami said with a sinister smile, "you've won the leads!" Utena looked very surprised, while Juri gave a quirky smile. "Utena, you'll be playing Tenchi, and Juri, you'll be playing Ryoko." Nanami, turned back to the group of actresses, "Anthy," she called, "you'll be trying out for Ayeka!"
Half an hour later, and most of the roles had been set: Utena as Tenchi, Juri as Ryoko, Anthy as Ayeka, Keiko as Sasami, Wakaba as Mihoshi, Nanami as Washu, and Shiori as Kiyone. The play was loosely based on the first few episodes, including a very big fight between Tenchi and Ryoko. Many other girls would be playing background roles, as well as the few male cameos.
"We'll start up practices in the next few days," Nanami announced, "and you'll be given scripts to begin memorizing your lines. See you then!"
The players soon picked up the scripts and began to practice at various levels of volume. Juri picked up her script then headed over to where Utena and Anthy were talking.
"It seems we three are going to be the stars of this little show," Juri said with a cool smile. "And If I get my hands on Nanami I'll..." she made a fierce face, Utena chuckled and Anthy smiled.
"I suppose we'll need to practice together," Utena frowned, holding her script as if it had been dipped in something disgusting.
"I'm sorry to inconvenience you, Utena-sama," Anthy smiled at Utena.
Juri smirked, while Utena sweatdropped. "I wish you wouldn't call me that," Utena sighed.
"But Utena-sama, we are engaged," Anthy smiled sweetly.
"That again," Utena muttered.
Juri's lips quirked slightly, fighting back a smile. "Why don't we meet in the rose garden tomorrow after classes," she suggested, "to practice our lines."
"Sounds like a plan," Utena agreed.
Juri watched the two talking as they left, again wondering how Utena could know so little about the Rose Bride and what was actually going on. Shiori walked over, and she smiled down at the frowning young woman.
Shiori scowled, looking at Anthy, "I was hoping to get Ayeka."
"She wasn't," Juri remarked dryly. A slight smile, "besides, there are worse things than playing opposite Wakaba. She is kind of cute, in a genki sort of way."
Shiori just looked at her oddly.
Anthy and Utena were at the garden's first, and they each began to read. Utena's lips would quirk every now and then when she reached a funny bit, while Anthy remained entirely deadpan. Finally, Juri arrived, a towel wrapped around her neck.
"Fencing ran a bit long," was all Juri said in apology. She slapped her script down on the bench, then strode over to where Utena sat.
Utena looked up at her in surprise, noticing a twinkle of amusement in those normally cool eyes. But she was completely unprepared for what happened next.
"Give me your balls!" Juri declared, extending her hand to Utena.
Utena gaped at her in shock as she recoiled, "I don't have any balls."
An odd look passed on Juri's face, "Well, the reaction was good." She paused, more gently saying, "That's a line Ryoko says to Tenchi."
"Oh," Utena managed. She noticed that Anthy was clearly fighting back a smile. "Do you really want to start there?" Utena asked.
Juri looked thoughtful, "There's always the bit where Tenchi finds Ryouko in his bed."
"This is one interesting play," Utena muttered softly.