nightcenturymountain: (i dream of a world worth saving)
[personal profile] nightcenturymountain
[juri & anthy - rated pg for certain...implications.]

Imbalance
*****
I've set this as a slight prequel to the series, perhaps even in an alternate universe. Suffer with it.
*****

The leaves shivered as the wind turned, rustling and shuddering even in their protected garden. The setting sun glinted off the glasses of the girl sitting in the center, just under the peak of the cupola. Her knees were drawn up to her chest, and her eyes, which just matched the shade of the leaves, were wide and blank. The door stood open, with a lone figure leaning there, silent. One precise hand reached up to brush aside a nonexistent bit of dust.

"Juri-sempai..."

"You don't need to wear your mask, Anthy. I don't care and you know it." The tone was sardonic and mocking. The figure at the door turned inwards, a painfully beautiful girl-woman with long, carefully formed red-gold curls and bleak green eyes. "Just tell me the truth."

"I...Juri-sempai." She lowered her eyes and dropped her fingers to trail in the dead leaves littering the floor. A single red rose petal drifted down to settle in her violet hair. "I...I'm not certain what you're asking me for. I don't belong to you. Saionji-sama-"

"-is a churlish fool. You know that, too. Why do you bother?" Juri's eyes lit from within, gleaming like a wildcat's. "Why do you let him think he owns you? Why-?"

"Those are the rules to the game, Juri-sempai."

"And you are merely the prize. Don't make me laugh. I've seen you looking at him when he thinks you're not. You look at him like a pet. You might like him if he weren't such an idiot, but as it is..." Anthy didn't look up, but picked the petal off her head and began rubbing it gently.

"If you think so, why don't you challenge him?" Her voice was soft, nearly solicitous, but penetrating. Juri laughed at her, tossing her head back and setting her curls to swinging.

"Perhaps I'll do that, indeed. That would give him a pause, wouldn't it? But why? Can you grant me my heart's desire? Are you truly the holder of the key to Revolution? I suppose there is only one way to find out, isn't there? Shall I defeat him? Should I make you mine?"

She stalked the sitting girl like a tiger, like a leopard, circling, standing still, then--pounce--! She dropped like lightning and forced Anthy's chin up to stare unblinking into her eyes. Running one fingernail down her smooth dark cheek, Juri drew closer, until they were nearly sharing a breath. Anthy gazed back, apparently unperturbed.

The truth was that it was Juri's heart that trembled. Her outward manner was stony, icy, frozen in time and space until she was near shattering. Where else does one acquire such a reputation for danger?

Juri clipped her hand together so sharply her manicured fingernails clicked just past the point of Anthy's nose.

"You don't care at all. Whatever I do, you don't care. It's all the same to you. How..." Her options were limited; she could either let that faint irritation ("How could she see no difference between me and-") overwhelm her, or she could let it pass. "...How uninteresting."

Wrong choice. Anthy looked away, pushed off the ground and stood, looking down sweetly at Juri.

"I really must be going, Juri-sempai. Saionji-sama requested that I prepare his evening meal."

Juri remained kneeling there as Anthy brushed off her skirt and left, played for a fool by one who she considered a true master of the art. Only one before her had ever made her more of a laughingstock, and that one...

She wiped the memory from her mind before it had fully formed, but her hand nevertheless drifted to her collarbone, then slightly below. The small lump beneath her jacket both shamed and calmed her, and she rose to her feet. Her decision, it seemed, has been made for her. Her honor, her pride had been offended, and she must respond. The thought of Dueling Saionji was extremely unappealing, but the corresponding thought, that Anthy could be allowed to win, was even more so. She started from the garden, heading for her lonely apartment. A gust of wind tossed her hair in front of her eyes, startling her.

Why did the breeze seem chill suddenly, as though autumn might be approaching? It was never autumn, and never winter, not here. Not in this frozen place where girls stared at you with the eyes of ancient crones; not in this land of eternal youth and eternal death.
----------------
Note: There is a segment attached to the file this is in that hints that at one point or another I was considering continuing it. I'll let you see it, because, well, I'm masochistic that way. Enjoy?
----------------
Juri wasn't as blind as she could have wished. How long had she been sixteen? When was her birthday? She knew in the depths of her heart that it was in winter, but if that was the case, how could she ever grow older?

Most of the time she was thankful. All the adults she knew were sad, lonely freaks who took pleasure, perhaps, in drowning themselves in the flesh of children. Disgusting. There were good reasons that they were all terrified of her and called her a wild animal.

Other times, other times she wanted out. When she could feel the eyes of those who adored her-for nothing!-on her back; when she was alone at four in the morning, and memories wouldn't leave her alone; when she was watching the elementary grades play in the courtyard like so many puppies; then she wanted to pack her treasured belongings and just walk out of the front gates forever.

It would occur to her then what a blow to her pride and honor that course of action would be, and she would still herself again, trying to forget herself in daily repetitive motions.

She was never happier than when she was on the fencing
----------------
Note2: Yes, it literally cuts off in mid-sentence. Even now it stings to just leave it like that, but because I'm not sure where it would go from there...I leave it.

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