2017-10-09 - Kasagami Challenges Utena

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Kasagami Challenges Utena

Kasagami, having won the right to challenge the Engaged to a duel for the power to bring world revolution, exercises it.


Utena Tenjou, Anthy Himemiya, Kasagami Araki, Sayaka Miki, Shizuru Fujino, Kozue Kaoru


Garden, Ohtori Academy

OOC - IC Date:

10-09-2017 - 02-24-2015

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Garden +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
  Ohtori's grounds rarely miss a chance to include flowers, particularly roses
  and poppies, whether they be in planters, decorating terraces, or engraved
  into the stone walls. Nowhere is this theme more evident than in the
  courtyard garden, an open-air enclosure surrounded by the pillars of nearby
  walkways, permitting those traversing the facility to enjoy a bit of natural
  beauty on their way to class.

  The courtyard features a French formal garden, with nature kept in strict
  manicured order, man's dominion over nature turning shrubs and blooms into
  paint for the gardener's brush. A great glass jewel of a greenhouse
  dominates the courtyard, with the same lacelike white-painted cast iron that
  decorates the walkways supporting its cloudy antique glass panels.

  In contrast to without, the garden within the greenhouse is rampant and
  lush. Order is maintained with a subtler hand, and everywhere the flowers
  and trees are permitted to spill a bit, nature's cornucopia lovely in its
  excess. Exotic, oddly-shaped blooms that would wither outside the glass cage
  flourish within the winterless warmth, and small quantities of tropical
  citrus fruits are produced, most destined to be gifts for valued visitors.
<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Kokoro no Dice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITgMkhFMilY

As promised, Kasagami receives her letter, kept safe from all eyes but hers by the press of the Rose Seal. It is short but sweet, written in flowing ink, penmanship so perfect as to be perfectly neutral.

Congratulations, Champion!

You have earned your new status.

You are cordially invited to duel for

The Power To Bring World Revolution

At the time of your convenience.

~Ends of the World~


It is an hour past the end of the school day, and the hallways are mostly empty of the Go Home Club, and filling with Clubgoers who are starting to go home. Their chatter is light and breezy, sharpened a little by the chill, just like the air. Hand-knitted sweaters from Valentine's Day are still in vogue but the very beginnings of spring are appearing, too; thinner stockings. Rolled up sleeves. Groups of joggers... a pick-up basketball game on the outdoor court, with squealing rubber and girls both prominent sounds.

Transplants from the greenhouse, out in the courtyard, finally able to directly feel the near-spring sun.

Utena sits, crosslegged, among roses. This is the lowest-energy of all possible weeding stances, as compared to bending over or even kneeling, but it gets the job done -- it puts her at eye- and hand-level with her targets. Even then, hers is a slow process -- painfully so, in comparison to true experts in the field.

"Ouch," she remarks, too-calmly, for the fifth time that half-hour, as a little bit of blood wells up from a finger. She watches it bead, then applies pressure from her other hand. They're both quite dirty, covered in rich dark soil; this cannot be very sanitary. She doesn't seem worried about it, though. A snail has crawled up onto her shoe. She's been sitting here a long while, and intends to sit a while longer.

Peering past the brim of her cap up at Anthy, she remarks, forthrightly admiring and wryly self-depricating in the same breath, "This is a whole lot harder than it looks, you know?"

� Logging to file "C:\Users\Liz\Documents\RPGs\Battle Fantasia\100917 kasagami challenges utena.txt" started

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Ara, Utena-sama, if you used the gloves..." Said gloves lie neatly-folded by a wheelbarrow full of mulch. This is their fifth mention in the same hour. Anthy Himemiya has foregone gloves herself, but she has fingers well-practiced at dancing past the thorns in her own gardens. She kneels to tend the roots of a nearby bush, stockinged knees gathering brown smudges from the work.

"You have a friend!" Anthy extracts one slender hand from deep in the tangles beneath her bush to point at Utena's shoe. "Oh, look at his shell." Her charmed voice climbs the scales to express delight.

Finally done freeing this bush of strangling weeds, the Rose Bride rocks back on her heels and stands in a light, birdlike motion. It's the odd moment when she is taller than her Engaged, even blocks the sun so that her cool shadow falls right across Utena's face and lap. Even though Anthy is a silhouette, it sounds like her smile remains as she agrees with her friend and roommate.

"It is, isn't it? But you're doing well, Utena-sama." She sidesteps to the next bush over, which happens to be directly next to Utena's, and kneels again, and yes, there is the same sweet smile. "All it takes is time."

A row over, Chu-Chu is chopping away with a valiant little sword at the hoary roots of a particularly imposing looking vine.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.


A knife slips open the Rose Seal, and a single grey eye scans the letter slowly. Booted feet are kicked up on an old, weighty desk. A coat is on her back, cup of coffee replacing the knife as two fingers hold it in front of Kasagami Araki. Siiiip.

She glances at two pictures on her desk: two beloved figures in each, past and present respectively. With a heavy sigh, the Crimson Rose Duelist gets to her feet, and makes her way to classes.


Hands in the pockets of her coat, the raven haired Kasagami whistles as she makes her way past the columns and archways leading to the greenhouse. Stepping from the shade into the light where the pair of Bride and Engaged tend to the flowers, she lets out a chuckle.

"I didn't take you for being a horticulturalist, Utena-chan!" Her voice, as usual, is loud, but not shouting. The warmth in it for the Prince of Ohtori is distinctly lacking. Her eye focuses harshly on Utena. Anthy just gets a quick glance. One of her hands is hidden still.

"Hey Anthy-san. I got you something, since you had so much fun." A tossed package. Inside? A necklace. Silver, and the strung feathers of a golden eagle.

Her free hand, reaches out and gestures to the pair with her palm up and fingers outstretched.

"I have to say though, Utena-chan, is this really the place you should be wasting your time in? It's unhealthy, really. I'd think you would have more important things to do." A shrug.

"The dojo might be better." Offers Kasagami with a growing smirk. "Oh, right, I have something for you too!" She begins to stalk forward right up until she's standing right in front of Utena. Shadows are lit oddly, between the greenhouse, and the standing figures of Anthy and Kasagami.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

There's no practice today, but Sayaka didn't want to go home, either. She's sitting against the inside of a brick arch on one of Ohtori's many breezeways. This one leads to the drama department, and is ill-travelled. The sun has the bricks just scarcely warm despite the temperature, and in this chill, scarcely is enough to be a bit soporific. Sayaka gazes dully across campus and watches people leave. Her body is unusually limp.

When she pops up, though, she takes one arthritic twist of a stretch, then pops out of it into an outward mood indistinguishable from her usual. There's someone she can talk to about all this, a friend of the twins. What would her schedule be today? Sayaka wracks her brain until something clicks, and heads off, uncertain but decisive, towards the garden.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

What brings Shizuru over to gardens today? She isn't telling. The Vice President is usually not very forthcoming about her movements across campus, in fact. Still in her modified uniform as a member of the Student Council, the Fujino heiress is not making herself particularly obtrusive at the moment. She of course is not down in the dirt working with the plants...

But neither has she gone home, either. She's been busy with student council business. This is her place as much as anywhere on campus however, and happens to have taken a seat on a bench reading a book of traditional poetry. Or at least, pretending to read it.

She doesn't even look up at Kasagami's presence. Her rings glint in the fading light.

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Kozue Kaoru is at a second floor window right now, her flank leaning against the frame as she taps a text message. Suddenly she stops typing as she comes to a certain message. Reading it twice to make certain she understood it... slowly she shifts the phone to be pinched between two fingers, an arm stretching out the open window. The phone is in focus and the garden is a watercolor blur beyond it. So many flowers of so many different kinds and types, each showing up in a different shade or hue.

Everything in it's proper place, it seems so familiar. Even violet and pink seem to be changing into something else. If she looked in a certain direction, would she see butterflies gathering to sup upon sweetness?

Then beyond it is a moving haze of blue, more distinct than the others. The garden comes into focus, and she finds the phone's screen is the blur now. For a moment, it's like she's waking up from a daze, shaking off some superimposed image of a daydream in her mind. Staring at her phone, she shifts her grip to prevent an accidental plunge, then taps the lock button, putting it away.

Instead she finds herself clasping her hands together, and leaning on her elbows to gaze out with a sense of... nostalgic yearning at first as she watches Sayaka approach where Utena and Anthy are gardening together- and then she starts somewhat as some dissonance strikes her in the idea of Sayaka being here

Standing up straight, she stares at Kasagami who seems more an interloper than ever. Her eyes dangerous in their understanding of what is about to happen. Without a word, she begins to walk away from the window, a long legged stride being bisected by afternoon light as she tears down the stairs, and thrusts open the door to the courtyard with a hand. She's continuing in a fast walk instantly on an intercept route straight towards-

"Funny running into you here... Sayaka-chan." There's an easy smile on her face, like nothing that has happened between them has happened. Immediately she steps in her way, as if to block her direct view of the garden, "Here to see the flowers today?" A beat, "Or did you know I'd be here?"

They're close enough that they can hear... but right now she's a very real barrier towards her actually advancing further towards the trio holding court.

Unless she goes around her.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Utena doesn't bother to reply to Kasagami's greeting -- the upperclassman has already long since blown past that, and her soft blue eyes follow the passage of jewelry between her and her roommate without ever quite looking at either of them.

Anthy has a better chance of catching an expression out of Utena, and what she sees, beneath the unnaturally tired, flat-topped sea in the Engaged's eyes, is maybe a single pearl of relief.

But that doesn't last long. By the time Kasagami is speaking to her again, Utena is upright, a spindly, unfolding process that resembles a blooming flower not at all. More like a video of a scattered pillar of matchsticks, played in reverse. In the end she is sticks of wood arranged in a tight bundle around herself. At the start she was sticks of wood scattered on the ground. Both still feel true.

Removed from the little shard of peace she'd managed to find with Anthy and the roses, Utena fails to fit into her own skin any better standing than she did seated.

Kasagami towers over her in every way; height, mass, force of personality. Utena fits with effortless ease into her shadow. There's no sunlight able to fall onto her at all. Certainly, no hints of blue or cream can ease their way into her view.

"You have no idea what you're talking about, Kasagami," she says quietly, in clipped-wing tones, short and hurt and sad. But not defiant. Her chin doesn't lift, her stance doesn't set, and her eyes do not rise above Kasagami's collarbone, which makes them quite invisible beneath the brim of her cap. She could be scattered once more on the ground by a stiff breeze.

A task made even easier, perhaps, by the fresh bruising along her neck, which looks like merely the edge of a much larger hit that probably proceeds across her shoulders, down her back, or both.

"Go ahead."

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The unsubtle arrival of Kasagami Araki gets the Rose Bride to glance over her shoulder, and she keeps a smile on her face that is all politeness. "Oh, my!" Anthy allows a look of surprise at the launched package, but is just too slow to disengage from the rosebush she tends, and it lands reaching distance away in the fresh-turned earth.

Wide eyes that shift like tropical shallows turn to Utena and seek under the brim of that cap before Anthy finally does extend one willowy arm -- but her hand hovers short of grasping the package when Kasagami speaks of how unhealthy garden work must be for Utena.

Instead she stands, a slight little shadow behind her Engaged, herself within the shadow of Kasagami. Chu-Chu gets curious, though, and wanders over to prod the package with great and exaggerated care, like it might be a bomb.

Anthy Himemiya makes a prim fold of both hands before her and stands, and listens, and watches.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami isn't quite as single minded as she might often seem. The quiet of the Vice President, her least (and only) favorite 'mentor', slips by her notice. But a voice calls out from not all that far away. It's familiar. And then, those dangerous eyes. A few familiar syllabils.

It seems the Garden has it's audience. The Disciplinary Executive can't help but feel that much more egged on, that much more needing to do this. Her dreams lay before her.

The hint of drama in the endless rosepetals of Ohtori is enticing to someone so loving of conflict.

'You have no idea what you're talking about'.

'Go ahead'.

All of the bluster, the boisterous challenge that Kasagami had spoke in front of her mirror at the dorm to try to drag out the woman she saw Utena as shatters into pieces. Whatever belligerance and challenges she had taste like ashes in her mouth. And she can't even be angry at it. Her mouth becomes a line. Her teeth gently clack together. Then, her arms cross.

"You're not the same person I met, Utena. My God. I thought..."

Her heart hurts. Remembering how this girl pulled her from despair in the dojo, how she helped her ward off her parents' killer, looking at Utena now.

Then Kasagami's eye fills with tears, and she yells.

"I really thought you would be my Prince, Utena! What happened to my friend!? Forget it! I only have one thing for you now!"

Dropping to one knee, she tilts her head, and peers right into Utena's eyes. Her voice drops into a whisper.

"Utena Tenjou, Engaged. By my victory, I challenge you to Duel beyond the forest."

Then, she stands. "You have one day. If there's a single scrap of the person that gave me hope, then find it. Or I'll take everything from you!"

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Sayaka halts where she stands as Kozue bars her path. Her reaction is as vivid as ever, but different, now. A notch towards sullen, away from flustered. Towards wounded and away from confused. She doesn't naively answer the questions actually being asked. She is not bound by mere politeness to let Kozue decide what game is to be played, though other bonds remain to disadvantage her.

"Kozue," she greets, her voice dry and weak. She looks off to the side. Her bag feels heavy now. Her cheeks are pink from cold--and nothing else today--above the brown scarf wound about her neck. She's always had a way, in her rare serious moments, of making her school uniform look, well, like a uniform.

"How can you act like that?" she demands softly. To smile when you don't feel like smiling isn't just lying to someone else, it's a lie to yourself. Sayaka finds it unusually easy to blame Kozue for this; it tastes like guilt instead of blame, which is lost on her at the moment.

Sayaka lifts her eyes, blue to blue, her jaw tight. "Do you care about anyth--"


Sayaka's bag clomps down on the walkway, a few yards in front of Kozue, and she takes the grass around. A moment later, she bursts onto the scene, all swinging scarf and clenched fists, and plants her feet hard.

"Tenjou-san!" she shouts. She does not fully understand the situation, thanks to Kozue delaying her. All she knows is that Kasagami Araki is here yelling at Utena, who looks even more defeated than she has lately; barely a shadow of her princely self. At a word, at a gesture, even at the right motion of Utena's head, and righteously inflamed Sayaka Miki will be getting suspended again for brawling with the Disciplinary Executive.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Still, Shizuru makes no particular statement of her presence. To all accounts she isn't even paying attention, though that is of course untrue. She turns her page. She is unconcerned entirely with the book itself, bored with it much as she looks bored by most anything.

Bored is not entirely the right word in this case, though.

The confrontation continues, and another farther up that is obvious thanks to Sayaka's shout down...

She does not turn another page. She does not even move. Red eyes stare down at the page.

She doesn't need to look to see this scene playing out. But as for Sayaka being suspended, well...

Maybe, maybe not. That all depends.

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Kozue's head just tilts a little to the side, when Sayaka asks her first question. She's looking at her like she's been taught to as a model, like she's a little dumb. To be a little mean to her. She had that down pat anyhow but she's refined it more than ever under the tutelage of another.

She doesn't even answer her first question. There's nothing but a raised eyebrow in challenge perhaps. Or at the second.

And then she sees where Sayaka's going. She takes a step to the side as if to bar her, but Sayaka's dropped her bag and going around the grass. "Ah- Sayaka-chan." It sounds almost patronizing in the face of her shout. "This really isn't your affair."

She says as she follows, walking up behind her, "You're not a duelist after all, you shouldn't have to listen to Araki's conceited challenge."

She slides her fingers through her hair, "Or to listen to her childish feelings of betrayal. Acting like Tenjou wronged her, when Araki was the one who initiated a contest to kick her while she's down."

There's a moment's pause and she crosses her arms, "So honestly, you should stay out of this. I don't think Fujino-senpai is going to go easy on you this time if you interfere in Araki's business."

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Utena can't help but become aware of their audience as they close in all around, and it mottles her face some. Even kneeling, Kasagami can't find her eyes, which seek the ground.

"I've been looking, night after night," she says tiredly. "I'm sorry. I just..."

She raises her hand, the one with the ring, and looks past it into the chilly sky. Her eyes unfocus, and she sees ten fingers, fifteen, more. Rings and rings and rings.

Distantly, she remarks, "Don't act like I don't know that I'm letting everyone down, Kasagami."

Sayaka's shout pulls her shoulders in even tighter, droops her spine another inch. Shame fills her to the brim. But it's Anthy's silence at her back that makes her swallow something hot in her throat.

"I just..."

But what she just, she cannot say. She reaches out and grasps nothing, and finally lowers her hand to her side again. "I'm sorry," she repeats, in a low, tight voice. "That I'm not what you want."

She tucks her hands into her pockets. Tight little balls, a microcosm of herself.

"I better go then," she concludes heavily, like a person at the bottom of a sheer, unforgiving mountain. Like a person at the bottom of the sea. She doesn't try looking at the sky again. It was too bright for her anyway. "Guess I'll see you tomorrow."

And without another word, she walks away, towards the base of her cliffside. It's time to try climbing again. One more time. She has to try.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

A familiar lack of expression smooths Anthy's face. Another challenge issued, and she watches the one to whom she is Engaged; she waits to see what Utena Tenjou will do. Only when they suffer interruption does the Rose Bride bestir herself. Aquamarine eyes shift the slightest increment, to narrow rather than widen as she looks at Sayaka Miki.

Only for the flit of a dragonfly's wing, though, and then she looks back to Utena. To Utena's back. Anthy refolds her hands agains her skirt, so a different one is on top, and listens to words that thud like weighty rocks amongst the roses. Deep within the briary thickets that conceal the Bride's heart and mind from all prying eyes, she feels a squeezing.

Outwardly she pauses a long moment, as if slow to react, before stooping to collect Chu-Chu and Kasagami's gift both. She does not look at the challenger or any of the gathered spectators, but her steps hasten as she pursues the departing Utena.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Sayaka's voice is cutting. It only makes Kasagami more tense. She doesn't respond, as the sound of Kozue piles on. Her heart is pounding, head hurting, and the lingering shock of just how pathetic Utena has become makes the world beyond the trio of Anthy, Kasagami, and Utena a half-drunk blurr of pastels and sounds.

Her instinct to engage Sayaka's ways doesn't rise. Her heart feels like it's shattering. Looking at Utena's burnt corpse would hurt less.

Silence. The Crimson Rose Duelist's face falls. She'd hoped that her challenge would ignight some spark. Some coal of flame in Utena's heart. But what she's met with? Not a hint of resistance.

Her good eye goes unfocused. Her words echo in the Duelist's head over and over and over. Utena is walking off towards the hill that she finally processes the wounded Prince's words.

Kasagami is up, stumbles forward as if smacked from behind. She watches retreating pink. Her hand reaches in the air towards the figure she once saw so much hope in. That could walk beside her, as her valiant Prince in her court at the top of the World.

"That's a joke, right, Utena? This is all some kind of joke, RIGHT!? Ow, you've got me! Come on, tackle me, yell at me, SOMETHING! This isn't YOU!" Her voice is hoarse. She's openly crying. A member of the new family she's carved out in her head still breathes, but starts to die before her gaze. Maybe it was all in her head.

Kasagami doesn't even notice as Anthy departs. She herself staggers towards a column slowly, until she pauses before it. A glove drops. Her fist pulls back. SMACK. Again. SMACK. Her arm stings. SMACK. SMACK. Until even long-scarred flesh is bruised and bleeding, and she falls to her knees. Her forehead touches marble, and she mourns a living corpse.


<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

One honest word announced Sayaka. But Kozue arrives with many sleek words, haughty ones. Words that cloy and tug. Sayaka always finds it hard to defy Kozue, because she has no idea what Kozue really wants.

"She's my friend," Sayaka retorts. She screws up her eyes at the idea of another suspension, but her tone is acrid. "Besides, I thought you like when people get suspended."

There is something disgusting about what Sayaka is seeing. She does not fully understand it, but she feels the scene crawling like a slug inside her. Utena really is limp, pathetic, not herself. "Tenjou... san," Sayaka ventures in a soft, confused voice. As Utena peels herself from the scene limply, Sayaka takes a step, fists re-clenching, desperate for a better ending than this. It had felt so good when Utena joined the Chevaliers. Her valiance was such a reassuring endorsement. "Ne, Utena," she presses shakily.

Anthy passes her as well, as indifferent as a Kozue smile and as peaceful as Shizuru's lap at teatime. Sayaka clenches her teeth with reluctant hatred for the bespectacled girl, who defeated Sayaka by doing absolutely nothing.

Her salvation seems to arrive as Kasagami's passionate angst leads her to veer around, and Sayaka turns with a vengeance to oppose whatever she has in mind; Kasagami's height and muscle be damned. But it's her own fists Kasagami wishes to punish, and Sayaka is left watching wide-eyed until her arms fall loose at her sides. There is no battle to be won here, no justice to be found.

Sayaka makes eye contact with Kozue for a moment; they both must know whose argument today has better served.

"Pull yourself together," she tells Kasagami gruffly, uncomfortable at her enemy's pain. "You thought you'd be a better champion than Miki-kun, right? I won't forgive you if you waste it with..." Sayaka gestures in frustration.


Turning to face Kozue, Sayaka takes a few steps towards her, and stops right in front of her. It seems like she's there to talk, until she doesn't. Her hands are at her sides, her head down, her eyes lost to shadow and blue bangs. She's silently asking Kozue to move.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

The sky looms down from above, as much a cage as the greenhouse from which many of these flowers came, and may yet return. The low voices and conclusions and steps continue, amidst shouts and stares.

Shizuru Fujino turns her page. Kasagami's tears do not move her any more than Utena's departure, or Anthy's following.

Her thumb shifts over her rings. She is wearing both today. She does not look up.

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

There's an expression on her face when Sayaka says she likes when people get suspended, again it's like what she says slides off of Kozue without any effect. Like she cares about nothing, certainly not anything she says. "Oh? Were you her friend when you wanted to fight her too? Giving up the ring doesn't erase that and make it so." Her words are like tiny little needles pricking at the skin.

Seeing the pain that Utena shows causes this flicker of hurt to appear in her eyes, but only when Sayaka is turned, showing her disgust. And yet she doesn't say anything. She understands that she too participated in this contest, for her own aims. It's not her place to try to assuage the pain when she was one of the ones competing to add to it.

For a moment her hands fall away down to her side, open palmed, fingers just slightly curled. In a state of rest bodily but not of mind. She watches Utena leave- Anthy follow. Her eyes briefly shut. She takes a breath. In another situation, would it have been her brother doing this to Utena? Trading out Miki for Kasagami is a poor substitution in her mind. An unequal one to her.

And yet Kasagami beat him. Beat Shizuru. Beat the rest of them.

Sayaka is back in front of her. Asking her to move with her eyes. And for the longest time she stares at her as if she was going to defy her request. Such a small thing, to excuse herself from her presence. But today for whatever reason she says, "I'm surprised you still have forgiveness left in you for anyone- Sayaka-chan." And then she not only steps aside, but she steps past her.

Taking a step forward, she stares past Araki at the last image of Utena. She stands there for some time, and then she tips her gaze downward. Her whisper is almost sibilant, "Don't pretend you meant well. Don't pretend you're noble. All the good intentions in the world mean nothing."

Slowly, almost methodically, the girl actually kneels down onto the pavement, for one singular purpose.

Her hand, which slides under Araki's face to catch her chin. To try to force her to look at her.

Even after she can see whether her eyes are meeting her own predatorial ones, or if she's resisted, even if it means slapping her hand away, she continues, "Congratulate yourself instead Araki."

She says with a contemptuous smile, now all those venomous little needles are directed at her, "You can go home and boast to Sailor Pluto that you're the monster who's going to revolutionize the world."

If her hand is still there, she releases her then. She stands herself up. Dusts off her knees. And walks away.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Sayaka's words sound sharp against one last smack against the column. Crimson, growing as deep as her uniform slowly, Kasagami pauses. Her good eye blinks, and silence. Stillness. Her heart is empty, a cold knife stuck in it. And then Sayaka's words touch her. SMACK!

"Don't talk like you know anything, Sayaka Miki. The only champion that stands is the one who wins. If you want to blame someone, go and blame Miki Kaoru. Heh. At least you've still got a spine, even if you're as ignorant as always."

It's the touch of the second Kaoru twin that lifts up her gaze. She doesn't look away. Her eye is narrowed, and hate blossoms in it. A shudder, and then her bleeding hand reaches to grasp Kozue's wrist for a moment. A squeeze. Not enough to hurt, but Kassie is definitely bleeding on the girl.

"Don't you dare put her name on your filthy lips! My dreams are..." Pure? Can she say that? Kasagami clings to the idea. She's above people like Kozue. She has to be. Because that's what a King does.

What would she be if she wasn't a King. She then lets go, stands up, and starts stalking away. Hurt lurks in her heart, and growing fury.

"Maybe a King has to be a monster sometimes. I'm taking this world, and changing it. There won't be any room for you in it!" Boots stomp off.

Later, she collapses into bed, tears in her eyes. A half-punched in number on her phone is there as she passes out. Her nightmares are formless. Every single one of them is loss.