Series: X/1999, Shoujo Kakumei Utena
Archive: Fallen Icons, Onion Girls
Pairing: mention of Seishirou +/x Subaru
Warnings: Surrealism, angst, present tense
Disclaimer: I don't own Utena or X/1999 nor any of the characters. They are the property of CLAMP and BePapas and I'm only playing in their sandbox. No profit is intended.
Summary: 'This is a place of ghosts.'
Thank you to: amet, for betaing this and giving me the go ahead to post it.
Author’s Notes: Yet another meme fic, this one requested by sakanagi who wanted a crossover with Subaru somehow involved in the Utena-verse, prompt optional (though it was cities if I chose to use it). I had a number of ideas of what I wanted to do for this one and how I wanted it to proceed and as luck would have it, so did Subaru. So this is more his doing than mine as odd as it is to say.
Yes, I know that sounds either pretentious or crazy. ^^;; I'm just going with it and hoping not to muck things up.
C & C welcome.
Forever and A Day
A X/1999/Shoujo Kakumei Utena crossover
This is a place of ghosts.
Subaru can't explain it, not anymore than he can explain the rose-scented envelope that had found its way to him, hanging from the branches of the Sakura. It had been addressed to him, to Subaru and not to the Sakurazukamori, something that had caught his attention. There were very few people these days, those who weren't in the know and by that he meant, those who hadn't been picked or in some cases, spared, who knew that the Sakurazukamori and Sumeragi Subaru were the same person and none of those people would care very much to speak of it.
The contents of the letter had been simple, an invitation written in golden ink and smelling of spring: 'Come and find your heart's desire.'
That, he had thought, would be a fairly neat trick given that all the things he desired most in this world were denied to him by virtue of his position.
Still, it would have been imprudent to not find out who had taken the time and care to attract his attention. Tracking down the seal and the type of ink, written on a paper specially made, had been nothing more than a trifle, the answer leaving him with a sense of foreboding.
He knew of Ohtori Academy, everyone did. It was an elite school where only the best and the brightest and very often the richest, in Japan went, much like CLAMP Academy without the egalitarian tendencies of the Imonyama. It's founder had been lost in the mists of history and its chairman was a mystery, a charming man some said, too busy to ever leave the school, devoted to his sister. Or at least he had been but there had been some rumor, some whisper, that she had disappeared. Run away, the words taking on a lurid note, trembling in the air. A girl, there had been a girl and she --
The whispers stopped as soon as Subaru set foot on campus, the spires of the school casting benevolent shadows, the sounds of children happy and active filling the air like the twittering of caged birds and underneath it all, underneath it all, something is –
--rotten. Wrong. This place is wrong. It tastes of the grave, the stink of roses no longer charming but cloying, something given to ease the dead for the living.
It disturbs him, the further in he walks, happy, dead-eyed children, moving and chatting but there's a nightmarish edge to it all, their happiness seeming no more than that of an opiate, fragile and gone in puff of hazy smoke. He can see other shapes, people and places that had been, that were here still, waiting to be noticed, insubstantial shadow players on a perfect stage, waiting for their cues to begin again.
He hurries past the husk of a burned out building, one that manages to stand proud and aloof even in pieces, feeling a web tightening around it, tempting him to come closer.
The Chairman is out or so he is told when he manages to find the office, a fussy lady with round glasses and a sharp voice chiding him for not being appropriately attired on school grounds. The Chairman is out and she doesn't know when he'll be back but if he'd like, she can take his name …
He wanders off before she can finish, feeling an ache start behind his eyes, the weight of the note in his pocket seeming heavier now, not so much wondering who sent it as why it was sent, to what purpose?
Subaru is no closer to that answer when someone bumps into his shoulder, reaching out to catch him before he can stumble. He grunts his thanks as he lifts his head and then freezes at the sight of familiar amber eyes set in a face he can remember from his very earliest memories, young and smiling kindly, adjusting a pair of glasses on his face as he lets go of Subaru to retrieve the books he's lost.
He can't stop himself, the word tearing itself out, "Seishirou-san?"
The – man – ghost – whatever, gives him a quizzical look, turning his head and nodding, and somehow the next thing he asks is the most painful question Subaru has ever heard.
"Do I know you?"
Subaru wants to laugh, a jagged sound that reflects all the pieces of his soul and mind that have scattered, feeling the warning throb of Sakura there, telling him that this is wrong, that something is very wrong here as if he doesn't already know that. The shrill squeal of a familiar girl voice calling Seishirou's name hammer's that home very well, Subaru feeling what's left of his heart seem to contract then expand, bile rising fast in the back of his throat as he spots Hokuto, waving to the both of them and screaming something about being late. She waves again and then disappears over the hill, Subaru finding himself leaning forward, as if he means to break into a run, to try and find her, stopped only when he realizes that she looks no older now than she did the last time he saw her.
Time hasn't touched her here, hasn't touched this – thing that looks like Seishirou but can't, the one that's smiling at him, murmuring apologies before sauntering off, pausing when he gets just far enough to look over his shoulder, Subaru feeling the invitation there, to follow, to fall in step with him and for an instant he can see it all –
He could be young again, young as Hokuto and happy, dancing carelessly with her through the edges of shadowy halls. Young and in love and with Seishirou this time, the seeds of a boyish crush blossoming into something rarer, more mature with time. Hokuto would be with them, never withering, always with them and when it was time, Subaru could take his rightful place, the one prepared for him, searching for one to keep this school alive, this dream as something more solid and he knew who to call, who to lure in …
"It's not so bad. Once you get started. One lie builds upon another until you forget that there was ever any truth except the ones we create for ourselves."
Subaru sees him out of the corner of his eye, somehow knowing that if he turns, the man won't be there. A princely man with skin the color of light coffee, long purple locks spilling over the shoulders of his white uniform, smiling but the effect is marred by the discontent around his eyes. By the need and the hunger, so voracious that Subaru can feel the pit yawning before him, the Sakura in his soul shuddering at the invasive kiss of roses.
"It's not life."
"This place doesn't give life; it preserves it, elongates, and stretches it. It can give you everything you wish to see and want to feel and it can take all that you wish to leave behind," the man murmurs, lifting his head to look at the building they're standing under, "But once … once it was so much more. Once it was a dream that lived just as I lived. As I wish to live again."
He turns his head back to look at Subaru's back, "You're already dead while being alive. Stay in this place then for a little while, be my dreamer, and give me form."
"Until I'm used up. Until there's nothing left," Subaru's mouth lifts, without humor, glancing upward before he turns around, the figure gone but he thinks he can hear a faint wail in the air, reaching in his pockets for the envelope.
Subaru stares at it for a long time before tearing it with some regret, shaking his head and letting the wind take it, "Ah but I have no dreams left to give."