Zettai Ni

Kurai finds something odd in her realm. Drama, I-3

Character(s): Himemiya Anthy, Kurai

"Are you sure?"

Kurai sparred Noise a quick glance over her shoulder. Noise’s one wing drooped
noticeably, her eyes were dark with worry, and she chewed—cutely—on her bottom
lip. She knew that she was asking a lot of her retainer, but she had a feeling
that it would be best to investigate this newest anomaly within her realm on her
own. Even if it did make Noise deeply and obviously unhappy.

"I’m sure."

"I don’t like this."

Kurai laughed before she thought better of it. "I know. I’m sorry."

Noise sighed with great feeling and ran her hands through her hair, making it
stand on end. "No, you’re not. But could you at least avoid getting too damaged
as I do not want to explain to those who care about you exactly what happened
and why."

She put her forehead against her best friend and companions. "I can’t make
promises I can’t keep. But I’ll try." Without moving her head she locked
eyes with Noise and grinned, "I wouldn’t want you to deal with an unhappy

Noise tilted her head up and pressed a kiss against Kurai’s head. "Be quick.
Be safe."

Kurai could only nod. Anything else would have been too much and unnecessary.
She turned away from Noise’s worried eyes to contemplate the perfect silver
bubble that had manifested on the out edges of her realm. The bubble touched
Assiah, butting up against so closely that it seemed to rub raw the psychic
skin keeping the planes apart. Staring at it she thought she saw flickering
images of a castle, a forest, a cathedral, and for a moment, and endless
plain of horizons. She didn’t really know how she was going to get from the
here of Gehenna to the there of the not quite real place
inside that bubble. Not knowing what else to do she placed her hands against
the silver, misty edge and pushed forward.

She heard Noise’s yell and then a roar like the rushing of a thousand wings and
then there was nothing.

"Why are you here?"

She looked up into eyes too dark a shade of green to be quite human and the way
eternity echoed was definitely not human. The girl, on the edge of womanhood with
the subtle swell of breast and hip just beginning, wore a short red shift and gold
bracelets that looked more like shackles than jewelry watched with perfect neutrality.
Kurai picked herself up off the gray, dusty ground as she considered her answer.
The emptiness of the place, and the knowledge in her companion’s eyes, makes her

"Because this place is in my realm."

The woman-girl cocked her head to the side, purple hair falling along the side
of her face, half obscuring those inhuman eyes. "The place inside my head
is much bigger than the place outside it."

Kurai did not know what to make of that comment, so she went around it. "Who
are you?"

That seemed to give the woman-girl a pause. She fiddled with the gold bracelets—shakles—awkwardly
as she thought about it. "I am the Witch."

"Witch?" Kurai repeated, tasting the term and the power inherent within

"Because I have no prince to save me, because I want no prince to save me,
I am the Witch." The woman-girl said plainly. There was no sorrow in this
statement, only simple fact. "My world is fractured," the woman-girl
locked eyes with Kurai and she felt as if she were drowning in all the years of
this creature’s life on the endless plain of horizons, "I am fractured."

"Why?" Kurai managed to gasp out, because she could not stand under
the weight of that self-knowledge. A distint rumble of what might be thunder rolled
around inside the emptiness. The woman-girl turned so fast her hair spun out in
tangled arch around her. The look of naked fear made Kurai reach to touch her,
but she froze when the girl snapped back around with a movement so fast it could
not have been mortal, maybe not even immortal.

"What are you?" she whispered.

The woman-girl grabbed her by the shoulders, staring down in Kurai’s eyes with
an intensity that chilled her to the bone, and said with fierce desperateness.
"The swords are coming, you have to run."

"Swords?" Kurai echoed dumbly. She was so confused. Even when Alexial
came back as Setsuna and the world turned inside out, and Heaven and Hell were
in chaos, she had not been this confused.

The woman-girl shoved her away so hard she stumbled, nearly twisting her ankle.
"RUN!" She screamed. The woman-girl couched down, hair falling over
her face, obscuring those wild, inhuman eyes. "You have to run. The swords…"
the woman-girl’s voice broke.

Kurai turned to start to run as the ground under her feet began to fracture. Cracks
forming underneath her faster than she could move, the constant shaking nearly
throwing her to the fragmenting ground. She tried to scream as the ground vanished
and she was falling into nothing, and then there was darkness that wasn’t so much
the abscence of light, but the abscence of everything.

"Oi! Are you alright?"

Bright blue eyes and bangs the colour of easter basket grass filled her vision,
and Kurai could only gape.

She was flat on her back in the middle of a grass hill. The birds sang sweetly
in the summer air and she smelled honeysuckle and roses. The girl leaning over
her smelled of roses, tea, and something sharp and tangy. And the desolate, endless
plain was gone. Kurai sat up and rubbed her head. "I … I think I am alright."

The girl smiled brilliantly, "Good! I was worried for a moment. You started
falling down the stairs and would have gotten hurt, but I caught you and brought
you here."

Kurai stared at her. There was something around the edges of the girl. Something
that shone like starlight. Like the woman-girl in the endless plain this one was
not quite … normal. There was a quality of eternity etched into her being like
the runes etched into Alexial’s sword. The girl’s smile faultered for a moment
and Kurai realized that she had been staring a little too long. "I’m …
I’m sorry. Where am I?"

The girl frowned, and Kurai realized that was a very odd thing to say. She forced
herself to smile apologetically. "I’m new." She said by way of explination.

That seemed to clear up everything. "Yeah, the Academy can be confusing for
new students." She stuck out her hand in what struck Kurai as a singularly
straight-forward gesture. As if everything this girl did was direct, honest, and
so innocent it hurt. "I’m Tenjou Utena."

"I’m Kurai." She reached out to take Utena’s hand when the other girl
was tackled by what appeared at first glance to be a low flying missile of some

"UUUUUTTTEEEEEEENNNNNNNNAAAAA!" the missile sort itself out as a giggle
girl with dark brown hair and the sweetest smile Kurai had seen since Setsuna.
The girl nuzzled Utena, practically purring her head off. "MMmmmmm found
you!" she giggled.

"Utena-sama," Kurai looked up to see the woman-girl of the endless plain.
Except she was wrong. The echoing power, and the knowledge, and the intensity
of person was gone—even if the decided otherness was still there. Her hair was
contained in tightly bound crown around her head, and those inhuman eyes were
hidden by glasses. But it was the girl, or at least part of her. Kurai chewed
on her bottom lip.

Utena held the brown haired girl at arms length, but smiled gently at her. "Wakaba,
I meet someone new."

That got the attention of both the not-woman-girl and the brown haired missile.
"This is Kurai. And she’s new to Ohtori Academy."

Kurai couldn’t focus on the introductions that happened afterward. She felt too
disassociated and confused and completely and totally out of her depth to take
in any more information. Her mind was spinning. She found herself arm in arm with
the bouncy, giggling brown haired girl and the sweetness of her soul overwhelmed
everything. Being near the girl was like … hot chocolate in winter or strawberries
in the middle of summer. She could feel herself relax bit by bit, as the girl—Wakaba?—giggle
up at Utena, tried to draw Anthy into conversation, and showed Kurai the landmarks
of this place.

She could feel power underneath her feet, could feel the different flavours of
it as she walked the campus. And she could feel a very subtle, very familiar taint
to everything. A feeling of unspeakable foulness that lurked on the edges of everything
and made her shudder.

It wasn’t until the sky began to change colour into the first hints of dusk that
Kurai realized that she should probably leave, go back to Noise, and the relative
safety of her own realm. She gently disentangled herself from Wakaba, and politely
thanked Utena. Who smiled, shook her head, and said that no, no she was glad to
have been there to help. Utena helped her to her feet and Kurai felt for a moment
the flicker of a thousand wings and the shine of starlight.

And she was unnerved.

But it was Anthy, with her dark eyes and quiet manner that unnerved her the most.
And when she turned to leave, it was Anthy who caught her eyes, even behind the
shadowed rescesses of her glass. It was in those dark green eyes that she saw
that woman-girl, that she saw Witch.

The Swords

And then she was standing in her own realm, next to Noise, shivering as if she
had walked into the dead of winter naked.