As the subject states, this fic is utter silliness. If you haven't got the time, or aren't in the mood, I'd advise skipping it about right now...
BAIT's Life Is an Ever Peaceful River
A Shoujo Kakumei Utena (well, kinda ^^;;) fanfiction by Ariane Kovacevic, AKA Fuu-chan.
"I really wonder if you'd be able to gather our characters in a fanfic..."
I grinned as I heard this, replying sweetly :
"Oh... And is that a challenge ?"
Surprise flashed on Doug's face, and disappeared almost instantly to be replaced by a smile.
"I don't know, maybe. I'm really curious to find out what it would yield."
I nodded thoughtfully, fighting to restrain the laughter rising within me, answering in a very earnest tone of voice :
I showed Tim the umbrella, holding it like a sword and moving it in a threatening fashion, saying :
"You see this ? It's a weapon, and if you don't stop, I'm gonna crush your skull with it."
He smiled brightly.
I rolled my eyes heavenward, chuckling despite myself.
"If I were Karin, you'd be lying unconscious on the floor by now. Lucky for you, I *am* a nice girl..."
He sighed dramatically.
"Promises, promises... People these days..."
I closed the bento box and put it away before leaning back comfortably against my seat. Gods, there was nothing better in the world than salmon sushi, really... The voice of the train attendant announcing the train's arrival at the channel roused me and I turned my head on the right side, watching through the window as the silent Eurostar plunged in the tunnel, blue and grey arrow diving faster than the wind, drowning in darkness.
I shook my head while listening to the Fallen Angel theme of Rurouni Kenshin. There was nothing to be seen, nothing but utter blackness outside. The only thing I could see was my own reflection in the window, and that showed a smile that bared the teeth.
My kingdom and everyone else's for fangs...
I laughed softly in the night that was not night. Let them believe I was the nice girl I claimed to be, let them...
I always kept *some* promises.
"How can you do this Doug ?"
The secretary looked around him for a way of escape, knowing he would find none. Rushing for the door wasn't an option, he knew all too well the vice president's voice would pursue him wherever he ran. Bracing himself, he faced the storm and replied softly :
"I can't Tim, really. There are things I *must* do."
The other shook his head in a elegant motion that allowed the sun to shine through the perfect black silk of each long lock of hair as it flew gracefully from left to right. In a gently reproachful voice, he said :
"Four hours Doug, four hours... What are four hours in your life ? Certainly you wish to accompany this charming girl back to London ? You would never want to abandon her on the station ?"
Said charming girl laughed inwardly as she heard the compliment, and almost betrayed her mirth as she saw the vice president's words were having the desired effect on the secretary.
"I *can't* Tim, for Heaven's sake..."
The protest was a desperate plea.
The so-called charming girl grabbed the moment to twist the knife, asking innocently :
"And how are you going to manage to avoid hurting my feelings now, Doug ?"
The secretrary fell behind a chair in despair, bowing his head and whispering :
Pain was oozing from his voice like blood from a gaping wound. The vice president looked in the secretary's direction, and said regretfully :
"You disappoint me Doug. I feel sorrow at the thought that you'd choose insignificant tasks over accompanying our lady friend. It pains me to see you renouncing our principles this way..."
A weak moan escaped the secretary, who was now huddled up behind the chair, every inch of his body screaming distress and grief. The girl looked at both young men, and decided it wouldn't do.
No, it definitely wouldn't.
So she smiled, saying :
"All right, I may forgive you..."
Something like hope came to the eyes of the secretary as he raised his head to meet the girl's gaze.
The girl grinned.
"Or I may not."
The secretary bowed his head again, unable to voice the feelings tearing him apart. There was a long silence, until at last he protested :
"I can't, I have a duty..."
The vice president stood in a quick and fluid movement, catching the sunlight and casting shadow on the wretched form of the secretary still hiding behind the chair.
"You have a duty, Doug ?..."
His voice was stern, but not unkind, one could hear, no, *feel* the gentle chiding of an erring, dear friend, and the sadness his betrayal caused.
"But how can you choose duty over Duty ? We are BAIT, or have you forgotten our pledge ?..."
An almost inaudible whisper escaped the secretary.
"Please... Please stop it... I feel so guilty..."
The vice president shook his head sorrowfully, and flew his hair in the same motion, once again allowing the sun to enhance its perfection.
"No, the guilt you are feeling isn't enough apparently. When embracing those we worship and adore, we also embrace their honor and behaviour, and you know this very well. It is your *Duty* to accompany our lady friend back with me. What would our president think ?"
The poor secretary looked fixedly at the floor, likely wishing from the bottom of his heart he could disappear below the earth and die, while the girl kept watching, taking mental notes and grinning inwardly.
This was material for a superb tragedy.
Oh yes, *superb*...
There was no light in the vast room, but in truth artificial light was unnecessary. The man observing the wide screens seemed to shine with his own bright fire, as if the inner burning flames of his soul couldn't be completely restrained within.
On the main screen, two young men and a girl stood and exited what looked like a student room. The man sighed softly, and turned from the view.
The situation wouldn't be resolved easily, he would have to intervene, likely very soon. He weighed the possibilities for a few seconds, and then walked out of the room, his mind set on the task ahead.
Sometimes the president had to step in.
"Want me to help with the suitcase ?"
The vice president replied firmly :
"No, you have no right to help since you refuse to accompany this gentle girl."
The secretary flinched, as if he had been physically hurt.
"I *can't*, didn't you listen ? I really, honestly can't, or I'd have been happy to come..."
The gentle rebuke came at once, leaving the secretary no time to build a defence around his already bleeding heart.
"That isn't enough Doug, and you know it full well."
The vice president's smile was dazzling, wonderfully expressing the perfect mixture of kindness and sorrow.
The girl nodded inwardly. Yes, the vice president was certainly style incarnate, and the poor innocent secretary was the helpless victim of it, unable to defend himself against it, unable to see through the superb mask. In this fencing battle, the two opponents were hopelessly unmatched, the vice president's victory a matter of whim. Once he felt he had had enough of toying with his prey he would claim it in the blink of an eye.
The vice president turned back to the girl, favoring her with another of his shining smiles, as terribly efficient as the one he had used to strike the secretary, asking her :
"One hopes you enjoyed your stay among us ?"
The girl noted the smile, the hair and the black trenchcoat lazily flying with the breeze, she took in the eyes and the arm ready to wrap around her shoulders as soon as the moment would be judged perfect, and nodded.
"It was really wonderful, Cambridge is a great city, all this medieval architecture..."
The girl watched the vice president's expression closely, and as he was about to make his move, added with a mischieveous smile :
"But there's one thing I am not sure I'll forgive you..."
The young man froze, his face at once assuming an expression of stricken grief.
"What can it be ? Please dear lady, tell me so I can make amends..."
The girl almost betrayed herself at this moment, barely stifling delighted laughter. Hell, but one couldn't deny the man was good at his game... But then, victory would be that much sweeter. Smiling innocently, the girl told him :
"You told me so many things about your president, I was looking forward to meeting him, and..."
Both vice president and secretary froze, whispering longingly :
"Oh, the president..."
Admiration, worship... It was the first time the girl could witness so much of those in human beings. The smile that lit both young men's faces expressed such delight and reverence that the girl almost really felt like sulking for not having had the opportunity to meet such an extraordinary person. During the not so short time it took for the vice president to regain his composure, the girl promised herself she wouldn't let this president escape her a second time. When next she came to Cambridge...
"I'm so sorry Ariane... He's away at the moment, and won't be back for a few days, but when you visit again..."
The girl nodded graceful acceptance of fact, replying teasingly :
"All right, then you must promise me he'll be ready to worship me during my stay."
The vice president chuckled softly.
"That will be easy..."
The girl fought the blush she could feel coming to her cheeks, and berated herself for being a fool. Damn the man, but he was really too good at the game.
Yes, style, she knew he had it, and had almost forgotten. A stupid mistake, that one, but perhaps useful after all.
"Do you like wearing black latex and leather ?"
The girl burst out laughing, unable to help herself.
She shook her head, protesting violently :
"No ! No way ! That's not me !"
The vice president nodded, smiling.
"Too bad, but I'm sure we can find a way."
The girl playfully poked the vice president's right shoulder with the tip of her left forefinger, replying :
"I'm sure you can, and remember..."
She smiled in a most charming way.
"I don't wear black leather or latex, but I *do* write fanfics..."
The secretary on her left grinned.
The vice president turned towards his colleague, saying :
Suddenly, he lifted a hand, and the sunlight caught in a key ring. For a fraction of a second, the shining reflection of the sun on the object blinded the secretary, who paled, a terrible expression of grief coming to his face. He bowed his head, whispering faintly :
"I'm sorry, forgive me... Please, forgive me..."
Impressive, really impressive trick. The vice president definitely was a man to be reconned with, but...
Silent, allowing herself to fade and be one with the environment, the girl watched the two men standing on the chessboard.
The vice president turned away from the secretary, chuckling.
"Forgive you ? But I can't do that Doug, as you well know..."
The secretary staggered, and the girl wondered for a moment if he wasn't going to fall. That would precipitate things, and it wouldn't... She grinned inwardly as she saw a magpie settling on a tree branch right above the vice president. Sometimes the gods smiled on people... Meanwhile, the vice president went on, delivering what the girl knew would be the killing blow.
"You have to forgive yourself for failing us, for failing our charming lady friend who crossed half of Europe to visit us, you have to forgive yourself for failing our ideals, our dreams, the principles which are the root of our beings..."
The secretary's right hand clutched at his shirt, as if somehow he could tear his heart out of his chest, and stop feeling pain. His face was entirely devoid of expression, the bright tears shining in his eyes the only sign of the devouring guilt that was now engulfing his soul. The vice president turned to face the secretary and concluded, merciless :
"You have to forgive yourself Doug, even if I don't see how you or anyone will ever manage that."
The secretary's head shot up, his body was so tense the girl couldn't help but hurt for him. Almost, she could see the vice president holding a whip and the terrible wounds the cruel weapon had carved in the secretary's spirit. The young man reached out to the vice president, like one about to fall into a bottomless abyss, his hand held out in a desperate plea for help. He walked a step towards the other, but no more. Either unable or not daring to presume...
The girl looked up at the magpie still perched on its branch and chuckled almost inaudibly, wondering if the bird was as captivated by the scene as she.
The vice president was watching the other young man with the slightest trace of amusement showing on his face. He had allowed the mirth to be seen of course, it was all part of the game, to force the opponent to taste the bittersweet taste of utter defeat, to see the laughter in the victor's eyes, and yet be unable to restrain himself from going to him...
Well done, mister vice president...
The girl had to give him that, but...
As the secretary's hand was slowly falling, as his head was bowing and despair claimed him completely, the vice president moved. In the blink of an eye, he was at the secretary's side, his right hand catching the other's, and his left arm wrapped around the other's shoulders, supporting him and holding him close.
"Hush Doug... Hush..."
The secretary buried his head against the vice president's chest and the latter bent over him, letting the glistening black curtain of his long silken hair offer a shelter for the secretary's grief. Douglas trembled in the other's embrace, and the vice president hugged him a bit tighter, smiling gently, his eyes shining brightly with the joy of triumph, the intoxicating feeling of victory mixed with the soft, gentle light of something that might have been affection. His fingertips tenderly brushed the secretary's hair as he whispered fondly :
"It's all right, I know you didn't mean to challenge me..."
Silence reclaimed the scene while the secretary wept quietly in the vice president's arms. The girl watched, completely forgotten by the two men as she had expected, engraving every small detail of the tableau in her memory. This would prove to be invaluable material, and she would use it very, very soon. As her gaze swept over the trees, she noticed the magpie's still form and grinned. The bird hadn't moved.
Eventually, the secretary's sobs stopped, and he looked up at the vice president, his expression a mixture of shyness and fragile hope as he asked :
"Do you mean you will...?"
The vice president cut him off gently, touching the tip of his right forefinger to the other's lips.
His fingertips tenderly wiped the secretary's tears away, and he slowly bent over him a bit more, smiling.
As lips met lips, the girl moved from the place where she had watched it all, invisible shadow cloaked in the surroundings, and walked away with a secret smile of her own.
The vice president abruptly felt something cold hitting the top of his head.
The secretary felt his lover tensing and broke the kiss, dreading to find he had somehow displeased him.
The magpie flew away, deciding this place wasn't suitable for a nap after all.
The secretary looked up at the vice president, asking in a faint voice :
"What's wrong ? Did I...?"
The vice president barely heard the worried inquiry of his lover, he was too busy fighting annoyance at whatever had interrupted the moment. This feeling of cold liquid on his skull was really... Suddenly, he noticed that the secretary had stopped talking and was watching him, his face flushed with what could have been desire, but... Reaching up in a nonchalant move, he brushed his hair and brought in front of his eyes a thick white liquid, viscous...
No it couldn't be...
No it couldn't have happened...
Not to *him* !...
Heat rushed to his face, burning heat, and laughter filled the silence, coming from the secretary. He fought down embarrassment, intent on finding the cursed bird responsible for this unforgivable crime, and looked up.
The magpie was gone, and nowhere to be seen, the dung sticking to his beautiful silken hair the only proof if its presence on the tree mere moments ago.
He looked at his hand, speechless, unable to understand how the universe has *dared* allow this shameful indignity to be visited upon him. Minutes passed, and suddenly the secretary raised a hand to his lips, a dismayed expression on his face. The vice president looked at him, wondering, and suddenly understood. A stunned whisper escaped him :
"Gone... Ariane is gone..."
On the train to London, the passengers were watching a young woman with curiosity. She had been laughing since the beginning of the journey, and it didn't look like her laughter would die any time soon.
The vice president looked at the train station a mere fifty meters distant from the place where they had stopped, and cursed himself for being a fool. There had been more to the girl than he had thought. He hadn't expected to find a real opponent, and of two prizes, he was left with the one that had always been his. The other was gone...
In a flash, his decision was made. Defeat was not a word known to him, he knew only victory, and the trophy wouldn't escape him. He knew himself to be the better player of the two, the best. As he made to run towards the station, a blinding column of light pierced through the clouds and struck the ground beside him and the secretary. Reflexively, he protected his eyes, and when the light faded, he saw with wonder a human shape walking towards him.
The mind always called forth the image of a black panther whenever he appeared.
So beautiful the sight of him took the breath away and caused the heart to beat frantically fast.
As the man was stepping closer to them, the fingers of his right hand chased away lazily a few stray lock of hair that had been invading his face.
Both secretary and vice president exclaimed at the same time :
The president couldn't help smiling as he heard the breathless admiration in the voices. It was expected of course, but still being worshipped was nice... Suddenly, the vice president ran towards him and the president then remembered that at times to be worshipped had some drawbacks. He made a warding gesture, shaking his head.
The vice president kept running, grinning widely and saying :
"Unborn chicken must break the egg shell if they are to survive. We are the chicken, and the egg is your virginity, Kyri-sama !"
The president sweatdropped, looking at the rushing vice president. He sighed and closed his eyes, understanding he should have known better than to expect some things to change. He took a deep breath and then faced the assault, grinning.
"Wrong, Tim. How many times do I have to tell you ?..."
He pointed a finger towards the vice president and said an arcane word of power.
Lightning hit the ground and thunder filled the air.
The president looked at the huge oval shape in front of him and concluded with a dazzling smile :
"The egg is *you*..."
He then looked at the baffled secretary and nodded.
"It's time to go home Doug. Take care of him, will you ?"
The secretary bowed, and tied a rope around the giant egg from which a muffled voice could be heard protesting eternal love and devotion.
Two men and a giant egg then started their slow way back towards the heart of Cambridge in the waning light of day. Strangely enough, no passers-by stopped to watch the progress of what was after all an eerie procession.
I put back the third volume of "Komorebi no Moto de" that I had just picked up in town, and went to my computer. I had told them I wouldn't write until I had some time, which had implied delay, time for them to prepare. Well, as it happened I had time *now*, and I was in the mood.
Grinning evilly, I turned on the machine and started typing.
My, but this was FUN !!!
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