Ghosts of a Self - author's notes - a.k.a. where the hell did that come from?
This fic is purely the result of a thought experiment, so I'll explain the background here for the curious.
The line I used as an inscription is spoken by Akio, to Anthy (as she lifts her disguise as Mamiya), concerning Mikage. After the end of the series, the million swords that Anthy, as the Rose Bride, took to protect Akio were accepted by Utena instead. I was reading my friend Jude's excellent post-series fic Archimage, which speculates that Anthy was able, with a strong bit of magic, to divert the swords from Utena back to their rightful recepient, and one of the major questions running through the fic is who Akio sacrificed as the next Rose Bride to save himself. This fic is one potential answer to that, though certainly not Jude's own answer, and it does not take place in the Archimage universe.
Confused yet? It's Utena fandom! Comes with the territory. :) In the meantime, read the fic!