Just kind of a painting practice for me, and I was experimenting a lot. I went about it in the most unorganized way and got completely lost in my layers and gave up towards the end. But I got what I wanted to mess around with done. Who cares about zippers. Or shoes.
The original, more cartoony vers of these two plus story overview: [link]
I don't forsee myself doing this story any time soon, so Imma spoil the crap out of the plot. And if I ever get around to doing it, pretend you don't know what's going to happen. >:3
As mentioned previously, the story was loosely inspired by Utena, so Tsubasa is kinda Kagami's Anthy.
Kagami enters the whole tournament/school thing chasing her deceased mother's footsteps. Her mother was a researcher in the magic Sword field, and Kagami suspects her mother might've bewitched her father just for his money to invest in this research. She claims that she just wants to know what her mother was up to, but one can suspect that she might hold a grudge (though it's hard to tell. It's one of those things where your character just doesn't let you in on the secret. maybe she doesn't know herself).
As a sword, Tsubasa is a little special. Though only a Sword and his partner can know exactly what the Sword's magic field does without being told, Tsubasa has been able to correctly determine all their opponents' powers. For example, in an unofficial match (with a guy/girl pair that eventually becomes their friends despite Kagami initially finding them irritating) their opponents try to mislead others into assuming their powers are cold, when it's actually deceleration. Tsubasa correctly identifies this immediately.
(Swords' powers range from affecting things on the molecular level to hypnotism, to ... well just about anything)
Tsubasa is also treated specially by the school. Instead of being made to live in the dorms like all the others, he has his own small apartment in a tree. (IE, treehouse) However, Tsubasa doesn't offer information about himself, and no one's really bothered to ask. They realize soon, that Tsubasa has problems remembering anything before he met Kagami when another pair of opponents try to split him and Kagami up before he can open his field.
This pair has the power of suggestion, and essentially hypnotizes Tsubasa and tells him to return to his previous residence. It kind of backfires, as Tsubasa leads them to a secret door that's heavily protected with security measures. There, Tsubasa and Kagami's opponents are forced to remove the suggestion and void the fight by some higher ups. When questioned about it by others, Tsubasa can't recall exactly where the door goes, but feels as if he used to go there often.
Truncating the rest of the details, Kagami and Tsubasa find out that Tsubasa was an orphan and the only test subject that was able to manifest powers through the Academy's research. (Kagami chooses not to discover what happened when a test subject didn't make it, suspecting that it was something she wouldn't be able to live with knowing.) Using his brain patterns, the Academy concocted a stimulant that could induce other people to manifest their own powers. He's been kept hidden in the Academy for 27 years, for fear that people might figure it out and try to devise a way to control everyone's powers or disrupt them or something. Whatever the plan, Tsubasa would be a crucial component in the scheme. (And that's why they're called "Swords", because Tsubasa was the first one and his power was a sword.)
At Kagami's mother's instruction, a woman who can control a subject's time (lifespan) has halted Tsubasa from aging for 10 years, however it doesn't affect the mind and so the limit of Tsubasa's forever 17 brain versus his mind that is experiencing the full ten years has been keeping his memories hazy. Thus, though he knows he should/shouldn't do things, he can't reason out why, which provides a sort of crude fetter on Tsubasa's movements and kept him tethered to the Academy. Out of a weird sort of compassion, the woman lifted this from Tsubasa after he became Kagami's Sword, trusting that Kagami could protect him.
In the end, Kagami chooses not to ask about her mother, deciding that getting to meet Tsubasa was enough for her and kind of suspecting that she didn't want to know all the while. After she and Tsubasa depart for who knows where, the woman reveals that Kagami's mother had a form of Alzheimer's and, when they discovered that stopping a subject's time did not stop the deterioration of the mind, became overly ambitious to leave her mark on the world, neglecting her family and ignoring some morals that probably shouldn't have been ignored. On her death bed, Kagami's mother was overcome with regret that she probably hadn't spent her time in the right places and died stricken with grief.
The woman comments that at least the Head Researcher's daughter would walk a better path, and had picked up the "loose ends" (aka Tsubasa) her mother had left behind.