Ageha couldn't help but narrow her eyes at Ayame. Seriously? Munro was improving, but there was no way she was good enough for the top three! She wasn't even good enough for the top five! Top ten, even! Was Washio-sensei on drugs?
Well, whatever. It wasn't like Munro had a real chance at the title. Now that the top three were picked, Ageha just had to decide between Spencer and Souta. They were surprisingly close in her own head. She wasn't sure how one would outdo the other, but one of them had to. Washio-sensei at least had to agree with her that one of them should be vice-captain, right? They didn't see the same type of potential in Munro, but they had to agree that Spencer and Souta had the most potential out of the second-year group.
Ageha leaned back in her seat and waited for Ayame to set off the final round.
Ayame looked thoughtful as she gauged Ageha's reaction to her choosing Kage. THAT was what worried her. Ageha and Kage never seemed to get along. Kage tried, but Ageha ultimately pushed her away which caused Kage to lash out. It wasn't good for a team to have members at each other's throats. Ayame would have to have a word with Ageha about this. She looked over at the three she'd chosen.
The dance wouldn't be as fresh in their minds this time. With the short break, she was sure they'd have lost some of the moves in their head. She watched carefully to see how much they each retained and how they executed the moves as she weighed something in her mind.
Spencer still knew the dance - he was tired, yeah, but that didn't mean he'd immediately forget everything! He'd been doing this for years. A 10-minute break didn't mean anything. In fact, he thought he did even better this time. He was hella motivated, as Ryan would say.
Once the dance was over for the last, hellish time, he unzipped his hoodie, stepping back as he caught his breath, running a hand through his hair. He caught Souta's eye again and nodded, grinning at him. It'd gone well for both of them, he was sure. He stepped off to the side, plopping down onto the floor to chug down half of his water bottle. It'd be stupid to die from dehydration now.
He just wanted this to be over. For the decision to be made.
"Yeah? Well, you sound like Joe Pesci." colour: #6a6a6a
Souta was pretty sure that this run through, his fourth run through, was the best one he’d done so far. During the break he’d been running through the steps over and over in his head, making sure he knew them perfectly. He wanted to be vice captain so badly, and he hoped that the fact it didn’t take him very long to perfect the dance and the moves would reflect that.
When the dance finished, the grin spread over his face and he put his hands over his face, leaning forwards then running them back into his hair as he straightened up. He hadn’t missed a step.
He clapped Spencer on the shoulder when he passed, shrugging off his jacket and breathing out with a sigh. Picking up his water bottle he went to clap Kage over the shoulder before hesitating. Last time he’d got near her she’d freaked out and started screaming and Souta was pretty sure it was like something from a horror film when the child gets possessed. He didn’t want it to happen again. Moving around in front of her, he held out his water bottle.
"A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn, not easily mended."
Post by Treasa "Kage" Munro on Jun 9, 2015 21:14:30 GMT
Determination set in where nervousness had once been. The shaking was gone and the seriousness on her face was gone and she smiled. She could do this. She knew the dance. She even managed to add a little personal flair to the moves as she danced, feeling a world more confident in the movements she'd done four times before now.
It was over and all she could do was hope that she impressed enough to be recognized for it, even if she didn't get the position. She walked over to her bag and produced a bottle of water, downing half of its contents before she noticed Souta was in front of her. She lifted her gaze to him. He seemed to have learned from last time. She had apologized profusely, explaining only about her fear of men. She begged Washio-sensei to allow someone else to do the dance with the boys but the woman had insisted on Kage doing the dance for now. If the fear kept being a problem, then they would consider someone else.
Kage offered a smile. "Thanks. You were great," she responded. He was. Both he and Spencer were worlds better than her.
Ageha's attention immediately shifted to Spencer and Souta. Munro had been decent, but not enough for this position. If anything, her performance had only convinced Ageha that she'd be able to keep up with the rest of the team more easily than she could at the beginning of the year. At least Ageha's job would be a little easier. Maybe Munro had followed her advice, sought outside help.
In any case, she had to decide between Souta and Spencer. They were both good. It felt weird not being able to decide firmly on something. She glanced at Nanami, considering asking her opinion, but Nanami didn't have nearly as much input... unfortunately... Excusing herself with a sigh, Ageha lifted from her seat and crossed over to Ayame.
"Well?" A note of expectation crept into Ageha's voice. "What do you... Who do you want to give this to?" She wanted to believe they were on the same page for once, but she couldn't tell. "I want Souta. Or Spencer. They fit what I'm looking for."
Ayame looked over at Ageha as she walked over. The teacher eyed the captain a moment as she spoke. She expected as much. "What do you think of Munro?" she asked, waiting for Ageha's response. Whatever Ageha said, she would make her decision based on that. "I have other plans for Spencer," Ayame explained. Her eyes watched Ageha carefully. "I've been getting the choreography from an old college friend, considering I'm not a dancer myself...but I feel you kids need something more....constant. Someone to connect with to learn the dances rather than using a video. I'd like to offer that position to Spencer."
No doubt Ageha expected her to choose Souta, then. Boy was she in for a surprise. Under normal circumstances, she probably would have chosen Souta, however Ayame had another motive here. A lesson that needed to be taught to both Ageha and Kage.
"Alright!" she called to the students. "I'm going to announce our new vice-captain. After that, I want our first years to practice their group routine while I discuss the new responsibilities with our newly appointed vice-captain. Spencer...Souta...Kage, would you three please step forward?"
She watched the three carefully. "You've all done exceptionally well, but only one of you can have the position and so....the new vice-captain is...."
Post by Spencer Reznik on Jun 9, 2015 23:12:44 GMT
Spencer's heart dropped out and bounced on the floor. And then Ayame stepped on it. And squished it. And then she cackled about it.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Spencer blurted out - suddenly glad a majority of the room didn't speak English. If they did, though, he didn't care that much. How could he be expected to be speaking Japanese at that point? Nah. Nope. Even if they did, he was sure he got some sort of-- no. There was just no reason for this. His fists clenched, unclenched. Was this some sort of stupid joke? Ayame was obsessed with those.
But no - no, it wasn't. This team was a joke. It already had been. He'd just chosen to ignore it, sort of like ignoring a friend who kept shoving you and then laughing about it and saying they were just kidding and to lighten up. He ran his hands across his face. Once. Twice. He didn't need this, not after the whole last year.
Maybe he really was too stupid, too untalented for anything. Don't think like that.
"Fuck this." He couldn't handle this right now. Spencer swallowed hard, avoiding eye contact with anyone - especially fuckin' Ayame and Merida over there - and forced his brain to work in Japanese long enough to mumble something about feeling nauseous and left the room.
"Yeah? Well, you sound like Joe Pesci." colour: #6a6a6a
His heart hurt. His face crumpled, eyebrows knitting together tightly as he squared his shoulders, leaning forwards slightly. He clenched his fists, not looking up for a minute. He could feel his eyes getting watery and grit his teeth tightly, looking up at the ceiling, trying to will the tears not to fall.
His fists started to shake.
Eventually he looked forward, holding his face in his hands for a moment. Nothing he did was really good enough... was it? He still... wasn't good enough... What had he missed? What had he done wrong? He must have done something... but what?
He couldn't even look at Ayame right now... Or Ageha. He'd let her down. He knew he'd let her down. Looking up he caught Kage's eye for just a minute and he tried a smile, putting a hand to her shoulder, making sure she could see him first. His hand was still shaking.
"Good job." His voice cracked and the tears were threatening to overflow. One did and he looked away quickly, wiping it fiercely away and grabbing his jacket and water bottle from the floor, "I'll check on Spencer." He swallowed again before hurrying the way Spencer had gone, shrugging on his jacket as he left the room.
"A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn, not easily mended."
Post by Treasa "Kage" Munro on Jun 9, 2015 23:40:29 GMT
Kage stared blankly at Ayame a moment. Had she....heard right? No. It couldn't...then Spencer started cursing. She stared after him as he started walking off. She reached out a hand to try to stop him.
"Spencer..." but thought better of it. He was pissed. She didn't deserve this position, so why had Ayame picked her? She looked up at Souta when he touched her shoulder. She felt fear creeping up but she knew where he was. It was Souta. It was Souta. He looked ready to cry. She opened her mouth to say something, but soon he was leaving, too. Everybody was angry with her. This hadn't been her decision. Ayame had said she was expected to try out. She had never even thought she'd win.
She walked over to Ayame, continuously staring at the floor. The room was silent and Kage felt the eyes of everyone on her. She trembled, knowing Ageha was probably glaring daggers at her, wishing all kind of ill thoughts upon her. "Washio-sensei, I really think that Spencer should have..." she trailed off, knowing it wasn't going to do much good.
Something heavy dropped into Ageha's gut. At first she squinted at Ayame. Blinked. She couldn't have heard right. But then she made the announcement, and Spencer and Souta ran off, and --
"What the fuck?!" It tore out of Ageha before she could grab hold of it. She hadn't wanted to. "What do you mean 'Kage'?! I don't want Kage!"
This couldn't have been real! Ayame had to be pulling a (horrible, shitty) joke! Right?!
"She can't be vice-captain! I told you, I wanted Souta or Spencer! How do you hear 'Kage' in that? Are you deaf or stupid?!" Both! She had to be! "I'm the captain! This is my team! You said I had a choice in this, you -- Why would you -- What on Earth can someone like Munro even offer as vice-captain?! I told you what I wanted!" Why was Ayame doing this? Why had she lied to her or even offered the chance to everyone else to audition if she was going to pick Kage and not care about Ageha's opinion?!
"Okamoto-san, if you want to avoid detention, you'd best watch your language. This is NOT your team. You may be captain, but with an attitude like THAT, you're three seconds from losing that position if you continue with that behavior." Her eyes settled on Ageha, this time with a look of pure authority. Ageha knew better than to press her luck and Ayame had gone from the accomodating coach who knew very little of dance to the teacher with a purpose.
"The reason I chose Munro-san is simple. You two have lost site of what it means to BE a team. Okamoto-san, you either alienate Munro-san completely, or you treat her like garbage. I have witnessed several occasions where she's asked you for help and you've either berated her for her accent and her clothing choices, or you've ignored her completely. I've seen ONE occasion where you've actually given her advice, and even then you were condescending and cruel. I would expect this behavior from a first year, Okamoto-san, but not you. Especially when the previous captain made sure to mentor you quite closely."
Her eyes darted to Kage. "And don't think you're off the hook, Munro-san. In return, you've been just as snide in your remarks. On the occasion Okamoto-san offered you advice, you completely blew her off and told her to...and I quote 'stuff it'." She let the information sink in for a moment. She adjusted her glasses carefully on the bridge of her nose. "So. This is your assignment. The two of you will work together as captain and vice-captain. You will learn to work as a team by the time the competition rolls around. Or..." she looked both of them dead in the eyes. "...you will both resign."
She stayed silent long enough to be sure they understood exactly what they were facing.
Ageha went silent, her jaw clenching and her words squeezing into a lump in her throat. What?
"What are you talking about? I've tried to work with her! It's not my fault she's so far behind everyone else. I have the rest of my team to worry about, not just her!" There'd only been so much she could do. Kage needed a lot of help. Yeah, she got frustrated, said things -- in private, she thought -- but...
"I don't care about your little motives or whatever." she finally said, turning away from Ayame. Just looking at her made her stomach tighten up. "That doesn't give you an excuse to lie to me! You've never danced a day in your life, and you don't know what I'm looking for! You don't even care!"
She forced herself to glare at Ayame, watching to see what was getting through to that obviously pea-sized brain of hers. This was ridiculous. She wasn't about to listen to someone who wasn't going to listen to her.
"You know what? I'm done. Have fun with Munro by yourself."
Post by Treasa "Kage" Munro on Jun 10, 2015 1:03:16 GMT
"Okamoto-senpai, wait!" Kage called after her. She grabbed Ageha's arm before she could leave. Her eyes were determined and if Ageha tried to pull away, Kage would tighten her grip. If it was one thing Kage had over Ageha, it was strength. Years of reigning in horses and working the farm had given her that. "I don't give a shite how angry ye are, I'm not letting ye give up something ye worked so hard fer just cause yer pissed at a teacher. YER the one with the skill here, not me. This team will fall apart without ye."
That was probably the most Kage had said to Ageha since they'd met. Her eyes darted over to Ayame. "Fine, Washio-sensei. We'll learn ter work together...but I have a request. Spencer deserved this position far more than I do. Make him vice-captain. Give me...some other title that puts me below him. I'll work with Ageha and that way the rest of the team doesn't suffer because of me. Is that acceptable?"
Ageha might not like her, but Kage DID care about the captain. They just didn't see eye to eye on anything. She turned her gaze back to Ageha. "I came here specifically to learn from ye," she said, keeping her voice low so only Ageha could hear her, "...but ye never gave me the chance. I'm not about to let ye throw away a lifetime of work over a temper tantrum."
Ageha whirled around, glowering straight into Kage's face.
"You have five seconds to let go of me." Her tone was clipped, low. "I don't want to see your face, and I don't want to be here." She wanted to snatch away from Kage, but she couldn't move! "I tried to help you! What can you expect me to do when you slacked off for seven years?! I can't spend all of my time holding your hand when the rest of my team needs me to help them, too! That's why I told you to get outside help! And you clearly don't get it, or else you wouldn't be calling this a tantrum! Who do you think you are, Munro?!"
She turned her gaze away, out somewhere else where she didn't have to look at Kage or Ayame. Even if Spencer became vice-captain instead, that wouldn't change what just happened. Ayame couldn't be trusted.
"I don't want to work with some idiot who doesn't know what she's talking about and lies to me."