2013-10-01 - Ohtori Classical Dance
|Ohtori Classical Dance|
Ohtori is a big school, and it has a lot of clubs, activities, and classes. One of these is Classical Dance. It's an after-school class, not actually a club, but an optional activity done once a month or so where an expert comes in from the city to teach the students who sign up various forms of dance from around the world.
Ohtori Academy, Classrooms
| OOC - IC Date:|
10/1/2013 - 9/27/2013
Ah, afternoon at Ohtori. Classes have ended for the day, but the school is still abuzz with activity. One such activity is Classical Dance Class. This is not, in truth, an Ohtori class. It is more of an extra-curricular activity, a class run by a dance instructor from in the city who has simply been offered Ohtori's facilities to run his class, and students have been given a discount to the normal price if they wish to attend.
The class is held in the gymnasium, which as you might guess, is large and opulent. This is not the first of these classes -they have been going on for some time now, once a week. Whether or not this is the first class for you, however, is entirely up to you: new students come and go to classes such as these all the time.
The class is informal- there may be recitals and such associated with it, but for the actual class, street or gym clothes are much in evidence. The instructor himself is a tall, skinny German man in all black. A black turtleneck and black stretchy pants, and bare feet. He has short grey hair, and looks as though he might be in his 50s, though he is very fit. He stands stiffly by the door, almost at attention, watching his charges file in, and smiling. "Ahhh, ze little birds, zey have returned! Velcome, velcome! Please, sit over zere and we will begin shortly!"
Sei Itazura is among those entering the gym. She has been attending this class all semester, much to her dismay. She's wearing her gym clothes - a white t-shirt with red neckline and sleeve-hems, and red shorts, knee-length, with a white stripe down the sides. She is also scowling. She usually is. She actually enjoys the class itself, at least to a degree - she is very pretty and very graceful and is good at dancing, so it gives her a chance to show off, which she always likes. But the /reason/ she is here is different, and that makes her grumpy.
"Stupid Father," She mutters under her breath as she moves to sit on the gym floor amongst the other students. "Sou doesn't have to go to dance class, she's refined enough, he says. Sei, you need further refining. Bite me." She sighs though, sitting cross-legged, and turns her pale eyes up to the instructor, who is still sheparding young 'uns in. All-told, the class consists of about twenty students, mostly girls.
Madobe went back to Ohtori largely not to go to the dance class but instead in hopes of running into Amu again and maybe asking her questions about dreams, eggs, and so on. She also seemed cool (and spicy) and could have helped her become more popular! HOWEVER.
She has the misfortune of bumping into Richazawa and Moneyko during her lurkings.
"Oh ho ho! How quaint! A little urchin girl has stumbled into Ohtori!" Moneyko says. "Wouldn't it be oh so adorable if we took her to the dance class? Imagine what a lark it would be if she stumbled and fell over her own two feet! Oh ho ho ho!" Richazawa adds.
Madobe turns to run but is seized up by her arms as the two stereotypes drag her to the dance class, setting her down uncomfortably near Sei--no doubt to keep the 'uncouth' people together.
Madobe is pale, staring straight ahead like a corpse. The only sign that she has not somehow died on the way over is a faint nervous giggle gurgling out of her throat.
Madoka steps tentatively into the room, her little brown street shoes making equally tiny clicks on the hardwood floor. She jumps at the noise, a little self-conscious; she always finds it strange to be out of slippers inside, even as dubious an inside as a gym. Her eyes sweep the chamber, looking frantically for familiar faces, but alas; she couldn't get Sayaka to commit to such a venture, and Hitomi had prior arrangements with her eternally demanding private tutors. Still, this is an opportunity to make new friends, and she perks up from the tips of her toes to the tops of her puffy pink twintails at the thought, her smile still trembling a little bit with shyness, but excitement -- both to learn how to dance like a Great Lady, and for the former prospect -- lights her eyes up like twin beacons, radiant with hope. It's not brave enough a gaze to lock directly on anyone, but where it lacks in courage it certainly makes up for with friendly cheer.
She slides her bookbag under the mostly-folded bleachers, well out of the way of the imminent chaos; the strap comes undone just after she's let momentum take its course, a notebook page covered in ladies awash in classical ball gowns tumbling out onto the floor. Ignorance is bliss; Madoka's already turned her back, and moved to join the group, kneeling uneasily on the periphery with her teal Ohtori skirt tracing tiny arcs in a (small) puddle around her. She might totally accidentally and obliviously put a toe upon Sei Itazura's lengthy, lucious locks on her way over.
Madobe, on the other hand, she definitely smiles at deliberately, that giggle infectious, perhaps the only sound that could make Madoka's own giggle seem confident in comparison. "Um, h-hi! It's my first time too!" she whispers welcomingly, in between ze instructiunz of ze profezzor.
Classical dance lessons - this sort of thing was quite relevant to Michiru Kaioh's interests. And although Michiru was quite happy to be a student at Infinity, the campus at Ohtori was absolutely beautiful, and she was rather fond of every moment she got to visit.
That fondness did show in her demeanor, the subtle little smile that Michiru wore never quite having a chance to leave her face. If only she could get Haruka to commit to attending with her, but previous engagements on her end had made this a solo affair.
Likewise, Michiru - older than most here, enters the gymnasium, wearing a pair of dark practice dance shoes, especially - and a light, airy sort of blue-white dress that defied the advent of fall, dark shorts worn beneath the past-knee-length skirt. There were few familiar faces here, Michiru had attended a class or two in the past, so perhaps she had been seen about, but she manages to make her way to the gathering of students without bumping into or harrassing anyone, her attention - concerned attention, certainly - mostly lingering on Madobe Kuroi, tilting her head to the side should the other young woman look at her as Michiru takes a position just a little bit away from most of the younger women there.
Minako Aino puts a little more flit-in-her-step after being addressed ze little bird. "Welcome, welcome, sturm und drang!" she announces in greeting. She makes her way to the group to join and mingle, but she doesn't sit down as she's dressed up in distinctly not-gym clothes and doesn't want to be on a floor.
She gives Michiru a smile and a quiet secret greeting of 'Infinity represent' before slinking off to the assembled dancers. Luckily, her two biggest fans are right next to each, which makes her choice of where to be immediate and easy - between Madobe and Sei! "Hiiii, girls. And my biggest fan! Be sure to encourage everybody to pick up some of my.... or should I say OUR.... CDs when they leave!"
A few days ago, a girl from Ohtori passed on a dance class invitation to a boy from Juuban by the name of Kazuo Isobe. In fact she'd hoped for a dance. But Kazuo Isobe is a jerk and profoundly anti-social and he promptly gave the invitation away to his best pal.
The best pal wasn't going to take it either.
And then he thought about it.
It is hard to tell Takumi Chiji's school because he dressed down. It involves a pair of exceptionally well-fitted jeans and a similarly well-fitted T-shirt, lime green with not so much as a smidge of writing, under a neat brown blazer-style coat which he is in the process of sliding off and laying to the side along with his duffel bag. He taps a heel against the flooring, having switched from his usual brown loafers to a pair of lighter dancing shoes he unbelievably had lying around.
He had them around because he's danced before. One might say he has thousands of skills but just doesn't use them.
Something catches Takumi's eye - it's a flash of teal hair.
(So,) part of him thinks. (It's her again.)
He gives his head a toss - throwing up a few sparkles to those who are into brooding prettyboys with nice figures - before stepping slowly forward towards the gathering. His eyes linger on Michiru.
"So you're a dancer too, Kaioh-san," he muses as he nears her, tone quiet.
Eri Shimanouchi had been out from Ohtori Academy for a few weeks. Family emergency, to those that actually cared enough to inquire. Few did, she was someone who went through the walks of life around the Academy mostly keeping to herself, and went relatively unnoticed. She was not the most social of individuals, and had no friends outside of the Academy swim team. Which is why it might seem passing strange to anyone who actually recognized her that she was attending the Classical Dance as an extracurricular. In truth her motive for being here wasn't much different from Sei's. Her Father wanted her to be here. She didn't understand how learning to dance was going to make her suddenly more sociable
And so she gritted her teeth for just a few seconds upon exitting from the locker room, where she'd changed into a grey T-shirt and teal gym shorts. It seems she had yet to escape the imposed colors upon the middle schoolers at Ohtori. But once she enters the gym proper, her demeanor just changes. She appears to have hunched in a little unto herself, her eyes slightly downcast with an abstracted expression. Misa wasn't here, having prior commitments, and thus Eri had no safety in numbers to fall back upon. She knew noone here, except maybe having caught a glimpse of some of them in passing.
Having been a mostly asocial, middle-class individual, she seems to understand the implicit context of where she's supposed to sit. Which puts her right on the other side of Madobe, Michiru and Madoka, away from Sei. She nods to each in passing, managing a faint smile, before mumbling, "Good afternoon."
She didn't imagine they'd follow up, so she puts down her book bag and looks upon the skinny German instructor, trying to follow along with his thick accent. In her head, she imagined Kyubey crawling all over him, before coming to rest on his head, without him even noticing. The enigmatic creature she knew as her boss and benefactor was nowhere to be seen though, leaving her with a lopsided smirk framed behind her shy features, as she tried to continue imagining this in order to ward off her anxiety.
Nadeshiko Fujisaki is partly to blame for this class even happening; she is, after all, both a student body officer and known for her deep and abiding love of dance. Normally, she's just content to let others discover the magic of dance (even if it isn't the Japanese kind which is /definitely the best/) while she attends to Guardian business, and/or do the Japanese dance lessons she does at home, all the time, constantly, forever.
But every so often she's able to show up. Nadeshiko appears in the girl's sports uniform for the elementary school - red shorts and a white shirt with red trim, and more athletic shoes than her favored boots. This is just about the only time outside gym class itself she wears the outfit; unlike the Jack's Chair, she hasn't made time for clubs beyond the Guardians.
She smiles at the instructor as she allows her way in; "Sensei," she offers, and steps in with carefully-measured steps. And then, a low voice chirps at her, "Nadeshiko-san~" and she looks down to where her softball-sized fairy has located someone's fallen notebook/sketchbook. Oh, that's cute... "Take good care of it, Temari," she instructs her kimono-clad Guardian Character, and then steps inside while the small, cartoonish little fairy emits a chirpy acknowledgement. And doesn't do much, because if she picked it up it would look to most students like it was levitating and then this would be a much different scene.
She takes up a natural position, a little ahead of the youngest students so that she can provide help and leadership; she is, after all, a Guardian. This ends up putting the long-haired girl near the cluster of older students, kneeling seiza automatically.
Once everyone has been seated/assembled and the mumbling of conversations have more or less died down to a constant buzz, the instructor strides to the center of the gymnasium, in front of the small group. He claps his hands, holding them up by his face as he does so. As he talks, his accented voice occasionally crescendos to a passionate shout for no real reason other than that he really likes dance. "Velcome back, velcome back little birds! And to all ze new little birds we have not seen before, it is GLORIOUS TO SEE YOU!" He smiles broadly. "Ve are all equals here.. dedicated and unified by unser love of ze magical ART OF DANCING!" He twirls a small, perfecy pirhouette on the spot, before continuing. "I am Herr Tanzenpartei, and I vill be your instruktor. Do not fret, do not fret little birds if you are new to ze GLORY OF DANCE! Ve vill start schlowly, ja? Please, find a partner from zose sitting near to you! Ve have more girlz zan boyz but zis is not to worry! I am sure ze gender of ze partner does not matter, it is only practice!"
Meanwhile, Sei has been sitting there, sulking, since she walked in. She hasn't even noticed Madobe, sitting nearby, her eyes locked on the middle distance. Her teeth grind audibly from time to time. Of course, this is until Minako prances up, declaring loudly that Sei is not only her biggest fan, but her benefactor. Sei's eyes fix like lasers on the other girl, and her scowl suddenly has more direction. "You!" She hisses, keeping her tone low so the teacher doesn't hear. "What's the big idea with the sign out in the courtyard? I lost that bet because Varrus is a treacherous dog, I didn't want everyone to suddenly think I'm a patron of the arts!"
This is about when the teacher says to find a partner, so Sei stands up, rather abruptly, and glares around her. "Who wants to be my partner?!" She demands in a tone which sends all of the little NPC girls scurrying in every direction but towards her.
Madobe's head creeks towards Madoka who has pink hair and gets a relationship modifier check of at least +1 because of it. Also she's not too much older than Madobe to the point that she actually can mistake her for being in the same year. Combine this with not actually going to Juuban, Madobe manages to form coherent words as a result and even calms down a bit. She resolves that she shouldn't tell Madoka that 'she shouldn't be here' or anything because it would make a good impression. Instead she smiles back and says, "R-really? I thought everybody from Ohtori would be good at it." She starts to muck with her phone a bit, even sending off a message before realizing this is Ohtori and she quickly shoves it in her bag and sits on it. This isn't public school, Madobe!
She glances around a bit. She spots Michiru but doesn't recognize her though she does think pleasant (and jealous) things about her hair. Madobe's phone buzzes as it gets more messages and Madobe baps her bag a few times until it stops. "Eheh..." She smiles at Madoka awkwarldy.
Minako helps her out of a jam. "Ah--h..hello!" She says a bit too loudly. "Um--this is..." She looks to Madoka. "This is Minako-Chan and...ah... Minako-Chan this is..."
she realizes she skipped the important part of asking Madoka's name. "Um, I'm sorry." She admits sheepishly. "I forgot to ask." She also forgets to give her own name because she was too busy worrying about asking Madoka to give hers. This distracts her from running away from Sei like everybody else. Her habit of not listening to the teacher may have backfired until a few moments after Sei starts shouting for a partner.
Madobe slooowly turns towards Madoka. "Ah...would you like to...since we're both new?" Fighting retreat, Madobe thinks, fighting retreat! That's what this is! I can't tell which one you mean.
Madoka giggles again, a little bit embarrassed at Madobe's idea that everyone at Ohtori is a graceful dancer. "I-I hope that isn't true, or else I'm in trouble..." She is a sufficiently unserious student as to not even bat an eye at the cell phone buzzing, then leans back to people watch for a while.
As they arrive in turn, she smiles brightly at Minako's silly greeting, briefly gapes at Takumi's big boy sparkles, Nadeshiko's tinier but no less classy Queen's Chair sparkles, then about twenty times more, a blush rising to her cheeks, as she is struck dumb by the glamorous spectacle that is Michiru Kaioh. The advent of Eri Shimanouchi, though, snaps her out of it; she did actually inquire of the staff as to her missing classmate's well-being, out of a mix of curiosity, worry, and possible duties as class nurse for post-emergency watchfulness.
"Good afternoon, Shimanouchi-san!" she returns brightly, and with mild but genuine relief to see the missing girl in, at least to her untrained eyes, one piece. "And, u-um, w-welcome back?" There's nothing like a nervous quaver in one's tone to put someone at ease... right? Alas, Madoka is never sure of her words when she means them the most. "I, um, watered your plot." Of flowers; they are both Gardening Club members. "...Imighthavedrownedthepansy," she adds in a rush, her earlier overwhelmed blush deepening to the crimson of humiliation as she remembers this sad fact. "It was drying out, but now it's sinking in the mud even when I try to prop it up... I'm sorry!"
She's getting a little bit loud in her state of panicked remorse, and ducks her head in pre-emptive acknowledgment of, and apology in return for, the instructor's reprimand. "I'm really sorry," she repeats, in a barely audible whisper, before properly bending her ear to the teacher's instructions, with a final silent and mournfully apologetic glance at her clubmate.
It's PARTNER TIME, apparently, and in typical self-destructive willingness to reach out to anyone, no matter how unlikely, she rises and gives Sei a tiny, wobbly curtsey and an even tinier, wobblier smile-- that get diverted, at the last minute, by Madobe instead. That's probably all to the good. She extends her hand in friendship, doomed dance partnership, and definitely not marriage as Sayaka or Hitomi might try to content. "Oh! I'm Madoka Kaname... nice to meet you! What's your name?"
Of course, Michiru was going to spot Minako, the woman returning a smile to her and offering a nod of her head. "Aino-san, I see you made it," says Michiru to her, before Minako starts being - well, Minako again. Laughing a delighted little sound, Michiru takes the time to spy Eri's smile and hear her mumble, before she returns, "Good afternoon to yourself as well." Unaware of anyone finding her a ~spectacle~, perhaps - she nonetheless favours Kaname with a subtle little smile.
So many of the others seemed nervous, or not particularly wanting to be here. Michiru seemed to be completely at ease.
But what sparks a strong smile once more upon her lips is the arrival of Takumi Chiji. "It is a hobby of mine," she responds to him, the smile immeadiately sliding back to something more subtle as she looks upon him. "And of your own, as well," she says.
And there it was again - the queasy feeling in the pit of her stomach, the sound of the wind rustling at the back of her brain.
Michiru steps forward - just a half step towards him, a certain watchfulness hidden in her eyes. "...do you require a dance partner, Chiji-san?"
Minako Aino introduces herself to Madoka for Madobe, being Minako again as she stands up straight and prim and lady-like (all the while mentally forcing herself to think of some convenient way to not accidentally confuse Madoka and Madobe when she talks to them - a nickname should do the trick). "It's always to meet Maddooby-chan's friends," she says, trying to interject herself in between any one of Madobe's awkward pauses. Then, she gives Sei a reassuring pat on her back, spinning back and forth between new friends. "I'm sure your boy didn't become all treacherous. He just spoke with his HEART instead of his ears. It's how you judge music," she says, trying to sound reassuring. "And don't worry, I'll keep you art-patronizing secret," she whispers, too loudly to truly remain secret.
"Anyways, Herr Tarzan-Party says we need dance partners, so my biggest fan gets dibs, unless you got someone you wanna get dancey with."
That is a lot of V's. Takumi tilts his head to one side and listens to the dance party man's extremely Germanic instructions, lowering his hands to hook his thumbs into the space between his belt and his jeans in a stance that leaves his shoulders angled shallowly forward. He can't help but realize he's the only guy and most of the other dance students are at least three years younger than he is.
It is a slightly awkward feeling.
"I tried it before," he admits with a nod for Michiru, his voice remaining quiet as it usually is. "I thought it would be worth another go-around."
She approaches with that half-step, and his eyes settle on her, steady. His body language is relaxed and cool but behind the deep amaranth of those eyes, something is very, very alert.
(What is it about you, Kaioh Michiru...?)
Straightening, Takumi gives his head a little toss, hair flicked out of his eyes neatly, before he holds out a hand to her, shoulders straight and stance rising from that hint of slouch to something that could pass for princely were this some magical silver kingdom and were he some handsome knight of an age gone by. "I do, as it happens," he says simply, eyebrows curving upward. "Shall we, Kaioh-san?"
Eri wanted to say, /It's presumptuous of you to make that assumption./ to Herr Tanzenpartei After all, she had no love of dance, and she certainly didn't feel like she was unified with anyone here. But she learned long ago that calling people on the assumptions they made was a fruitless endeavour. They only considered her even more standoffish and eccentric. The truth is, that she just didn't understand why people did the things they do, and how to define the implicit social rules of a situation by the context. And so she often observed, picked up what she could and still had no idea /why/ people interacted with others as they did.
It surprised her when she snapped out of her abstracted thoughts to realize that was indeed a voice she actually recognized. She offers an actually warm smile to Madoka, at her comment of watering her plot, though her voice is still a little shy in tone. "Thank you Kaname-San. I very much appreciate that you looked after them in my absence. And.." Drowned the pansy, her smile wavers somewhat, "I'm.. certain, it will be well. Pansies are resilient." Even so, by the sudden anxious twitch in her eyes it was obvious she wanted to run out of the gym right away to check on the plot. One of her hands clenches the bleachers in order to steady herself from doing just that. She closes her eyes, taking in a deep steadying breath, "Sinking in the..." She tightens her grip, before offering a smile to the younger girl. "....mud. There's, no need for apologies, I'll check on it once the lessons are..." A glance towards the clock, she suddenly appears even more anxious. "...through." Twitch, twitch. Relax, she told herself. And Madoka Kaname meant well. "..thanks again, Kaname-san." Her tone is much softer though, and her voice is slightly clipped.
She had to wrench her gaze away from Madoka at that point, as Madobe had already offered to be her partner. Sei had... a reputation. So it came as no surprise to her when she hissed at someone she didn't recognize. But then Sei asked for a partner. And everyone had skittered away, leaving her to her own devices. At that point, she takes a deep breath, before rising. Normally she wouldn't approach an upperclassman, who was also from an Upper class family, but she had /asked/ who was going to be her partner, and noone was offering. "I'll..."
But then Minako surprises her by offering to be Sei's dancing partner. She had no idea why, the way Sei spoke, she'd swear that Sei didn't like the other girl one bit. But.. now that didn't seem to be the case? She truly didn't understand people at all. At that point, she looks around the gym, suddenly seeming, unsure on what to do. Takumi had chosen Michiru. And so she approaches Nadeshiko eventually with slow and measured steps, she didn't appear to have a partner yet. Despite the girl being younger, she was a guardian, and so Eri states in a shy voice, "Hello. Do you still require a partner? I'm.. in need of one." She fumbles around to try and remembers her name, since she was the Queen's Guardian coming up short, so she finally introduces herself in an even softer voice, "My name is Eri Shimanouchi."
Nadeshiko sparkles mercilessly. She is, after all, the Queen.
Sensing Madoka fretfully looking around, she glanced over with a delicate smile, but Kaname-san is quickly snatched up by Madobe. Has she seen that girl? ...right! The day she met Li. Madobe doesn't really seem like the type for dance, but it's good to see people spreading their wings.
Nadeshiko, in the self-sacrificing way of a true Queen, is getting herself ready to volunteer as Sei's partner, when the excitable older girl - Aino, she thought she heard - bounds in and does it for her. Well, it means Nadeshiko doesn't have to dance with someone that much taller than her, at least.
But someone dares approach, saving Nadeshiko from having to take pity on anyone. She smiles, angling up from her kneel to stand. She offers a bow, accepting. "Of course, Shimanouchi-sempai. I am Nadeshiko Fujisaki. I'll be placing myself in your care." She seemed nervous, Nadeshiko noticed, thoughtfully. Just uneasy? Or something else? It's her job to worry about what's making people fret, after all. Anything could create an X-Egg, in the right heart. Still, she masks it with her warm smile.
Herr Dance Instruktor smiles again as the various students pair up with each other. "Zat is right, little birds! Ve shall begin zis evening with a very simple Waltz! It is slow! Put your arm around your partner, hold hands, and sway with ze musik! Let it move you! Do not worry about steps.. it is all about ze RHYTHEM! Feel in in your souuuuul!" He walks over to a small but powerful CD player set on the floor and presses the play button. A classic waltz fills the room.
Sei is still glaring about her with those eyes. The eyes of a mad dog! In this case, a mad, rich, spoiled little princess. It seems everyone there who is not an NPC is willing to hurl themselves on their own swords and be her partner, but luckily, none of them are actually forced to do so.. for Minako is right there, leaping into the pit of despair with no parachute and a big smile on her face. Madobe, for the record, is finally noticed.. and Sei might have even said something to her, if Minako had not been so very effective at capturing her attention. "I am not your biggest fan! It was just a bet. My honor says that if I make a bet I have to be true to it, even if.." She looks around then, realizing everyone else is already partnered up. "Ah.. dammit." She sighs, then holds her hand out, limply, to Minako. "Fine. But cool it with the 'biggest fan' schtick, will ya? And don't step on my toes. I just got a pedicure."
..................Madooby. NO! Not Madooby. Madooby/Chan/. Madooby-Chan. Why Madooby? She could have don't Madooky. Isn't that cute too? It is totally cute. Actually she shouldn't think that, she reminds herself, this Madoka seems like a nice girl. She shouldn't will Madooky upon her. She'll just have to suffer Madooby in silence. Sorry, Madoka, for trying to escape fate. You are kind and deserve to remain Madoka. Madobe looks to the skies for a moment and pleads with God, silently, to kill her now. Better now then to have to kill herself after dancing. She doesn't know Nadeshiko too well, but recalls her from the arcade. If she had gotten pitydanced she'd probably be even worse off, as is she manages to shake Madoka's hand and smile at her. "I'm Madobe Kuroi, n-nice to meet you!" She stands up at the instruction but--well--she seems hesitant to make the first move despite arguably offering to Madoka. She keeps glancing back at the instructor and trying to hold a position that seems similar and isn't quite getting it. But hey, she did say she's new at this. She just has to survive. She has not realized dance partners could /change/.
Minako Aino winks at Sei as she takes her hand, lightly pinching her fingers and trying to stretch them out into a more lady-like gesture, all the while encouraging her to cheer up and be more energetic. "Don't be so modest, Sei-chan. You've done a lot for me. I'm gonna use all my power to make sure the whole school knows what you did. Good news is good news, after all," she explains, taking Sei's hand and holding it properly for a dance (but doing the little secretive pinky-tickle on her palm).
Now, she legitimately lowers her voice to real secret levels. "So, I won't step on your toes if you walk me through this. Which one is the waltz again? Is that the step-step-step one or the other one?" she asks, opposite hand hovering from Sei's chin to her hip.
The waltz. Kaioh Michiru smiles a bit to herself, her eyes turning down and away from Takumi for a long moment, as if a memory strikes her. But that memory passes, and she lifts her eyes back up to him. "If you were to play an instrument as well, I would be triply impressed, Chiji-san," says Michiru, her eyes flickering to one side as she notes everyone beginning to pair up.
Michiru did not show it - she would rarely show it, but there was an edge to her gaze now. Especially after that bow stirs the whisper of memories from times long gone.
Lifting up a hand, Michiru offers it to him, offering him the lead, should Takumi wish to take it. "We shall, Chiji-san," says she.
Madoka's twin pink lamps widen with shock at 'madooby' -- and even when it comes to light that that nickname isn't directed at her, she's still dismayed, entirely independently (but fed by) Madobe's own reaction. "Ummm, Minako-chan," she stutters a little bit over the familiar suffix, but it /is/ how they were introduced, "Madobe's such a nice name. M-maybe we can think of a nicer nickname to match it." She bends her own mind to the task, quizzically; her skills of concentration are not very large, when it comes to that instructor. "How about ... '98? S-since, Windows, and I-I bet you play with your phone a lot..." (Madobe is Japanese for 'by the window', among other meanings.)
Madoka wilts visibly at the understandably clipped tone behind Eri's gracious words, but tries to accept them at face value anyway. 'Sorry sorry', she mouths, AGAIN, over Madobe's shoulder, as she faces her new partner and finally, firmly, gives her her full attention. "Would you like me to be the boy?" she squeaks, the offer from the heart and without regret. "My, um, my mama promised that when my little brother is big enough, we can take lessons together. So I'll get my turn eventually!"
(Tatsuya Kaname is like maybe three. She'll be waiting a while. That may be why she's here, now; lack of patience.)
There are lots of strangers giving her subtle or otherwise delicate smiles, and beneath their relative maturity she seems to calm a little, spreading her arms with exactly one ounce, no more, no less, of grace, to put her hand behind Madobe's back, if her new partner consents.
"Oh my god." Sei mutters under her breath as Minako continues to COMPLETELY NOT GET IT. She pauses, mentally, then, wondering if perhaps the girl entirely gets it and is just a lot crueler than she acts. This gives Sei newfound respect for her new dance partner.. even if that explanation might be as faulty as Minako's dance experience. She'll cling to it like a drowning sailor, because it's a lot less frustrating than the alternative. She can respect someone being an ass. Someone being that cheerfully dense, on the other hand, hurts her head.
Minako tickles her palm with her finger, and Sei jerks her hand slightly and frowns at her. "Stop that, this isn't a date." She whispers, below her breath. Herr Tanzenpartei is quite strict about talking during dances, even just in practice. When Minako admits that she doesn't quite know how to begin, Sei sighs. "I thought you wanted to be an idol. Isn't dancing part of the regime?" She grabs Minako's hovering hand and places it squarely on her hip, then places her own on the other girl's shoulder. Then, perhaps a bit more forcefully than necessary, she begins to STEP, TURN, STEP in precise graceful motions that might make Minako stumble a bit at first trying to keep up.
Vaguely aware of Minako being vivacious at someone, Takumi keeps his attention otherwise on Michiru. Slim artist's fingers slide naturally into the spaces between hers, taking her hand in a loose, guiding clasp. His other hand rises to come tastefully to rest at her side as he steps forward to draw her in. Eyes vibrant as amaranth hold on hers, but though his expression is unchanged, something behind that gaze seems to drift across his awareness like a phantom, shapeless.
He can hear the sound of the waltz. He hasn't heard it before. And yet, it's familiar. A ballroom dance.
A woman's face.
"I'll leave you at doubly until I can pick up the clarinet," murmurs Takumi, before beginning to move. His dance lessons were brief, but the steps seem to flow from him as though he's danced them before, like a memory he doesn't have.
His eyes cloud slightly. This feels....
...What does it feel?
- like that dream...
- ...the one that always comes
- like that dream...
She bowed her head slightly at Nadeshiko given her response before there's a notable pause, her eyes still slightly downcast. Though every so often she makes eye contact. She appears to be considering her words carefully, "I thank you for your trust, Fujisaki-san. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." She still appears quite uneasy, as if trying to discern whether there were any implicit social rules when it came to dealing with the younger girl, any expectations she might have. She wished she could just ask her, but most people considered it rude for her to just /ask/.
A furtive glance is given Madoka Kaname's way as she mouthes sorry, sorry, and for a moment her expression warms just a bit, as she offers her a smile. She was trying so hard, but she'd have to let her know later that she didn't need to apologize so much. Once had been more than enough to her.
The instructor outlines the dance, and she looks at Nadeshiko, offering in a soft tone, "You should probably lead. I am.. a novice." Whatever Nadeshiko's response response is, she still puts her arm around her, and puts her hand within hers, not seeming embarassed at the prospect of someone younger leading. She would then await her response, not moving at first, as she waits to see if she'll take her up on that. She appears abstracted again in her expression, as if not focused on the dance, but.. something else that is troubling her.
There's probably a simple reason why Kyubey isn't climbing all over the German dance instructor at present. Or anyone else, for that matter. While the adorable fluffy white fairy is often a guide and companion to the many Puella Magi in the city, there are times when he just can't be around due to ... unfortunate circumstances.
Like, oh I don't know... an aberrant Puella Magi who seems to have made it her mission to disrupt him in his efforts to make the city a safer place by recruiting new magical girls and guiding them in their battle against the Witches that lurk in the dark places.
... but who would be such a horrible heartless monster that would both endanger such an ADORABLE fairy while simultaneously allowing Witches to run amok?
Homura Akemi is still a recent transfer student to Ohtori. Though you certainly wouldn't know it by how she behaves. Despite the sprawl of the Ohtori campus she seems to know where everything is already and is comfortable traveling by herself. Today as well she is alone.
While the girls (and boy(s?)) inside are pairing up at the recommendation of the dance instructor, the door leading into the room slides open suddenly. Eyes who turn to the doorway will happen upon a gloomy looking Middle School girl: Pale of skin, with long dark hair that falls to around her hips. Homura enters the room without a word as the waltz continues to play, and she takes up a position next to one wall.
Hm, well every dance requires a wallflower or two.
The room at large receives only a cursory glance at best from Homura. Meeting her eyes would require a great deal of luck or skill. That is, of course, unless your name happens to be Madoka Kaname. Should she turn her gaze to look upon the newcomer, Homura will meet her gaze with her typically neutral expression.
Minako Aino giggles under her breath. "O.M.G., I know, dancing with your idol is just so spiritual or something," she says, being as vivacious as possible at Sei. "And you and Varrus-san must have some weird dates if that's what makes you think of dating," she says, giggling continually.
Being forcefully led about is probably for the best, since it prevents Minako from being TERRIBLE at dancing with her or accidentally kicking at her new toes. "Dancing is part of the regime, but walktzing has never been part of it. Not yet. Not once. Mebbe if I do a Renewaiisance movie or something."
She also highly agrees with Madobe's new nickname. "Better yet, just make it 100 and she can be top marks! "
Michiru was keeping her full attention on Takumi for the moment. Half because it was polite, half because she was curious - and half due to that lingering sense of memory, of dream from forever ago. Questions bubbling in her chest that she could not give words to, or even form into a coherent thought.
Michiru clasps her fingers - fragile and delicate, perhaps a little less so due to callouses from violin playing - around Takumi's own hand.
"Then doubly impressed, I will be, until you learn that instrument," murmurs Michiru, as to not invoke the wrath of the instructor. There was a note of distraction in her tone, even if her own blue eyes were focused upon his features, lines a bit tight around eyes and lips, her smile a mask.
Michiru had come to these lessons before, and she was naturally a bit light upon her feet. But she would let him lead entirely, and make certain that her steps did not overshadow his own.
It seemed as though she hadn't much to fear from that.
Madobe thinks: She's the messiah! She won't let me have Madooby! Thank you God! She is of course unaware of the irony in that she had just asked for God to kill her but really it's for the best. How likely would it be for someone to suddenly die around a nice girl like that anyway?
Homura drops in. There are levels of irony all incredibly above Madobe's head. She relaxes further and says, "Um...sure."
Come to think of it...this is something they could actually talk about? She consents, aside from a small twitch at being touched that is an instinctive reaction. She's a lot shyer than Madoka even, it seems, or maybe a bit less into self-sacrifice.
"Uh...sure..." Madobe isn't so sure about 98 but anything is better than Madooby. "You have a brother? I have one too. He's older, though."
Sei twirls in a slight circle, spinning Minako about so that her hair whirls out. This is not quite part of the approved dance routine but Sei is an 'advanced' student so the teacher doesn't chastise her even if the move has more of the air of her trying to get enough momentum to hurl her partner away from her. Alas, if such was her intent, it fails. "For the last time, Varrus is not my boyfriend!" She protests, below her breath. "He's my /chauffer/. The dude is like 30, gross!"
She turns again, her moves almost unconsciously in time with the music, even if she has to drag Minako with her like a dead weight (it isn't actually that bad, at least the other girl moves under her own power). "You don't do movies, do you?" She asks, sounding slightly exasperated. "I auditioned for a part once but the director told me I had 'too much personality'. Whatever, see if he ever works in this town again." Found dead in the river, concrete shoes, nothing could be proven.
Minako Aino just gives Sei a little wink as her hair flies all about her. "Older guys are cool, don't be shy. The young ones can't appreciate me for my full glory! If you wanna date 30 year olds, you DO it!" she sings, making a half-hearted attempt not to hit anybody with her hair as she leans back for maximum rotational speed, since that's what Sei seems to want her to do.
Then, quieter: "I do movies, but, uh, 'too much personality' is a euphemerialism for 'loud princessy attitude'. You gotta remember to treat being in movies like a job. That's how I succeed!"
All irony is also above Madoka's head -- not that that's very hard when you're more than an inch below five feet. She jumps a little, mid-step, when the door opens and Homura's shadow falls across her, and, with inexorable inevitability, her eyes do lock for a long moment of Neutral Gaze Meets Shy Obliviousness.
She squirms a little internally, discomfited by Homura's intensity -- a feeling made infinitely more intimidating by the fact that she saw this girl in a profoundly weird dream the night before Akemi-san transferred to Ohtori at all -- and breaks the contact to the comparable refuge that is her new friend '98. "Or 100!" she agrees, as their inadequate waltzing takes them in and out of conversation range with Minako. "Top marks." She smiles softly, gently, a candlelit warmth no less intense, in its way, than Homura's nonexpression. "And yes. Tatsuya-chan is such a handful, now that he's walking! I'm lucky that papa watches him in the afternoons, or I would never have any free time." On safe topics, Madoka is prone to babble a little. And to her, brothers are very safe. "What about your brother? Do you attend Juuban together?" There isn't even the slightest twinge of judgement in 'Juuban'; frankly, my dear, she obviously doesn't give a damn what school you go to. It's just not important to her. Being nice and cool is, and in her eyes, Madobe is both. "I'll never get to go to school with Tatsuya, unless I never graduate..."
The instructor calls the beat, and she corrects her steps with a slight stumble, then tries a minor turn, slowly, carefully.
When Takumi does speak, he's keeping his voice very quiet. He doesn't want the instructor badgering him - and he's a little distracted, both by the girl in his arms and by the sense that he's been here before but can't remember when. Some corner of his mind tries to put this together and find some kind of answer as to why this seems like something he should understand, but it's like trying to capture air or nail down the sea. The tide rolls out -
The memory washes away, and he breathes out, eyes holding the deep blue of Michiru's as he moves with that peculiar kind of elegant grace that makes him seem as though he's moving in slow motion through a field of shimmering starlight sparkles, even though he's not. His footsteps are similarly light, avoiding Michiru's feet with ease as he guides her into a stately twirl before stepping in once more.
The way his eyes linger on hers, one could get the wrong idea.
"The brush, the steps and the scales," he whispers, lashes lowering just a shade without his realizing it. "I feel bad making you wait at doubly when I'm already at triply."
Nadeshiko is exceptional at political nothings. It is an important part of being a proper Japanese young lady.
"Of course," Nadeshiko replies. "I have some training of my own, so, it's no problem." She's actually rather tall, for her age and particularly gender, so it's not too hard to manage leading. The waltz was easy enough, and had a similar mind to it to the the performance dances she was more accustomed to.
So she easily puts her hands rightly and steps in to the music, keeping her movements slow and easy. Teaching is done best like a lot of things Nadeshiko is good at; cautiously, and with careful consideration.
But she does, after a few moments, dare to broach the obvious. She can tell they are, if not in synch, at least not wildly out of it. So it's probably not the dance... "Is something the matter?" she asks, eyes tipping upward to the older student.
Meanwhile, Temari flitters away from the notebook of sketches Madoka dropped earlier, attention flighty as always for a Shugo Chara. Hovering near the periphery, she won't get in Nadeshiko's way, so she hangs around the side. Nobody notices the softball-sized fairy; Shugo Chara are invisible to the ungifted, and difficult to spot for even some magically-inclined. The kimono-clad fairy ends up in the vicinity of Homura, peeking at her with child-like curiosity in her cartoonish eyes.
"I bet they can't," Sei says, sarcastically, to Minako's statement about younger boys not being able to appreciate her. "I don't /want/ to date 30 years olds. I don't want to date anybody!" Not strictly true, but she qualifies that a moment later by adding, "I haven't met anyone up to my standards yet. Y'know.. good enough." She suddenly blushes, the color very noticable against her pale skin and dark hair. "Awgh, why am I telling you that?! I can't stand you!" She says, more to herself than Minako.
She twirls again, perhaps a little bit /too/ forcefully, bumping slightly into Madoka and Madobe as the smaller girls whirl by. "Watch it," She hisses at them, even though it was completely her fault. Nothing is Sei's fault. Ever. She then frowns at Minako. "'Loud princessy attitude'? What the eff does that mean? Are you tryin' to say I'm some kinda prima donna?!" She's whispering, but her accent is getting more Yakuza by the second.
Eri seems to be appreciative enough of her willingness to take the lead, gracing her with a warm smile, though she doesn't seem to focus on the dance. For someone untrained, she moves with a rather easy grace, which implies she'd likely be a natural if she put her mind to it, catching onto the steps easily enough, and sparing Nadeshiko some wince-worthy moments of pain. Being only a couple inches taller than her, it doesn't make the dance all that awkward, even with her leading.
Her movements remain rhythmic, and in time with the music, every so often she snaps out of her distant state to give her a look of consternation, then chagrin as she tries to pay attention to her teaching by example.
And then she asks the question bluntly, Eri seems, surprised. Most people she knew would have figuratively danced around the issue for the entirety of the lesson, without asking outright, "Yes. I'm.. troubled by several matters of import, but I can't speak on many of them. As for what I can discuss..." A frown touches her features, "...I'm worried about the state of my pansies in the campus garden." Thank you for your concern, I appreciate it." She speaks on it so fluidly, that one would think this is a normal thing that everyone ought to be concerned about.
The tide may roll out, but there was always the sensation - or the scent - of the ocean around Michiru. That lingering sense of danger was lessening to a dangerous little thrum in the back of her mind, clearing somewhat. What it was, what it could be, what it is - if it was anything at all - these were mysteries that would have to wait for a different time to puzzle out.
For now, she waltzed.
Her dance partner of the moment moved with a grace that would sing as familiar to Michiru, and he might find that she was effortlessly matching it. With each step, with each motion, she followed - and challenged him to more with a gentle push - an added grace to her own step, just a bit above his own.
Clack, click clack - heels of her shoes against the gymnasium floor.
"Thank you for the compliment," comes Michiru's whisper. "I am certain you have the ability to catch up - careful that you do not find more things to be impressed with until you do," gently says Michiru.
Asuka Junior has not been here the entire time. In fact, he is /late/. He is just getting here /now/. This is mostly because he has very little interest in dancing. His interests tend to be focused on other things, like detective work, Saint Tail, rock and roll, Saint Tail, baseball, Saint Tail and snacks.
He also hasn't dressed up /at all/, but that's significantly harder to notice than his lateness, because he just rocks a suit at all times. As he walks in, he is checking his phone for messages. Nope, none so far.
Oh well, maybe she'll send a note in the middle of the dance.
Madobe is enough in her own head that it takes her a moment (or three) to realize that Madoka has looked over towards someone else and had a LOCKED GAZE moment. She cranes her head once and might accidentally step on Madoka's foot in the attempt (illiciting a quick panicked apology) but she doesn't actually get to see Homura until they waltz about a bit and her gaze naturally catches Homura. Why does she suddenly feel like someone walked over her grave? She doesn't get 'top marks' in her classes because while she might be smart she's also missed a lot of classes, but the comment makes her redden all the same.
"Oh...yeah. We do. Though we don't see each other much there since he's a few grades higher." Madobe notices there isn't even a little judgement on her school 'choice'. She finds that unusual. She does go to Ohtori right? Well, not even Madobe thinks EVERYONE who goes to Ohtori is elitist. She's thought about it a lot.
"W-well you'll have a lot of time with him at home." Madobe's one saving grace is that when she senses unease or trouble in someone she has the tendency to try and reassure them. "You're lucky to have a good relationship with him. And then he'll be able to surprise you with some stories. That could be pretty fun too, r-right?"
Sei bonks into her, and she stumbles again, having trouble regaining the proper beat. SEEEEEEIII!!
Minako Aino is upset at Sei's confession, but misunderstands. "Don't worry about it, Sei-chan. You'll find someone you like with -all- your heart someday. I got the same problem. High standards."
"But you gotta keep calm and carry on. You might be the prime donna or the second one, but a donna no matter how you look at it. 'Loud princessy attitude' is sorta' slang for girls who ask for too much without giving anything in return. You see it a lot out of failed actors," she says, lowering her voice to keep her words secret between just her and Sei (and Madoke and Madobe).
"Sorry, sorry, she's just really getting into the walktz of things!" she says as means of apology before turning all her attention back to Sei.
She also steps harder and crack-clack-clacks the floor with her own footwear, trying to imitate Michiru!
Meimi Haneoka has in fact been here the whole time, but at the moment, she's not dancing. She's standing aside the middle of the dance in a very-cute little pink dress, clutching onto her purse. She's gossiping with her friend Seira, who is not hard to recognize because she usually covers her hair as appropriate for her studies as a nun.
Meimi seems to be watching the dancers right now, but when Asuka Junior walks in, she notably looks over in that direction and rolls her eyes. Like he wears that suit, like, EVERYWHERE.
For a time, Homura's gaze locks with Madoka. While Homura shows no change in expression it's clear that the pink haired girl is uncomfortable, and soon she breaks the gaze to bring her focus back on dancing with Madobe. Externally the quiet transfer student does not react to this. She is as calm and cold as a mountain brook.
Her gaze remains steady on the dancing Mado pair. And while Homura's attention is focused elsewhere, it seems that someone's attention has become focused on her. Temari, the tiny Shugo Chara, hovers its way over to where Homura is standing on the wall. The nigh invisible fairy seems to be in no danger of being noticed even as it draws closer to the girl and stares in the rudest way imaginable. Homura's gaze is locked on. She even watches as Sei and Minako twirl a little too forcefully and nearly run straight into Madoka and Madobe. Homura's lips draw back into a slightly thinner line at that.
Though with a sigh she allows her gaze to drop from Homura and instead she raises her hand, making as if to examine her fingernails disinterestedly. It wouldn't be a particularly special gesture of note for a Middle School girl were it not for the fact that she has raised her hand right in front of where Temari is staring at her.
The left hand possesses a gray metal ring with a purple gem stone and odd runes inlaid upon its surface. She has a bit of nail art as well: A diamond shaped outline in purple drawn upon her middle fingernail, and nothing else. Temari might find both interesting.
And then there is the fact that at one point, instead of looking at her nails, she seems to be staring directly at the area Temari is inhabiting. It's brief. Only lasting a couple seconds at most. Did she zone out? Who knows, but soon Homura lifts her gaze back up and out over the dance floor. Daiki Asuka Jr strolls by her on the way in, and earns a passing glance from the dark haired girl. Madobe's gaze also catches Homura, and she receives a similar neutral glance from Homura. She almost looks bored.
Meimi also gets a glance because Homura is pretty much acting like a wallflower door guard right now.
"Will you make it difficult for me to find such things?" comes Takumi's answer, just a whisper, a hint of a distant ache creeping into his tone. "Being left behind doesn't suit me... I'll have to walk a little more quickly."
Some corner of his mind is still alert, but it's more of a nagging voice now, tuned out along with the instructor, the school surroundings, the chatter of students, leaving him in what seems like a nebulous, glittering fog of memory with this beautiful, mysterious girl who may be something more but could only be something he could never have. He doesn't know why he could never have her, only that it would never happen.
That's simply the order of things... that someone like her must always be just a mystery. Anything beyond that is pain.
(So you see, Kaioh Michiru... that's why this feeling could never be falling in love with you. Because love is a lie. I don't have feelings like that. Only the darkness.)
(Only Queen Beryl.)
His eyes close, and he breathes out slowly between parted lips, his head bowing a shade as he slows his steps, the dance drawing to a slow, almost reluctant halt.
"...You're good at that, Kaioh-san," Takumi says, eyes flitting open.
Actually Meimi has been here the whole time so Homura /doesn't/ glance at her when she enters. But maybe she glanced at her incidentally anyway.
Nadeshiko is, after all, in charge of peoples' healthy hearts! Delicate handling of situations is all well and good, but there's times for the direct approach, as well.
Nadeshiko hems at the response, a low hum and a nod. "Ah, of course," she says. "Forgive the intrusion." Without knowing what they are, she can't do much, but she can certainly respect a certain want for privacy. Sort of. She may, after all, get the dirt on it later; the Guardians are tasked with protecting students' private information...which of course requires that they have access to it.
It's OK, they're ten year olds, they can totally handle that kind of responsibility. It's at least a less absolute thing past the elementary school, where the higher-level student councils rein supreme.
"Then, we'll dance and try to forget about pansies for a moment," Nadeshiko offers with a titter. "Are you in the gardening club? Or is this a class project?"
Meanwhile, Temari stares back at Homura. Was that...
She waves at her, briefly, tentatively, and then Homura looks away. Sensed her? Maybe even saw her? Or just distracted by a sunbeam? Odd.
Madoka cringes at a wisp of conversation across her ears -- 'concerned at the state of my pansies' -- but the back of her befabulousribboned head is to Eri at that moment, happily. She tries desperately to mimic Michiru and Takumi as they whirl around, without much success; ah, for that unattainable grace and style-- "Ah!" she cries as her foot is stepped on; more an exclamation of surprise than pain. "It's okay, don't worry, don't worry!" About three seconds later, the situation may well be reversed: "S-sorry!"
Madobe and Madoka are probably pretty rapidly forming an event horizon of bumbling dance floor incompetence. Madoka, at least, is at this point so hyperfocused on her failed attempts to provide a useful dance partner for Madobe that Homura really might as well be a wall. Or a flower, though that might get more attention from her.
"Yes... he's very naughty, but I love him a lot." The sentiment is expressed with breathless sincerity; heart on her sleeve, this one. "Do..." she isn't totally blind to subtext, here, "Do you get any good stories from your brother?"
When they get bumped into, she blinks and apologizes immediately. "P-pardon us!" she says immediately, bobbing a curtsey, remembering she's supposed to be a boy, wobbling mightily mid-bobble into a little bow instead. Minako's relative friendliness does much to dispel Sei's intimidation attempt and her worries about the direction her conversation with Madobe is leading, and she's smiling a little bit more shortly thereafter. Innocently. Quizzically. Surely Minako means 'giving performances', right?
Asuka Junior makes suspicious sweep of the room. Or possibly he's just looking around. It can be hard to tell with Asuka Junior. He nods to himself, then heads over towards the snack table - and, because she is in the way, Meimi. "I hope that we're going to get more than just classical music at dances this year." It's not entirely clear who he's talking to. Probably anyone in earshot who's willing to listen.
"I mean, really. I have to show up in case someone tries to steal something, but it might as well be music I like listening to."
"What's wrong with classical music? You don't think it's elegant?" Meimi asks, with a toss of her hair. Of course the most important thing is that she does not agree with whatever Asuka Junior agrees with.
Then she laughs. "Are you really only here in case someone steals something?"
Asuka stops, turning to Meimi. He snorts. "Elegant? More like boring, Haneoka. It's all slow!" He far prefers music that has guitars, riffs and combinations of the two. "Of course I'm here to keep an eye out for thieves! Do you know how dangerous crowded events can be? Why else would I be here? I'm not here to dance!"
(SOME TIME AGO: "Hey, Yasuhiro?" "Yeah, Chiba?" "Check this signup sheet out, I find out on Asuka's desk." "Huh. Dance lessons." "...are you thinking what I'm thinking?" "Yeah, just let me fill his name in here.")
Meimi is just about to turn and yell at Asuka when he says that... when another student approaches her and hands her a dance card.
She looks at it in disbelief. She frowns.
She waves it in his face, as if it were a Notice. "Well, looks like someone signed you up to dance anyway."
Of course they are listed as dance partners for the next round. It's right there on the card. Meimi doesn't outwardly mention that, but: he can read.
"There's no need to apologize." She stares at the younger girl over the rims of her glasses, her frown disappearing. "It is no intrusion. If it were, I would tell you."
She doesn't look quite as uncomfortable any longer, perhaps relaxing just a little as the younger girl continues to lead her through the dance steps. "Yes, yes I am." This subject matter actually causes her voice to become more warm, "Botany is my passion. Gardening is simply an expression of that."
After a time, once she realizes that she has the steps down, she clears her throat and asks in a polite tone, "Would you mind if I attempted to lead for a time? Thank you for tolerating my clumsiness."
She must be being modest as she hadn't actually been clumsy up until that point... when she suddenly became so engrossed in the conversation, that she took a step backwards, knocking her heel up against Sei's feet, and stumbling with a choked gasp. She recovers quickly enough at the faux pas, mumbling a quick apology her way.
"If I can. But there are mysteries that linger in the hearts of everyone, Chiji-san," says Michiru, her tone of voice as pleasant as it had always been - but there was a little deepening - a little darkening of her tone that hinted that she perhaps knew that she was not the only keeper of secrets here.
(Love is, perhaps, the single only truth, Takumi Chiji. There will be a time that you, and your Queen, will discover this. But I hope that you will come to that realization sooner.)
"As are you, Chiji-san," says Michiru, giving his hands one final squeeze, before she parts from him, realizing the growing intensity of the discomfit she felt so near him only when she steps away.
"I will see you at the gallery, perhaps," says Michiru, letting her eyes linger before she turns away, her eyes going towards the instructor and inclining her head towards him. The next round will be soon, no doubt.
It has been several minutes, as the swirling (or in some cases, stumbling) goes on in the room, accompanied by pretty classical music. Herr Tanzenpartei has been walking about, demonstrating moves and correcting a step here or there where he sees mistakes, though by and large it is a losing battle. But he fights it regardless, his heart larger than the mightiest magical girl when it comes to the art of dancing! Suddenly clapping, he announces loudly over the music, "Alright! Now, one two zthree, and switch partners! One pair to your left!" Quite suddenly, without really having time to plan it, everyone is expected to move away from their partner and re-partner up with whomever is directly to their left at the time.
Sei, meanwhile, has moved from exasperated to seething as Minako continues to boldly outline her failures and the reasons for them to her own face. "Listen, just because you have the personality of a puppy on barbituates doesn't mean that I'm some kind of inelegant brat!" She says, and just then the teacher calls for them to switch. Ugh, Sei can't get away from Minako fast enough, and passes the other girl off to the right like the hot potato.
She reaches to her left.. and suddenly finds a much smaller, and pink-haired girl in her clutches. Madoka, for her part, has the misfortune of finding herself face-to-face with a Sei who is very obviously still seething from her previous discussion. It is likely a very different sensation from dancing with Madobe, as Sei very much knows what she is doing, even when annoyed, and is larger and significantly more forceful than Madobe.. beginning to whirl Madoka about perhaps a bit too enthusiastically for the smaller girl's tastes. But to an observer it suddenly looks as though Madoka learned how to dance (unless she actually trips and falls while trying to keep up, anyway).
Minako Aino reassures Sei that she can go over any amount of inelegance and brattiness with work and effort and a little help from Minako-chan, which she promises to help her work on! "And watch your language, Sei-tan, there are children about," she says before slouching herself over to Madobe.
Asuka Junior stares at the card right up until someone behind him bumps into him, causing him to stumble towards Meimi and grab her shoulders. "Gah! Uh - well..." Well, it's the Rules. Asuka mentally hunts for a way out, scowling slightly, but /it's the Rules/. Got to follow the Rules. "...well, I hope /you/ have some idea what you're doing, Haneoka." Asuka's idea of how to dance to classical music is 'vague memories of seeing a waltz in a cartoon some time ago.'
His tone is probably more annoyed than it really needs to be.
Some part of Takumi misses what it must be like to love. That part is deeply, deeply buried behind layers of brainwashing and ancient memory that is not memory, only foggy breaths of a life drifting through a crack in a door locked fast.
Slender fingers slide away from Michiru's as Takumi releases the woman, the peculiarly haunted look in his expression beginning to melt away. "I'll look forward to it, Kaioh-san," is his only answer, before he inclines his head and gives the hem of his shirt a quick straightening. The memories recede bit by bit, carrying mystery back through the crack in the door, sealing it and vanishing, leaving him once again sinking back into brooding, serious Takumi Chiji again.
He gives his head a toss before turning to the instructor, one hand resting at his hip with his thumb tucked between his belt and his waistband. "Oi, sensei" he says quietly. "There's another round for each of us, ne?"
Madobe is her own worst enemy while dancing. Once she's out of a 'groove' she just gets worse. She gives Madoka a smile when she's stepped on back, aside from a small cringe she doesn't complain. She stepped on her foot first, after all, and she's honestly happy it wasn't just her stumbling about. It puts her more at ease to know it's struggling together.
Madobe thinks to her own relationship with her brother which, honestly, is probably a bit strange. It's not that she wants to lie, persay, it's just that she wants to put Madoka at ease. She's pretty sure Madoka's brother would be happy to talk to her all the time.
"Sometimes." She says. "But...eheh..it's usually me going to him. It's the perogative of me being the younger, eheh...heh..." She thinks to her own memories of her own brother. Hearing Madoka talk about her own brother like that well--
"Thanks to you..." She says a bit too dramatically. "I can forgive my brother for eating my yogurt." She bows her head once. "Thank you." Then she realizes she's supposed to curtsey and performs the worst least practiced curtsey in the history of space-time (Homura can confirm).
Time to change partners? She turns to Minako, smiling at her and--
".ghkk......ggh..." She starts shaking, her face going as pale as a ghost's. "M...Minako...Chan."
With that, Meimi and Asuka Junior are kind of subsumed into the dance. They go along with the wave. Of course Meimi isn't really so keen on this 'having to touch Asuka Junior' kind of thing, and her hands on his shoulders are really stiff and awkward. But her footsteps are quite graceful really. She would be a pretty good dancer, if it were not for her obvious and all-consuming loathing of Asuka Junior.
Of course as a result of his relative stiffness, she steps on his toe.
Nadeshiko is the very master of the benign but not /empty/ smile, and she fixes Eri with it merrily. Oh, a dream...she wonders if she'll be seeing any Guardian Eggs from this one, with a clear dream like that. "That's lovely! I'll remember that. We have a lot of need for people with a green thumb, around here." The smile turns a little more pointed. On a campus like Ohtori's, sometimes keeping the flowers from turning into space monsters is a serious question that requires serious botanical science, after all. Particularly since half the time it's an Infinity Institute prank...
Meanwhile, Temari has buzzed off from Homura's side to attend to some taller redhead guy hanging outside the door (it's Kukai). Nadeshiko titters al ittle at the slip, giving Eri a wry little look. "Don't worry about it. You're a fine leader. We all have to practice to become great, after all."
Hopefully she won't immediately get thrown out a window by Sei and proven a liar.
She looks over Eri's shoulder, where Temari has snuck up and is silently motioning her toward the door; she looks over, where Kukai jerks his head outside. Some Guardian business, then. Just in time for a set to end, at least. As the switch is called, Nadeshiko pulls back, bowing properly. "Thank you very much, Shimanouchi-sempai. I'll see you again~ Unfortunately, I have business to attend to." She glances at the instructor, throwing up a high sign to signal her imminent departure, and then quietly shuffling outside. As she does, Temari murmurs near her ear, and Nadeshiko stops long enough near Homura to advice, "Ah, Akemi-san, isn't it?" Again: Guardians get dossiers on most students, especially the ones who are /supposed/ to be sick and fragile. Knowing her name is nothing, to the terrible power of the Queen's Chair. "If you'd like, I doubt I'll be back; you can probably take my place." Smile~ Maybe that'll be good for her heart. Though, didn't they say she was doing well in PE? --no time to think about it, Kukai's getting restless, which probably means Yaya's boxing a kangaroo again.
Temari takes the invitation a step further, winking openly at the girl and motioning with her hands to join the crowd. Homura may not actually be able to see it, but perhaps the spirit of the dance will fall upon her, or something.
And thus Nadeshiko sweeps out the door, fetching her bag on the way out.
Asuka Junior isn't exactly a good dancer himself, but he definitely does not appreciate toe-stepping. "Hey! I told you I wasn't any good at this, aren't /you/ the one who likes this stuff?" Yeah, these two clearly are not going to get along well. Especially not with Asuka Junior's annoyance making an already stiff dance worse, as he unconsciously starts stomping around as he moves.
"Are you doing that on purpose? I didn't even /do/ anything!"
Madoka is used to high drama about small, daily matters; she doesn't miss a beat, or a step, getting more comfortable by the moment even as Madobe gets less. "You're welcome! Wow, that's pretty impressive... I should try to do so well, and forgive /my/ brother for trying to eat my new plushy." And then getting sick on it. They tried to put it in the washing machine, but it just wouldn't turn on, as though energy couldn't flow from 'on' switch to mechanics without some kind of disruption.
As their well-conceived but ill-executed attempt at the World's Clumsiest Waltz comes to an end, Madoka bows again -- much more gracefully, as though caught momentarily by the spirit of a prince, with even a sweeping gesture with one arm that evokes a nonexistent cloak -- and meets Madobe's eyes fully and clearly, without any hesitation, now. "Thanks for the dance," she exclaims, blushing a little. "Before you leave, later, let me give you my number, Madobe-chan! It's not as cool as your One Hundred, but it's something!"
And then it's time to make a new friend. YOINK'D!
Sei may have rather fundamentally misunderstood Madoka's intentions early if she felt she was 'falling on her sword' to dance with her. This is an easy mistake to make; even now, in the second round, she is as nervous and bumbling as can be. Mercifully, her palms aren't very sweaty, though the back of her neck, revealed by her hairstyle, is adrip. But her nerves have entirely to do with her own self-consciousness, because Sei, in her mind, is this very cool figure who surely has a good, probably complicated reason for her attitude.
Madoka is categorically incapable of bad first impressions. Or fifth impressions. This is not actually a good thing, much of the time. On the other hand, sometimes it turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So her smile, shaky as it is, is quite real.
There is some early confusion as Madoka realizes they're both trying to be the boy. She gasps as she's flung about, stumbling over her own feet to, yes, pratfall. Face, meet floor. "I'm sorry!" she immediately squeaks. To her credit (or perhaps to her lack of ability to learn when to give up), she hops right back up and tries to get back into the beat, wrinkling her nose frantically to try to bring feeling other than 'pain' back into it.
After a few more moments of awkward silence, she repeats, "I'm sorry I can't match you... you deserve a better partner." She nods firmly, twintails bouncing, eyes widening as she is coming to fully appreciate what a good job Sei is doing with her /anyway/. "Because, um, you're really, really good! B-but... do you, um... doyounotlikedancingverymuch?"
"You have to actually MOVE with the music, not just stomp around at random!" Meimi yells back. "Like this! ONE two three--" She is stomping her feet too hard too, but at least she's on the beat.
"And you don't put your hand THERE. You put it HERE--"
She grabs his right hand, pulls it down, and puts it around her waist.
Her face suddenly turns bright red.
To a casual observer, maybe, it looks like Madoka has suddenly learned how to dance. To Homura's eyes however the truth is much more evident. After all, skill is something that tends to grow gradually with practice and decline smoothly with disuse. It's not something that can just appear and disappear in an instant.
Then there is Sei's seemingly abrasive attitude. No doubt at this moment Madoka Kaname is little more than a puppet in the more skilled dancer's hands. And while a kinder and more patient individual would perhaps slow down to allow their partner to catch up as need be, it's unknown if Sei would be willing to extend the same courtesy. Still ... what does this all matter to the mysterious transfer student? Probably nothing at all. She's too cool and aloof to be friends with an adorable spaz like Madoka. Certainly.
'Ah, Akemi-san, isn't it?'
Homura's gaze is pulled away from Madoka and Sei to happen upon an elementary student. "Nadeshiko Fujisaki." She returns in her quiet, even tone of voice. Of course it's no surprise that Homura would know the name of one of the Guardians, is it? Then the offer is made. It's no surprise that someone like Nadeshiko would offer to help the lone wallflower in the room a chance to dance with a partner. It helps that it seems like Nadeshiko has other business to attend to. Of course, the question is ... does Homura even want to dance?
She glances at Madoka and Sei once more, watching the smaller pink haired girl struggle in the arms of the more skilled dancer. Without looking back at Nadeshiko she says softly, "Very well. Thank you."
Poor Temari doesn't get any further acknowledgement either. But at least it does seem like some sort of spirit has fallen upon the gloomy loner.
Homura moves out across the dance floor to where Nadeshiko's next dance partner, now hers, is waiting. Michiru Kaioh. Homura arrives within a few steps of the upperclassman from the Infinity Institute and she performs a graceful, almost flawless curtsey. "My name is Homura Akemi. I will lead." She says with no hint of reluctance. Has she waltzed before? She holds out a hand to Michiru, and waits for her to take it.
"I /told/ you I wasn't good at this!" Asuka is, at least, good at following instructions. "Anyway, you're stomping, too! Stop blaming everything on me!"
Asuka gets his hand moved, and he grumbles to himself. As Meimi turns red, he blinks. "...what, I didn't do anything! Are you feeling sick or something, Haneoka? Do you need some air?"
He turns a bit, trying to steer the dance towards a clearer area so Meimi can get a breath and cool down, since clearly this is the problem.
There was a little nod from Michiru as she nods to the instructor, a gentle little twirl of her skirts as she spins around - looking to divorce herself fully from Takumi's 'zone', moving to flow freely into Nadeshiko's zone - only to find that empty, the other young woman leaving - if not left already, leaving Michiru's smile a bit shaken seeming.
At least, until Homura approaches, Michiru's eyes taking in the appearance of the other, younger, woman, an approving little smile touching her lips at the curtsey. "Homura Akemi, it is nice to meet you," says Michiru, dipping her hand down to pluck up the hems of her skirts, matching that flawless curtsey with one of her own. "I am Michiru Kaioh, from the Infinity Institute. I would be honored if you would lead," says she, rising up once more.
Stepping forward, a question dies unspoken on her lips - has Homura waltzed before? There was a confidence in the young woman's demeanor that would suggest so. Michiru was curious to find out. Reaching out her hand - Michiru wraps the slender fingers of an artist around Homura's own hand, readily sliding forward. Waiting for Homura's cue to begin the waltz. Michiru would prove an apt follower, at least at first - not quite attempting to challenge or overshadow Homura's own steps, but effortlessly following along.
Irony. If only Nadeshiko knew about how she would deal with botanical science pranks. Either way Eri answers with customary candor. "If ever you have need of my services, you need only ask. It would be my pleasure to assist." She gives the younger girl a chagrined look at the sudden slip and comment on becoming great but that vanishes into a grateful expression, "Thank you again for your instruction."
However, her hesitation to wish the departing girl well costs her, as she suddenly looks to her left, finding herself without a partner. All the NPC girls had customarily skittered off, leaving her alone on the dance floor, and feeling vaguely embarassed. Instead of dwelling on it, she flees the dance floor suddenly with her gaze slightly downcast, nearly running into Minako on the way out, and momentarily having to backpeddle, mumbling another apology, before leaving the dance floor.
Instead she takes up a position she's more familiar with. That of the wallflower, which was a title she found to be a remarkably terrible misnomer. After all, she was far too plain to be compared to any precious flowers. She wanted to leave, to check on the garden, but she felt obligated to stay for a while, after all her Father wanted her to be here, and was paying.
Instead her gaze falls upon Homura as she takes to the dance floor, vaguely recognizing her as the refined girl with heart problems who nevertheless acted as cool as a cucumber and had only returned to school recently. She doesn't dwell on her for long, as a moment later she's looking at Madoka again and wondering once again what the well-meaning girl had done to her poor flowers.
At this point Takumi has circled away from Michiru. His eyes linger on her only for a second before he pulls them away and exhales, head bowing shallowly. She's interesting. She's also dangerous, the way she makes him remember things he's sure are just lies and deceptions. There has to be something more to her.
With a slow step he starts across the dance floor, weaving his way expertly past a pair of dancers - only to find Eri fleeing the dance floor before he can get there.
Takumi slows, stops. He breathes out and pushes his hands through his hair before breaking into a small scowl, looking off to one side. He's not /that/ frightening. Maybe he should be flattered that he apparently is, though.
Sei, for all her generally bad attitude, might normally have tried to give Madoka a bit more of a chance to keep up with her- she's not into charity, but she also generally needs to be annoyed before she's outright cruel. The problem, for poor Madoka, is that Minako did the annoying and then managed to escape, through the winds of fate, leaving Madoka to reap the results. The results are forceful dancing which, while technically exactly correct in every way on Sei's part, sends Madoka tumbling to the floor within moments. "Oh, get up." Sei grumbles, hauling the girl back to her feet even as she tries to scramble up herself, and barely missing a beat in the process. If its any consolation, though it is clear that Sei is grumpy, the way the girl's pale blue eyes keep darting back to Minako dancing nearby every time her sneer grows, its clear Madoka is not the target of that grumpiness.. merely its unfortunate sufferer.
However, at some point amidst the flowing steps (which do actually slow down a bit after that first fall, allowing the pink-haired girl to keep up more ), Sei seems to come out of her brooding plotting of Minako's doom enough to realize she is being spoken to. Her eyes focus on her partner, perhaps for the first time actually seeing her. Her expression softens, not to anything particularly nice, but rather to skeptical inquisitiveness, which is by all accounts a bit better than outright hostility. "You're right. I do, and I am." Sei says, but she already feels her mood improving, because Madoka is flattering her and she loves to be flattered. "What's your name, kid?" She asks, feeling suddenly a bit generous, because Madoka is really laying on the praise. "Is this your first time?" The whole time she continues her graceful movements, utterly effortless, managing to make Madoka look decent by association. "You suck." Then, she adds, "But I've seen worse. You're picking it up."
That is obviously NOT the problem, but Meimi will helpfully correct Asuka Junior (because he's so good at being wrong). "I'm fine! Just watch your hand and don't get any grabby ideas," she says to him, stubbornly.
For a moment, she is allowing him to take the lead, and they aren't doing half-badly, if not particularly elegantly. But then Meimi realizes that she's allowing that, and tries to take the lead again herself. Of course moving at-odds, they get off step again.
Minako Aino totally tickles Sei's palm before she goes. And tickles Madobe's too! It's a new 'thing'.
"Hi, Madobe-chan. You gotta have more confidence, even when dancing with your idol-of-idols," she says, lightly chastizing but entirely supportive. She tries to drag Madobe towards Sei and Madoka, and tries to give a playful bump to Eri as she flees, before she hangs out in a little dance partner-ball in the middle of the room. "Be nice to Madoke-chan, Sei-taaaan," she says, wagging a finger and letting Madobe drift for the moment. "You'll break her. Cheer up!"
Then she starts gabbing about games and internetty stuff, carefully trying to avoid any downed dancers or stumblers. "Play any good games lately, Madobe-chan?"
"Grabby...?" Asuka Junior looks shocked for a moment. "...why would I get grabby with /you/, Haneoka?" Sure, she vaguely reminds him of someone else, but she argues with him all the time. "Anyway, you were all red, what am I /supposed/ to think?"
Asuka resists as Meimi tries to take control, and ends up stepping on her toe this time. "Now you're the one messing it up!"
Of the two Michiru is older, and taller perhaps by a couple of inches. So it's perhaps an odd choice that Homura should be the one to lead. After all, Michiru appears to be a refined woman (and an artist) in her own right. Though it seems that neither party has hesitation in the matter. Michiru takes Homura's hand, and in turn Homura draws her into the dance.
As it turns out, if Michiru was worried about potentially overshadowing her dance partner, then that is a concern that will die soon after her waltz with Homura begins. The gloomy looking girl and the beautiful artist from Infinity smoothly sweep together across the dance floor. One pale hand grips Michiru's own, while another rests at the small of her back.
In truth, Herr Tanzenpartei may soon suspect that a couple of professionals have found their way to the floor. Homura leads Michiru with both skill and mindfulness, making sure always keep pace with the flow of the music as well as her partner. Michiru has no need to fear having one of her feet stepped upon by Homura's brown loafers.
If there was a fault in Homura's ability as a dance partner though it would seem to be her lack of focus and passion. While everything Homura does is mechanically correct, and she seems to be mindful of her partner's movements as she leads her across the dance floor, Homura seems distracted. Her eyes regularly leave Michiru to glance at something else as they swirl together.
It is for that reason as well that if Michiru is expecting any sort of conversation out of the gloomy Ohtori student she will probably have to be the one to initiate it.
"R..right." Madobe bobs her head at Madoka quickly, face still flushed, but she seems--a lot more at ease with herself after talking with Madoka. Maybe it's because she actually had a mostly normal conversation with a stranger for once. And might get a phone number? Okay maybe the 'number 98' thing is weird but compared to Madooby...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NdVPTQkRaY is the sort of song that is playing in her head when she sees Minako, and she has an expression not unlike a certain cat at this point too.
"Ah...yeah..." She manages, though somehow even conversation about games isn't alleviating her sudden feeling of dread. She doubts Minako would care to hear about how many Sailor V inspired games she played!
"S-s-s-s-so Sei is selling your CDs?" @_X
"Th-thanks," Madoka stammers, when she's helped up. She gives Sei's hand a tiny, grateful squeeze that has nothing to do with possibly being on a date. It is as chaste as such physical expressions come.
She, typically enough, isn't holding Sei's attitude, or the immediate consequences to her flattened face, against her. Granted, that may be in part because it's impossible to convince her that any mistakes aren't her fault, and hers alone, but still. She isn't so uncouth as to follow Sei's gaze to Minako, instead trying to relax into the beat of the dance, and slowly, one muscle at a time, starting to succeed.
Starting to enjoy herself, even, though the idea that Sei can be this good at something, and dislike it, brings a cloud of sadness across her face. It's pretty clear that isn't a line to be persued further at this time, though, so instead, ribbons bouncing with each turn, she replies, "I'm Madoka Kaname, second-year junior high!" 'You suck' barely penetrates the YOUSUCKYOUSUCKYOUSUCK inner monologue that is her constant companion, really, the shattered self-esteem that forms an equally fractured foundation of her personality. 'You're picking it up,' though, does. "Thanks!" she says again, an entirely different, unabashed blush rising over her cheeks. A painter could make an entire roseate palette out of the number of hues she's displayed in the last hour's time. "It is my first time... but I really appreciate the lesson. You're a good teacher... Itazura-senpai?" Sei's reputation proceeds her (but is ignored), or else she heard someone else call her that in here. Maybe both.
As they waltz around, she passes Eri and casts the girl another look; this time it isn't apology, but some kind of silent, firm promise, communicated by the seriousness of her brows, the level angle of her gaze. To go with her to witness the gravesite of the pansies, perhaps. To stand by her actions, and accept her punishment.
Sayaka and Madobe aren't the only ones who occasionally indulge in being a little bit over the top.
Michiru and Homura, on the other hand, draw open-mouthed admiration when they sweep by, as freely given as it was to Sei. She seems to have an bottomless supply.
As gracefully as he entered the dance floor, Takumi's departing it is somwhat less conspicuous. Thumbs tucked into his belt, he steps off towards the nearest wall and rests his back against it, looking on at the little crowd of dancers in silence. His brows furrow into a little V as he begins to drift off into his own thoughts.
Girls dancing should have more of an effect on him, honestly. It doesn't because most of them are a bit young for him and because he basically has no ability to feel anything remotely like that.
He simply watches some of the dancers, namely how Madoka seems to turn every shade of pink short of Mountbatten. In spite of himself he smiles faintly.
As odd as it may be for Michiru to allow the younger woman to lead - that confidence draws a quirk of her lips, and she finds herself drawn into the waltz once more. Michiru was quite used to allowing others to take the lead in terms of dances, so it was easily enough for the same to happen here. And as it turns out, as Michiru was drawn into the dance...
Those fears she had were unfounded. Michiru rests a hand lightly upon Homura's upper arm, and as Homura leads - she may find that mindfulness of Michiru's position could be at a minimum. As she has no need of fear of having toes trodden upon, Homura would find the similar.
But as the dance carries on, with each spin, with each motion, concern instead of enjoyment was on Michiru's features. As a dance partner, Homura was certainly challenging her - but the gloomy young woman, well...
"You dance very well - you must have been trained at some point," asks Michiru, a gentle curiousity in her hushed voice - to keep the dancemeister's attentions elsewhere. "Or do you just enjoy it so?"
"Sei is so certainly selling CDs!!" Minako exclaims, now less dancing and more bouncing around with Madobe, then spinning around and trying to make the bottoms of her ridiculous outfit spin around her.
"She's my biggest fan! She has like a thousand CDs. What a trooper!" she declares, totally distracted now!
It wasn't that Sei didn't enjoy dancing.. in truth, she had just been too wrapped up in letting Madoka's completely deserved praise soak in and undo a little of the rage-tension that Minako had managed to wind up in her to fully respond to the younger girl's statements. She does so now though, saying, "I don't mind dancing. But I don't need /classes/. But my Father thinks I do, so here I am." Just saying those few words has raised her anger level again a little bit - Madoka can tell by the way Sei's hands suddenly squeeze a bit /too/ tightly. But it only lasts a moment. Sei forces herself to relax, and takes a deep breath, letting it out like she's at an anger management course. "I'm not teaching you a lesson, that's Herr Jackboots over there's job. I'm just dancing. If you're keeping up its all on your own." That's praise ,from Sei, even if its not actually a direct compliment.
Of course, then she faintly hears Madobe's voice drifting to her over the music.. 'Sei is selling your CDs..?' followed moments later by 'She's my biggest fan..' and Sei is gritting her teeth again. Like, Madoka can practically hear a new percussion section in the music. "Fortheloveof.." Sei suddenly whirls about, and whirls Madoka too.. forcefully enough that the younger girl's feet actually leave the floor. In a show of what is nearly acrobatics yet somehow manages to look like a professional stunt performance, Sei takes them both across the floor in a series of whirls and twirls that probably leaves Madoka's eyes spinning in her head, but Sei at least keeps the other girl on her feet. This leaves them right next to Madobe and Minako, so that Sei can lean over and hiss, "It was a BET! I lost a BET to her and bought a bunch of her CDs! I don't like her music! I'm not selling them for her! Oh my god!"
Meimi turns red again, but this time it's clearly out of irritation. She pushes away from Asuka Junior. "Forget it. I refuse to dance with this clumsy clod. Is it time for a partner switch yet?!"
In defiance of the otherwise-elegance of the lesson, she stands still and crosses her arms, obstructing dancers until she is momentarily removed by the providence of a student-nun.
Takumi's departure from the dance floor to fellow wallflower doesn't go unnoticed by her, and she realizes with some chagrin that he must have been her intended dance partner. Perhaps to belie his impression that she's frightened of him, she actually stares his way, with a bland expression. She was nearly hopeless at deciphering the context behind how one should react around strangers, about understanding the implicit rules. The rules behind interacting with boys were even more impenetrable to her.
Misa frequently gave her a laundry list of things she should do, and things she shouldn't do around the opposite gender, especially upperclassmen. Just 'talking to them' without some pretext was at the top of the rules of what not to do. Rules she didn't understand.
In the end, she decides to just disregard the rules, speaking to him from her current position against the wall. "I don't believe we've met, I'm Eri Shimanouchi. Might I have the pleasure of your acquaintance?" And then in a slightly impish tone, "I don't much care for dancing, I've found. Do you enjoy it?"
Madobe thinks Sei doesn't do anything halfway, not even dancing! Of course she doesn't have much room to think that because she bounces up and down in tune with Minako's geturing. She's a /ton/ more passive than Minako, content to sort of basically hold Minako's hands as she does crazy moves and maybe wiggle awkwardly instead of anything that's a dance. She looks towards Meimi as she refuses to dance. It's not your choice, she thinks, believe me if it was--
Actually, she thinks, she thought it was only one person to dance with! "A...a thousand??"
She looks towards Sei, briefly, utterly in awe.
Asuka glares at Meimi, hands on his hips. "Hey! I didn't do anything! You're always like this, Haneoka!" He turns away, crossing his arms. "I don't even know why I try! What did I do /this/ time?" Not that any of the ways Meimi reacts make any sense to Asuka Junior. He just minds his own business and speaks his thoughts and then BAM, getting yelled at out of nowhere.
"Besides, how was /I/ clumsy? You were messing it up just as much as I was."
Madoka is in easy agreement with Sei's statement of mastery. "I don't think you do either!" she pipes easily, as her steps seem to become lighter, as though walking 'pon air. Feathers twirl beneath her slippers, and stars sparkle in her eyes. A dancing princess within the land of Fuuka, she allows herself to drift away on the music and in the movement. Sei's anger penetrates her reverie, though. "I'm sorry," she murmurs, unable to properly or fully express why or how because it's something she has almost no empathic basis for. Her own family life is almost absurdly idyllic -- though it has its nuances. So instead she's sorry, honestly, that Sei's clearly is not. It sounds unimaginably painful, at best.
"And, um, thanks," she adds sweetly for about the fifth time in the last minute, albeit totally disbelivingly. Madoka's a sucker, but complimenting her is not the way to go about it; those, genuine or not, she has trouble swallowing with pride, much less grace. "Anyway, this is really fu--!"
TWIRL! WHIRL! DASH! SPIN!
They are perhaps the most dramatic, most fabulous, most breathless, most scary, most graceful, most invigorating, most terrifying, most transcendent twenty seconds of Madoka's life.
By the time they're adjacent to Minako and Madobe, she's much too overwhelmed to attempt to peacemake, beyond a weak, "Wowwww, amazing, senpai..."
Boys are just strangers you haven't met yet, Eri.
The smile Takumi wears fades away, and he returns to his quiet watching - though it's interrupted as she catches the girl first staring at him, then sauntering in his general direction. Aha - the girl he was supposed to dance with next. Apparently she's not so terrified of him after all. He is not sure if he should be disappointed about that.
He clears his throat, nodding back to the dark-haired girl. "Oi... you didn't seem very interested in dancing and I didn't see much point in pushing it," he says simply, one shoulder rising in a slow shrug. "I don't do it much either."
A quick toss of his head follows; his hair is momentarily flipped back from his face, though his bangs soon begin to drift back across his right eye anyway. He is not particularly impish; his mannerisms are quiet and controlled, even brooding. "Chiji Takumi. Nice to meet you, Shimanouchi."
Minako Aino makes a smile to Madoka in response to her saying something about 'amazing senpais'! Then she quietly informs Madobe that even the biggest fans can be shy and not to put her on the spot. "Even the biggest of fans can be shy sometimes. And you're making her uncomfortable, Dooby-chan. You can tell 'cuz of how excited and loud she's getting. Sorry, Sei-chan," she says, raising her hand (and Madobe's) to her face and making a secretive shhhhhh gesture to her lips.
"Your secret is safe with me. And Ninety-Eight. And Madooky-chan. She's got a really trustable face, so I'm sure she'll be quiet... if you show her one of the display tables!" she says with a wink.
Were someone to watch the dancers from above they might notice an amusing pattern: Homura is leading them in such a way that they're always near where Sei and Madoka are dancing. Should Sei and Madoka take off in a direction, Homura leads Michiru to follow. Are they not moving much at all? Then Homura and Michiru will sweep across the dance floor together in their general vicinity. With each spin the gloomy girl is able to keep an eye on Sei and Madoka. Unfortunately at the cost of the potential enjoyment of the dance.
Michiru is, as expected, an extremely competent partner. Homura couldn't ask for better. The two move together with grace and beauty. You can almost see the sparkles forming around the pair!!
But Homura doesn't see any sparkles. Michiru hardly even sees her partner at all it seems. Not, at least, until Michiru speaks up to her. The Ohtori student's violet colored eyes meet Michiru's gaze for the first significant period of time since the dance began.
"I have attended a large number of classes like this one before." Homura states in a soft whisper. "It seems you seem to be quite experienced as well." A respectful statement. She seems pleasant enough. Perhaps Michiru could try to reach the girl through her hard, cold exterior?
... Sei suddenly takes Madoka rapidly spinning across the dance floor in a seemingly haphazard fashion. Immediately Homura's eyes leave Michiru and stare after the dancing pair. The Ohtori student's gaze narrows and soon the pair are spinning their way after them! Is this some sort of contest perhaps? Acrobatic whirls and twirls are met with graceful spins and sweeps! Dueling dance couples?
That would just be another day at Ohtori, actually.
Meimi is stomping off. Augh, so embarassing. The older girls are so very elegant and Asuka is just a goofball. "Just... go back to watching for theives, mister Junior Detective!!" she says, turning to yell back at him.
Brooding is something she understood at least. She does not seem particularly afraid, certainly not terrified. Perhaps a little shy and unsure of herself at first. Though the fact that he didn't blow her off appears to assuage some of the anxiety. "A pleasure, Takumi-senpai. No, I'm not interested enough to remain on the dance floor."
She gives him a quiet look of consternation, before stating, "That isn't what I asked. How often you do it. I asked if you enjoy it." But then she has a look of chagrin, as if realizing just a bit too late she may have broken some implicit social rule by calling his attention and pressing him on this, and she looks away, mumbling an apology.
Michiru was an insightful sort. But it was hard to tell if they were /purposefully/ kinda swinging by the dancing pair of Madoka and Sei... Sei?! Her? Michiru's eyes widen as she looks towards the young woman, the smile that had been ever-present on her lips dashing away. If some strange and infernal design was just kinda pushing them that way, Michiru then starts suggesting... Homura was leading, so the suggesting was terribly subtle - them away from the pair.
"I can tell," says Michiru, gently, "You dance very well, but if I may say - your heart does not seem to be in it," says she. Or, perhaps - her heart was elsewhere but the dance. Michiru was watching the eyes of the younger woman carefully. Michiru always might seem the gentle sort on the surface, but there could be said to be an edge in her gaze. And when she spies Homura's eyes, Michiru glances back towards Sei - and the resistance to drawing away from the part stops.
And her voice lowers, "...are you worried about Sei..." What is a gentle way to put it. "...with that young woman?"
"Hmph. I think I will! I didn't even want to dance anyway!" Asuka grits his teeth, heading over to the snack table to get something to eat. "Just you wait, Haneoka! You'll thank me when I stop some jerk from trying to steal your stuff!"
Daiki Asuka Jr. also pulls out his cell phone, /furiously/ updating his status.
Sei is like, totally about to hulk out. If she wasn't more scared of her father than her anger could overcome, she would likely summon her Child in the middle of this dance class and have it try to bite Minako's head off. Unfortunately, or perhaps forunately for everyone, she is under strict orders not to abuse her magical powers, and finds it likely that murdering a classmate over CDs would probably fall under 'abuse' in the eyes of her Family, the only court which matters to her. She doesn't even notice Homura (and Michiru, by extension) spinning after her and Madoka. But it's a good thing they did, because as Minako continues to speak, Sei basically jettisons the still-stunned Madoka.. sending her spinning away and coincidentally, right at Homura and Michiru. In the same movement, she hip-checks Madobe out of the way, sending the girl stumbling the opposite direction, and forcefully takes over Minako's partnerage. Perhaps wanting to avoid a bad report card, she links hands with the target of her ire in the normal dance posture.. but her movements are quite a bit more forceful than they need to be. "FOR.. THE. .LAST.. TIME.. I.. AM.. NOT.. YOUR.. BIGGEST.. FAN!" She growls under her breath each time she jarringly swings Minako around like an out-of-balance washing machine.
Takumi fixes Eri with a flat look, a touch of annoyance leaving the corners of his mouth quirking downward. "If I liked it I would do it often, wouldn't I?"
He lets the irritation pass, though, just letting out a short huff of breath through his nose. His shoulders tense a bit and relax, head canted forward a couple of inches; his Adam's apple juts a little as clears his throat at the mutterings of apology from the younger girl. "'s fine," he says in a somewhat more conciliatory tone, voice lowering. When he looks back to the dance floor it's with a shrug. "Sometimes it can be interesting, when you find someone you're interested in dancing with. It's harder to dance with someone you don't know or don't have that chemistry with. It's all about the way you move as a unit and know where each other's feet are going without having to look. If you can't have that, dancing is just a farce and you end up falling."
Minako Aino is starting to laugh a bit nervously, holding Sei by the hand and waist (and tickling her palm with a pinky again) while glancing about, just a little embarrassed and apologetic-looking. "Calm down, Sei-chan. Don't butt in line, either. Wait your turn or Herr Tarzan-Party'll get mad," she says, trying to placate the wild girl as she gives an mirthful smile towards Madobe and Madoke.
"Come on, you're gonna upset the Ma'doos," she murmurs to Sei, traipsing around her with no sort of grace now, always one to look out for the youngers. "I promise I'll hang with you later or even dance another round with you but taking turns is important," she reiterates. "This is sorta' what I meant by what I said earlier."
"And calm dooown, dancing with too much force will just end up with us falling!"
Madoka isn't seeing smiles of agreement, people waltzing in hot pursuit, nervous new friends, or anything else -- all she can see right now is the ceiling and the floor, spinning as wildly and quickly as her little teal skirt, and with about as many bends and folds. Her shoes are slick against the smooth gym floor; they were never designed for sports traction, and right now she is careening in an infinite, high-speed, probably rather dangerous spin across the dance floor at top speed.
Directly, yes, towards Homura and Michiru.
Collision alert. Collision alert. Catastrophic collision is imminent.
Eri looks back up at him, she actually looks mildly bemused, even though she still seems quite chagrined. She lets his irritation roll off of her, falling straight down a well. "That would be making an assumption. I try not to make assumptions." She states with a strange sort of candor, before pointing out, "For example, it could be something you enjoy and just don't have the oppurtunity to do often, but that would be another assumption. When I want to know something, I ask." Her expression looks slightly impish, her tone becoming bemused, "How would I know the answer, otherwise?"
She listens to his explanation, finally nodding appreciatively, "You speak as if you prefer your dancing to have an almost military precision. I can appreciate that, if that is indeed what you are implying. My father is a soldier." She settles a few feet off from him, giving him his personal space but leaning against the wall, with her hands clasped in front of her.
"Ah...r...I will...try not to make her uncomfortable?" Madobe says very uncomfortably. Last time Sei was upset she yelled to the world about her choice in porn, so she's not eager to get in the middle of a fight here.
She is promptly hipchecked so hard her art style changes and she chibifies, comically faling over. She makes a @_@ face and waddles her hands up and down upsettedly, faint teary remnants in her eyes. It's adorable.
Wait, she thinks, this means she doesn't have to dance? Right? She whistles fainlty and slinks towards the back--
--but wait, if she slinks out...she won't be able to exchange numbers with Madoka!!
God--god does hate her! She looks around for Madoka to see if Sei threw her into the stratosphere or something. "Ah--ah...watch...out? Watch out..??"
"I don't care about the Ma'doos, and I don't care about your CDs, and I don't care about taking turns!" Sei hisses at Minako, while continuing to spin her around like an olympic hammerthrower who has been drinking a bit too heavily. Some other random pairs are forced to dive out of the way. "And I wouldn't be doing this if you weren't so.. freaking.. annoying"
Even Herr Tanzenparteri has taken notice of his disruption, and is heading over with his hands raised. "Now now, little birds, zis is not graceful!" He protests, but before he can get much further, Sei has let go of Minako.. likely sending her stumbling, but if the girl is in any way coordinated she won't fall. Unless she trips over Madobe, of course.
Sei then throws her hands up in the air. "To hell with this. To hell with all of you!" She includes Madobe and Madoka in this, not because she really is angry with them but just because they are convinient targets of opportunity. Then, ignoring the protests of the dance instructor, she turns, long dark hair flipping behind her in a move that totally uses up the budget that was saved by Madobe's chibification, and stalks, stiff-legged and with her hands clenched at her side, out of the gym. The door slams shut behind her with a BANG.
Strange and infernal designs are a common feature of a Puella Magi's life. Though it's doubtful, at least in this case, that there's anything particularly diabolical about this particular development. At least no more diabolical than Sei's desire to explain to Minako, once and for all, that she is not her biggest fan.
As the two move toward the proximity of where Sei and Madoka are dancing Michiru speaks up again in gentle tones. She notes the obvious fact (at least obvious to Michiru) that while she dances very well her heart is not into it. A dance without any sort of passion is a sad thing after all: Hardly a dance at all. Just connected movements without a purpose other than motion.
And while Homura leads, Michiru is trying to gently suggest them away from Sei. It seems she has no desire to interact with her. Unfortunately Homura seems insistent in her desired path, the hand on Michiru's lower back firm.
It is then when the resistance to her leading drops that Michiru says something deserving of reaction. 'Are you worried about Sei... with that young woman?'
Immediately Homura's eyes snap back to Michiru's face. There is a flicker of some sort of emotion... is it anger? Is it frustration? Or is it pain? It's hard to say. Regardless, it's like Michiru pulled the 'stop waltz' chord for the two come to a halt in a final swirl of skirts and of Homura's lengthy dark hair.
As it turns out the last few moments in which Homura's attention was taken away from Madoka and Sei were the worst few moments to do so. Madoka comes spinning like a pink top across the floor! Madobe's attempt to warn, 'Watch out..??' are not enough.
Homura is shorter than Michiru, and Madoka is shorter than Homura. That said, the solid impact of the smaller Ohtori student knocks Homura out of the dancing form with Michiru and nearly knocks her from her feet!
Taking a few steps to recover her balance, Homura then turns swiftly around to look across the dance floor with widened eyes at where Madoka is now. And then those eyes begin to narrow...
"Military?" Takumi repeats with a blink and a cant of his head.
Behind the lie that is Takumi Chiji, a captain of the Dark Kingdom reflects that Eri has /no/ idea.
"It's the opposite, really," the older boy explains as he shakes his head, eyes closing for a moment. "I don't like to go through the motions like some kind of automatic machine. To want to dance with someone is important. Sometimes you have to do things, but with something like dancing, what's the point if you dislike the person you're with? Once you do that, it just happens." He looks over to the younger girl with a slight straightening of his posture. "That's a pretty dangerous job, being a soldier. I hear soldiers' kids are supposed to be the toughest kids, too."
And then Madoka becomes a projectile. Takumi looks over with a blink.
Then he realizes the pink girl hit Homura and not Michiru and it becomes less 'uh-oh' and more a blink. "...Oi, middle school," he murmurs to himself with a shake of his head.
Eri nods her head at Takumi, thinking nothing of it. "I see. I think I understand then. Thank you for a straight answer. I actually agree. That makes perfect sense. My father believes I should learn to dance to be more sociable to break the ice with people." She lifts up a hand, adjusting her glasses, "To me it makes more sense, and has more meaning when you are already well acquainted with the person, and is no substitute for conversation when it comes to introducing one's self."
He mentions military children being the toughest kids, and there is a brief look of pain behind her eyes, "It is a very dangerous profession. And supposed to be? I've never much cared for what people are supposed act like."
She was so engrossed that she almost missed the hip checking dance war with the Madoka-Hadouken. When he calls attention to their behavior, she looks out onto the dance floor, at Madoka in particular. By her now preternaturally cold expression she doesn't seem to much care for the treatment of the girl. "Do you think we ought to intervene?"
Minako Aino is usually swift enough on her feet to be the graceful one, but she still half-steps, half-hops over Madobe and recovers herself near the last human-projectile incident, standing right in the middle of the Ma'doos.
"Sorry about that," she says a little sheepishly, reaching down to check on lazy Madobe (and try to distract people from thinking she stepped on her). "Sei-tan can be so emotional sometimes, but you gotta forgive her. She just needs a moment to cool down! Impatience and all that~!"
Michiru could not help but notice how Homura was resisting her guidance. When Homura insists, Michiru doesn't quite fight against the younger woman, although her jaw squares a bit with tension as she glances to Sei. Michiru didn't quite expect the reaction to that question, doing a half-motion more when Homura stops, her eyes flicking stright to her.
That was when the world ended.
Well, not quite that dramatic, but Michiru gasps as a Madoka-missile spins into their little arrangment. She certainly wasn't expecting /that/, either. Michiru had an excellent sense of balance on her own. Clinging to Homura, however?
That certainly changed things. Wobbling forward towards the younger woman, Michiru's feet scrabble beneath her - the heels on the dancing shoes working against her as she tries to find her way.
If she had to fall, it had to be as graceful as possible. And as Homura finds her balance again, it throws Michiru off of her own, the woman falling forward, onto her knees. A bit hard, overall, and Michiru winces.
Winces, but her eyes flicker towards Madoka - to see if the young lady was alright, before her eyes lift to Homura again.
Madoka's eyes rattle in her skull, her head rolls back on her neck, and she's quite incapable of keeping her feet, much less catching her breath. In a heartbeat, she's tumbled into a ball of teal skirts, fluffy pink hair, and cute red ribbons. "...dizzy..." she gasps, momentarily stunned.
The moment passes, though, with the SLAM of the door, and also with the awareness that she hurts in more places than where she hit the floor. She ran into Homura hard enough to bruise.
It's still impossible to string two words together, much less 'wait, Itazura-senpai!' She's barely aware that said senior, who gave her a few moments of total joy, has stormed out, the cacophany of the dance lesson ringing in her ears, threatening to drown out her memories of the other girl's shouts and rather disastrous course of action. It doesn't succeed, entirely, but just at the moment she lacks the fortitude to stand, much less to chase. To confront, or at least to comfort. That will come later; once someone demonstrates distress at that level, it's like a siren call. She can't stay away.
From her pile of skirts, she forces her eyes to settle on a single target, the vertigo of the still-spinning room causing her to see not one Homura but, five, ten, all with the same striking hair and even more striking expression as the girl in her dream. Seascape halos of the nearby Michiru's hair follow closely behind, tracking each afterimage as the moon might try to chase the sun.
She opens her mouth, then firmly closes it again, until finally her rose-eyed gaze is steady enough to really see who she's talking to, to grasp what just happened. She takes a deep breath, releases it, and finally regains sufficient mental capacity to remember what's actually important here: the tall, dark, mysterious girl she just slammed into at full force, and the older girl, also on the floor.
"A-are you all right?!" For once, today, 'I'm sorry' can wait; this isn't about her.
"No," Takumi muses with a shake of his head. "No, they're kids. They don't look all that hurt, so it's basically fine."
He changes his tune as Michiru goes down, though. He scowls a bit and takes a step forward, hands rising from his belt as he watches the classy girl in the nice dress react - but she looks up towards others first, and he stops himself before taking the next step.
A couple of things promptly click in his kind. First off, she's tougher than she looks. A normal classy art girl would have cried out at least if she landed hard on her knees after a bump like that. Second, the pink-haired girl's awkwardness is just /palpable./ No way she's as wariness-inducing as Michiru. Certainly someone that bumbling and clumsy could never be any kind of threat. He crosses Madoka off his mental 'could be a magical girl' list.
"Kaioh-san, you hurt?" he calls out with a frown.
Madobe bites at her lip, watching the happenings with distress. She watches after Sei for a moment, and then takes Minako's hand up. She breathes out for a moment. "...I can forgive anything she did to me," She mumbles. "But Madoka didn't deserve that at all." She crosses her arms lightly, looking down at the floor. She doesn't know the other two but she doubts they deserved it either!
"Sorry." She adds reflexively, eyes widening suddenly. "Ah--Sorry. Just...Nevermind." She settles. "I'm going to check on her. If that's okay. Aheh."
She approaches awkwardly (as usual).
The mysterious transfer student was the only one who managed to keep her feet. As such she is in an ideal position to loom over both Madoka and the normally taller Michiru. She doesn't move to help either of them up, and instead stands still as Madoka recovers down from seeing ten Homuras (such a horrible thought!) down to finally seeing only one.
'A-are you all right?!'
Those words seem to have the opposite effect as they were intended. Though it would be an obvious thing for anyone to say, especially after they had rammed into them on the middle of a dance floor, Homura doesn't seem to see it that way. Homura's eyes grow increasingly narrow as she looks down at Madoka and Michiru. If you listen closely, over the lovely waltzing music, you might even be able to hear the sound of her clenched jaw grinding her teeth together.
"I'm fine." Homura finally responds tersely. Her eyes then move from Madoka to meet Michiru's gaze. "Thank you for the dance, Michiru Kaioh." With that Homura reaches behind her head and runs her fingers through her long luxurious hair. As she turns toward the door that hand sweeps backwards, sending up the tresses in a majestic flip!
And with that, she begins to walk toward the exit. It seems that Homura has lost the desire to waltz any more this day.
Michiru Kaioh pauses a moment at Madoka's question - as far as she could tell, she was a normal young woman, and as hard as her knees had hit the gymnasium floor, she was certain Madoka had the worst of it, being used as, essentially, a missile. And Madoka had asked if they were alright.
"We're fine, we're fine... are you alright? That looked like quite a tumble," says Michiru, wincing a bit more as she was reminded of the blow her knees had taken. She was a bit shaky on her feet as she starts gathering herself up - it still /hurt/, even if she wasn't quite screeching about it. "I'm doing well, Chiji-san - but I'm worried about her - would you be so kind?" asks she of Takumi, even as she starts rising to her feet.
Michiru's estimation of Homura, though? Michiru's brow furrows at the terse response, not even getting a chance, really, to respond, before Homura starts to flee the scene, a frown dancing on her lips. What an unusual - if athletic - young woman. A mystery, on top of mysteries.
But Michiru smiles to herself. Wasn't everyone, here?
Takumi leaves her side to intervene when Michiru goes down, that's good enough for her. Madoka appears to be just fine, albeit flustered. Homura departs. Everything seems to have worked out on its own. Which is just fine by her standards, she didn't want to have to intervene at all.
Eri looks abstracted for a while, before finally using this oppurtunity to sidle over to her book bag, hoist it up to her shoulder and leave out the door at a rather rapid pace. Possibly with a hair flip of her own, because, why not?
Where she's going isn't really in question...
Later, if Madoka does indeed follow up to visit the grave of her pansies, she might be surprised to see them to be most decidedly hale and in full bloom. This would be strange enough, but they give anyone who look at them a decidedly eerie feeling, like the flowers are in fact, staring back at them. Watching them. But that's just silly, isn't it?
Madoka watches Homura confirm her well-being and then leave, and unconsciously reaches out a hand after her. Everyone's just turning and departing, today. With a faint grimace of pain, quickly disguised behind her usual sunny smile, she turns the gesture into a fluffy scratch of the back of her head, pretending to bemusement and not having to pretend embarrassment.
"I-I'm glad!" she stammers after The Transfer Student, and in response to The Glamorous Infinity Student, as well, the same response serving for both young women. "And I'm okay, don't worry, it doesn't hurt..." She sees the thunderous scowl of the dancing master, whose class she has now really thoroughly disrupted, and her humiliation feels complete. Now that everyone has been established to be in one piece, she can sink back into her comfort zone of self-recrimination.
Gingerly she gets to her feet, and discovers that she is not completely okay; but it's a limp she can disguise, mostly, with skillful grinning and bearing it. Her own teeth almost grind at the thought of how much she's going to be teased by her best friends for injuring herself at her FIRST DANCE LESSON.
She bows to the room, with about as much grace as she had at the beginning of the day, which is to say, none; any fluidity brought on by proximity to skillful Sei, or even her own temporary boost of confidence as she made new friends, is entirely gone. "I interrupted the lesson. Please excuse my rudeness!!" Especially you, new friends Madobe and Minako! She ducks her head even more fiercely at them, eyes closing entirely for a moment; how awful to have interrupted their visit and lesson in such a way! She hasn't forgotten her promise to Madobe, though, and softly murmurs a string of numbers at the other girl as she passes.
And without further ado, she beats a hasty, slightly painful retreat to the corner with the bleachers and, beneath them, her bookbag. She grabs it by the strap, that fallen page of her sketchbook not given even a passing glance, as forgotten as any glass slipper after a ball.
Everyone? Takumi doesn't think so. The dark-haired girl Michiru was dancing with certainly qualifies as worth watching, but the awkward pink one? Pshaw. No way she could be the least bit magical.
"Yeah... yeah, I've got her," the older boy agrees before setting off towards the pink bundle of pigtails and awkwardness.
She's off before he can really help her out, though. With a sigh Takumi pushes his hand through his hair and makes a face. Leave it to this city to turn a dancing outing into a bumbling mess. No wonder he's glad to be out of junior high. His hand falls back to his belt after a moment, and he gives his head a shake.
"You look like a thundercloud when you scowl that way, danceparty-sama," he offers the dance instructor drily.
Minako Aino is more than willing to run after Sei with Madobe and give her a courtesy lesson, but only after everybody is up and brushed off. Plus, she needs a moment to make a quick speech.
"Thanks for the invite, Ohtori Academy! I'll be sure to invite your students to Infinity! Be sure to grab some CDs outside!"
Madobe sighs. She can understand what Madoka must feel like. It isn't fair at all.
She doesn't look at Madoka with pity because she knows that if it were her, there's nothing that would distress and upset her more. She just murmurs her numbers back and says, "Talk to you later." That's about all she has time to do.
Michiru Kaioh makes it to her feet, and by the time she does, many of the students were scattering after the collision. "Well, it appears dancing lessons are over. I will see you next time, professor?" says Michiru, ignoring the fact that her knees were still a bit tender feeling, and drawing into a bow to the man.
Then, she follows Minako in fleeing the scene, although with far more decorum. "Thank you again! It was nice to meet you all!" she shouts to those within earshot.