"Knock 'em dead, Fraulein!"
Selma's unrepentant, cheerful voice called after the cloud of purple and white drifting away from their table, after she'd made a spirited showing of the flash of lighting that was her winningest smile to her teammates. The giant of a girl had answered it with a toothy grin of her own and a brazen thumbs-up, revealing diligently manicured nails in the process— normally, she was content to let her work wear them down, but a ball meant looking one's best. As Rivka caught the eye contact, and was turning to leave, the larger girl cupped a hand to her mouth and sent her off with a wink and one final stage whisper. "Remember, Hastan girls love a little spice!"
Spice, of course, that Rivka had in spades
. Selma had been privy to the redhead
she'd been smitten with over their first weeks at the academy; more than once the subject of the songs belted out in mezzo-soprano
in the shower the next room over. With her old phone toasted by their trials in the subway, Selma had to admit— as much as it was confusing
the first few times, it made for a very good
substitute alarm clock.Can't deny that kinda passion. She's gonna hit this place like a hurricane—“Ladies, if I, or one of you don’t make it back from this, it has been an absolute honour.”"Don't sweat it, babe!"
She snapped off a sharp salute, mimicked to a tee from old military documentaries her brothers had often passed the time with back home. "You can count on me; we're all gonna make it!"
And as Aoife marched off into the void, into Rivka's wake, there were only three left. She took a moment to consider the two other girls, her final pair of irreplaceable sisters, and how they seemed. In truth, she didn't wanna leave either of them to hang out to dry— much like her, they'd both been clearly bored almost to the point of tears by the grand speech about commemorating this years class of recruits or whatever, dry tones and drier, dustier words that five generations of Ars Magi had probably heard before. For that, she could hardly blame any of them, let alone herself.
Crystal, however seemed tense— more than tense, actually. She was good at masking it, and the may people here she'd likely only see once or twice and then never again would likely believe her misdirection, likely believe she was carefully neutral about everything. But Selma, big dumb tree that she was— Selma saw how carefully she was breathing, the way her eyes had darted between her teammates every so often while the droning adults dominated the microphone, how introverted she naturally was
already. She had to be hating this "being put on display" thing like hell itself— and she couldn't even freeze it over in response to not chewing gum.
As for her roommate..."Never done the waltz, huh?"
she repeated back to her roommate, meeting the gaze she noticed herself being pinned with inquisitively. Chie had been slaughtering herself all through their training, through every last bit of their studies, still not over their early-on mishaps. Her words to the contrary, that she didn't need to push herself to the point of burnout, and that what had happened was no fault of her own, had fallen upon apparently deaf ears. A girl like her... probably didn't wanna deal with some unfamiliar guys schmoozing her, if she had to guess. "Hmmm."
They both needed to take a breather, really... Something to get them relaxed enough that they didn't implode, either at the party or later on, behind closed doors. Something fun, even in this stuffy affair...
She shot the two a sly grin. "Y'know, you came to the right girl with this— Rivka may have her musician's sense for rhythm, but only yours truly has as much experience on the gentleman's end of a dance."
She nodded once, twice, plan forming inside her head. she'd played this role many a time before in her dance electives at school—
She stood, rising to her full height smoothly, double-breasted navy jacket pressed clean and crisp against her torso, long legs concealed in the academy's golden trousers. Her strong shoulders, bolstered with pads beneath epaulets of aurum, filled the officer's top admirably even as she folded her arms and cupped her chin, emerald eyes sliding over to Crystal momentarily.
—and knew how to play it exceedingly well."I gotta say it's been a bit, though, so if you don't mind lending an eye and making sure I don't step on her toes..?"
An open invitation to tag along. She hadn't pried much into the other girl's affairs, not feeling it right to dig anywhere a person didn't elect to share unless it was life-threatening, but she'd seen clarity in her footwork thrice over before they'd even been pronounced Ars Magi. If she had to place a bet on it, Crystal knew
how to dance, and with that diligence of hers, she knew it well.
Up to her if she accepted. She didn't want to leave the poor girl to her lonesome if she could help it. But as for the matter of the moment...
The hand then shifted to a fist as she made a show of clearing her throat, closing her eyes momentarily. These officers seemed just as bored with the affair as they were, so somebody needed to let everyone know how things were done around here— that they had standards
, right? Definitely. It wouldn't due to just coast through this bit. It wouldn't leave the right impression
It wouldn't have the spice
.Selma, Selma, Go Give 'em Hellma!
And then, she stepped forward and pinned Chie with a confident smirk, looking directly into the brunette's eyes. She extended a hand with careful, deliberate grace, opposite hand behind her back in a picturesque bow, leaning forward just
enough that her gravitic roommate, so coy in her request, could take it as she rose with ease. Already, Selma had embodied the gentlemanly aura in her posture, all straightened shoulders and controlled decorum of motion, but then—"Milady Masuzu,"
Her voice had dropped low, lower than either had heard from her before, into a cool, smoky contralto
. "May I have this dance?"
She was gallantry