Chapter 9

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Yuzuru watches Em step on ice first, because he wanted to copy the movements of an absolute beginner.

So you flail your arms and have a death grip on the walls. I see.

He steps gingerly on the ice, having the urge to go fly out and do triples and quads but----

You're a penguin today. You don't skate, he scolds himself.

"Whoa. It's slippery as heck," Em laughs, holding on to the wall for dear life.

Her blades are slipping, as if she had no control of where the blades would go.

Yuzuru pretended to slip too, holding on to the wall.

Nam was laughing, very loudly. Whether it was at their skating skills, or watching an Olympic champion pretend to be a beginner.

To up the game, Yuzuru let go, letting himself fall with a thud.

He was used to falling, but not intentionally.

Em laughed, bending over. Both hands on her belly, she didn't hold on to the wall and she fell, too.

Right on Yuzuru.

It was awkward, the tangle of the two awkward humans on the ice, impossibly close to each other.

Yuzuru could smell the faint scent of peppermint on her.

After Nam pulled them up, still laughing, Em cleared her throat, a little embarrassed.

"Hey, put your feet in a V position, and push with your knees bent. Just relax," Nam helped, supporting Yuzu.

Yuzu gave an annoyed look, and just held on with his feet wobbling.

Acting was so hard.

But as Nam taught them the basics, Yuzuru decided that the beginner should've been promoted, and started doing lousy pushes, like what he saw some of the public skaters do.

Pushing with the toe pick, knees stiff, back bent and arms flailing like a headless chicken.

Tripping over his toe pick, he sent himself flying again, falling with an "oof".

Hopefully that was convincing, he thought.

Em laughed again, and tried to get up as she fell again.

Yuzu penguin skated to her, and gently pulled her up, supporting her.

Em could smell a little bit of fabric softener on him.

Eau de Hanyu, she named it.

"Hey, you're going backwards," she noted, as Yuzu unknowingly glided backwards, still holding her arms.

"Oh really?" He asked, flustered.

He fell again.

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"Thanks Nam, it was awesome with your help, we really learnt a lot, especially Yuzu. He's so good, he can go backwards!" Em thanked, high fiving Nam.

"Aren't you going to return your skates?" She asked Yuzu, pointing at his black skates.

"Oh, um, yes," he stuttered.

"Hey Nam, thanks for the skates," he lied, passing the skates to Nam. When his back was facing Em, he mouthed "help me wipe them" desperately.

Em beckoned Yuzu to leave quickly, and they walked, laughing about how many bruises they got from falling.

"Hey, Em, I have something to tell you," he started. Em slowed to a stop, humming a song.

I'm a figure skater and I pretended to be an idiot just now.

"Um we should hang out at the cafe sometime," he randomly spewed.

Damn you, Yuzuru, he thought.

"Uhm. Sure," Em replied, not sure what to say.

"I'll take the bus from here, thanks for sending me to the stop! Go ice that sore bum of yours," Em laughed, waving at Yuzu.

"I'll text you," Yuzu called.

The moment Em's bus turned around the corner, with Em waving in the back, he turned and sprinted back to the club.

"Nam-- are my skates with you?" He asked, flustered. He coughed. Probably shouldn't have run that much.

"Chill bro, I wiped it and kept it in the lockers," he smiled, cleaning his own skates.

"And we said we would work on our jumps after lunch," Nam laughed, pointing his cloth at Yuzu.

"Ugh. Don't remind me. I'm so embarrassed," Yuzu uttered, sitting down to stretch.

"You know you were this close to blowing your cover?" Nam asked, looking down at his skates.

"I know. I don't think I'm ready to tell her who I am... I don't want people to judge me for my achievements," he sighed, pulling his leg over his head, in a biellmann. So far, he wasn't able to do a needle.

"I'm not trying to imply anything, but one day, she will find out, eventually," Nam said quietly.

After all, lies will be exposed.

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