Fix your eyes on me
Another day of practice and boy is Anchan glad she woke up early. She did the normal routine she does every morning. Shower, dress, eat, go to work. And she did.
When she got there, Shuka was surprisingly already there before her and it's just 7 in the morning. Their practices don't really start till 8 so she and Shuka are an hour early.
"Hey, morning" Shuka greeted first
"Morning. How come you're so early? It's not like you" Anchan teased
"That's rude Anju! I can be early if I wanted to!" Shuka pouted like a cute kid which made Anchan giggle
"Im just teasing Shuka" Shuka smiled at Anchan's way then Hina appeared
"Ah, you're both early today" Hina said
"So are you" Anchan replied
"Well, yeah. Just gonna do my own practice" Hina replied back
"Same with us then" Shuka said
"Awesome. Since we're here, let's go practice together?" Hina suggested with hidden enthusiasm
"That'd be great!" Shuka replied with her not so hidden enthusiasm
"Ahh, you guys have fun" Anchan's disappointment didn't escape Shuka's ears
"Oh yeah. You're supposed to practice alone" Shuka muttered with a pout which made Anchan laugh a bit
"I'll be fine. You guys go on then" Anchan smiled at them which Hina mirrored
"I'll see you later" Shuka then pecked Anchan's cheek and went with Hina towards the studio.
A few hours later they finally decided to take a break from practice. Hina went towards Shuka who was still practicing her dance solo.
"Saito-san, we're on break already" Hina said as she eyed the girl who was deep in her dancing.
"Saito-san?" Hina tapped Shuka's shoulder which made her come out of the somewhat like trance she was in
"Ah, sorry about that. What is it Hina-chan?" Shuka said
"We're on break already. You're really working hard huh Saito-san" Hina offered a clean face towel towards Shuka which gladly took and wiped her face with it
"Of course! Anju is also working hard so I have to do the same! Also, Shuka is just fine!" Shuka said with a smile
"Shuka-chan then!" Hina exclaimed with me
"You hungry? Let's go eat something" Shuka suggested to which Hina nodded her head in agreement.
Shuka and Hina went over the table and saw some packaged sushi and sashimi
"Which one do you prefer?" Shuka asked, holding both packages
"Then, sashimi please" Hina replied and they both sat down and ate.
While eating, Shuka and Hina discussed a lot of things and knew a lot of what they had in common. For example, they're both the youngest in their groups, their love for games and a lot more.
"We should hang out sometime!" Shuka suggested
"I'd gladly do that! But..." Hina muttered the last part but Shuka heard
"But what...?" Shuka said eating a piece of sashimi
"Anju-san might roundhouse me in the face if she knew we hanged out with just the two of us" Hina's spine shivered at the thought
"Nah, she won't. Why don't we go to where she is right now so you and I can both ask her if it's okay" Shuka said with a reassuring smile
"As long as there's no roundhousing Hina in the face then Im good" Hina joked and both of them laughed.
A few minutes later, they threw away the thrash that was left on the table and went to where Anchan is.
Shuka's brows furrowed when she saw Anchan again, still practicing but soaking wet with sweat, that even one towel won't be enough to wipe all of it.
"Just fo a sec, okay Hina-chan?" Shuka then went over to Anchan, who was now laying down on the floor, with a clean face towel.
Shuka hovered her face over Anchan's tired figure
"Yousoro!" Shuka shouted with a salute. Anchan's face brightened when she saw Shuka, and she immediately stood up.
"Hey, what are you doing here?" Anchan asked with a smile
"To see you duh" Shuka said with sarcasm before examining Anchan's super sweaty face and wiping it with a face towel
"I can't bear to see you like this you know" Shuka muttered but still continuing to wipe Anchan's face.
"Im fine" Anchan reassured Shuka and held her hand on her face
"I know, I know" Shuka smiled.
Hina was just near the entrance, turning her back on this scene that's happening.
"Anyway, go change your clothes first" Shuka said and got Anchan's spare clothes in her bag and gave it to her
"Whatever you say mom" Anchan joked as she got the clothes and went to dress. Shuka went towards Hina and said
"Sorry bout that" Shuka apologized
"Don't worry about it. I actually find it very sweet" Hina grinned at Shuka which cause the latter to blush.
"Hey! Im done changing. And nice to see you here Hina!" Anchan greeted and stood beside Shuka
"Hello!" Hina greeted back with a bow
"What brings you here though?" Anchan asked, taking Shuka's hand casually
"Actually, I was gonna tell you that Hina-chan and I are gonna hang out on our next day off and was wondering if you'd like to join us?" Shuka's eyes gleamed
"Hmm, I'd love to but I can't" Anchan replied
"What? Why?" Hina asked
"Im gonna practice alone on our day off too" Anchan said with a sheepish smile but Shuka frowned
"Hina-chan, I'll talk to Anju for a while. Wait for me at the studio?" Shuka's tone turned serious and Hina nodded before leaving the two of them.
"What's wrong?" Anchan faced Shuka now who was frowning and averting her gaze from Anchan
"I still don't think you should push yourself" Shuka muttered. Anchan took Shuka's hands in her own and smiled
"I'll be fine. Didn't I tell you that a few times?" Anchan said with feather like gentleness. Shuka turned to face Anchan, eye to eye, then her eyes slowly went from Anchan's eyes to Anchan's knees. As if she can see through the jogging pants Anchan was wearing.
"Lift up your jogging pants" Shuka said firmly while Anchan sweat dropped
"That's not necessary...is it?" Anchan countered
"If you're really fine then convince me by lifting up your jogging pants" Shuka seriously said again but Anchan refused to budge.
"Fine, then can we at least sit down at talk this over? Im tired" Shuka said and Anchan did as she was told. She sat but right after she did, Shuka immediately lifted up her jogging pants high enough to reveal Anchan's two "bruised" knees and some bruises on her leg.
"Anju..." Shuka felt like crying at the sight. She knew doing the flip would be hard and needs a lot of practice but to do it even at the point of bruising is just something Shuka can't take.
"Shuka...I can explain..." Anchan, seeing the frustration, sadness, and anger all bottled up in Shuka, tried her best to calm her down.
"I need to tell the director, you need to stop this" Shuka muttered and made to go outside if it weren't for Anchan who was still sitting, grabbed her wrist.
"Shuka don't! I can do this! This is nothing! It'll hear even before the Carnival will start!" Anchan begged Shuka who's hand didn't move nor did she make eye contact yet.
"I beg of you Shuka, I can do this...please.." Anchan said which caused Shuka to look at her with teary eyes now
"Anju, I believe you. I really do. But this!..." Shuka said as she was gesturing towards Anchan's bruised legs
"I know Chika-chan went through the same! And honestly, I don't even know how You-chan could take seeing her like that! Because Anju, I can't ! I can't take seeing you like this!" Shuka's tears weren't able to hold themselves now, one by one they fell down from her cheeks to Anchan's hand who's holding her wrist. Anchan stood up and slowly pulled Shuka into a tight hug, resting her head on Shuka's shoulder as she kept muttering
"Im sorry, Im sorry. I know you're worried, I'll take care of myself from now on I promise" but it was somewhat drowned by Shuka's uncontrollable sobs.