Xu Can't, Tho

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Lisa's voice echoed across the sandy field, "That's right, ladies, keep it up!"

The petite young woman with long strawberry blonde hair wove her way between her unit members locked in sparring combat, her typically playful expression turned serious.

But one young woman sat on the sidelines, just watching.

Shae had taken to shadowing Ava around in her schedule so that she was never left alone, and the boys could get more work done post-crazy camp night. The camp buzzed with urgency ever since the incident with Umber's men, and the fact that one of them had slipped through their hands. Shae decided she would much rather spend her time in the midst of Ava's sass and good humor than the heavy melodrama of a bunch of overprotective boys.

So she was sitting casually on the sidelines of the sand pits while Ava and her unit practiced their sparring. Shae smiled proudly at her friend, as she saw Ava swerve he way through one move and the next, deflecting, defending, and jabbing her way to victory against her sparring partners.

 Shae smiled proudly at her friend, as she saw Ava swerve he way through one move and the next, deflecting, defending, and jabbing her way to victory against her sparring partners

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Lisa spoke up again, "Alright, that's enough for today. You ladies hit the showers and get ready for some perimeter patrols. Let's go, let's go!"

While the rest of her unit jogged from the fields, Ava sweverd for her best friend. Shae shifted on the baby blue towel beneath her slinky black athletic shorts, then offered a water bottle up to her friend. Ava took it and guzzled back a few gulps between pants for steadier breath.

"What a rush. Every time."

"Lookin' pretty badass out there, my friend."

Ava swerved on her hip and pointed the butt of her water bottle in Shae's direction. "Maybe you should revisit the combat arts. I mean, I realize you're not a natural talent like me. Not everyone can be as good at everything as I am. But what's the harm of stretching your muscles anyway?"

Shae blinked hard. "You mean, you teach me? I think I remember us sparring together before going terribly wrong."

Ava gave a satisfied, "Ahhhh!" after a final gulp of water. Then she went on to say, "Yes, that's because your dashing hero Jung Hoseok swooped in and saved the day if I recall correctly. But that day on the sparring mats is a blur of sweat and sugar and Min Yoongi, to be perfectly honest."

Shae laughed. "Forgot about the whole 'oh my god, Shae just erupted with weird alien magic' part?"

"More or less."

"Not to mention that was also the first time Hobi drew a blade on me."

Ava rolled her eyes, "For which he is forgiven. Because what, pray tell, about that sunshine smile of his spells out 'bloodthirsty murderer' in shining bright letters?"

Shae chuckled at her friend's point--but then a vivid image of the arena revisited her. Of Hoseok with a bloodied sword in hand. Of him splitting Sehun clean open right in front of her eyes.

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