Disclaimer: I don't own MBC nor the characters. Rated T for strong language and mature themes.
As always, I started working on this chapter several days before actually finishing it and posting it. Things had changed drastically since then. I am quarantined in a city which is closed and isolated. I have more time to write, but I am not sure I will feel like it, as the situation is mentally challenging for me. I saw a meme saying something like: "Everyone is talking about the number of babies that will be born because of the lockdown, but I am waiting for all the FanFiction stories to be updated and written." I know that a lot of you are quarantined as well and have nothing to do, thus I will try to write as much as possible.
The vibe of the chapter: Still by Komodo (tune and lyrics-wise) - Still, I can't live without your love, I can't live without your soul. I am still looking at different time, time for me and time for you.
It felt like a tower of Babel - a scene of noise and confusion. Sam was looking at the people she had chosen to be with her in the team and came to the conclusion that making that choice was just the beginning of something she didn't know how to handle. While she was looking through the familiar and unfamiliar faces, she saw John sitting on the bleachers smiling at her with a thumbs-up gesture. She smiled back and took a deep breath. As she was finally about to say something and actually initiate the practice, an unknown man walked into the gym.
He wasn't much older than she was. Perhaps he was still attending university. He seemed arrogant to her from the very first moment.
"I suppose I don't have to introduce myself, right?" He said with his annoying voice.
Sam frowned and cracked the whip. "You are interrupting my practice and on top of that, you suppose that you don't have to introduce yourself?"
He grinned back at her. "Your practice? This is MY practice and the fact that YOU don't recognize me, only proves that you know shit about cheerleading. The one who is the captain is always the one who can only talk and look pretty, but don't worry, every captain I've met is like that, so you are not that special."
Sam raised her eyebrow. "If this is your practice then I assume you are a coach, right?" She hoped for a negative answer.
He let out an annoyed sigh. "Of course I am the coach, you may be the head of this team, but I am the neck. My job is to turn you in the right direction. My schedule is full and I, fortunately, won't have time to watch you stumble and tumble every training. I will have to limit my presence here to prevent brain cell loss. On top of that, you are already doomed. Either way, I don't think wasting time with you is worth it. "
Cathy couldn't believe her ears and leaned to Wendy to whisper to her ear. "I can't believe how rude he is."
"Coaches and choreographers are sometimes like that. They are full of themselves. This one is kinda sexy though."
Danny heard what she said and had an urge to crack a joke. "Wendy! Remember, do not poop where you eat! That is why there are no restaurants called The Bathroom."
He said it so loudly even the coach heard it. "I bet that several girls from this team spend a lot of time in the bathroom and it's still no use for them - you all are a bit fat, which is paradoxical."
That made Sam furious. "Fat? How dare you say such a thing! These girls are beautiful and feminine."
He turned back to her. "Wake up, Brownilocks, this is cheering. In cheering, we throw people in the air and fat people don't fly as high." He scanned all the girls and pointed to Silvi. "You, for example. When you skip a meal, your body feeds off its fat stores. And if you skip enough, maybe your body will eat your ass!"
Sam wanted to defend her from the bully. "This was unnecessary. If you feel like you are wasting your time here and would like to do something else, fine for me, just leave."
"If I had left, you would just rest on your laurels."
"Maybe it is a good place to rest on." Uttered Danny.
"Don't worry, you will end up like that because your captain can only talk and talk."
"You don't know anything about me." She defended herself.
"I, for instance, was born cheering! My mother swears the first thing she saw while giving birth to me was a little pair of baby hands doing spirit fingers! You were just chosen to do this by someone, who doesn't know a thing about this sport, and the truth is that she is as incapable as the previous captain was."
Wendy felt hurt. "Hey, Sam! Challenge him, show him what you are made of!"
The coach found the idea very appealing. "A little dance-off wouldn't hurt, am I right Brownilocks? The rest of you can cheer."
'Brownilocks' closed her eyes and wished this was just another nightmare. The rest took a step back and some sat on the floor. The situation was extremely uncomfortable for Sam for various reasons for she had never danced in front of the other people, especially the ones who should respect her and look up to her, the ones she chose according to their dancing skills. On top of that, she was tired due to lack of sleep and apprehensive if she is going to stick the landing for her tricks. She planned to compensate her dancing by tumbling.
The initiator had put some music on. As Sam heard the first notes and recognized it as 'Satisfaction' by Benny Benassi, she instantly knew she was about to be mortified while dancing to that song.
He started to dance and cut it off for her to continue at the very moment the tune slowed down. Sam didn't know which dance moves to use for that part of the song and opted for doing a dip on the floor. Besides that, she did a middle split while having her chest on the floor.
Danny wasn't sure if it was because of the song choice, her dance moves, or the events of the last night, but he couldn't get his eyes off her. Cathy felt like Sam's moves were too sexy for this occasion and wanted to check the reaction of the others. Silvi and Bianca covered their eyes to not see it, Mark's sight was set on the coach, Wendy was amused by the whole battle, Chris looked like he was making mental notes about who was better, and Danny seemed completely hypnotized by Sam's moves which were mostly involving spreading legs all over the place. His reaction made her worried and for the rest of the dance-off, she was watching just him and hoping that the father of her baby won't start drooling over her best friend. After they finished the challenge, Danny was the one to give the biggest applause.
"Brownilocks, kudos for you for embarrassing yourself in front of your team, you took it quite well. Now you will be doing it in front of the strangers for the next months."
Sam wasn't sure if it was a compliment or just another insult.
He was out of breath. "I am Jayden."
The introduction seemed to Sam like a sign of at least a little respect towards her. She was about to tell him her name, but he interrupted her.
"I don't need to know your name though."
Sam was speechless. Danny stood up and came closer to her.
"Such a douchebag. Don't let him get into your head, you are a great leader and a role model to many of us. And on top of that, you are a great dancer." He placed his hand on her arm and smiled at her.
She smiled back at him and whispered: "Thanks, I appreciate it."
As Cathy saw it, she went to Chris and asked him, if he doesn't find Danny's behavior weird. She was used to seeing him teasing her and getting on her nerves rather than comforting her and drooling over her.
Chris took his time to answer. "I think Sam needs and deserves support."
She raised her voice. "And I do not? You are both playing ball with her!" She saw that several people started turning on the two, thus she whispered the last part of her utterance. "You know that I am pregnant and the whole situation is the most stressful to me and you sit here not giving a flying fart about anything that is going on around you."
"What do you expect me to do? Should I tell them? You didn't want me to if I am not mistaken."
"You know what? You are right, I will tell Danny myself after the game. At least I will get it off my -"
Jayden interrupted her stream of consciousness with his annoying voice. "You have to make an appearance at the basketball game today. Though I am positive it will be a mess..." He glanced at Sam. "Your basketball team will be still worse than you. Chanting, yelling and shaking pom-poms will be enough today and since we don't have time to do miracles - though I don't think we will witness one within this team during this season - our objective for today is: not letting everyone know how incapable and clueless you really are. Just fake it until you make it."
The team wasn't sure whether be glad he wanted to "help" or be mad at him for being so mean. Sam had her own way of dealing with such people - she always used to tell herself that those people who feel the need to show off and hurt other people are in fact the most insecure ones. -Hurting other people makes them feel good, be better Sam, keep your cool. Do it for the team.-
"I will teach you several chants and easy figures and keep my fingers crossed you won't mess it up." He proposed.
At the basketball game
Every member of the team was already in their uniform, shaky, nervous, kind of ready for the first appearance. Sam was analyzing the situation as a mother watching over her children. She knew that one of the things she had to do was to encourage the team.
"Guys, you trained hard and I am certain you will ace this as well as all the games and competitions that will come after this. The first step is always the worst and scariest. Here we are in our hometown. I am sure people will be cheering for us."
"Wait a minute, people cheering for... cheerleaders?" Alexa interrupted.
"You will see. Also, let's show Jayden that we can do it. I guarantee you that at the end of this season we are going to be better cheerleaders than he is." She laughed at the thought.
Everyone put their heads together and chanted. "We can make the ground shake like an earthquake! We will bring the house down, cause we are like cyclones now!"
We're fired up,
We're turning up the heat.
The Singletown Cyclones
You can't just beat! (A/N taken from the article by Valerie Ninemire, not my invention)
Sam was glad no one forgot the chant Jayden taught them in the morning. They tried several figures, swung their hips and tried to cheer the basketball team. The guys had a reputation of losing every single game. No one could even remember when was the last time they had won. It seemed to Cathy like the guys weren't passionate about basketball, nor their coach was.
A lot of thoughts were going through her head when she was dancing to the beat.
-Don't forget the dance, Cathy. You got this. You were born a cheerleader! Flexible and cheerful.-
The blonde was currently standing behind the captain.
-We won't be like the basketball guys, we have Sam, who wants to make a change. As for Jayden, he is a douche, but at least he is determined to win and determination is what we need.-
"Cathy? Time for the stunt part, I will hold you. Better don't look down. Be careful." Danny approached her out of the blue and put his hands on her hips. She nearly forgot it was time to do the stunt. It was weird having him as her base and putting her faith in him completely. She took a deep breath and put her foot on his hands so he could lift her. Cathy felt that he accidentally pulled her shoelace and it made her worried about her safety.
-This isn't good. The more I will be aware of it the worse it will be though. Smile, smile, smile. No one can't see that you are uncomfortable. I wonder if he is looking up to see under my skirt...-
"Chris, your arms are getting a bit shaky, you better put me down." Uttered Sam with fearfulness in her voice.
Chris, who stood in the middle of Danny and Mark told them to put the girls down carefully as well to make it look less conspicuous. As they did so (not synchronically at all), all the other bases did that too. Silvi almost dropped Bianca on the floor. Layla took a look around and wondered why was everyone being put down. Alexa, her base, wanted to make it more interesting and instead of putting Layla straight on the floor she caught her in her arms before doing so.
Both girls wondered why it was so awkward for them. "Lexy, you can put me down." Whispered Layla. Alexa smiled at her sheepishly while thinking about why she did it in the first place. She put her down and got her hands of her hips.
John was spectating from the bleachers and the whole thing seemed a bit strange to him too. Both of the girls were blushing. "Look how embarrassed the girls look. They probably forgot how to get off of that stunt." He proposed his idea to Elton, who was sitting next to him.
"Yeah, that sounds plausible too." Responded Elton.
"What else would it be?" Uttered his cousin, Cal.
"Hmmm... watching people's reactions and listening to their assumptions is so entertaining."
Danny saw Elton's face in the crowd and it made him nervous. He saw him saying something to John and Cal and wondered what it was. -I hope he is not telling them about the threesome.-
Danny got distracted so much that he nearly dropped poor Cathy on the floor while putting her down.
"Oh god, I am so sorry! Are you okay?"
Cathy was a bit shocked by his failure. "Y-yes." She tottered.
She turned to Sam. "My shoelace is untied."
Sam looked her in the eye. "It is almost the end, but be careful. The last chant and we can go."
The guys heard her and took a step back, as the last chant was made by the girls only. Neither of them felt like chanting the following lines, as they didn't feel pretty, nor confident that day. Needless to say, the chant was made by Jayden and it was a bit embarrassing to pronounce in front of the whole school and their families.
I'm sexy, I'm cute! I'm popular to boot!
I'm bitchin', great hair! The boys all love to stare!
I'm wanted, I'm hot! I'm everything you're not!
I'm pretty, I'm cool! I dominate this school! (A/N taken from the movie Bring It On, not my invention either)
Everyone was at a loss of words. Sam grinned nervously and instructed the girls to do their final stunts to not make it any worse.
Some girls did splits, some did jumps, some tumbled. Cathy and Sam arranged their final stunt before the game. The blonde had put her untied shoelaces inside the shoe, to prevent the risk of tripping over them. They agreed to do a synchronized running tumbling sequence from the opposite sides of the gymnasium. Front handspring step out, roundoff back handspring step out, roundoff back handspring, full-twisting layout.
The tumbling sequence got Cathy distracted and she forgot about her untied shoe completely. As she was doing the last trick of the sequence, she felt like her sneaker was getting off. As Sam stuck her landing, she saw Cathy on the other side of the room sticking her landing with just one sneaker on. The whole crowd was laughing and applauding. Cathy knew her shoe flew somewhere else but didn't know what had actually happened to it.
The commentator reflected on the scene: "The shoe of one of the cheerleaders just flew off into the basketball goal. Maybe she should be on the team! That is unbelievable, she got that basket when doing a layout while most of the boys can't get a basket even when they are standing and focusing on the throw. In contrast to our basketball team, the new cheerleading team might even win some of the competitions."
The crowd couldn't help but giggle because of the snappy remark. Cathy smiled and raised her arms to bask in the spotlight for a while.
"End of the game. Our next defeat is scheduled for next Friday, at 8 o'clock."
As people started to leave the school gym, the defeated basketball players went to the locker room. Jayden used his curled index finger as a sign of wanting the cheer team to come to the other room with him. Everyone sighed and prepared for his mean observations. When everyone started towards him, Cathy grabbed Danny, who was standing closeby by the arm and went behind the bleachers with him, where no one could see them.
"I am sorry to do it like this, but I have to tell you something. It is already eating me inside. I still respect you and you deserve to know."
Danny opened his mouth in surprise. "That is exactly how I feel right now. I also would like to tell you something which is eating me from the inside out."
Cathy held her breath for a while. -Please, tell me you love me, that you need me, that you are as sorry as I am.-
"You wanna go first?" She asked him.
He took a deep breath. "Fine... well, it is hard to put into words. A lot of things are going on and I am afraid I will make the situation worse."
"No, no. The truth is always the way to go. On top of that, you know what Julie told us about honesty..."
"But please, don't be mad at me for being such a jerk, I don't know why I am like this."
Cathy smiled subtly. "I know you well and I am used to you being a jerk. Despite all of that I still like you and I got your back."
Danny looked her in the eyes. The blonde's heart was pounding like crazy. -Say that you still love me.-
"I and Chris made love to Sam last night."
She felt like the world just stopped turning and her heart stopped working. A piece of her died. Nothing made sense anymore. Cathy knew she was about to burst into tears soon, so she left without saying anything.
At the lockers
Sam didn't say a thing. She just rummaged through her stuff calmly. That made her husband a bit nervous.
"Are you mad at me for not being able to hold you longer or at Jayden for being so malicious?" He asked her deliberately.
"I don't give a damn about him, as he means nothing to me. And you did nothing wrong, you simply weren't ready for that stunt yet, which is my fault."
Chris was still looking at her, waiting for her to continue the utterance. She got closer into his arms and leaned her head on his shoulder.
"I am trying, but this is so new to me. Maybe he is right. Maybe I am just Brownilocks who has nothing but good looks."
Chris hugged her back a bit hesitantly. He found her beautiful and kind, yet he still didn't feel any kind of connection with her.
Despite that, he tried to comfort her. "I am sure there is much more than just good looks about you."
She let go of the hug. "You are everything but sure. Anyway, thanks for trying to make me feel better." She said gloomily.
"SAMANTHA LANG!" Started to echo through the hallways.
The spouses turned their heads to see, who was so furious with Sam. They saw Cathy walking angrily at a fast pace towards them. She was obviously enraged.
Ooh, drama again. I hope you enjoyed this chapter and are enjoying the story as a coherent whole. As always, I will be glad for reviews and messages from you, as I am always delighted to communicate with you.
Personal update: It is crazy how fast things change because of Covid-19. When I started to write this chapter, everything seemed to be fine (at least in my country). When I continued on the story, I was already quarantined in this small city where the disease spreads really fast. As I wrote the last part (and this afterword) I would like to alert you that this might be one of the last updates for some time, as I and my fiancé already suffer from fevers and strong headaches. My future husband's classmate is Coronavirus positive and the two were very close, they were around each other when the boy was already ill. Thus the possibility of me being positive is high. If it is the case, I don't know what am I going to feel like in the next few days. If I will be unable to write, please excuse me. Feel free to write me a PM if you are in the same situation or just want to talk about anything and everything.
Stay safe and strong! God bless you and your families.
Get Into The Groove