Princess Tutu Fan Fiction ❯ The Madrigal: Princess Tutu and the Secret Six II ❯ Chapter 4
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Nana had already finished her prep for the next day, and she practically skipped her way down to Ahiru's room. She was finally in the intermediate class, and she was glad for it. All her hard work paid off. After the events of the year before, she had redoubled her efforts, her focus, and most of all, her passion for the dance. She even put the skill of visualization back in its right place, except that now, she no longer used Rue as her focus, but she used Ahiru, and more specifically, her alter ego—Princess Tutu. She wanted to find her at home and tell her all about the good news. Now she was slated to be in all the shows, even if only as an ensemble or supernumerary for the time being. It was a start. However, she hoped that, once her friends' new theater opened up, she could get some extra work with them. She knocked, and Yuma answered. “Hello, Pixie,” said Yuma in her ever present London accent.
“I made the intermediates this year!” said Nana, “I can't wait! Where's Duck?”
“She said she had to step out for the moment,” answered Yuma, “She didn't say why.”
“Well, you know where she usually goes when she doesn't say,” responded Nana, in her cute French accent.
“Let's not make that common conversation, darling,” Yuma reacted, “We must remember there are only a few who know. It's bad enough that many girls are all agog about our dear prima, and others who will never see past a local ballet company want to skin her alive, and would if it were not for her celebrity. The last thing that needs to happen is for us to broadcast over the whole world what she is.”
“It seems you have one of those, how you say—agog—girls living here,” said Nana, as she pointed to the painting.
“It's ironic,” said Yuma, “We haven't met her yet, but she seems to have a keen eye for dancers, especially Duck.”
They both moved near the picture, and they were admiring her handiwork. She even had a picture of Princess Tutu on the wall from an image in the newspaper, and this one was done as if she were an anime character. “We are going to have to set some rules for her,” said Yuma, “I mean, at first anyway. Once she gets used to it, I am sure she shall calm down her obsession.”
“Well, I wouldn't call it `obsession,'” came a new voice from behind, “but just a strong admiration for her because she's such a good dancer. Her movements and poses have uniqueness to them that accent the light and shadow cast on her.”
They stiffened and wheeled around to see the thick but pretty girl standing behind them with a friendly grin. They did not even hear her enter. It was as if she had been beamed in. “Maybe I can catch her at a practice and have her pose in some contrasting light and shadow so I can photograph it, and catch it later in an impressionistic motif.”
Yuma was a bit embarrassed at her assumptions, and apologized for her impertinence, she then said, “Greetings, darling, I am Yuma,” as she extended her hand. They shook, as Nana said, “Bonsoir, mademoiselle,” following that with and extended hand and a curtsey. Elly, not sure how to react, just took her hand without shaking it, and said, “Ballet school, I take it.”
“You have a keen eye, mademoiselle,” responded Nana.
“Name's Elly,” said the new girl, “and I am certain you know what I do in this school.”
They all laughed as Ahiru came in. “Why, hello there!” said Ahiru, “Well, I'm glad I finally got the chance to meet you!”
She was about to use her name, but stopped, remembering that she had only met Tutu. She then just asked, “And what is your name?”
“I'm Elly,” she said, “but you can just call me `El' if you want.”
“My name is Ahiru Arima,” she said, “but everyone calls me `Duck.'”
Elly noticed the duck on the dresser, and she said, “I guess you like ducks?”
“Actually, there are a couple of other reasons,” said Ahiru, “My name means `duck' in Japanese, and my boyfriend calls me Baby Duck, and I guess people heard it so much that they just call me Duck.”
“Not to mention that she also used to act a lot like a duck at one point,” Yuma prodded.
“Please!” said Ahiru as she rolled her eyes and smiled as she plopped down on the bed, “I have tried so hard to shed that!”
“Well, you dance like a swan, if you ask me,” said Elly, “that makes for some great art.”
“If you mean that I am a great model, then thank you,” said Ahiru.
As the greetings were finishing, Elly put on the smock, grabbed the placard, and began to smear some daubs of color from the tubes onto them and prepare to continue the work. Indeed, it seemed that her words about not being some kind of fangirl were sincere enough, that she began to focus all her efforts on the portrait before her. This made Ahiru more comfortable, considering that she knew that the girl was a serious artist. Ahiru went up to see how she was progressing. She was working on her long flow of hair that she now wore in place of the braid that marked a time that she wanted to leave behind her. She watched as Elly put out some solid red, scooped out a chunk with her pallet knife, took a touch of yellow and began to mix it together, a bit more yellow here and there, stopping occasionally to hold it against the picture to see if it were the right color, added a touch more red, and then noticed Ahiru. She then turned, held it to her hair, and then said, “Good, I did get it right,” as she then turned back to the painting and began to spread out the color with a brush, and then to add texture with the knife when needed. Ahiru was very impressed with what she saw, and noticed that it was a mix of Rembrandt style work, and a bit of Renoir, making it a unique look for herself. It was not that it was what she was trying, but she always let the image she painted dictate how it wanted to be painted, and it just turned out this way. “That is so good!” said Ahiru.
Elly genuinely blushed at the compliment, and thanked her for it. However, Ahiru said, “You know, right before the Holiday Extravaganza this year, our theater will be opening, and they intend to use if for the extravaganza to break it in…sort of.”
“Okay, that's cool,” said Elly, “Not to be impertinent, but why do you mention this?”
“Well…” said Ahiru, trailing off, “In truth that would look good in the foyer with portraits of the others. It would be kind of neat if you could do everyone like that. We'd pay you, of course!”
Elly turned to her with a raised eyebrow, and said, “Normally, I just do this for fun, and would have never asked for that. However, it would be nice to see my first commission. It would take some time, though, I don't know if I could have them done before the show, but maybe by the end of the year.”
“That would be great, if you could,” said Ahiru. She watched as she worked a bit more, and then said, “So…Tell us about you!”
“Well, relatively speaking, I do not come from too far away,” Elly answered, “Really, I have not much to tell, I mean, what you see is pretty much what you get. I would say that I have loved art for some time, especially when I got into the world of anime and manga. I had loved comic book art, but then I saw that, and it took me away. I like doing that, but I do this, just to make sure that my teachers are satisfied that I have reached the `fullest expression' of my art. Anyway, I have recently had some time to work on this, and not time for which I really sought.”
Her face went long a touch, and Nana caught it, saying, “My poor Cheri: what happened?”
She caught Nana's face, and could not help but see the sympathy, and she looked even cuter like that, so she could not say anything against it. She then said, “To tell you the truth, I had two years where I had mononucleosis—a real bad case, finally breaking last year. It still lingers, but don't worry, the only way that you could get it is if you kissed me, and I don't see you lining up to do that!”
They all laughed at the glib joke, and Elly continued, “Anyway, I slept through about two years of my life, and considering that I had nothing to do during the short times I actually was awake, I just drew art, and read a lot of books and manga, watched anime—not much else to do when you are lethargic.”
Now the mood of the room became one of a touch of sadness for the girl, knowing that it must have been hard for her to go on everyday. Elly continued, “In fact, keeping track of time was silly to do after a bit, because of the bouts of sleeping that overcame me. It was hard to tell what day it was from time to time. What I had was the chronic version of the disease, so that is why it lingered. There were some days that were great, and some were living Hell. Imagine having the flu off and on for two years, and you had my life! Because of how hard my infection hit me, I ended up with a compromised immune system, which is why it has taken so long for things to correct themselves. Normally, it goes away on its own, but it sure seems to want to be my pal! Here's the fun part, though—if you could call it that! Anyway, I was so out of touch with things for a bit that I did not even hear about your act until near the end of the summer when your album came out. I had a friend that's all fangirl over Fakir. It gets so annoying to hear her gush over him: `Fakir is so this, Fakir is so that! I want to marry him! I want to violate him! I want to have his baby!'
Ugh! Gag me with a pitchfork! Anyway, I heard you all singing, and loved it. I then had the chance to catch up better on things, and saw the summer reruns of Strut Your Stuff, and then all the controversy over the judging. I though you guys were great! I love great dancing. The fact that you guys play and sing make it better.”
Everyone was mesmerized by her story. There was a bittersweet air to her and her speech; you wanted to laugh with her, you wanted to applaud her, you wanted to embrace her and cry with her. Nana wiped a way a couple of tears, and came up and gave her a hug. “Just know that you have friends in us.”
Suddenly, Elly's strong exterior started to break a bit, and she began to tear up as she hugged Nana back, saying, “Thank you so much; you are going to make getting back into life so much easier!”
Ahiru smiled, knowing that she had been channeling her alter ego as she learned and progressed, and it seemed some of her rubbed off. Then it dawned on Ahiru, “Oh, by the way Nana, how did you do?”
Nana then smiled, moved away from Elly, and went over to Ahiru, and said, “Oh it is so great, m'amie Canarde!” (This is French for “My friend Duck.”)
“Did you make it?” asked Ahiru with relish.
“I made the intermediates,” Nana said gleefully.
“Great!” announced Ahiru, “What got you in?”
“Mademoiselle St. Jean was such a help to me,” Nana answered, “Plus, I was able to hone my visualization technique…and…other friends helped me!”
Nana gave Ahiru a knowing look, and Ahiru just smiled. All this was as Elly said, “There! That should do it!”
She put on the last stroke, then got out a fine tip brush, dabbed it in the white, and signed it, finishing with the flourish of any good artist. Indeed, it captured Ahiru greatly, as she as also able to isolate her from the rest, and still get her accurately in one of her poses. “Once I can get more canvas,” said Elly, “I can get the others. The school always has scrap available, so that should be no problem.”
She yawned some and rubbed her eyes, saying, “Well, it's been a long day, so I'm going to crash.”
“A bit of the crud still lingering?” said Ahiru.
“Yeah, something like that,” said Elly, “which actually helps a bit, because I will sleep so soundly that you will not wake me. I'll probably be up and out before you anyway, because my sleep patterns are off a bit, and it's just how it goes.”
Nana then just smiled and said, “Don't worry, Cheri, we shall take good care of you! You are such a great person!”
Elly smiled at her, and then announced, “You know, I think I love this kid already!
While the day's events were going on, things were happening in Fawcett City. In the main precinct, an interesting man entered in. He stood about five foot nine, and approximately 220 pounds. He had on calf length moccasin boots, faded blue jeans, a white tee shirt, light tan leather jacket with leather fringes around it, black hair past his shoulders, done in much the same way as Fakir's, reddish tan skin, leather band around his head, and a United States Army blue cavalry hat on his head, with the mark of Sergeant First Class on the front, and an eagle's feather stuck in the back. One of the cops glibly said, “Hey Tonto, the Lone Ranger ain't here! Try Texas!”
As a couple of people laughed, he just coldly looked at them, and said, “Sorry, gentlemen…and I use that term loosely…Tonto was an Apache. I'm from the Alleghany tribe. Be glad I am not an Apache—he might have slit your throat for that remark!”
Now the cop was became huffy at this, and got a bit in his face, saying, “Are you threatening me?”
As he said this, he was poking a finger on his chest, to which the Native American just stared at him blankly, saying, “No, that was not a threat, but what you are doing by the law is an assault, which means that—badge or no badge—I can defend myself using minimal force, like this…”
He then reached up, grabbed the officer's thumb on the hand that was poking him between his own thumb and forefinger, and bent. The officer grunted in pain as he dropped to his knees. His buddies were about to act when a voice said, “Okay, knock it off, Jerry, because he's right. There is no call for you to have done that! You should be grateful I don't put you on report.”
The Native American stopped and released his grip when he saw the police sergeant approach. He passed by the officer who was now standing up, moaning about his thumb, and greeted the sergeant. He said, “Your man does good work. He was able to take those men well enough. It's a good thing that the guy pulled a knife on him, or else he might have faced charges for excessive force.”
“Don't worry,” said the Native American, “He well knows the bounds, and I remind him to the point of annoyance! I don't want to lose my job.”
“Well, come on back,” said the sergeant, “We'll take care of business.”
He stepped through the small waist high swinging door that separated the front from the paper pushers who were so engrossed in what they were doing that they paid no mind to the stranger. “Any thing new today?” asked the native.
“Not yet,” said the sergeant, “Things have been quiet since you and the Secret Six made the collar on those guys. Let me tell you what: they won't be seeing the light of day for a bit! Hopefully the six aren't hurting business for you.”
“Ah, it's not that bad,” the native responded, “There is always something to do, even if he has to do a bit of skip tracing, (the tracking and apprehension of a bail jumper.)”
“Oh, and who do I make this check out to?” asked the sergeant.
“Well, since the bank won't take `the Magpie,' you can just make it out to Johnny White Wolf,” answered the native.
“Is that you?” asked the sergeant.
“If you are implying about if Magpie will get the check,” stated Johnny, “Don't worry, he'll get it. I don't bite the hand that feeds me.”
“Just what do you do?” asked the sergeant.
“I take care of the business end, and get jobs for him,” said Johnny, “And don't worry about me, he has trained me so well to take care of myself, you just might think that the both of us are the same person!”
Meanwhile, back at Savanna's office, Dr. Savannah came in and hung up his hat and jacket. Indeed, he was still fit for his age, but he was still feeling it after all that walking around. He sat behind his desk and buzzed for his secretary to bring him some fresh water and an apple. He then laid out the data he had gathered and began to pour over it. Indeed, the oil field had enough in there to last for 30 years, and it did run under the town and the school. This would make things interesting in trying to access it. Dr. Savannah was sure that Luthor had enough politicians in his hip pocket to get the deal done, but he wasn't sure how certain others in the area would take to this. His secretary then entered with his request and just as quietly exited as the doctor picked up the phone. He called the private number, knowing that only he would be the one on that line, so he was assured a quick answer. “Luthor here,” said the voice on the other end.
“I have the data,” said the doctor, “and I think you shall like what you hear.”
“Splendid!” said Luthor, but the doctor then said, “I would tell you now, the field does indeed run under the town and the school.”
“Don't worry,” said Luthor, “I have the headmaster eating out of my hand. All I need to do is get a hold of the Pas De Brats manager and find out who is bankrolling their theater, and work from there. It will all be in place. It may take some time, but we are the only ones that know about the oil, so we have time on our side. We have all the time in the world.”