we're living in a fantasy (private)

Let's Share! has (finally) launched! Our first article is a World of Tanks Guide by Enderclaw!

  • hello! here's the thread! if you'd prefer, i can try to make the first post soon or if you'd like, you can start!

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    21 | Ichi, Kaz

    Late spring in Japan was one of Ichirou's favorite things. The picture of cherry blossoms set against a pinkish orange sky is something he treasured and would likely not forget. He also envied those in the area who got to see it all the time while he was lucky if he saw it once a year, given that his career of choice flies him all over the world, and different places every year. The skating season was wrapping up in Tokyo this time around though, given that World Team Trophy is always hosted there every other season. Looking back on it, this season was probably one of his best, getting gold at every event he competed in, even at World Team Trophy where Japan tended to lag behind, given that the country doesn't have incredibly strong pairs teams where their competition countries, like Canada, does.

    Since he was in Japan, he made a point in taking a bullet train to Kyoto to see the sight he coveted so much, mid-April being peak sakura season. The stay was ultimately short-lived though, spending the night at a hostel in Kyoto then taking the first bullet-train of the morning back to Tokyo where he was scheduled to make numerous media appearances. Most of them were interviews on the news, retrospectives on his accomplishments from this past season, questions about the next Olympics were likely to be thrown his way, given that they were approaching next season and he was going into it the defending Champion, but this first one was different to say the least. The first appearance on his long list was going to an ice rink to meet up with individuals from a large online media company and teach them how to skate for a popular series. He'd never really watched any of their videos but had certainly heard of them, various friends of his in Japan as well as other skaters representing Japan, practically burning his ear off about their production value and quantity of content.

    Ichirou was in the lobby area of the given rink now, tying the laces of his own skate boots up and visually searching for his hard guards, while he waited for those he was here to meet to arrive.

  • ( omg i love him already! and he still uses his first mp3 player? that's adORABLE

    also i promise my posts won't be as long as this, idk why but i just get a ton of muse at the most random times, so i tend to write a lot! )

    akari seto - twenty

    living in tokyo had never been easy for akari to get used to. while it was very beautiful, busy, and event-filled, akari never seemed to fully adapt. she was born in sendai, but had to move to ontario, canada as soon as she turned seven. canada life was pretty nice, up until her family decided to move to tokyo when akari was fifteen. living in the same area for that long, it'd be expected for anyone to learn the tricks of the city or how to quickly get their way around, but poor akari never seemed to learn. she can get from one destination to the next, but the amount of time it takes is a different story. today, akari decided to walk to work, since it was such a nice day out. she was dressed pretty warm for spring, almost summer. a casual workout type jacket and leggings were what she was wearing, since she was told to wear specifically "clothes for colder weather, but not too cold. kind of like workout clothes, but like, winter workout clothes." she would've dressed in her normal day clothes, but she was supposed to leave for filming as soon as everyone gets to the building, so there was no point changing when she got to work. man, she was lucky her line of work was very lenient. akari had an idea of what they were doing, given by the clothing description. something to do with the cold, and athletic activity. the two boys she was going with predicted hockey, but they all know hockey wasn't the wisest choice. the other girl joining them predicted either snowboarding or skiing, which sounded really fun, but those require layers. akari on the other hand didn't really have a prediction or a preference for what they did, as long as she would be able to freely move afterwards. it was cruel of the production staff to not tell akari or her coworkers what they were doing.

    getting to her work building, she travelled to the fourth floor, which was where the office was located, and signed in. immediately, she was greeted by a waiting team, minus a few people who had yet to arrive. good, she wasn't last. cheekily, akari spent some time spying around, trying to overhear anything about their activity today. sadly, she heard nothing. some time passed and the entire crew was there, giving them the go-ahead to leave. packing their equipment up, akari decided to be sneaky again. this time, she checked the amount of clip-on microphones they were taking. five. there were four content creators going, so that left one for the person they were supposed to meet, thanks to basic math.

    the whole ride consisted of akari and her other creators dogging their driver, which was their video production manager, about what they were doing. with no surprise, he wouldn't say a word about their activity. hopefully it was somehing cool, or else it would just be anticlimactic at this point. the drive lasted shorter than akari's walk to work, which was expected. when they stepped out of the car, akari immediately checked to see where they were at. a skating rink, okay. that rules out skiing and snowboarding. it was also at that point where akari completely started to lightly panic. if they were at an ice rink, they'll be using skates, which are essentially blades on their feet. if akari wasn't in a committed relationship with the floor considering how many times a day she falls, this wouldn't be worrying. huddling by the doors with the other creators, akari waited patiently as the production manager and the little crew had a small meeting or talk with everyone around, just to kind of make things not as awkward and to keep things running smootly. akari took this time to pinpoint exacty what they were doing, mainly by who was there already. there was nobody she recognized, yet. looking towards the floor, she spotted a pair of boots which wasn't like the other shoes everyone else was wearing. to see the owner of the boots, akari was shocked to see who it was. no big deal, only one of the biggest names in figure skating. on top of her previous panic, akari started to worry. she's going to make a fool of herself, she knows it. he'll laugh at her and she'll be forever known to him as the girl who's athletically inapable. it wasn't a big deal in the big picture, but it surely was to her since his opinion was kind of the most important one at this place. he knew what was right and wrong, and in this case, what was embarrassing.

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    21 | Ichi, Kaz

    (long posts are totally fine with me, if you've got the muse then by all means exploit it. also born in sendai? you have my heart, I love that city to bits.)

    "Ah, there they are," Ichirou muttered to himself, sticking his hand into his skate bag to dig out his light blue tinted hard guards. Slipping them onto his blades, he started investigating his surroundings in search for the people he was here meeting with to produce a video with, having been told to be at the rink at 9 am and the wall clock indicating that it was ten past. He quickly caught glimpse of a few people just entering the lobby area who were equipped with clip-mics and a couple cameras. Assuming that those were the people he was waiting on, he got up from his seat and made his way over to them, walking on knife shoes as normally as people do in sneakers. Sometimes he even found walking on skates and gliding on the ice easier than walking, given how much time a day he spends on the ice.

    "Konnichiha, you're from that video production company, right?" Kaz asked, bowing his head to the group slightly during his hello. "I'm Ichirou Abe," he introduced himself, even though they already knew who he was, after all they're the ones that had asked, and paid, for him to make an appearance for a video of theirs. He was also the face of figure skating at the moment and was widely considered a member of figure skating royalty, as well as virtually inescapable from the televisions of Japanese people, especially during the figure skating season.

    "So to get right into business, what kind of figure skating stuff will I be teaching you in this video you're making? Just some of the basics or a specific part of it like jumps or spins?" He asked, wanting to know as soon as possible what he'd be expected to go over. He believed himself capable of explaining any part of the sport, he just wanted to have a better idea of what he'd be getting himself into.

    (lol something I just realized is that his name is Ichirou and a nickname of his is Ichi and ichi is the Japanese word for one).

  • ( bad pun incoming well i guess he's the only one who can put up with akari hehe

    don't worry i'll show myself the exit )

    akari seto - twenty

    continuously playing with her hands, akari shuffled from side to side, obviously becoming restless. she was like a little child, except a child's excitement was replaced by akari's worry. she's seen interviews and videos, he seems like a nice guy, but who knows what he's actually like? not her. before she knew it, the man was walking towards them. only amazement could be read from akari's face. he made walking on blades look so easy. he was also really tall compared to akari, but it was probably the added inches from those shoes. soon enough, the small group of four was turned into a group of five. as ichirou greeted the group and introduced himself, the four returned the favor, bowing their heads slightly just a little out of unison. one by one, everyone introduced themselves and left akari for the last. since she was the last to speak, she should probably be the one to answer his questions. "yeah, that's us. thank you for doing this. there's probably so much more things you've needed to do." the wort part of akari's job was the reality that they were taking people out of their daily schedules to be with them. ichirou could be doing something productive, but here he is about to watch possibly four adult children falling every ten seconds. that probably wasn't his ideal morning.

    when he asked about what their plan was, akari's eyes widened. would he think they were unprepared? well, they weren't really in the wrong if the production team didn't inform them. "well, our manager never really told us we were going to be figure skating," akari said, only to be interrupted by one of the boys beside her. "actually, we were wanting to start with basics, but if you'd like, you could try and teach us something interesting. like, maybe your favorite skills. well, a favorite skill that's not incredibly difficult for beginners." he explained happily, leaving akari confused. "oh by the way akari, everyone else knew we were going to be figure skating today." wow, uh that's nice. feeling shocked and a little betrayed, akari stood there with her eyes widened. great first impression she's making. as akari stood there, she tried to think of what to say. after many failed attempts, she could only smile. did they not tell her because they thought she'd say no since she's never skated? bold of them to think that. although, akari knew they had good intentions. with as close as the staff and creators here have become, jokes and pranks are pretty common in the office. so, akari didn't really take this to heart. she was about to speak up when the five of them were called to join the staff so everything could properly get set up and they could start the filming. relieved, akari still couldn't wipe her red-cheeked, embarrassed smile off of her face. "they probably knew i've never skated before and i'm scared, how sweet of them." she said to ichirou as they walked to the other group. it was also better to get the cat out of the bag now and give him a warning, instead of finding out later. akari also took pride in how easily she turned that situation around. what started as a little joke to embarrass her turned into a kindhearted gesture from her friends who only care for her.

  • (on mobile so no nice fancypost this time.

    I was going to say 'a fitting name for the king of the figure skating world' but that works too)

    "Nice to meet you all," Ichirou replied to their introductions. "And it's really not a problem, I actually welcome this bit of a change from the usual. Pretty much all of the media appearances I have the next few days are formal interviews in a studio, so getting to do something on the ice is practically a gift," he waved off the woman who introduced herself as Akari. "Besides, the season just ended, ice show season hasn't started yet, and I'm still arranging to get choreographers for my programs for next season. The only productive thing for me to do is make rounds to the media."

    Ichirou nodded along while one of the other staff members briefed him on what he'd be expected to do for this video, it being the response he'd initially expected, 'show the basics and a couple cool things'.

    "Yeah I can do that," he gave a verbal confirmation.

    Despite trying to hide it, Ichi chuckled at the exchange taking place in front of him.

    "It's fine to be scared, I'd even say it's natural," Kaz said, trying to comfort Akari. "Walking is hard enough sometimes, add ice and boots with knives on the soles and it seems impossible. The only reason I even started skating was because my mom made me try it, wanting me to do it at least once. I just ended up liking it," he elaborated. "Also the fear of falling and getting hurt is justified, just not very likely if you're gliding around while hugging the boards or doling out single toeloops and sit spins."

    "Besides, I'm here to help you out and make sure you don't do something that would cause injury, so you'll be fine. The worst that will happen are a few bruises and sore ankles, which is frankly par for the course."

  • ( he's going to just have a continuously long list of phrases that apply, as expected )

    akari seto - twenty

    akari was glad to know that they weren't completely wasting his time, as far as they know. she's had her fair share of days filled with interviews, so she knows how repetitive it can get always going sit down, formal interviews. what they're doing today is more catered towards what ichirou does daily, and it's a lot more involved than what normal interviews would be. plus, it's not exactly an interview completely, so maybe he's treating this as a break before the actual work begins. it was also crazy how busy he made his schedule sound. although, it isn't exactly the most laid back schedule, it was certainly a lot more packed than akari's. "it sounds like you're always pretty busy, then? we'll try to not make things too stressful for you. we want you to feel completely comfortable and we also want you to have fun as much as possible." akari would surely feel a bit of guilt if she knew that ichirou wasn't having fun amidst the teaching he'd be doing. this type of filming wasn't meant to be as formal as other interviews. it was only for entertainment purposes, as well as educational purposes.

    she was also glad he was so reassuring towards her fear. akari listened to him continue to explain that it's totally normal for her to be scared, which made her smile. at least he wasn't there telling her it was crazy for her to be scared of ice and bladed shoes. as he continued, akari intently listened, although some of the figure skating terms he was using, like toeloops and sit spins, were leaving her completely confused. she wasn't exactly sure what skill was which in an actual routine, but this is why he's here to teach. instead of wanting to look confused, akari only nodded, letting him know she could understand the point he was trying to make. "that's good. i'm excited to learn, though, it looks really fun and interesting." since she's only watched exhibitions and shows, as well as what's shown on the olympics, she could see how skaters could be so drawn to the sport. as well as it being a challenging athletic activity, it was also a work of art. the expression and passion that goes into each routine was extremely captivating, akari could only imagine how it'd be to learn routine after routine and slowly making it into her own. it's a lot of work, but it'd definitely be worth it in the end.

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    21 | Ichi, Kaz

    "When I say all the things I do out loud it does sound like a lot, doesn't it?" Ichirou asked rhetorically, chuckling slightly. "I've been doing this for years though so I've gotten used to it, to the point where when I have time to relax I don't know what to do with myself," he continued. "I'm going to be on the ice teaching people about something I loved enough to make my job, it's going to take a lot for me to not enjoy it and have fun."

    "I'm glad to hear you're excited," Kaz smiled. It was one thing to enjoy doing something you're passionate about yourself and another to introduce it to and help someone else get invested in it as well. While he did understand that this was just a topic for a video that would have maybe an hour of filming and get cut down to 15 minutes at most, he'd hoped that by the time they were done here he'd have at least one of the staff members that would be on the ice with him in skate boots to at least consider hitting the ice again. "And yeah, it is quite fun, the jumps are particular favorites of mine since it feels like flying. Refining new programs, tweaking it to make it perfect and to make sure it portrays the story that's being aimed for is also really enjoyable, if not grating sometimes," he confessed, even though he was sure everyone who wanted to know this information already knew given the sheer number of interviews, albeit radio, television, or in print, he'd had.

    "So, what would you like me to start out with for this video? Do you want me to introduce myself to the camera or start right off with teaching an element?" Ichi asked to nobody in particular, taking the hard guards off his blades then stepping foot onto the ice. Not being able to help himself, he started gliding around the rink in small circles that could be turned into spins if he wanted.

  • akari seto - twenty

    hearing him talk so passionately about figure skating made akari smile like a proud mother. everyone had the right to find their passions, and hearing someone talk about something they love with almost all of their being is just amazing. "that sounds really cool. well, it looks really cool too. i guess with your record, you do a really good job tying everything together with incredible execution. that probably makes all the work worth it." akari admired, complimenting his ethic. to her, he was everything she wanted to be. a good athlete, one with a good record, and one that could inspire people all around the world. as a dancer, akari didn't really go as far as international titles or even world class status, but she never really payed attention to the titles, as long as she knew she was enjoying herself. she was, for the most part, until she got an internship at the company she's with now. and that internship became a job, which quickly ate up her time. putting dance on the back burner, akari never did fully give up. she still does dance from time to time, but it's never for any competitions.

    as soon as things started getting ready to go, akari was seperated from ichirou, as she was led to another area to get their own boots. as she heard ichirou's question, one of the technical staff members were quick to respond. "if you'd like, you can just warm up, do some jumps, anything you'd like. or you can stay here and we can have you introduce youself, ask you a few questions, and then you can warm up." with that, akari was ushered to the side of the rink and handed a pair of white boots. luckily one of the ice rink's staff members were there to teach them the right way to out them on, lace them, and the safest way to walk without damaging themselves or the blades.

    getting everything settled was pretty easy, although she did find herself getting a bit destracted by her own coworkers, who were having a fun time joking around in silence so they don't disturb the recording process. the crew was nice, but if any of the creators messed up a take they weren't in, that's an easy step to getting grumpy staff. after her boots were securely on her feet, with a little help from the rink's staff, akari made the attempt to stand up. it wasn't as hard as she thought, but it wasn't as easy as ichirou made it seem. but it's probably something to get used to. once she was ready to hit the ice, she slid herself to the closest bench behind the rest of the team, also by the entrance to the actual rink. akari's heard that not using hars guards could easily dull and wear out the blade, so she did all she could to stay off the floor. sliding down from bench to bench, seat to seat, akari was probably playing the most intense game of "the floor is lava." but hey, she didn't want to ruin any valuable equipment, so that's just the price she has to pay.

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    21 | Ichi, Kaz

    "Yeah, it takes a lot of work to get everything perfect, the programs aren't even at their full potential by the time the time the season starts, since you have no idea how the judges will react to it until you're actually scored for it, but it's usually at it's best by the time Nationals or Four Continents comes around. It's definitely worth it though, it's almost like watching your child grow up," he commented, admiring her enthusiasm.

    "I can do the introduction first then do some warm-ups," Ichirou answered, changing his gaze to meet the person who replied to his inquiries. "I'm sure my definition of warming up and yours are quite different, unless you also start your practices off with three double jumps in combination," he chuckled even though he doubted they even knew what that meant.

    "Hey, how's that Akari doing? I heard that she was getting her skates but haven't seen her since. I can help her get them laced properly if that's where she's stumped," he volunteered before looking out the glass panels on the doors separating the ice rink from the lobby where the concessions and rental skates were. She appeared to be somewhat confused, not really sure about how to get from point a to point b.

    "Un momento, por favor," Ichirou excused himself from the group, finding his way back to the door leading to the ice and replacing his skate guards.

    "You look a little stuck," he commented on Akari's situation. It seemed like she was trying not to damage the blades. "If it helps any, you won't damage the blades if you walk on the floor in here and the black flooring strip out there," Ichirou informed, pointing down at the floor then to the carpet leading to the ice. "I just have skate guards because I tend to walk on a larger variety of surfaces that aren't always safe for blades," he further explained, understanding how that could be confusing to people who didn't know a whole lot about figure skating or the equipment that came with it. "If you'd like you can hold my hand and I can help you up and out onto the ice."

  • ( hmm, i'm just wanting to try something really quick. in your opinion, do you find something like this post easier to read or my previous posts? )

    akari seto - twenty

    akari couldn't really hear what was going on, but she could hear some faint chuckles, so she assumed everything was fine. if her hypothesis was right, they'd probably ask him to introduce himself and then ask him what he's planning to teach and what his expectations are. they're very basic questions, but it was good to get a starting point for the beginning of the video. sitting by herself, akari watched as her coworkers got their boots on and hobbled themselves over to the main group. how they didn't fall was beyond akari's thoughts.

    what she wasn't expecting to see was ichirou approach her, since she thought he'd be doing his own thing right now. but apparently he could somehow sense that akari was just a little confused. embarrassed, akari could only smile. "uh, i possibly am," she chuckled. hearing him explain how the ground she would've walked on is totally safe, akari nodded. wow, at least he told her. she probably looks extremely stupid, sliding from one place to the next. the more he explained everything to her, the more she started to understand how everything worked. her limited knowledge plus what ichirou was telling her made things click a lot easier, as expected. at least she was actually learning, otherwise she'd be completely clueless this entire time.

    when ichirou offered his help for her to actually get to the ice, akari blinked. it was nice he was offering to help her, because she surely needed it. "i think i may be okay..." akari trailed off, making sure she was going to be completely fine before she stood up. although, as soon as she stood up, she almost fell due to the complete change of her shoes. now, instead of her being flat on her feet, she was elevated, standing on two seemingly trustworthy blades. it was evident she wasn't used to it. quietly laughing at herself, she looked over at ichirou, who was surprisingly not as tall as she thought he was. yes, he was taller than her, but now that akari has on a pair of skating boots as well, it's not like their first meeting not even ten minutes ago. "maybe i do need a little help, if you don't mind." akari admitted. it was like she was relearning how to walk, even if it wasn't that different overall.

    "speaking" - thoughts

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    21 | Ichi, Kaz

    (To be honest the dialog is easier to read in with the different colors.)

    "If I minded, I wouldn't have offered," Ichirou responded, extending his left hand out for her to grab. "It takes a little getting used to but it's not extremely hard. You just have to take a few steps and figure out how to keep the blade flat when you step on it," he further explained. "Don't feel foolish for not being good at this though, nobody's an expert when they first start out."

    "And if you need to you can shift some weight onto me if it makes it easier for you to walk," he offered, turning his gaze from the doors in front of him to Akari then smiled. He held open the door separating the cold room housing the rink from the lobby and let Akari step in front of him, not wanting the door to slam back in her face and knock her to the ground.

    "It looked like your co-worker needed a little help," he spoke somewhat cheekily, dragging his gaze across the other staff near the oval of painstakingly crafted ice.

    [color=#eaff8a]"I'm ready to start whenever you are."

  • akari seto - twenty

    he did have a point. if he minded, he really wouldn't have offered in the first place. "that's true," slowly nodding, akari hesitantly took his left hand in her right, still a little unsure if he did mind. it was like akari was just a little newborn puppy learning to walk. it took a little time to get used to, but by the time they reached the ice, she managed to figure out what to do. sure, she did slip up a few times, but that's normal. she wasn't as bad as she thought she'd be, which was surprising. for akari, it must've just been a confidence issue. she's already been struggling to figure out how to get past the whole "i'm going to get seriously hurt" mindset, so maybe she just needed a little help. if it wasn't for ichirou, everyone would probably still be waiting on her, slowly getting angrier for wasting their time.

    once the two made it to the group, akari was quick to thank ichirou for his help. "thank you, you're really too kind." she said happily. akari them found herself rejoined with her coworkers, who were there to jokingly tease her about learning how to walk. it wasn't a rude kind of teasing, everything they say is all in good intention. but once they heard ichirou say how she needed some help, they all cooed, leaving akari even more embarrassed than before. luckily, the topic was changed to starting the filming. everyone was ordered to take the ice, and akari immediately felt her nerves kick in, even if she knew that there was nothing to be nervous about. this time, akari and her other female coworker with boots stuck near each other, using themselves as a place of support. the girls followed everyone else out onto the ice, mainly due to wanting to wanting to stay off of the ice for as long as possible. akari was the last one on the ice, immediately finding herself laughing as she struggled with her first few motions. but much like any other thing akari does, she's a quick learner, so she spent a while watching everyone else move and eventually figured it out herself. she did slip up a few times, meaning she actually did slip, but that's not avoidable.

    once everyone was settled and ready to go, the technical crew turned on the cameras, the filming finally started. the four who were going to be taught by ichirou were all on one side and distanced themselves about two feet away from ichirou himself. the tallest male of the four was the one to talk, doing all the basic introductions and explanations needed. once all that was done, he started to ask some questions for ichirou. "we know probably everyone watching knows who you are, but do you want to introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?" when filming videos or interviews, he beginnings always turn out to be the slowest. there's always the instance that there will be viewers who have no clue what's going on, who's on screen, and it's just confusing for them. so to avoid that, they mainly re-ask questions they already know, so it does seem very repetitive. once ichirou finished his introduction, the tall male started talking again. "so, you're going to be teaching us some figure staking? what do you have in store for us, and what are your expectations like?"

    "speaking" - thoughts

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    21 | Ichi, Kaz

    Ichirou nodded along while the producer spoke, indicating that he was paying attention even though his gaze drifted around.

    "Konnichiha mina-san, I'm Ichirou Abe and I'm an Olympic figure skater from Fukuoka who represents Japan in international events," he spoke into the camera he was directed to talk to, wiggling his fingers near his face in a way that kind of mimicked waving.

    "Yes I will be. To be fair I don't have extremely high expectations, you won't be jumping triple axels by the time we're done but you should be able to have a decent skating speed, be able to go backwards, and have a basic upright spin and waltz jump," he answered the next few questions that were posed to him. "For those who might not know, a waltz jump has a forward entry and only has a half rotation, so you take off facing forward and land backwards," he offered for supplementary information, having found that over the years that not many people knew exactly what the waltz jump was, unless they took skating lessons themselves.

    "Is this the first time you have all skated?" he questioned, starting to glide backwards on the ice. "If it is, stick to the boards. We're just going to focus on building up speed. Keep close to it so if you feel like you're going to fall, you can reach over to it to stabilize yourself. When you start feeling a bit more comfortable, ease away from it a bit," he gave further instruction, sticking his toepick down into the ice to stop himself from gliding any further away.

  • akari seto - twenty

    akari watched as they started talking, giving silent reactions as they spoke. it was interesting to see how well they were interacting, by now someone would've started laughing or they would've messed up somehow. that wasn't the case today. as ichirou introduced himself, alari found herself smiling at his charisma. he truely felt comfortable, or at least he looked comfortable in front of the camera. either way, it was a good thing. she listened intently as ichirou started explaining his plans for the four. hearing that his expectations weren't high was kind of expected, but it still made akari giggle.

    after the introduction, they got started on the fun part. as soon as ichirou mentioned using the boards, that's exactly where akari went. she wasn't the only one, though. the other boy, who didn't talk before, was with her against the wall. the other two were confident enough in their skating to not use the wall. as the four got situated, the other girl spoke up after. "akari's the only one who has never skated before. daisaku's a little bit familiar, but not very much. hiro and i are the most familiar with skating." as if it wasn't obvious, kensei. while they were talking, it was like akari was in her own world. she always kelt her head down, watching her feet. if skating was any like rollerblading like she's been hearing, the mechanics should be a little similar. well, as similar as rollerboard/wheels and ice/blades can get. akari got the hang of skating quickly, but still decided to stay close to the boards just in case. with self reflection, common knowledge, and a little time, akari turned from fully relying on the boards to one hand lightly grazing as she went. you could practically see the excitement radiating from her. akari's eyes were much brighter than before and you can see the amount of pride she has from being able to learn how to skate. even though she wasn't going very quickly as of now, it was still a major jump from where she started, which was being hesitant to even step on the floor. instead of her talking, all that could come out of her mouth were little happy laughs, like a baby seeing their favorite toy. "this is so crazy," akari said to herself, looking around to the others in her group. why was she so scared in the first place? if anything, this is exhilarating, even at one kilometer per hour.

    "speaking" - thoughts

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    21 | Ichi, Kaz

    Ichirou looked around at the four others sharing the ice with him, half of them sticking to the boards and the others meandering away from it, having experience skating on the ice under their belt already. Seeing the group of them starting to laugh and express joy over just getting better at going forwards, Akari in particular, brought a grin to his own face. It felt almost like he was vicariously experiencing learning this stuff again through them. Perhaps this is why people become coaches for the sport.

    "Ha, crazy? we're not even to the crazy part yet," Kaz chuckled. "Now that you've gotten your speed up to a decent amount. try going backwards," he instructed them, watching them closely to see what their reactions would be. "I promise it's not as difficult as it sounds. Honestly, it's not much different than just walking backwards. Start by bringing one of your feet back slowly, then when you start to get comfortable, bring your foot further out to the side and drag it inwards, like you do when skating forwards, he gave a few pointers before giving a demonstration himself.

  • akari seto - twenty

    hearing ichirou tease about how they weren't even that far yet made akari laugh. it's true, she was only going forwards. that was literally nothing in comparison to the difficulty they were getting ready for, even if it's just a tiny jump. even if akari thought she was ready to move on, she wasn't prepared for ichirou's instructions to go backwards. her happy smile was replaced with a concerned, or more accurately, terrified expression. she just got the hang of going forwards, and now she needs to go backwards? might as well do it. watching ichirou as he explained what to do, akari went over the instructions in her head, puzzled. it's like a million equations were buzzing around her head, all without answers. it wasn't until he started demonstrating when it started making sense. he makes it look so easy, akari could probably never be able to make it look that good. stopping herself with the board on her side, akari looked down at her feet again, only this time she leaned a lot more forward than usual. once she tried doing what ichirou instructed, she slipped forward, landing on her hands.

    the fall even shocked akari herself. her eyes were completely wide and her mouth was open slightly, all due to surprise. akari used her left knee to lift herself up, and now she was completely relying on the wall beside her. the other three, who were doing a decent job, but still slipping here and there, easily noticed akari's slip and were quick to laugh along with her, not as a way of making fun of her. "you make it look easy," akari pouted, still laughing at herself to save the embarrassment. time and time again, akari kept the image of ichirou's demonstration in her head and she kept trying to mimic it. but, of course she managed to slip every time. although after the first time, she was smart enough to catch herself before she fully fell, saving her from fully hitting the ice. "i-ichirou?" akari trailed off as she focused on balancing herself. her pitch shifted, from a normal pitch to a higher one towards the end as she added the correct honorific to use towards him. "i think," akari managed to say as she tried to steady herself. "i think i may need some help." she admitted to the group, although mainly towards ichirou, dropping her arms in defeat. her laughter was gone and now she even looked a little sad, realizing she couldn't accomplish such a basic move as easy as the others.

    "speaking" - thoughts

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    22 | Ichi, Kaz

    "I make it look so easy because I've been practicing for 19 years. Trust me, when I first started out I was in no better starting condition than you are now," Ichirou assured them, chuckling along with them.

    When he heard Akari's cry for assistance, Ichi practically bolted in her direction, except it looked more like a long graceful glide across the ice's surface.

    "If it helps any, I know what your problem is," he admitted, even though he was sure she wouldn't be surprised about that. "When you start trying to go backwards, too much of your weight is shifting forwards, which is going to cause you to fall, he began to explain. "Try bending down a bit to lower your center of gravity, that'll make you less likely to fall and going backwards easier, like this he showed what he meant, bending down then starting to move himself backwards. It felt a bit weird being bent down that far though, considering how long it had been since he'd done so.

    "The rest of you are doing well, now just try going faster," he turned his attention away from Akari momentarily to look at the others. He smiled, an inkling of devilishness with it. "You'll need to get a bit faster speed if you want to even think about doing even just a single toeloop, the easiest jump that gets you points in a competition."

  • akari seto - twenty

    "you still make it look incredibly easy, though. but, your enthusiasm is incredible." akari said to ichirou. he made everything look easy, really. but that was expected? even if he had been doing this for nineteen years, it still amazed akari how easily he was able move himself around on the ice. forwards, backwards, sideways, literally any way humanly possible. he is an olympic athlete for a reason.

    when he was so quick to come to akari's aid, the girl was found confused. she was unsure of where to start, what to fix, or even if she could even handle going backwards. his quick judgments and problem solving did really help akari out. he could easily see what she was doing wrong and he even went as far as demonstrating how to fix it. following his lead, akari tried to copy his stance, making sure to not make the same mistakes. once she felt comfortable, she tried to do what ichirou had instructed earlier, which was the point that akari couldn't get past. she was extremely hesitant, but managed to create a small amount of backwards force, which was a major improvement for her. the only issue was how she completely chickened out and stopped as soon as she felt herself going backwards. "how are you like, not scared to go backwards so fast? this is probably one of the scariest things i've done." akari asked ichirou, adding lighthearted chuckles throughout her statement.

    "speaking" - thoughts

  • Ichirou Kazuo Abe

    21 | Ichi, Kaz

    "It's just something you get used to overtime, becomes as natural as going forwards," he answered her question, chuckling along with her. "Believe me, I wasn't the most thrilled at the idea of going backwards either. If you fall going forwards you can use your hands and arms to keep you up and protect your head but you can't really do that going backwards and that was probably my biggest fear. I've learned that if you just stay concentrated and start with baby steps it'll be alright," he continued on.

    "You're doing really well!" he complimented Akari, smile on his face about the progress she'd made. For someone who had just stepped foot on the ice today, not even knowing that she could walk on the floor in the lobby, she was doing extremely well. "Now try bringing your foot out a bit further and dragging it inwards, it'll help you get a bit more speed and feel a bit more stable," he repeated some instructions he had given earlier then gave a demonstration himself. Unsurprisingly, he found that not only telling but also showing what he meant was helping all of them, but Akari in particular. Ichirou too was more of a visual learner when he first started out, and in some respects, very much still is.