CONTENT WARNING: MARTIAL ARTS VIOLENCE. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
It happened during lunch break.
Ryan, Susan, Kelly, and Rica were hanging around near the shoe lockers. Ryan and Rica were sparring in a martial arts match. Susan and Kelly were doing the same.
Suddenly, Rica landed a swift kick that sent Ryan flying backwards and into his own shoe locker door. "POW! Right in the kisser! Always keep your guard up, limey; you never know just when your opponent's going to strike."
Ryan said, "Thanks for the advice, Rica. You're a real pal."
Rica said, "The same to you, pal!"
As Ryan walked away from the shoe lockers, he noticed a slip of paper barely sticking outside of his. "Huh? What could this random treat be?"
Ryan opened his locker and pulled out a note. It read "Meet me during today's ballet class. Bring a friend along, if you feel comfortable in doing so. See you soon! -Kaitlyn Oh". He said, "Susan… I think you should check this out."
Susan, Kelly, and Rica crowded around Ryan's shoe locker special. Rica said, "Holy shit… you managed to capture the attention of a ballerina!"
Kelly said, "I thought you weren't interested in ballet?"
Rica said, "I was just surprised, Kelly. That's all."
Susan said, "I think I'll go with you, Ryan. It'd be a good chance for the two of us to see my mother in action."
Ryan said, "Sure, why not?"
OP: "Danzen! Futari wa Precure Dragon"
"Le due ballerine - The Two Ballerinas"
Coincidentally, Ryan had been wearing the leotard he had worn while learning how to dance to "YMCA" for the entire day; he had decided that it would make for good insulation if it got too cold, and he decided to test this theory out.
So far, it worked well. He felt a little warmer, but this wasn't a colder day, so he wondered if he was going to get similar results for such days.
Anyway, Ryan and Susan walked into the on-campus dance studio where their martial arts club meets were held every Wednesday. Inside were dance students stretching and warming up for today's class.
Ryan and Susan took their seats in front of a barre that wasn't being used at the moment. Ryan looked on in amazement as the students warmed up. "Whoa… talk about feats of anatomy," he said to himself. "Those girls are quite the stretchers!"
Then Kaitlyn's voice hit his eardrums. "Hey, Ry! Watch this!"
Ryan watched as Kaitlyn, wearing a coral pink leotard, pink tights, and pointe shoes, leaned forward without her legs, spread out almost like a straight line going from toe to toe, moving a millimeter from that position. A double take promptly followed. Kaitlyn said, "You should try it sometime!"
Ryan proceeded to talk with his hands.
"I'D LIKE TO, BELIEVE ME, BUT I DON'T THINK I'M THAT FLEXIBLE… OR BONELESS."
Susan asked, "When's the teacher showing up?"
Kaitlyn said, "Oh, she should be here any minute now."
Susan said, "Maybe we can go to the local ice cream shoppe for some ice cream? I know Ryan likes chocolate, and I love rocky road; I'd really like a triple scoop with thee!"
Kaitlyn said, "Sorry, but no can do. I have a recital coming up, so I need to practice in the days leading up to it. Maybe later?"
Susan said, "All right, Kaitlyn. Ryan, Kaitlyn says to wait just a bit before we go to the ice cream parlor; that means not until after ballet class is over."
Meanwhile, another student was watching from the doorway, sketching one of the students with a No. 2 pencil. Susan said, "That's Emma Takato, another classmate of mine--aside from Kelly Chiba, Juanita Cruz, and Allie Sue Cooper, of course. She's the niece of Yasu Takato, a Japanese voice actor who voiced a crossdressing white cat."
Ryan muttered to Susan, "I actually knew Yasu Takato voiced a crossdressing white cat. He got labeled as a crossdresser in the manga."
Susan said, "I see you've read that obscure classic. Anyway, Emma Takato's an art student here. Now please be quiet. Mum's going to be here any minute now, and she'd appreciate if we kept the volume down while she was teaching."
Then Emma stepped aside. Susan said, "And here she comes."
To her surprise, the teacher had blonde hair, not the black hair she knew her mother sported. Susan asked, "Is she a foreigner?"
Ryan said, "I don't know, but she seems strange."
The teacher yelled, "BONJOUR, MES PETITES! HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY?"
Spinning over to Kaitlyn, she asked, "How good has Madame Chan been at teaching you?"
Kaitlyn said, "Fine, thank you! And yes, I'm as busy as a bee!"
Ryan asked, "Shouldn't she work toward floating like a butterfly?"
Susan said, "She is, but the stranger's voice seems to sting like a bee."
The teacher said, "By the way, Madame Chan seems to be incapacitated for the time being. A high fever, if I remember correctly the details about her calling in sick so suddenly. My name is Antoinette de Ville, and I'm going to be your substitute until she recovers from her sickness."
Walking up to Ryan and Susan, Antoinette said, "Mademoiselle Lee, would you please rise?"
Ryan and Susan got up and curtsied. Antoinette said, "You may be seated, Mademoiselle Chan. You the daughter of the teacher?"
As she returned to her seat, Susan said, "Oui."
Ryan did another double take. Antoinette said, "'Tis a crying shame you're not in her class. You might have made a fine ballerina."
Susan said, "I'm more into gymnastics, merci beaucoup."
Antoinette said, "Ah, well. I'll analyze you later. Or maybe I should leave it up to your mother when she gets better--you are her daughter, after all."
Scanning Ryan from head to toe, and from toe to head, Antoinette analyzed him thoroughly. She said, "Mademoiselle Lee, your long legs are more than suited for the ballet! And you have such good posture, too! Why don't you try dancing a little, just to see if you like it?"
Kaitlyn couldn't contain herself. "C'MON, RY, GIVE IT A SHOT! IT'LL FEEL GOOD, I BET!"
Ryan nervously replied with his hands.
"PLEASE DON'T MAKE SUCH BETS LIGHTLY, KAITLYN."
Antoinette said to herself, "And I don't wish to move forward with the class's practice until I personally get a good look at you trying it out." Her blue eyes started glowing as a synthesised warble started sounding.
Suddenly, Ryan found himself leaping. He knew it was unnatural, and yet, it was happening. He landed on his toes and started spinning rapidly. He was getting dizzier and dizzier. Kaitlyn and some of the other students watched with concern. A few forced arabesques later, he finally relaxed and collapsed as the synthesised warble stopped and Antoinette's eyes returned to their normal shade of blue. She said, "Your dancing was a pleasant surprise to us, Mademoiselle Lee."
Kaitlyn walked up to Ryan and asked, "Are you alright, Ry?"
Ryan answered with his hands, as usual.
Kaitlyn said, "Ah, crud. I should've said 'merde' before you started dancing."
Then another girl, wearing an amethyst tank leotard, stepped up. "If you'll excuse me, Miss Oh, the prima ballerina needs to start practicing."
Kaitlyn only noticed after the girl started talking. "Sorry, Miss Lynn."
The girl shooed away a couple more dancers before proceeding to the barre. Ryan, still smarting from his hypnosis, used his hands to address his concern to Kaitlyn.
"CRIKEY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF THAT KIWI. WHY DO I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS?"
Kaitlyn indicated where the girl was stretching and said, "The Kiwi dancer is called Wing Lynn. A prodigy ever since her first class, her mother was a famous ballerina herself, performing with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, so I hear."
Then Antoinette yelled, "ALL RIGHT, LET'S GET OURSELVES INTO POSITION FOR A FULL REHEARSAL, BEGINNING WITH ACT 1, WITH THE FLOWER FAIRIES DANCING IN THEIR GROUPS!"
Kaitlyn walked over to her spot as she said, "Wish me luck, Ry!"
Ryan spelled a single word back to her.
Susan said, "Merde!"
Ryan and Susan watched Kaitlyn and three other dancers perform to a synthesised piece sounding almost like Romantic music. Ryan was particularly mesmerised by the dancing. "How beautiful…"
Wing said, "Look at her. Her legs aren't going high enough to come close to good."
She indicated Kaitlyn. Ryan started talking with his hands.
"IS THAT SO?"
Wing said, "I know a good ballerina when I see one, and she's a hundred years too early to hope to come close to my league."
"YOU REALLY SHOULDN'T SOUND SO CRITICAL, DAMMIT!"
Wing said, "If we were grade schoolers, I'd have someone wash your mouth out with soap even though you're apparently dumb."
"YOU WATCH YOUR MOUTH TOO!"
Wing said, "And the pot called the kettle black. In any case, I shall soon demonstrate how a prima ballerina dances."
Then Antoinette called for Wing. "AND NOW, PRESENTING THE PRIMA BALLERINA, WING LYNN!"
Wing promptly started dancing. Ryan was absolutely stunned by what he saw from her. He muttered to Susan, "Wing Lynn might not be the friendliest Kiwi, but you've got to admit, she's not the prima ballerina for nothing."
Susan said, "Indeed. But did you have to be so blunt?"
Meanwhile, Emma was at her sketchpad, sketching Wing during the latter's dance. All of a sudden, without warning…
Something shocking had happened. Wing collapsed. Kaitlyn ran over to her side. "Miss Lynn! Are you alright?"
Wing muttered, "It's… nothing. Ah! Oh, bugger!"
Susan managed to regain her composure. To Ryan's surprise, she whipped out a pair of shades from behind her back and put them on as she said, "Well, she's certainly no… Yellow Ranger."
The school nurse, Doris Greenwater, and her assistant, second-year student Kay Anderson, were tending to Wing in the locker room as Ryan, Susan, and Kaitlyn watched.
Doris said, "Good Lord, Miss Lynn, you must've sprained yourself pretty bad. At this rate, I'm not sure you'll be able to perform in next week's recital."
Wing yelled, "That's bullcrap! I have a gut feeling I'll be able to!"
Kay said, "I wouldn't dare. A sprain like that can only be made worse by pushing yourself too hard like that. Mrs. Chan wouldn't want to lose her prima ballerina at a young age, especially after your mother's accident. So to make sure you won't have to quit dancing altogether, Nurse Doris and I will have to recommend to Mrs. Chan, or any substitute that may be filling in for her at the time, that an understudy perform in the recital."
Wing said, "You've got to be joking…"
Doris said, "Miss Oh, barring nothing short of a miracle recovery on Miss Lynn's part, you will be the prima for next week's recital. Kay and I will let Mrs. Chan, or her substitute at this time, know at once."
Kaitlyn was surprised. "Me?"
Susan said, "Yes, certainly."
Ryan, Susan, Kaitlyn, Doris, and Kay left the locker room.
Back in Room 3-45, Rica was playing a round of Othello with Kelly. She asked, "Where the hell could Ryan be?"
Kelly said, "Maybe the man in black got him…"
Then the door opened, and Ryan was egged as he entered. He was understandably pissed off. "Rica, what the hell's gotten into you!?" he exploded after Susan closed the door behind them.
Rica said, "Sorry. Just lex talionis in play."
Ryan said, "And apparently, it missed its mark."
Rica said, "You're right, it did. I was intending to egg Eileen in a sneaky manner for opening the door to Room 3-45 for the sole purpose of egging me while you and Susan were watching your friend's ballet class. Maybe I should've locked the door and set up a passcode instead…"
Susan, who was filling a bucket with water, said, "Maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea. And 'swordfish' is not a valid password."
She splashed the bucket onto Ryan, who said, "Thanks, Susan. I needed that."
Rica said, "So tell me, you two… what happened?"
"So your mother wasn't the teacher?"
Susan said, "Well, she called in sick. High fever or something."
"And what was the substitute like?"
Ryan said, "Blonde hair, blue eyes… she gives me the creeps."
"Limey, please! It's not like she's a bloody National Socialist or something."
"Indeed, she wasn't, thank goodness. Going by her name, Antoinette de Ville, she may actually be French. However, I'm more worried about the blue eyes--in fact, I found myself forced to dance in front of the class for some strange reason."
"Yeah, it's similar to a circuit override, except applied to a human brain."
Susan said, "Coincidentally, her eyes started glowing at the same time."
Rica said, "Talk about mind over matter…"
Ryan said, "Anyway, during the rehearsal, which is for a recital next week, the prima ballerina, a Kiwi named Wing Lynn, sprained her ankle. Highly doubtful I'll see her perform next week."
Susan said, "Tomorrow's the dress rehearsal. Ryan's classmate in homeroom, Kaitlyn Oh, will be the understudy."
Newton and Bailey showed up. Newton said, "Better watch your backs, you two. This may be a phony substitute we're dealing with."
"Meaning yo' mama might be tied up and trapped in the closet at this very moment because of Madame de Ville! Pay attention to the names, peeps!" Bailey shouted.
Ryan said, "Wait a minute… 'de Ville'… say it fast, and it becomes 'devil'… I knew it!"
Susan asked, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Ryan said, "We should go undercover."
Inside the Chan dance studio, Ryan and Susan looked around for anything suspicious. Then Ryan walked to the closet and found Victoria trapped in there. She was frozen solid, not to mention gagged. Ryan said, "Don't worry, Mrs. Chan. We'll get you out as soon as we can."
He and Susan walked into the closet and found two pairs of pink tights. They each grabbed a short-sleeved leotard and a pair of pointe shoes, trying them on just to make sure they fit. Ryan asked, "How did she know my size?"
After procuring their disguises, Ryan said, "Hang in there, Mrs. Chan. Susan and I will try our best to free you as soon as we can. You understand?"
Victoria nodded. Ryan said, "Right now we need to get some sleep. And ballet class isn't until the rest of the classes are over for the day, so I really can't wait to deal with your captor. See you later, Mrs. Chan!"
Ryan and Susan left as Victoria watched, hoping they'd be able to outwit the punk that did this to her.
Rica had already gotten out of her school uniform and changed into a Chinese-style dark blue and red jacket/trousers getup. Ryan and Susan put the finishing touches on their disguises before turning to Rica. Ryan asked, "Well, how do we look?"
Ryan wore a pink leotard, and Susan wore a blue one. Both also wore pink tights and pointe shoes. There were also other minor tertiary additions to their disguises: Ryan was wearing a pair of wire-frame glasses, and Susan's hair was tied into a bun. Rica said, "You two look… pretty cute, actually."
Susan said, "Well, we're off to bust a phony substitute!"
Ryan said, "See you later, Rica!"
The two then exited.
"What? You're going to watch the whole rehearsal?"
Susan said, "Certainly. By the way, Ryan has something to say. Can you keep a secret?"
Kaitlyn said, "Sure."
Ryan took a deep breath and walked into a locker with Susan and Kaitlyn. Susan closed the door. Oddly enough, the locker itself functioned as its own Hammerspace, to the point where it may as well have been a clown car. Ryan said, "I'm actually a boy. I wound up here because I was in a hurry to pass an entrance exam--such a hurry, in fact, that I didn't find out this was a girls' school until the week before my first day."
Kaitlyn said, "I see… well, that's understandable. And Ry, why are you dressed as another ballet student?"
Ryan said, "So's Susan. Anyway, the reason why we're dressed like that is because we believe you and/or Wing may be in grave danger. That's why we're going to guard the two of you."
Kaitlyn said, "So you actually believe Madame de Ville is actually a phony? I find that hard to believe myself!"
Ryan said, "I've seen a bunch of things that anyone can find hard to believe. So Susan and I are going to protect you and the Kiwi just in case I turn out to be right."
Kaitlyn said, "Ah, well. 50/50, anyway."
The three emerged from the locker. Another ballet student who was watching asked, "Was it girl on girl on girl going on in the lockers?"
Susan said, "Actually, it's a lot more complicated than that. But it was actually all G-rated!"
Kaitlyn walked over and picked up a pink dress consisting of a leotard with chiffon sleeves and roses along the neckline and a single-layer tulle skirt with roses along the hemline. "Hey, Ry, look at what I'll be wearing for rehearsal!"
Then a young woman stepped in. "Sorry I'm late; I got caught in some bloody traffic on the way here."
Ryan asked, "Who's that?"
Kaitlyn said, "Oh, that's Mrs. Lynn. Following her accident a while back, she went into costume design."
Mrs. Lynn said, "So you're the new prima, Kaitlyn? Wing's told me all about you. Not that I should believe every word of it, but from what the school nurse told me you weren't named her understudy for nothing. Here, try on the prima ballerina's costume. It's a bit small, considering it was intended for my daughter, so I might have to make some adjustments."
Ryan moved into a nearby corner, as if on cue. A minute or two later, Susan said, "You can look now!"
What Ryan saw was absolutely stunning. There stood Kaitlyn in a white dress consisting of a strapless leotard and tutu skirt. The top of the bodice was lined with fake fur, color matching, and in the center along the same edge was a turquoise heart-shaped broach. "She's pretty."
Then Wing entered on a crutch. "Hi, mum."
Mrs. Lynn asked, "Do you want to watch the dress rehearsal? I'm in no hurry to leave, if you want us to go home together."
Wing said, "Never mind that, mum."
Meanwhile, a pink tutu skirt flew off the rack by itself and wrapped itself around Ryan's waist, even tying itself in place. A blue tutu skirt did likewise for Susan. Then Antoinette danced by. "ALL RIGHT, MES PETITES, TIME FOR THE DRESS REHEARSAL!"
During the dress rehearsal, Ryan and Susan were seated on either side of Wing. Ryan was paying special attention to Kaitlyn's performance, while Susan was more focused on Wing. Antoinette, strangely enough, wasn't watching. Suddenly, Wing yelled, "Oh, for the love of Pete, Kaitlyn, I know this routine from left to right, and I know this is where you do a tour!"
Minutes later, Kaitlyn seemed exhausted. Wing yelled, "Kaitlyn! Front and center! You're my understudy; at least act the part!"
Ryan watched as Kaitlyn got back on track. He said, "Break a leg, Kaitlyn."
Wing said, "I wish you could've said that to me yesterday, Ryan."
Ryan did a double take. Wing continued, "Yes, I know you're a boy. But it'd be low of me to blab something like that; I'm not the type that'd let the cat out of the bag under any circumstances, and besides, you seem like a nice person."
Ryan said, "Even so, there are some things you might want to be careful about. Sexist slurs and harming animals, for example. The C word's definitely a no-go, and I don't like when people commit or praise animal abuse as if it was a virtue."
Wing said, "That's reasonable enough."
Suddenly, a suspicious-sounding and ominous piano melody started playing. Ryan asked, "You hear that?"
Wing said, "If you can hear background music, you know you've got supernatural talent. What's going on?"
Ryan said, "Witchcraft, no doubt. Powerful sorcery behind the scenes. Susan and I will check it out."
Ryan and Susan got up. Wing followed, holding onto their shoulders. She let go as Ryan said, "Stay right there, Wing. Don't get into any trouble."
Upon entering the locker room, Ryan and Susan saw a demonic-looking woman with a grayish pink skin. She asked, "Where are Kaitlyn Oh and Wing Lynn?"
Ryan and Susan looked down and saw the monstrosity wearing boots. Ryan said, "You're wearing shoes. That isn't allowed in here!"
"Really? Allow me to introduce myself: my name's Fatale, and I'll get those two if it's the last thing I do!"
Ryan and Susan moved in front of the doors. Ryan continued, "Stop! You shall not pass!"
Fatale tried to punch Ryan, but he blocked it and threw her down. Seeing several demons and recognizing them as of the same species that possessed the martial arts club leader, Susan said, "Let me handle those. You take on the head honcho."
Ryan said, "You got it." He then grabbed Fatale and threw her backwards as Susan tackled the others, nearly getting punched once. Suddenly, Rica showed up for some much needed assistance, wearing the same Chinese outfit Ryan and Susan had last seen her in. She asked, "You all right, Susan?"
Susan said, "Yeah, I'm fine."
Rica said, "Let's kick some ass." She then punched and kicked at a few more of those goons. She put one foot on one demon, then dropkicked it with the other. She then punched another demon repeatedly before knocking it out by striking its jaw. Another demon that dared approach her got a few punches in the gut, then when it tried to attack her, she elbowed it to catch it off guard, then punched it in the jaw and threw it down. When it tried to get back up, Rica kicked its head, severing it from the body.
She continued to kick arse in that regard, assisting Ryan and Susan, who themselves were no slouches. Ryan kicked Fatale in the gut, then kicked her into a locker when she teleported into a conveniently nearby spot. Rica tackled another demon, sealing its defeat with a German suplex. The next demon to try to attack her got his head in a fresh hole in the wall, courtesy of her foot.
Ryan sealed the deal by kicking Fatale in the gut again, this time with enough force to knock her out of the locker room and dance studio in one go. Ryan said, "I guess she won't mess around here again."
The next week, Ryan, Susan, Kelly, Rica, and Wing were at the auditorium watching Kaitlyn and the rest of the class perform. Per Wing's request, Ryan and Susan were in the same outfits from the Friday before, minus the tutus. Ryan was mesmerised as usual by the dancing. "She's pretty."
Susan said, "Indeed, she is."
Rica was beside herself in squeeing. "Would you believe Kaitlyn's finally the prima ballerina?"
Kelly said, "Please, Rica… don't exaggerate. You make her look too much like Marie Camargo."
Wing was seated with her mother. "Your costumes look nice."
Mrs. Lynn blushed and said, "Thanks for the compliment, Wing."
In the locker room, Ryan and Susan, who looked no different from the rest of the ballet class despite not being dancers themselves, stood beside Victoria, who was set free when Ryan defeated Fatale, as she congratulated the class on their performance. Kaitlyn herself was pretty exhausted. Wing said, "Congratulations. Near flawless, save for seven errors and two stumbles. I counted, by the way. That said, good show!"
Kaitlyn couldn't hold back her tears of joy. "Thanks, Wing!"
Ryan walked over to Wing and asked, "How's your ankle, Kiwi?"
Wing said, "Don't worry, limey, it's feeling somewhat better. I should be able to dance again soon. Like my mother before me, I'll become a prima ballerina for sure."
Ryan smiled and said, "Merde!"
Wing said, "Thanks, Ryan."
Next episode: "I ladri - The Thieves"
- Yuki Tokiwa as Hiroshi Lee
- Nana Mizuki as Ran Chan
- Mariko Kouda as Kaori Chiba
- Daisuke Kishio as Shinhan
- Hisako Kanemoto as Seikou
- Toshiko Fujita as Chimei/Antoinette de Ville
- Yuriko Yamamoto as Yue Chan
- Miyuki Sawashiro as Rica Watanabe
- Yui Horie as Keiko Oh
- Saeko Chiba as Hanae Hayashi
- Kikuko Inoue as Hanae's mother
- Eiko Masuyama as Yutaka Midorikawa
- Yumi Sudo as Kei Mizuno
- Ayana Taketatsu as a miscellaneous ballerina
- Rupert Grint as Ryan Lee
- Britt McKillip as Susan Chan
- Cyndy Preston as Kelly Chiba
- Mark X. Laskowski as Newton
- Maggie Flecknoe as Bailey
- Diane Michelle as Fatale/Antoinette de Ville
- Jessica Calvello as Victoria Chan
- Chloe Grace Moretz as Rica Watson
- Kate Oxley as Kaitlyn Oh
- Emma K. Lahana as Wing Lynn
- Lucy Lawless as Wing's mother
- Barbara Radecki as Doris Greenwater
- Caitlin Glass as Kay Anderson
- Brittney Karbowski as a miscellaneous ballerina