|[Jun. 3rd, 2013|02:31 am]|
Ozawa regarded Katsuko for a long, long moment, before lifting one black eyebrow. “Is it?” she said.|
Raidou swallowed blood from a bitten tongue and flipped Katsuko over again, mashing her face into the damp, loamy earth before she decided to try more words. His right arm twanged and burned, nerves fizzing from her evil-fingered strike. “Help you, captain?”
There was nothing on the books today. Team 18 wasn’t supposed to run another mission until next week, when Isamu’s wrenched ankle had finished healing and Mitarou’s stitches had come out.
“Mmrph!” said Katsuko.
“I need a word,” said Ozawa. Her eyes left Katsuko’s flailing arms and sought out the injured pair. “With all of you.”
“Are we in trouble?” asked Isamu.
“Are they in trouble?” said Mitarou.
Katsuko wrenched her face up from the dirt, spitting grass seeds. “It’s not my fault,” she said.
Ozawa raised her eyes to the heavens. “It’s like herding meerkats,” she said. “Namiashi, if you please?”
Raidou extricated himself from Katsuko, grabbed her by the heel, and dragged her laughing and cursing over to Isamu and Mitarou, who chorused “No, no, no—umph!” when he tossed her onto them. None of them dodged when they easily could have; it was a familiar routine.
“Oh god, my spleen,” said Isamu.
There was a scrambled moment of untangling, then Katsuko sandwiched herself pleased and grinning between her fellow rookies, who leaned theatrically away from her.
Raidou fixed them all with a look.
“Is anyone else suddenly aware of their jugular?” Mitarou whispered, after a moment. “I feel like my neck is exposed.”
Ozawa cleared her throat pointedly, and everyone shut up.
“I’m not going to beat around the bush,” she said. “Trials are coming up in two weeks and we’re one of the teams slated for a re-shuffle. Namiashi, you’re tapped for captain. Ueno, I’ve made arrangements; you’ll be sticking with him. Takahashi, Momoi, I’m afraid you’re getting split up.”
A landslide could have happened in the following silence, and none of them would have noticed.
“I realize this isn’t the outcome we would have hoped for,” Ozawa said. “But we’ve had a good year, so let’s not ruin it by getting emotional. I’ll have your new postings when Trials are done. Any questions?”