Description: Hayley's flair on the fighting circuit has earned her the attention of the school cheerleading coach. Will the star of school spirit, Tiffany, think she's not up to the task, or perhaps feel threatened by her animal inspired abilities?
In the southeast section of Southtown, alongside the beach and boardwalk, Pacific High enjoys a unique position in the schools of Southtown.
PIt was a school focused on teaching its students within the scope of a global community, rather than a local one. Many of the students who attend Pacific in Southtown are not Japanese, but come from all over the globe to study in Japan. Reflecting this international mindset, the school's athletics field is still quite expansive. There are fields of all sorts, from baseball to volleyball to soccer to football. All get used quite often, particularly the football field. Set on the east side of the school, the fields offer an unobstructed view of the ocean, and indeed are not more than 100 yards away from the beach. It was here, where the sands meet the grass, was where the crowd was gathered for the Saturday Night Fight. A mix of students and non-students were mingling there, with a full crew set up from the SNF team. But most noticably was the group of cheerleaders all huddled together.
With a one Tiffany Lords at the head of them.
"So I was like, 'erm my gawd Becky, you look like a rapper's girlfriend'" The curly-haired blonde begins as she speaks with the dozen or so cheerleaders all hanging on her words. "And she asked me if I was talking more like Mixalot or Nicki Minaj and I was like, more like 2 Chain, so you know she totally ditched that totally ratchet get up, I mean, like really?" Tiffany was dressed in her cheerleader leader uniform. She wears a long sleeve white and blue high neck leotards with a star design that shows her cleavage with a white and black line skirt on each side of her waist. She wears red and white thigh-high boots with a golden star in the center of her folded sleeve on her boots. Tossing her hair, she shakes her head. "But that covers the notes from the last meeting. Now, for today, we are doing a SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHT against Hayley! And I am going to need all your energy for it, girls! Are we going to B? Aggressive!" And all the girls cry out eagerly.
"No We Aren't!"
"That's Right! Are we going to Talk About Lightning Spangles?"
"No We Aren't!"
"Are we going to Respect Her Boundaries and Treat Her As Her Own Person?"
"Yes We Are!"
"Because The Kanzuki Said So!"
The girls all clap clap clap, pumping their fists in their air. Immediately, someone starts handing out pom poms, as the head cheerleader starts strapping on her own boxing gloves. "Okay Cheer Team! That concludes the Pacific High Team Meeting! Now I know there are some important things we didn't cover, like about a little rumor about that Roy has been flirting with other girls, -Brittney-, but today we're going to focus on the Saturday Night Fight! So I'm going to head over, find that Hayley Bretherton, and show her JUST WHAT PACIFIC HIGH IS MADE OF!"
And they all scream, shaking their pom poms as half begin to somersault and flip away, spreading out over the field.
Hayley felt a little odd coming here, to a high school. Her own high school experiences eclectic, to say the least.
"Hayley," her mother adjusted her reading glasses, looking up over her tablet. "I enrolled you in private tutoring that starts on Wednesday to make sure you're where you need to on your education."
"No buts, Hayley. I don't know what you were learning when you were traveling with --" She trailed off for a moment. "When you were traveling, but this is a very prestigious school, you know, and I just want to make sure you're given plenty of chance to succeed. You know, when I was your age, I didn't have these kinds of opportunities..."
"Right, right, you had to work your way up to them, so you want to make sure I am better off than you were..." Hayley said, flopping back into her chair. Her mother eyed her over her glasses for a long moment before going back to her reading.
"Don't start, Hayley. You know I just want you to do well."
Now, Hayley is dressed in her usual outfit today, shorts, headband, and vest. She's leans into a stretch, pulling into a crouch as she fully extends one leg, sets her hands on her thigh, and leans toward it in a crouch. She repeats it with the other. The cheerleading routine, however, that draws her attention for a few moments.
"Uh," Hayley chews her lip. "Ah. Did you practice that routine up for a bit?" She pauses. "I'm Hayley, roight. Nice to meetcha." Off toward the stands, her attache, Sayaka, gives her a thumbs-up.
"OH MY GAWD, It's nice to MEET YOU!"
Tiffany was practically squealing as she reaches Hayley, and was literally dancing as she prances along the field. "I'm Tiffany Lords, and you are so NICE, and I am so honored that you recognized what we were doing! Am I practicing that routine? I sure am!" She beats a boxing glove up on her chest, looking proud of herself. "But as the president of the Pacific High Cheerleader Team, I wanna point out that my whole team is practicing and working hard, and I'm just here to help them out to be the MOST AWESOME CHEERLEADING TEAM IN ALL OF SOUTHTOWN LETS HEAR IT GIRLS YAAAAAAAY!"
The cheerleaders spread out, shaking their pom poms rapidly as Tiffany builds them on, waving at them with her boxing gloves.
"And they're not just cheering for me!" She states, looking over her shoulder at Hayley. "I talked to your helper a bit," Tiffany nods at Sayaka, now waving at her. "And we cleared some special AUSSIE THEMED cheers for you, when you do those, like, SUPER COOL animal moves and stuff!" She turns back to Hayley, as she keeps talking with that pure energy. "I heard that you totally learned some awesome moves in the outback from the animals, and that's like, oh my gosh, I am imagining all those animals like wombats and kangaroos everywhere, and learning how they fight, and it's like TOTALLY COOL, and it's only fair if you can feel that PACIFIC HIGH INTERNATIONAL SPIRIT that me and everywhere here feels! Cause it's so smart!" She brings up her fists in a bouncy peek a boo stance, her hips swaying a bit as she bounces from heel to heel. "Like I could imagine what a kangaroo and a koala and a rabbit could teach you!"
"But I can't even imagine what a wombat attack would look like!"
"Ohh, you're the team captain. Now I get it. It sounds like you're a good leader though, I mean," Hayley smiles lopsidedly, running a hand through her blue hair. "Tryin' to give your team credit too, and all. Not really met many cheerleaders before..."
"Oh," a dark-haired girl in her late teens raises her head slightly in contempt. Her posh accent drips from every word. "So you're more interested in beating people up, is that it? I suppose I should have expected nothing less from Australia..."
"N-no, it's not like that at all! And besides, I think cheer would be a good workout, but I've got so much tutoring..."
"Ah, right. Extra help with classes then. Of course, of course."
"Well, it's not--"
"Yeah, I haven't really known any. -- ah, yeah! Sort of. It's a bit like Chinese kung fu where you study their movements and--" Hayley runs her hand along the back of her neck, looking a little embarrassed about both the attention and the enthusiasm. "A-ah. You talked to Sayaka," this seems as though it explains everything. Hayley tilts her head in the direction, but Sayaka continues to wave enthusiastically.
"T-thanks," Hayley says. "Oh, kangaroo boxing isn't--well, that's pretty on target, but with a bit more focus on the legs with the arms for grabbing!" But then, the question of the hour.
"It uh. I suppose I'll have to show you? It's a little ... tricky to explain?" Yes, Hayley. It is.
"Well then it's a promise!"
Tiffany bounces from foot to foot, nodding as she keeps her guard up. "Like, that's what Roy says, and Roy, he's my total hunk of a boyfriend, who is really awesome and he thinks that I would make a great leader of a tuppaware club or a bridge club too, when I get older and MARRIED EEEEEEEEEEE!" She squeals, shaking as the cheerleaders go OOOOOOO. "Sakaya explained a lot of the other attacks, so we would be ready, but like, she also had trouble explaining the Wombat move, so it must be a really cool secret technique!" She finally falls quiet, and the bell is rung. Tiffany rocks back, keeping her guard up. And she continues. And she continues.
"Um, like, excuse me, judge?"
Tiffany drops her guard, to wave at the judge. She keeps waving, as the judge squints. "Yes, can I help you." The judge states with a breathless air of shock. Tiffany stretches her arms behind her back, looking at him. "Am I supposed to start fighting, or is it supposed to be Hayley?" The judge just- just sputters out. "I have just rung the bell. The fight has begun! Start fighting!" Tiffany starts twirling her curls with her boxing glove. "I know, but like, isn't Hayley the champion of the Rising Star thing? Does that mean she goes first, or like, do I go first?" The judge turns purple in his face, as he spits out. "FIGHT! THE FIGHT IS STARTING NOW!" Tiffany rolls her eyes, turning back to Hayley, bringing up her fists again.
"Oh my gawd, are these fight judges always such dweeberheimers, Hayley?"
"Y-yeah!" Hayley tries to mirror that enthusiasm, but doesn't sound fully committed on her end. At least she tried? The shrill "eeee" of Tiffany's nuptial excitement, however, gets a small wince out of the Australian. But then, Sayaka comes up again.
"Oh, uh, she did, huh?" Hayley turns and looks toward Sayaka, raising an eyebrow. "Uh...something like that!" she suggests.
But then, conflict arises already. Hayley blinks at Tiffany, then looks to the judge, then back to Tiff.
"Oh uh, I guess he's used to a different kind of match-up?" Hayley suggests. "Come at me whenever you're ready!" she quickly suggests, giving the judge a quick nod as if to let him know she's taking the heat off of him.
"Okay! Fantastic! Excellent!"
Tiffany exclaims with a shift, brimming with overflowing energy in those spangled boxing cheerleader tights. Thrusting a fist forward, it seems she is trying to give a thumbs up, but she is wearing boxing gloves. As Hayley invites her, she thrusts a few more times in the air. "He can do like, whatever he wants, the judge. I'm going to show you one of Pacific Highs best strikes! It's amazing! Okay! Yeah! Lets ring the bell! DING DING!"
The judge facepalms, looking weakly towards Hayley, as the boxer comes in.
Tiffany herself almost skips towards Hayley, as she closes in. "Here I come! Yeah!" She exclaims, telegraphing her attack. What is much more poorly telegraphed, however, is when she doesn't fall back into the boxing stance immediately. Snapping out a swift, low kick, she almost naturally shifts into a sturdy, if short hook to the chest with the right. "WOO!" The left comes in, another swift sturdy body blow. And when she finally reaches that boxing stance? She dips down, and suddenly erupts into cheerleader jump. Behind her, at the side lines, three of the cheerleaders join in with the jumping at the sidelines, well away from the fight. Leaping up, Tiffany lashes out her arms and legs in a kind of aerial split, attempting to finish the combination with a cheerleader kick at Hayley's chest. "CHA~" Fast, but sturdy, and in spite of the flashy execution, built on foundations and fundementals. A boxer. And a cheerleader.
And almost instinctively, she was using both at the same time.
The tights, somehow, do not trigger any flashbacks for Hayley. For now.
"Roight," the middle syllable is distinct. "Let's!" Hayley widens her stance and bends her knees, adjusting to brace for impact from the cheerleader. When the first call comes, Hayley expects the worst---a telegraphed, easy to counter attack. She gets something much different instead.
The low kick is swift and sudden; the Australian steps forward and plants her boot to intercept it, but quickly finds there's a hook coming in as well. The second hit meets a forearm block, but the body blow goes undefended as it impacts with Hayley's taut abdomen and knocks the wind out of her with enough force to set up her for the cheerleader kick. Staggering backward, Hayley does not quite fall over, but only because of her sturdy footing.
"That was good! Unexpected!" Hayley says, stepping into a low kick of her own. Hers is followed up by a sweeping, claw-like strike aimed at grabbing Tiffany by the first and pulling her into a two-handed snake-hand strike to her diaphragm and side.
"Phew!" Hayley bounces. "That was really good!"
The cheerleaders chant, as Tiffany continues her assault.
"One Two Three Four, Tiffany's gonna show you more!" The boxer herself finds her assault being met with careful technical force. The low kick is caught, the first jab deflected, but Tiffany's speed was keeping a relentless rhythm. As she slips in the bodyblow, she concludes with the kick, landing on both feet. Tiffany liked boxing and cheerleading, it kept her fit, and it was fun. She was a little worried that she hurt Hayley too much. But when she keeps herself steadied, she realizes that she was landing, and Hayley wasn't losing her own rhythm.
And the counter attack comes.
Tiffany was quick, but as she lands, the low sweep comes in. Catching her by the ankles, she gasps, losing her balance as she falls towards Hayley. She is seized up, and she actually flails her fists slightly, trying to leverage the clinch with one or two swift jabs. It does nothing to stop the attack; she takes a hearty bodyblow to the side, letting out a gasp as she is knocked free of the clinch, landing with a harsh tumble on the grass. The cheerleaders, on cue, make a serpentine gesture with their arms, swaying with their bodies.
"Five Six Seven Eight, Hayley can strike just like a snake!"
Tiffany grunts as she sits back up, adjusting her hair with her gloves. Touching her side gingerly, she gives a wince. "Uuuuungh... I guess? Yeah!" She groans as she stands up from her bottom, coming back up to a stand. Drawing back a fist, she begins to wind up. And wind up. And wind up, swinging her arm around and around as she advances towards Hayley. "Okay! Here I come!" And she lets it fly, bursting a solid right hook, aimed to knock her straight back- and towards a trash can? Where did that come from? And why was there one about 10 meters behind Tiffany now too?
Hayley maintains her snake strike posture for several moments after delivering the blow, then backsteps out of it just in time to realize there's a cheer prepared.
"H-huh? Oh!" Hayley remembers what Tiffany said about preparing some special cheers. Hayley rolls her shoulder and adjusts her stance, keeping her focus on Tiffany as she rises back up and prepares for her next move.
But suddenly, there's a solid right hook. Hayley draws her up guard, inhaling deeply--
And Hayley steels her resolve, perhaps literally, with a flare of shining chi layered across her skin. Even so, the hook has enough force to send her sliding backward, where she crumples the trash can as she falls back on it. In the next moment, that shimmering aura is gone again.
And Hayley plants a hand and climbs back to her feet. "That's a strong hook, there. Let me change it up a little bit, eh?"
"Sayaka, we've went over this," Hayley said as she bounced on her heels, moving around a wooden training dummy.
"Ah, Hayley? Oh, that feels off. Anyway. Do you know much about boxing?"
"A bit, yeah. What's up?"
"I think you should do some more boxing," Sayaka nods thoughtfully, stroking her chin.
Hayley blinks, stands up straight, and changes her stance. "What, like this? Why's that?"
"Ah, no reason!"
Hayley looks at Sayaka, narrowing her eyes a little, then the Aussie bounces on her heels and draws up her fists. She springs forward, swinging at Tiffany--but going wide into a feint. She tries to swing straight past and then, reaching back, grab hold of the blonde and pull her in for a quick two knees to the body! Like...a kangaroo? Maybe?
"Kanga Kanga, How Do You Do? When you Walla Balla Be Roo!
That was the call from the cheerleaders, as Hayley begins to recover -much- faster than Tiffany. With the staggering punch unleashed, the blonde steadies herself out, recovering clumsily as she bounces from heel to heel. Tiffany takes the feint without nary a second thought. Bringing her fists up, she catpaws at the swing, deflecting it further without even thinking about it. As she moves for the counter punch, she is suddenly seized up in a clinch by the Aussie. Yelping, she is immediately and savagely punished by the double knees. The double gut strikes are fast, but effective; the blonde's endurance was well lacking compared to her opponent. "Wow! You're faster than me!" Groaning, the cheerleader continue their bit, each pairing off as one jumps into the 'pouch' of the other, before jumping out.
"Hayley Does Her Box A Boo, But Kanga Kick Too!"
Tiffany suddenly attempts one of her strongest techniques. Whenever she trained with the other boxers at Pacific High, this was one of the strongest, most effective moves in knocking out an opponent. Bringing her arms up, she tries to hook her gloves behind Hayley's head. Should she get a grapple, she would seize her by the base of the skull, and force Hayley straight down into a staggering, fully forced chest slam. There, with the skills that would rival even Craig Marduk, she would roll the neck, smothering and battering Hayley brutally before pushing her away. And then, give the swift knock out jab that always seemed to work against the boys at the boxing club.
Well, until Roy asked her not to train with them anymore.
Hayley steps back out of the kangaroo strike in time to glance over and see the routine. She blinks several times before Tiffany's words snap her out of it.
"Ah, thanks! You've got great footwork, and good striking power. It's pretty impressive! Whoa!" Hayley is grabbed, and, expecting a repeat of her own move, guards low to block incoming kicks or knees.
What follows is neither kick or knee, and so Hayley takes a blow to the face that's unorthodox, even by her standards. Well, almost by her standards.
"So you know unorthodox moves, right M--Miss Hayley?" Sayaka says, slapping boxing pads together. She holds them up for Hayley, but cringes a bit when Hayley gets ready to strike. As such, Hayley draws back a bit, holding on the swing.
"Yeah? Like what? Chi techniques? Psychic powers?"
"Some people have psychic powers? I thought that was a carnival trick!" Sayaka blinks. "Well, I mean. No. Not those. More like how you hit people with your--" Beat. "Your wombat moves. Those!"
"...yeah? I guess. Is this to do with that match?"
"Maaaaybe. I just think it's good to be ready for anything. Eeep!"
Hayley stops again mid-swing and sighs. "I think we should go back to the bag, Sayaka."
"Mmph," Hayley says, getting thrashed about before tossed back. Her face is beet red when she the bluenette, breathing heavily, gets thrown out of the grab. "What--" POW. The knock out jab catches Hayley across the chin even as her arm snaps up to strike the forearm and redirect.
Hayley falls back on her bottom, still dazed as she plants a palm, vaults into a twist, then plants her feet and jolts upright. Shaking her head, she tries to slide back into her fighting posture, but it takes her a moment to go back on the offensive.
Amazingly, she was able to recover from that!
Tiffany actually claps her gloves together when Hayley rises back up. "Wonderful!~" The blonde exclaims, patting herself on the chest proudly with a glove. "Fantastic!~ You might even be tougher than Roy! He can't even handle that att- oh!" She throws her fists up, but suddenly trembles. Wincing, she brings her gloves to her side, the bruises very clear from the exposed skin. Breathing hard, she baps the side of her head. "Sorry, I got distracted! Okay! I'm coming back!" She couldn't think about the injuries. It was like cheerleading. You never stopped an event because of a twisted ankle, or a broken rib. You just kept cheering. You just pushed yourself further. It was a blessing in a way that Hayley was slowing down herself, at least, for the moment. And right when she needed it, the cheerleader team shakes from the sidelines as they turn their support to the blonde.
"Tiffany Tiffany Keep Up The Attack!"
"Tiffany Tiffany We Got Your Back!"
Tiffany was sore and winded, a bad combination. But even she knew how to pace herself. She slows down, advancing forward steadily as she closes in. Throwing her arms back, she unleashes a high kick, sweeping her leg straight up in a can-can style kick. ANd there, she would bring it down as a grazing drop kick, before turning to finish with a quick kick with the other leg, right at the shin. Her approach was slow, giving Hayley the time she needed to prepare, but even then she was bringing in a rapid chain of swift attacks. She was quick, and she could deal blows. But as those foul, black bruises reveal themselves again...
But she wasn't receiving them too well, it seemed.
"Uh, thanks?" Hayley says. "That works pretty well usually, h-huh? Do you use the--that, often?" Should she ask that? That seems like a dangerous question. Sayaka is applauding excitedly, but Hayley refocuses herself. She narrows her eyes, watching Tiffany's movements, reading the injuries and changes in pace. Hayley inhales, then exhales.
And then Tiffany is on the offensive again, Hayley backsteps as the high-kick comes, narrowly avoiding a blow to the chin. The drop kick is not as harder to dodge, but Hayley manages to sidestep. The swift follow-up is harder to avoider and Hayley is on the offensive now. She powers forward, slamming her foot before stepping forward into her signature wombat style maneuvering, trying to take the low kick with her thigh as she slams forward with her hips and rear.
And, inhaling deeply, Hayley does it again. There's a bit of a sheen to her, a shifting of her aura as she channels that metallic power to shore up her defense.
"This is wombat style!" Hayley says, helpfully (?).
Tiffany's speed was met with equal defensive measure.
The high kick comes, and Hayley slips back it. The drop comes, and Tiffany makes sure she has her footing. The peek a boo stance comes up immediately, and the blonde's eyes track the Aussie's arms and legs, trying to read the follow up as she unleashes the shin kick. It is blocked, and Hayley is stepping in with... what. With a clinch? Tiffany raises up her arms, ready to catch Hayley and proceed to open up some jabs. She was expecting another counter attack, like last time.
She was not expecting wombat style.
The hip check sends Tiffany hurtling, smashing straight into a trash can that had suddenly found itself in the path of the launched cheeleader. All the while, the girls in the sidelines shake their pom poms, improvising as the attack comes in. "Wombat, Wombat, Siss Boom Ba! Uh, um...." The cheer stops in mid stride, unsure of the creative direction to take. Hands on their own hips, they look at Tiffany, her legs flailing out of the trash can. Tiffany squeals, kick kick kicking, until she kicks the can over. Placing a glove on her back, her eyes bug out. Holding up a glove, she waves at the judges. "I'm- I'm staying in! I'm still great! I'm- waaaaan...." She makes a whimpering sound as she pops her back, straightening up as she brings up her fists. "That was the Wombat style? I can't believe you hit me with my butt! That's ridiculous! What kind of understanding is that?" She puffs out her chest defiantly, declaring her wisdom, before jabbing the air. "It looks like I'll have to use my strongest, most WANDAFUL technique! Okay! Here we GO!"
ANd she charges in.
Limping at first, she surges up with spangled lights as she rushes back across to Hayley, her heels pumping as she drives at the Aussie. As she closes in, the blonde would erupt into a backflip, unleashing a bicycle kick, and then a second before touching the ground. "GROOVY!~" When she landed on the ground, she would come on her gloves, and then, she would springboard back up into a spiraling kick, to drill it straight into Hayley, whether she was on the ground, or more hopefully, into the air.
Hayley steps back out of the solid, Bajiquan-built stance of her wombat style, straightening back up. She moves one foot, then the other, opening up her stance a little more again for mobility instead of power and resolve. "Are you okay?" the Aussie asks before Tiffany pops herself out of the can and gets back in the fight.
"H-hey," Hayley objects. "You hit me with your chest! I'm working with what I have, too! W-what's wrong with my wombat style?!" Sayaka nods firmly in agreeance from the sidelines.
"H-hey!" The Aussie adjusts her footing, trying to parry the flurry of blows from the bicycle kick. As soon as one breaks through, her defense starts to wither, subsequent blows slipping past her guard and knocking the wind out of her lungs with a heavy 'whoof' before she gets airborne.
The drill-like kick carries the bluenette before throwing her in a spiral toward another trashcan. Instead of landing in it, however, Hayley bowls it over as she lands on it seat first and, with a crunchy sound, squashes it flat. "Ow..." she looks at Tiffany with one eye, rubbing her bottom.
"That was really good," Hayley pants, the bruises showing as she rubs her ribs and climbs to her feet. Slapping the sides of her face, she resumes her fighting stance, bending her knees once again and taking several heavy breaths.
And then she powers forward, lunging into downward sweep of her arms with a slapping, chop-like blow from overhead. She rolls with her momentum from there, spinning into another blow, then another, before the slap transitions into a grab from which she tries to unleash several snap kicks and, finally, an explosive two-handed chi burst from her palms.
She wasn't done yet though.
The first bicycle kick is blocked, but when the second breaks through, it's a clean setup for Tiffany to spiral kick straight up into Hayley. It was her fanciest move, sure, and as she lands after her assault, as the cheer squad starts to pick up again. "Tiff Tiff Tiff's So Tough, You Got To Be Rough Stuff!" Came the cry, as they alternate their pom poms, swinging them up and down. Tiffany comes down too, rising up almost instantly. Her body still burned from the bruises, but she was chasing after Hayley, even as she was down.
That was a bit reckless.
When Hayley comes up in her own fighting stance, Tiffany halts, bringing her guard up. That was a good call, because Hayley bursts straight forward, bringing the chop down. The blonde blocks it, catching it with a deft block with her fists. The strikes come again and again, and Tiffany staggers, her legs not strong enough to keep her up against the assaults. When they stop? It's a grapple, and Tiffany is exposed. Seized up, she is caught once again in those clinch kicks. At least, this time, she does get one, two, three quick head slaps into Hayley. It's not much damage, but it helps when she is released. Point blank, she is standing fast, her body howling in agony. And when the blast of the chi comes?
Tiffany manages to parry it with her gloves, deflecting them away as she evades it cleanly.
She doesn't close in after the deflection. She pushes away, and it knocks her into a tumble to the ground, falling JUST short of a trash can that found itself right in her path. Moaning in pain, she shakes her glove. A metallic sheen seems to be over it, and she can't quite get rid of it. Grabbing the trash can, she pulls herself up, and she stumbles; the snap kicks did awful work to her, and she couldn't handle any more bodyblows. But she straightens up her back, as there was a POINT she had to make. "Chests are different than butts!" Tiffany declares proudly. "They are important tools that men and women should be proud of! Butts are just for -sitting-!" Jabbing the air, sweat pouring from her brow, she drops her guard, and picks up spread, arms pumping as she runs. ANd then, she breaks into a sideways cartwheel, attempting to roll over Hayley.
"H-hey," Hayley objects again, "I put a lot of effort into m--" She stops herself there, not finishing that statement. She looks over at the squad, and at Sayaka. Taking deep breathes, Hayley rights herself. She tightens her stance, drawing up her fists and rotating her foot to "dig in" to the dirt. With a snapping, solid motion, she assumes a fighting stance once again.
"You're good," Hayley says. "You've got a good boxing form, and you're really athletic! I really admire your form!"
Hayley struck at the wooden training dummy, hammering away at it with a steady series of blows. Each hit created a rhythm of skin and muscle, bone and sine drumming against wood. She planted her forearms against two spokes and slammed her hip against the dummy, making it rock slightly.
"Oh, practicing that again, Hayley" Her mother leaned on the door frame, her hair slightly loose from its normally tight bun. She took a sip from something. Hayley didn't pay attention to what it was.
"Wing Chun is perfectly good, honey, you know that? It doesn't rely on power or height or anything. It's a good style, even against someone bigger or stronger than you."
"It's not about that, Mum," Hayley started her drills again, hammering the dummy. This time she ended the flurry by grabbing two spokes and kicking the dummy rapidly three times.
"Then what, Hayley? What is it about?"
"Making something, Mum."
Zheng Xiu cocks her hip as she leans against the door. "Well, if that's what you want, honey." She considers. "Have you looked into Baji?"
Hayley digs her heels in, waiting for Tiffany to draw closer. Timing her strike. She inhales deeply, then exhales. Inhale. Exhale. The cartwheel is spinning, closer now, closer.
"Tighten your stance. Lower. Bend your knees." Hayley's sifu is a severe man, his silver hair slicked back on his head. He watches without emotion as the Australian's legs shake. "Hold it. You need stamina. Stamina and power. The essence of Baji is instant power. Like a loaded bullet. A coiled spring." Hayley's knees shake more, now. "Lower. I'll get the weights."
"But I'm proud of my style! I worked really hard on it!" Hayley steps into the cartwheel as it comes down up on her back and shoulders. Hayley endures it like the mountain, wheezing and gritting her teeth. She powers into it, aiming to disrupt the movement as she hefts Tiffany up and onto her back--then drops her lower, half-catching her.
Then pursuing her to the ground, dropping toward Tiff as she goes for a seated slam.
"It's good for way more," Hayley says, more confident now, "but it's pretty damn good for sitting, too, if you ask me!"
It was like hitting a brick wall.
Tiffany connects, driving into Hayley earlier than she had planned. The body check actually knocks the wind out, with the blow to her body finally adding too much to her guts. But it didn't -stop- at a body check. As Tiffany is hefted up, dropped down. She immediately starts to rise up, until she looks straight up at Hayley. Eyes wide, she foolish opens her mouth in awe. She -realizes- what was about to happen. She tries to turn, twist, but her body was too battered, too bruised. And there, as the shadow spreads over her, she suddenly realizes that for all her wisdom, she had much to learn.
And with that, Hayley demonstrates the breadth of her understanding.
Slamming down upon Tiffany, the whole cheer squad lets out a synchronized 'OOF' as Hayley sticks her landing. Pounding down hard on the cheerleader, the girl herself lets out a muffled scream, then a desperate gasp of air. Letting out an enfeebled moan, she flops her hands around, like a turtle on her back, before she brings her gloves across her chest. "Oaaaaagh." She whines again, flailing around a bit more on the ground. The cheerleader squad looks nervous, bringing the pom poms to their mouths warily. Tiffany finally ceases her flailing with a final flop, utterly overwhelmed by the failure of her wisdom against Hayley's own understanding. The cheer squad look to each other warily, before looking up to Sakata.
And they begin to shake shake shake, cheering a little less heartily than before as the judges call the victor.
"Hayley Hayley From Down Under, Isn't She Such A Wonder!"
Hayley sits rather comfortably for a moment, shifting only a little as Tiffany flails beneath her. She glances over at Sayaka, briefly, then turns her attention elsewhere. Having helped Tiffany achieve enlightenment, she rolls off of her after it's clear Tiffany has thrown in the towel.
"Sorry, mate!" Hayley quickly interjects, genuine despite the fact she may have given Tiffany the unfortunate "honor" of "was sat on by the Ristar Champion." Taking a deep breath, Hayley winces at the discomfort from her own bruises and scrapes, then squats down next to the boxing cheerleader.
"Hoi," she says, "You did good, Tiffany. I think I gotta little bit heated there, eh? Can I pick you up? and get you to the nurse?"
"I *think* I can still carry you." She winces again, putting a hand to her side. "Ribs hurt a little, though. Good punches. Good footwork. Good everything! I want a rematch sometime, if you're up for it."
To be fair, a number of Ladykiller fan artists of Hayley and now Tiffany were already eagerly working the ramifications of that honor.
Fortunately, Hayley might not be required to heft her off. A gurney crew comes hustling out to the field, as the match is called. While the Pacific High nursing staff isn't as popular as, say, the Justice High nursing staff, it was still a dedicated and hardworking team. A nurse was in fact coming over to Hayley herself; just because you win, doesn't mean you don't need medical assistance! As the crew eases Tiffany onto the stretcher, the blonde suddenly bursts out.
Tiffany flops her arms from left, to right, to left. After the display, she gives up, as the team eases her on. Looking over at Hayley, she sighs. "I don't think I can do a second round yet..." She groans. Coming onto the field was the other cheerleaders, all chattering and showing their sympathy to poor Tiffany, as the head cheerleader lifts her head up high, to look up and over at Hayley as best as she can.
"Lets do the rematch once my body feels better, M'kay?"
Sayaka will probably find the subreddit later, for better or worse. Probably worse.
"Of course!" Hayley says as the medical staff starts looking her over. She winces as a nurse dabs her cheek with an alcohol swab. "Rest up so you'll be at your best for next time. You did great!"
Log created on 21:14:50 09/25/2021 by Tiffany, and last modified on 09:31:17 10/11/2021.