Ceir grinned. "It would make a nice change," he admitted, finishing his strategy essay and filing it away. "And Valentine's ball is tomorrow. You going?"
Ross looked out the window. "No way." he said, "I'll be sleeping. Ball's a complete waste of time."
Ceri walked over, ignoring the atlas strewn over Ross's table. The sky outside the window was blue, the air fresh. Figures were lounging about, taking their time to go to class.
"Where did Kyioshi go, huh?" he asked.
Ross shrugged, "Probably enemy territory."
Ceri flicked an eye over to the atlas. Black Moon cities were heavily fortified and accepted no White Sun visitors, even in this time of uneasy peace.
"You think?" he asked, but Ross wasn't paying attention, taking a white jacket and what seemed like a black skirt. He tossed a black cloth belt to Ceri.
"Yours. Back from the drycleaners. Hurry - ten minutes to martial arts practice."
Ceri let his gaze wander: Chong Fen wasn't in the Wushu practice session - there the apprentices were pulling off their patterns, with the master critiquing in low voices. Taylor was doing a break test, kicking blocks of wood, at a different coloured section just for TKD. Probably the most interesting martial art wasn't practiced in the dojo - Ceri knew the ninjas were training in the forest behind the school.
"Stop dreaming, Ceri!" a voice snapped. "Sensei orders we randori."
Ceri gave a sigh, turned and faced Sabriye. "Whatever." he said, bowing.
Sabriye returned the bow, and they both reached out grabbed each other's lapels and sleeves.
Ceri shifted his centre of balance in time to avoid Sabriyes's half hearted sweep kick.
"Yuki still not joining?" he asked placidly, defending against a Taiotoshi without blinking.
"Nope. The Hapkido sensei is leaving him alone. Now he's just sitting in his old corner, watching us as he always does."
"Ah Ceri said, cut off by Sabriye suddenly going into a spectacular Tomoenage, flinging Ceri over her. Ceri hit the ground with his palms, twisted his body and landed on his feet.
"Not perfect, but improving." he said, as Sabriye got up, scowling.
"Why can't you just take ukemi?"
Ceri shrugged and they grabbed each other's gi again. Sabriye immediately entered Taiotoshi.
Ceri didn't defend. Instead, he swept his leg over hers, hooked it with his other one, and pushed backwards.
The counter attack wasn't as effective as he would have liked - Sabriye landed sideways, breakfalling, and then turned the tables by pinning him down.
"That Kosotogake was a waste, don't you think?" she sneered, sweat on her brow.
Ceri put on arm over her neck, grabbed the sleeve of his other arm, and pulled, choking her.
Sabriye twisted her body to attempt an armbar, but Ceri took the opportunity to escape, getting to his feet.
"Good newaza." he said, wearily.
They returned to the starting position. "You going with anyone to the ball?" Ceri asked, panting.
At this point she did an Osotogari, but Ceri dodged.
"No surprise there, nastiest girl alive." he snapped.
Sabriye sneered again, "You're the one burying yourself in Judo, not me. I could if i wanted to - you, however - too self-engrossed for any serious relationship."
Ceri surprised her completely by grabbing both legs and dashing forward. This time Sabriye hit the ground with a satisfactory smack.
"We all have our weaknesses now, don't we?" he said, lip curled. Then he got up and bowed.
Ceri's blog extract
That girl has the foulest mouth in the whole of White Sun. It's a wonder we all don't die from the stench.
Sabriye's blog extract
They say when a boy shows all the signs of hating you, he likes you deep inside. But how about the other way around?
Do i like him? He's aloof, cold, sarcastic, cocky when it comes to practise or his friends. I can't stand him. But why the attraction?