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Boogie Nights

Posted on Tue Jul 18th, 2023 @ 22:07 by Otis Jackson & Claire Cavendish

Chapter: All Hallow's Eve
Location: Auditorium, Avalon Institute
Timeline: During the Halloween party, Sunday October 31st, 1992
1077 words - 2.2 OF Standard Post Measure

As the Michael Jackson song's notes died off Claire approached the drama teacher that had just given a perfect rendition of the choreography in his costume. "That looked like it might've gotten you thirsty." She presented a goblet that had a dark red liquid in it. "AB Positive?" A smile as she took a sip of her own drink and a wink.

"My favourite," Otis said as he took the goblet. He raised it in a 'cheers' gesture and then tentatively raised the drink to his lips. Despite the dark red liquid inside, it was actually surprisingly good, another magic of this place was how nothing really was as it seemed; a testament to the headmistress in more ways than one. "I love your Ghostbusters costume," he said, teasingly.

"Ah, man," Claire shook her head, "and here I thought you were a man of culture." She twirled around in time with the beat, "They say in space nobody can hear you scream... I'm sure that's true for some spots here in the keep as well." She pointed the prop weapon at Otis. "I hear a lot of good things about your first few classes, any plans for a winter recital yet?"

Otis threw up his hands in mock surrender, forgetting he was still holding the goblet. Some of the red liquid escaped the rim and landed on his red leather jacket. That could have been worse! "Too many ideas in fact," he said as he brushed the wetness away. "I want it to be perfect, y'know being my first one, but perfection leads to disappointment so I'm trying to manage my expectations. Really I just want everyone to have some fun."

"Well, let's start there!" Claire pulled him closer as the music changed to a distantly familiar song, smoothly swaying to the rhythm. "Though, I have to warn you that we probably don't have the student talent available for a musical rendition of.. well pretty much anything."

"Not yet," Otis corrected her. "Give me time, we're going to do some great things." He swayed along with the music, falling into a comfortable step with the headmistress. It was surprising how easy she was to be around, how familiar it felt. He had heard of mutants with latent abilities, ones they weren't even aware of, maybe a sense of ease was hers. "Are you enjoying your night, chasing aliens?" He asked as he eyeballed the fake gun she had threatened him with mere moments earlier.

Claire smiled a bit, "It's good to see everyone is able to let go a bit. This is more for chasing people that refuse to enjoy themselves." She pointed at the mock flamethrower before spinning around him again to the beat of the music. "It's been quite a long time since I danced properly, do you do ballroom?"

"Not well," Otis replied, tripping over his foot slightly as though to prove his point. "Ballroom always seemed a bit too pretenious in my opinion," he held up his hands as he realised what he had said, "no offence. I mean, in my world, only people with money could afford ballroom dancing lessons, a bit more than my family could afford. I prefer hip-hop, street, and breakdancing. I know, I'm a walking stereotype," he said with a laugh, "but there's more freedom in those styles, a bit like expressionism art or jazz music. All the same pieces are there, but slightly twisted to each individual artist."

"I get that." Claire had shown during the open mic night that she was no stranger to more contemporary choreography, but in her formal education she was mostly forced to do ballroom and this night seemed like a perfect opportunity to get some of that out there. "I hope you'll indulge me with a simple tango."

"I'll try my best," Otis replied, a slight crack in his voice. "My only experience of the tango is from a scene of Quantum Leap," he admitted. "So please forgive me if I'm not quite at your level and you will definitely have to lead, gender roles be damned."

Claire nodded and took him into the proper position for the dance, "I'm sure you're a natural at this." As the music swept across the room so did the head mistress, taking Otis in her wake. The fact that the man had felt this was only for people from high standing was a reminder of why she had tried to get out of that life, well that and the bright violet skintone. "Maybe I should set up a dance class." It would be a way for her to get to know the kids in a less formal way. Ethics was a heavy subject and her role as head of the institute added to the distance most students felt.

"That's a great idea," Otis said as he tried his best not to trample the headmistress's toes. "Maybe I can include a dance number in the upcoming production. I think it would be a great way for you to get to know them in a more informal way," he added, unknowingly echoing her thoughts.

"That would be nice. I think it'll give administration a couple of nightmares if we propose that." Claire knew her schedule was a bit of a nightmare and that generally the planners weren't very keen on making changes to hers in particular, but there was definitely some room for her in the extra-curricular area of things. "No hip hop stuff though. I've shown my only break dance move during my teacher talent night thing."

"I make no promises Claire," Otis said with a wicked smile. "Who doesn't want to see their headmistress completely embarrass themselves in front of the whole school?" He was teasing obviously, but there was a hint of truth in his words. He enjoyed seeing this funner side of her and he wanted everyone to see that side of her too, even if it was just for a few seconds on the stage.

As the music died down Claire stopped their eloquent movements across the small portion of the room designated as dance floor. "I think it's time for some more punch." She gave a wink to the drama teacher before stepping out of the embrace that was needed for the dance.

The mention of punch made Otis' throat dry. "I think that's the best idea you've had all evening, lead the way."


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