The Races

[23:02] <Dorian> [Leon Thomas nodded to Yanmei, approvingly. He knew she had a bad leg- he approved of her decision to run despite that. It was gutsy.-
[23:03] <Dorian> ["Alright. There are three races." Said the VC. "The first is a 100-metre sprint. The second is a 200-metre dash, and finally a 500-metre run. First place gets three points for their team, second place gets two, third place gets one, and everyone else gets nothing. Questions?"]
[23:04] <Yanmei> Three races was more than she was counting on, but still… she tried out a few stretching exercises and threw on a determined look. She's show everyone what she could do!
[23:13] <Dorian> ["Well well." Drawled Alexandre Fontaine. "I never thought I'd see you on the racing field… Again."]
[23:14] <Yanmei> "It's good to be back," she replied pleasantly, meandering toward her spot at the starting line. "Even in this state, I'll make it hard for you to catch up to me."
[23:18] <Dorian> ["Yaaaanmei!" Sophie bounded up to her, hopping from foot to foot in excitement. "You look like you're in a mood to fly~!"]
[23:20] <Yanmei> "Sure am?" She beamed at Sophie - that excitement was more than a little contageous. "I'm going to try my best. You too, okay?"
[23:20] <Dorian> ["Right!" She leaned forward, winking mischieviously. "I can trip Fontaine for you and make it look like an ac~ci~deeent if you like~"]
[23:24] * Yanmei couldn't help but giggle at that, glancing back over at Alexandre again. "Now, now. That would be -terribly- unsportsmanlike."
[23:24] <Dorian> ["Well, luckily I'm not a man." Said Sophie with a grin. "But hey, I hope you win, alright? I really do."]
[23:25] <Yanmei> "Thanks," she grinned back. "I hope you do well too!"
[23:30] <Dorian> ["Thanks!"-
[23:34] <Dorian> ["Would all the racers please proceed to the first track." Said Thomas. Yanmei was Lane 2.]
[23:37] * Yanmei strolled over, trying to her lane, keeping cool, even waving to any spectators. This felt really good somehow! And… terrifying.
[23:38] <Dorian> [The others settled in, too. They were ready. Some of them wanted to run. Others -had- to run.-
[23:38] <Dorian> ["On your marks…"]
[23:42] <Dorian> ["Get set…"]
[23:42] <Dorian> ["GO!"]
[23:45] <Dorian> [A starting pistol shot into the air…]
[23:45] * Yanmei exploded from the starting line in impressive form! For a moment, she felt like her old self again!
[23:50] <Dorian> [Bam! The others bolted for the finish line as well- most of them lagging behind Yanmei by a wide margin. The girl was on fire.-
[23:50] <Dorian> [In second place, however… Was Alexandre Fontaine. He was grim-faced as he ran.]
[23:58] * Yanmei managed to squeeze out a little more speed… but she was still aware of her injury, so she didn't take it too far
[00:03] <Dorian> [The others… Most of them were behind her. But not one. Alexandre Fontaine let out a cry as he pushed himself hard- hard- hard, and he was gaining…]
[00:09] <Yanmei> That persistant… she pumped her legs harder, but the finish line was coming up close anyway. She breached it, and slowed, half-stumbling, glaning back to see how everyone else fared.
[00:11] <Dorian> [… There was no one in front. Everyone was behind. Alexandre crossed the finish line, his momentary triumph immediately darkening. Sophie passed a few seconds later. "W.. Well done, Yanmei…"]
[00:14] <Yanmei> "Thanks!" Restraint kept her from doing something silly, like hugging Sophie as she finished the race too, or jumping into the air in victory. She was breathing hard, but… her leg didn't even hurt! Between that and dizzying euphoria she felt, it was like being on morphine!
[00:17] <Dorian> ["How do you feel, Yanmei?" Asked Thomas. Gruffly, of course.]
[00:18] <Yanmei> "Great!" She was practically glowing~ "Ready for the next race, sir!"
[00:19] <Dorian> ["Good." He nodded. "Go get yourself a drink."-
[00:19] <Dorian> ["Zhang." Came a voice. Alexandre. He approached from behind.]
[00:21] <Yanmei> "Ah, hello, Alexandre." She turned to him, still beaming. He was blocking the path a small stand where they were handing out little paper cups of water. "Can I help you with something~?"
[00:21] <Dorian> [Alexandre was panting from the exertion. But he offered her a hand. "Good race."]
[00:22] <Yanmei> "…" She couldn't see an unpleasant trick here, and even if she had, she didn't care. "Thanks. You too." She reached in to shake his hand.
[00:23] <Dorian> [Alexandre shook it. His handshake was firm. "The next race will be different, though."]
[00:24] <Yanmei> "Oh, I don't know about that? We'll see." She continued grinning, egging him on.
[00:25] <Dorian> ["We -will- see." Said Alexandre, smiling. Or was he smirking? Either way, he went off to have a quick drink of water before heading to the second track.]
[00:27] * Yanmei took a moment to stretch again before doing the same. A bundle of energy, she could barely force herself to steady her hand and glup it down
[00:36] <Dorian> [The other racers were assembling at the 200m track. Dr. Clement passed Yanmei as they walked, clapping her on the shoulder. "Well done." He murmured.]
[00:37] * Yanmei beamed happily at the praise as she joined the other runners. This race would be twice as long, but at this rate, she could probably take it!
[00:42] <Dorian> ["200m dash! Starting… On your marks…"- Everyone prepared themselves. Alexandre looked at Yanmei- recognising her challenge- and lowered his head grimly.-
[00:42] <Dorian> ["Get set… Go!" The sound of another pistol.]
[00:44] * Yanmei charged forward like before! But for some reason… her legs were a little sluggish now. She blinked as a few people charged ahead, and forced herself to catch up
[00:45] <Dorian> [Alex was keeping pace, but… Some of those who'd lagged behind last time were catching up. In fact, outside of the listless Dr. Gabriel, everyone was startlingly close to Yanmei…]
[00:59] * Yanmei was… still feeling sluggish. What happened to the speed she had in the first race? C'mon, move!
[01:05] <Dorian> [The race was tight now! Poor Dr. Gabriel was lagging behind very poorly. But everyone else was doing very well- in fact, Yanmei would find Alexandre and Jean-Baptiste Vimes overtaking her…!]
[01:28] * Yanmei struggled to move faster without tapping into her reserves. No good! And she was already starting to pant a little, too.
[01:32] <Dorian> [Yanmei could feel herself slowing. Alexandre continued to gain, but… Vimes -shot- ahead suddenly, surpassing Alex, who would've swore if he wasn't putting all his energy into running.]
[01:48] <Yanmei> To hell with it! Ignoring her leg, she went all out, dashing as hard as she could! She could feel some sharp twinges now, but to was nothing she couldn't grit her teeth against and withstand.
[01:51] <Dorian> [The gap between her and Alex was narrowing, now. But that blasted Vimes was managing to maintain his pace! But… He wasn't widening the gap between himself and Yanmei, either.]
[02:08] <Yanmei> Faster, faster! She poured her heart into it! Vimes was just ahead, and so was the finish line! The twinge became a dull ache, and then - a sudden in her lower thigh. PAIN flooded her, spreading fast. She almost stumbled, but… the finish line was just there! So she kept scrambling
[02:11] <Dorian> [The others were falling behind. She was ahead. She was ahead, she was going to win…?!]
[02:22] <Yanmei> Just a little further, and yes! She was reaching it! She did it! She- eh? Had it been her imagination, or did a crimson blur just go past?
[02:22] <Dorian> [… Sophie, putting all of her reserves of energy, suddenly burst forth, crossing past Yanmei, Vimes and Alex to cross the finish line- from 4th place to 1st! A truly sneaky style of racing…]
[02:25] * Yanmei stumbled, dropping to her knees, panting, once the momentum wore off. She a sort of shocked disbelief had settled in, but that was broken up with the pain running through her leg. She bit her lip, still breathing hard. Easy, easy, time to get up again.
[02:26] <Dorian> [She felt a hand on her shoulder- a supportive one. Someone was kneeling down next to her.]
[02:27] <Yanmei> "…?" she glanced up to see who it was, expecting the good doctor.
[02:27] <Dorian> [The good doctor was in fact standing above her, his face screwed up in concern, worry, and the fact that he'd just run 200 metres and he wasn't exactly a young man. But the person kneeling down beside her was none other than Alexandre Fontaine.-
[02:28] <Dorian> [He held up three fingers, and he was being deadly serious.]
[02:32] <Yanmei> "Um… I don't have a head injury, Mr. Fontaine?" She did grab his shoulder, using him to quickly boost herself back onto her feet whether he was prepared for it or not. That was possibly a mistake, as her leg flared in pain, even with regular weight on it. She had to shift her balance onto the other one.
[02:37] <Dorian> [Alexandre wasn't exactly prepared, but he let her boost herself. He stood up quickly afterwards, keeping a hold on her shoulder.-
[02:38] <Dorian> ["This was a mistake." Said Dr. Clement. "It's hurting, isn't it? You've really pushed it…"]
[02:38] <Yanmei> "I might've gone a little overboard?" There was no hiding it, unfortunately. She smiled. "I really had fun, though!"
[02:41] <Dorian> [Alexandre stared at Yanmei for a moment as the doctor shook his head. There was something very close to deep sympathy in Alex's face. "Doctor, I… I don't think Yanmei's in any condition to run the 500 metres."]
[02:44] * Yanmei frowned at that! She watched Clement's face, but she knew that he would probably agree even without him saying anything. She bowed her head slightly in resignation.
[02:46] <Dorian> ["… I'm sorry, Yanmei." Said Dr. Clement. "I really, really am. But you're not going to be able to run the 500 metres in this state."]
[02:51] <Yanmei> "Ah. Ah, I understand. I thought you would say that…" There was something intensively humiliating about this little scene. Her face was flushed from something other than exertion, and she didn't dare glance up at the spectactors again. "I suppose this leaves you free to win the next race?" she pulled away from Fontaine, experimenting with a sort of hobble. "I guess I'll go find someplace to rest up?" she added with a smile.
[02:54] <Dorian> ["…" Alexandre frowned. He stepped forward, ready to support Yanmei if he had to. "I'll take you to the lunch area. You can grab some food and a drink there." He said, turning back to Dr. Clement. "Tell the VC I won't be in the next race."-
[02:54] <Dorian> [Dr. Clement quirked an eyebrow at that.]
[02:56] * Yanmei did too. "What's this? You're being awfully - dare I say it - nice?" She scrutinized Alexandre. "What's your angle, Fontaine?"
[02:58] <Dorian> ["I've raced you twice now, and lost both times." Said Alexandre. "I raced because I wanted to beat you, and failed in that. Racing and winning in the third race because you're not there would be… Worthless." He said stoutly. "You're the better racer. And you raced knowing you'd probably end up like this. I can respect that."]
[03:02] <Yanmei> "…" She looked away. Coming from him that was one hell of a shock. She took a few limps in the direction of said lunch area. "Well," she sighed. "I suppose there could be worse reasons? Let's go." She searched around for Sophie, and if spotting her, gave a cheerful congratulatory wave as she left the event. Bunch of suprises today, come to think of it.
[03:03] <Dorian> [She did in fact spot Sophie, who was busy talking to a despondent Dr. Gabriel, who had, it must be noted, crossed the finish line 11 seconds after Dr. Clement, only to trip and fall over his own feet and exhaustion. She waved back.-
[03:04] <Dorian> ["Alright then." Said Alex simply, following on.]

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