Race Ya to the Gun Line!
New Orleans brought more than the teens expected. The thought of Chris being dead wasn't as bothersome as the thought of who the 'killer' actually was; more of the fact that Laura, of all people, solved it. She grinned, gloated, and strutted with arrogance as she headed to her spot. She grabbed her nail file and headed into the bathroom, happy to give her confessional.
Laura is sitting in the seat; her nail file is out as she is doing her nails. "Well, who is the fabulous one?"
She points the nail file to herself "Me that's who, my teammates would be a gonner without me"
She goes back to filing her nails "Things are definitely going my way"
"I am brilliant" she says as she uses her hand holding her nail file to flip her hair, when her nail file flings from her hand and lands in a corner between two walls.
"My nail file" she screeches as she goes to grab it- first one hand- nothing, both hands- again nothing.
She then gets up and puts both hands on it and pulls, tugs once, twice, and a third time, finally flying back onto the floor in a thump. Her hair in a mess covering her face, nail file broken and nails evidently ruined.
She lets out a wail of despair before leaving the confession in a pout. "Now my hair is ruined" she complains as she exists.
She grumbles as she goes back to her seat; she needs her mirror and brush, pronto! She passes Yuan, who glares at her irritably. She glares back and sticks up a finger, one he returns.
He curses as he reached the bathroom, art utensils in hand.
Dramatically slathering paint on his easel and muttering determined nonsense under his breath, Yuan stands with gusto. Once he finishes his ordeal, he presents his handiwork to the camera. He's painted a sensationalized version of Chris' supposed corpse.
He huffs, sits, and puts his feet up before continuing. "As if the criminal aesthetic wasn't annoying enough, Jacque actually had to leave the show by cop. And what on Earth was with the extras in this episode? They were stock characters, at absolute best."
Muttering more to himself, he exits the bathroom and looks to the kitchenette where clanging noises were heard. He could see Marsha humming softly to herself as she worked over the stove, throwing things as she pleased. Blaise tried his hardest to catch everything she threw, but sometimes they hit the pan…literally.
"Marsh! Stop—" he ducks, "throwing—" the ingredients!"
"Quiet, you! I'm in my gumbo zone!"
Yuan's stomach rumbles at the sound of gumbo…he can only hope it doesn't turn out like Edinburgh…
TJ comes out of nowhere, but doesn't startle Yuan. He looks at her questioningly, but she only grins and heads into the bathroom. He shrugs and leaves for his seat to wait for her and the gumbo.
"Chris may be a meanie pie sometimes but I sure am glad that he's alright and that all the Rubies got to stay! I dunno what Jock or Jack or whatever his name was did but it must've been as bad as killin' to get caught like that!"
TJ shrugs, "Aw well... Zach turned out to be happy as a cow on Christmas after he left! And Wan was cute as a clean duckling when he acted all jelus...*content sigh*...I may just take him bullridin' after all..."
She leaves the confessional and goes to her seat, ready for some of Marsha's gumbo. She smiles and waves at Robin, who is sitting with himself; his elbows are perched on the table in front of him, his chin resting on his clasped fists. He's thinking of the confessional he made.
Robin sits with his legs crossed on the toilet, his eyebrows knotting together, deep in thought.
"I'm... conflicted. Jacque is gone. In one case, my biggest rival is gone. On the other hand though, I was starting to think him as... not completely unpleasant," he coughs awkwardly. "Besides, Angel has revealed herself to be the real threat in this game. I've lost Ronny, Alice, and now Jacque because of her. I refuse to be the next casualty of her war game. We are almost at the halfway point. Once I make it to the merge, I don't have to hold back. Until then, my Diamonds will dominate her Rubies."
Yes, the Diamonds will dominate; no matter what she thinks she can throw their way. He scans the seats around him, scouting for the blond devil herself. His eyes stop at the purple-haired girl sitting many seats diagonal of him. He studies her as she breathes evenly with her eyes closed; her hands securely holding a blade underneath.
He notices how peaceful she looks in her sleep, no savageness nor defenses are seen. A great idea pops into his head; he tears his gaze from her and looks out the window, contemplating his move. He didn't know that Adaliah was actually awake the entire time; she's mastered the art of pretending to sleep from her fighting days.
Why Robin was looking at her, she doesn't know…at least for now.
Samantha excuses herself from Cole with a kiss on his cheek. Paul, sitting across from them, chuckles slightly. She blushes and leaves the two boys alone.
Samantha walks in, smiling ear-to-ear. "Andrew was here!" She exclaims, almost with a squeal. "I can't believe it!" She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. "Y'know, when I was accepted and Andrew wasn't, I couldn't believe it. I thought they were pulling a prank on me or something, but when Andrew really confirmed it…" She blushes, "I was so scared. I thought I was going to fail without him and I wouldn't make any friends, but I have Tori, Paul, TJ, and Cole, well, especially Cole." Samantha smiles widely again. "I love Andrew dearly, I do, but, I'm almost glad I came here without him, because I've really grown so much without him and I've made my own friends and I even have a boyfriend who Andrew approves of!" She grins happily. "I'm just so happy and grateful for everything that happened here tonight: Andrew being here, Andrew approving of Cole, Chris being actually alive, and Jacque leaving."
Back with the boys, Paul smirks and leans forward on the table, pushing some of his hair from in front of his eyes.
"So, how was it meeting the big brother?" he teases. Cole leans back with a smile.
"Much better than expected. I thought I was going to get beat up and told to stay away from her. He was so cool, I'm glad to have met him."
Paul smiles for his friend, "That's great man…I'm happy for you, truly."
Cole wags his eyebrows, "How do you feel with Laura solving the crime. Pretty cool huh?"
Paul's cheeks redden slightly, "Um, yea! She's been a great asset to the team so far…."
"Why don't you just go with her already?"
"Is not here. Look dude, I know you had feelings for her and all, but she's gone. Laura has been proving her obnoxiousness from the beginning and it takes a blind man not to see that she's interested in you. Just find her and kiss her already! What do you have to lose?"
Paul doesn't get his chance to answer because Samantha shows up. She smiles timidly as if she interrupted something.
"Come here you," urges Cole. She giggles and blushes hard as he engulfs her into his arms. Paul can only shake his head in amusement. He looks back to the front of the jet, where Laura had her headphones in her ears, bobbing to music; he smiles.
Naomi continued to take pictures with Freddy in an adoring pose: One with their lips touching, the other with them holding the hands together. Naomi even managed to get one of Freddy dozing off and on. She laughs and puts the camera down.
"Up for another Mario Party match?" she asks. Freddy looks up to think on this.
"How about Golden Eye 007?" he questions. Naomi's mouth forms an 'o' her hands waving rapidly.
"Yes! Yes! I haven't played that since 2010!"
"You have not been living properly my love. Let me use the bathroom and I'll be right back to kick your butt in Golden Eye." He grabs his pipe from the challenge and sends her a daring look.
Naomi smirks, "You're on!"
He comes in still with the pipe in his mouth. He then says, "Well thus challenge was exciting. It reminded me so much of the purple guy murderer from Five Nights at Freddy's except y'know there was only one victim, the victim wasn't a child, we weren't in a pizzeria, the murder was sol- ok, maybe it's not like the purple guy murders... I didn't get to see Naomi all that much this challenge. Hopefully we'll be able to hang out with our next one."
He exits out and passes by Angel, who sends him a jealous, withering look. He continues past her not afraid; he's seen scarier animatronics in Five Nights at Freddy's.
Angel heads into the confessional glowering that she didn't intimidate Freddy; she's losing her touch! She huffs out in frustration and goes in.
Angel steps into the confessional making sure no one's listening and then begins cheering.
"YES HE"S FINALLY GONE...DING DONG THE WICKED OLD *BLEEP IS DEAD! Thank god he's finally gone; now I can get back to winning this competition and tearing everyone else down," she taps her chin playfully, "who's my next target you ask? Well, this may shock you but it's not Yuan. I know I do detest him and he is a threat to me winning; but there is a greater threat right now and her name is Samantha." Her expression darkens.
"She's a total Dark Horse. She's nice, sweet, kind, caring and all around a good person...ughh! Plus her relationship with Cole just reminds me that I'm all alone and will never be loved; I could send Cole packing, but I heard what Andrew said about 'protecting his baby sister' and if he finds out Cole failed to keep her safe from me" she makes a slicing noises across her neck, "then he's toast. Overall, today was a good day; I got to see Damien again," she sighs, "I will admit I'm head over heels in love with him, but I know he just sees me as a friend and I don't want to ruin the only real friendship I have."
She goes through her I-phone 6, an evil smirk growing on her face. This season started with eighteen contestants. Seven are gone so that leaves us with eleven...it will only be a few more eliminations before the merge and I need to properly plan on who I'm going to allow to make it there."
"Robin has some personal vendetta or something against me because of Alice so he needs to go soon. Samantha, as I said before, is a Dark Horse. Cole, I just don't like. Paul's annoying with his little problems," she snorts, "Please, you have two girls chasing after you when I have no one...you're pathetic!" She examines her nails and smirks.
"Laura, I can use to my advantage. Yuan and TJ will need to go soon. Freddy and Naomi also will need to go soon too and Adaliah…well she's the only one I respect; so I need to begin planning carefully who I want to make the merge; I can confirm one thing though," she grin evilly into the camera. "I will make sure Robin and Samantha don't." she blows a kiss to the camera and leaves.
As Angel makes her way out, Blaise and Marsha come out with a cart with a large pot, a stack of bowls, spoons, and a ladle in the middle. She has a large grin on her face…Blaise has a large bruise on his cheek.
"I come bearing a gift my lovelies! I made my special gumbo with my grandmother's homemade barbeque sauce; it tastes so good, it became famous in our hometown. I hope you all will love it just as much as my hometown did. Take this as an apology for partially deceiving you all in the last challenge.
Blaise glares slightly as he starts to distribute the gumbo to each contestant. Angel accepts hers gratefully.
Naomi grabs her bowl and balances it with one hand as she is holding her DS in the other.
Freddy stands behind her protectively, just in case she might become unbalanced. He grabs his bowl and keeps his eye on her until she sits down at her seat.
Paul reaches for a bowl, touching Laura's hand by accident. She draws back as she feels a shock from Paul's touch.
"Paul, you shocked me!"
"No I didn't," he looks at her confused. Laura looks at him as if he grew another head, but she doesn't say anything else. She takes her bowl and heads to her seat. Paul grabs his and goes to sit as his usual seat with Samantha and Cole. Samantha was already there with Cole coming balancing two bowls in his hands. He sets one down.
"For the beautiful lady," he says. She blushes again and smiles; she doesn't trust herself not to stutter. He sits down next to her and takes a spoonful of his own gumbo.
Yuan watched as TJ brought bowl after bowl over to their seats. He didn't want to disappoint TJ nor Marsha…what the hell is he saying? He sighs as he reaches for his first bowl. Seeing TJ eating her gumbo proudly without shame made him smile with pride. TJ is the bumpkin without shame, she shines and glows as herself, and he loves that; she brings out the golden aura that reaches past his closed barriers.
He digs into his bowl again.
Yuan groans and drops a spoon into a small bowl, then deposits said bowl into a stack of two other identical one. He stifles a belch before starting his second confessional.
"I ate three bowls of gumbo," he groans, picking up a small brown bottle without a label. "Marsha made a batch of her grandmother's homemade barbecue sauce. She told us it was locally famous and... Well, I didn't want Tonya to think I was being rude. I can't express how much I regret my decision. Tonya's influence is slowly becoming corrosive, and yet I can't bring myself to be upset about it."
Gently, he removed the piercings in his ear and studies them. "Somehow, that southern belle has really grown on me."
Suddenly, Yuan drops his piercings and hunches over the toilet, spilling his guts, literally. The bathroom door opens slowly, but Yuan only closes his eyes and stays close to the toilet; he didn't dare turn around if the person is Angel. She's seen this weakness, and he'll be damned if he allow it again.
A soft, warm hand grasps his shoulder; another hand rubs his back.
"Wan, you dandy in here?" the voice of his guardian angel whispers with concern. He opens his eyes and turns to look into her olive green eyes. She smiles sweetly at him.
"Unfortunately Tonya Jane, I am not dandy as you put it."
TJ pouts, "Hmmm, maybe I can fix that. Momma always had this swell remadie that helped me when I was sick!" She brightens up at the thought, Yuan, however turns green once more.
Yuan is now lying on the couch tucked snuggly into quilts and his head under pillows. A wet cloth is folded neatly on top of his forehead. TJ is sitting on the edge of the couch, rubbing Yuan's stomach gingerly. TJ couldn't help but feel his defined muscles while Yuan shivered slightly under her touch. TJ clears her throat.
"So now all ya gotta do is rest! And keep that warm cloth on ya head sir!"
"I can follow through with simple instruction Tonya. I am no ignoramus!"
TJ gasps, "Why would you ignore a ram!?" Yuan stares blankly at TJ; she cocks her head to side expectantly. Out of nowhere, Yuan starts laughing; TJ, confused, joins him. After a moment of laughing, they stop and look into each other's eyes. TJ softly caresses Yuan's face.
"Get some rest, Wan," she says softly and kisses him on the part of his forehead not obscured by the cloth. She then pats his hand and starts to get up. She's gone before Yuan could reach out and stop her.
As nighttime hit, Marsha had finished her bow already, smiling at Blaise. He couldn't be upset at his best friend, it's just how she is when it comes to her gumbo; she cooks it just like her grandma.
He grabs her empty bowl and places it with the others. He looks out the window to see a dark, starless night; only the waning moon to illuminate the sky. He grabs the bowls of the sleeping contestants and stacks them up as well.
Marsha leans her head on the table and looks up to Blaise, "Ready for bed siiiiir?" she said yawning. He smirks as she holds her arms out like a baby.
"What am I supposed to do with that?" he inquires. She pouts, "Come ooooooon!"
He sighs and smiles, "Fine, as you wish milady." He bends down to allow her to encircle her arms around his neck and he places his arms under her knees and on her back. He cradles her bridal style into the stateroom. She touches his cheek.
"Aren't you the swee—AAH!" Blaise drops her on the bed. She growls and pounces on him.
"This is what I'm going to endure tomorrow morning huh?"
Marsha's sinister giggle is heard from the stateroom.
Yuan awakes to the steady rhythm of the jet. He stretches and looks to his right; TJ is curled up beside him. To his left he sees the blue hues of the sky blending, signaling the morning. He touches his stomach, glad that the episode he had the day before has ceased. He looks back out of the window to see if he could pinpoint where they were headed. He sees the green terrain of trees and mountains creating boundaries and intricate details of an aerial portrait.
Soon, small buildings begin to develop. As he looks closer, he thinks of how the architecture of the tops of the buildings resembled the work of Gaudi….wait they were the work of Gaudi! That means that they're in-
"Barcelona people!" shouts Blaise. The contestants all rise to glare at him, but stop when they hear the word Barcelona. Marsha pushes Blaise out of the way.
"Alright my dears, get dressed so that way as soon as we land, we'll be able to start our challenges." She drags Blaise back into the room. A slap is heard.
"What was that for!" he demands.
"You revealed the information too early! Plus I wanted more sleep."
Sooner than they think, the jet lands, meaning the contestants needed to get dressed and head out in the streets. They exit the jet dressed and ready, already seeing Marsha and Blaise standing before them.
"Here's the thing; I don't have a specific theme here, but I do have a general idea: the test of wills. I have made up 4 challenges, all of which I want to do, and decided to allow you to participate in them instead. As Barcelona is known for their daring natures and sense of adventure in any curriculum, I thought this would be perfect!" explains Marsha.
"So follow us to the first challenge!"
The contestants walk through the streets of La Rambla. The tree lined central promenade of the Rambla is now crowded. Its origins as a watercourse are reflected in the paving design, which appears to ripple like water. Along the promenade's length are kiosks that sell newspapers and souvenirs, other kiosks selling flowers, street traders, performers, and pavement cafes and bars. Notable sights are also located on the street, including a mosaic by Joan Miró, and the Font de Canaletes, a famous fountain and popular meeting point.
One section is blocked off, however. Banging, loud noises can be heard from the section. Once they get closer, they see on the inside of the boarded section were bulls. Sharp-horned, blood thirsty, large bulls.
Blaise smirks slightly as he makes the announcement, "Our first challenge will be a bull run! A member from each team will race down this street towards the finish line. The catch, however, is that you'll be also running from these two bulls. Normally there are more bulls, but there's only the two going to run. So each team choose a member and head to the lineup."
"I nominate Yuan!" yells Angel. Yuan looks at her with outrage.
"How dare you nominate me you imbecile!?" he rants, "I have you know that I will not, I repeat NOT—"
"You can do this Wan," says TJ. Yuan looks to TJ, who encourages him with a smile and pride in her eyes. He curses and sighs.
"I shall race past the wretched beasts and win. I am more than capable, after all." And he strides to the starting line.
The Iced Diamonds all look at each other, curious as to who is going to volunteer. Paul sighs and steps up.
"I guess I'll do it." And he walks up to the starting line next to Yuan. Laura smirks, but on the inside, she is a nervous wreck for Paul. The shock she felt from touching him earlier is still on her mind.
Marsha stands before the two with a huge grin on her face. Yuan makes an air cross and whispers a silent prayer. Paul takes a deep breath and closes his eyes for a second. The Diamonds and Rubies looked at the scene with intense anticipation. TJ and Laura looked worried for the two, both for the evidently same reasons. Angel's eyes shone with mirth; she would enjoy this.
"On my count, get ready to run! One!"
Yuan crouches into a sprint position.
Paul's jaw sets as he gets ready for his run.
"Three!" she shoots a bullet; the sound opens the gates, unleashing the bulls. Yuan and Paul dash down the track, fear and determination blending through their auras. The bulls huff through their noses proudly, hoping they get the chance to maul new victims. Their hooves stomp to the beat of drums with each step, knocking over anything that stands in the way.
Thump, thumpthump, thump
Paul breathes through his nose, trying to keep up a good pace. There is no time to lose for his team, not lose his life from a bull.
Thump, thumpthump, thump
Yuan doesn't dare turn around; he doesn't want to lose his balance. He valued his life too much for an overgrown, sharp-horned devil to kill him at the beginning of the challenge.
Thump, thumpthump, thump
Laura tries to hide her fidgeting hands behind her; she takes a sideways look towards TJ, who cheers loudly for Yuan, and decides to cheer for her own.
"Let's go Paul! Don't die from the bull!"
Cole looked at her, "Do you think reminding him of death is going to help?"
Laura snorted, "It better if he wants to win!"
"Wan! Make sure yo britches get away from them bulls!"
"Tonya Jane, that is not helping!" he screams back. Adaliah could only cross her arms and smirk.
Both boys make a side glance to each other; they're neck at neck. Yuan grits his teeth and pushes forward harder. Paul sees his change and tries to imitate. He pushes forward getting past Yuan. Yuan looks at Paul and narrows his eyes angrily. He moves fast, not noticing the turn he makes. He finally realizes that the finish line, along with everyone else is fading away….the bull still on him with a vigorous force.
TJ sees Yuan's wrong turn and her eyes widen.
"Darnit Wan, not again!" she ignores the protests as she jumps over the ropes and sprints towards Yuan's direction.
Thump, Thump, Thump, Thump
Paul can see the finish line more clearly now, no longer seeing Yuan. He doesn't get the chance to wonder what's wrong with him when he feels a sharp point hitting his back.
"AHH!" Paul jumps up high and rushes away from the bull's horn. The bull horn huffs in frustration that it doesn't get its mark; but trudges on at him much harder.
Knowing the bull is right behind him, he doesn't have much of a choice but to run ahead.
Laura can't help but jump with excitement; Paul, her guy, is going to win the first challenge! They really did make the perfect match: winners.
Yuan continues to run and dash through the alleyway, slowing to a halt as he sees the dead end; nothing but a brick wall and the bull charging for his life. He turns and slowly inches towards the wall, watching the bull slow down as well.
The bull huffs through his nose, growling slightly. It trudges towards him closely but slowly, wanting to savor this kill. Yuan couldn't help but think of how perfect this would be for a new piece…if he could make it alive that is.
TJ sprinted as fast as she could to get to the alleyway she seen Yuan go through. She prayed she wasn't too late to save her friend…or was he more than that now?
Paul passes the finish line victoriously. He stops and pumps his fist in the air.
"YEAH! IN YOUR FA-AAHHHH!" he exclaims as the bull pushed him in the air anyway. The bull huffs and nods his head up, as if smirking at Paul flailing in the air. Since he was now past the line, the bull couldn't get him like he wanted; the bull walks back slowly with one of the animal workers when they appeared before it.
"Those are some smart bulls," states Cole. Naomi nods at this statement, along with Freddy and Robin.
Yuan holds his hands up with surrender, his feet inches from the wall.
"Nice bull, easy there," he starts, "No need for the intense brutality inflicted upon my person…"
The bull huffs and continues to go closer. Yuan's heels of his feet touch the wall; he gulps.
"Let's think about this…I could sell millions with your portrait!" He could feel the bull's breath moisturize his arms.
"Oh come on! That is the most REVOLTING-"
The bull growls and charges.
"Oh no you don't you rang-nosed meanie pie!" yells a familiar, country-twanged voice. Small, but firm hands grab at the bull's horns and yank back. Yuan watches as the bull howls and jumps back, swinging and moving around to get the person off of it.
TJ still holds on to one horn with the other in the air; she stays firmly on the bull as it thrashes about. Yuan watches TJ as her movements flow fluidly with the bull's movements, as if they were underwater. He hadn't seen anything so…gracefully edgy.
"YEEHAWW! This ain't nothin'!" she grabs both horns again and pulls back. The bull howls again and stomps on the ground hard. It huffs, but doesn't move an inch. TJ hops off and rubs its face soothingly.
"Now thatsa good bull. You were so angry wasn't cha?" the bull huffs and Yuan could have sworn the bull nodded and purred. He decides not to ponder on it and beelines to TJ. He hugs her in one swoop, which she returns laughing.
"Now that's how ya bull ride!"
Marsha, Blaise, and the teams rush to meet Paul, Yuan, and TJ. Paul limps slightly and Laura comes to his aid. Adaliah lifts an eyebrow, but doesn't say a word at the three. She simply smirks and chuckles. Angel holds back a sneer; she was hoping Yuan would be trampled by the ignorant animal. Cole comes up to Paul and pats him on the back approvingly. Freddy and Naomi leaned against each other, Naomi sneaking in pictures. Robin claps at Paul's accomplished win; this is definitely what they needed.
"So it looks like the Iced Diamonds get the first point!" announces Blaise; they cheer happily. Marsha elbows him in the ribs and jerks up two fingers.
"Since TJ showed a great display of courage, the Burning Rubies will also get a point," Blaise adds. He looks to Marsha for agreement; she nods with a smile. "So now we're at a draw; let's go to our next challenge."
The group walks off toward the end of a park. Pine trees, narrow dirt trails, and a stream surround the contestants as they head to an open stable. The beautiful view of the Montseny Mountains is seen as well. Blaise, alongside Marsha, make a stop and turn to face the contestants.
Marsha stretches her arms wide, "Welcome to our next challenge: a horseback race! Instead of running for your lives from a bull, you'll be riding a horse on down the circled path. The first one to make it back down the path wins! Now choose your players for the race!"
Before TJ can volunteer, Angel steps up. "I'm riding."
Robin narrows his eyes and steps up as well. "I'm riding as well."
Blaise looks between the two, who are now staring at each other. "Alright, here are the horses."
The horse stands very still as Angel approaches it for the first time, its big black eyelashes shutting now and then as if it is dozing off. She smells its horse heat, its big body breathing calmly. Then a thick flip of leather straps as the saddle is fastened, the soft clink chink of metal against teeth as the bridle slips on, a slow grinding of tongue and teeth as the horse accepts the bit.
Robin looks at his horse with awe. Its majestic aura and sleek, black coat shined in the sunlight. Angel stared at the white mare in the eyes. Its eyes sent her a challenging look, one she returns.
Marsha and Blaise stand in between each horse, ready to aid if needed.
"Alright you guys, all you have to do is race to this finish line. There is a slight jump you have to make, but I'm sure you'll be fine," explains Marsha. Blaise raises a flag from nowhere.
"On your mark!"
Robin and Angel mount their horses.
They grab for the reigns, both sending heated glares to the other.
The horses kick off, trotting along in slowly at first. Angel growls and kicks for the horse to speed up. Robin sees her aggression and returns it in his own way. He's a perfectionist; he'll be damned if he doesn't win this challenge.
He urges his horse to move on slowly but surely down their path. Angel looks back and smirks at his pace, the fool won't win doing that. She kicks harder, causing the horse to whinny at her. She sneers down at the horse and treads along.
Robin noticed her smirk and continued with his trek. Did she really think that she could get him voted off? He scoffs on the horse; she could try. Christopher Robin O'Dare is not the guy to target. He pushes forward; the nagging thought of what Marsha said about a jump flares up the red flags.
Angel dashes fast, not caring of what stands in her way. Robin and Samantha will be leaving soon if she has anything to do about it. She just hasn't had the chance to break the chit's spirit yet! Frustrated, she pushes even harder forward. She could care less about the jump she has to take, she can do it.
"Marsh, why did you tell them it was a small jump?" asks Blaise. Marsha simply shrugs.
"That takes the fun out of it," she says simply.
"You're starting to sound like Chr—OW!" …a heel was thrown in his direction.
"Why must you always throw the heel?" he whines.
"Don't pretend you don't like it rough," she teases. Blaise's cheek tinge pink, but he doesn't say a word.
Naomi giggles and then looks to Freddy, "I'll bet you my limited edition of Naruto that those two become a couple by the end of this season," she whispers.
Freddy grins at the challenge, "You're on!"
Robin continues his path cautiously, but quickly. He could see Angel right ahead of her.
Angel sees the trench ahead of her; her eyes widening. The trench is not small at all.
Robin's vision allowed him to see the trench ahead of them and pulls the reins back, stopping his horse.
Angel growls and yells a distorted cry. She and the horse push forward to leap over the trench.
Robin pets his horse's head and he guides it back a few steps. Once he stops, he whips the reins and they dash at a vigorous speed.
She's almost over the trench…so close…
But so far…Angel and her horse fall into the middle of the trench; soaked with water and leaves.
Robin and his horse jump into the air over the trench; he sends a wav down to Angel as they land on the opposite end.
Marsha is the first to see Robin complete the race and its circled paths. The Iced Diamonds cheer wildly behind her.
"As you can see, the Iced Diamonds have broken the tie with this point!" she exclaims. Yuan sneers, but TJ elbows him to clap. Hesitantly, he claps with the speed of a sloth. Adaliah looks up to Robin in the eye and nods with respect.
Coming along the path is a soaked, seething Angel. She tries to hide her outrage by looking wearily, but some of the contestants are no longer fooled.
Blaise clamps a hand on Marsha's shoulder. "Since we're in Barcelona, what better way than to add in a soccer game!"
Marsha grins from ear to ear, resembling a more adorable version of the Cheshire Cat. "Yes…let's do that."
Camp Nou, the third largest stadium in the world, is their next area of interest. The large green, open field holds bleachers that fill up to thousands and thousands people. Now empty, the contestants feel small in the center of the stadium.
Marsha pops up with a formfitting black and white striped referee shirt, black tights, and white athletic shoes with Blaise wearing a similar outfit, black shorts of course, behind her with a whistle in his mouth.
Blaise grins and walks in between each team. "Before your guys go and get dressed, we need to know who is getting dressed. One of you from each team will have to stay behind; we'll have a special challenge for you two later. Everyone that has participated in a challenge already will not be participating."
The Iced Diamonds all looked at each other.
Naomi jumps up and down giddily, "I wanna play! I wanna play!"
Robin nods appreciatively as she hops close to Blaise.
Cole raises his hands in surrender, "I'm out on this one, dude. Me and soccer do not get along."
Robin nods with understanding, "You'll be our final competitor in the final challenge." He looks to Laura.
"So that means you'll be playing alongside Naomi, Laura."
Memories of Greenland flash back into Laura's mind. "Oh hell no, I am not doing this. We won't even have enough players!" she argues.
"That's why we brought someone in for your temporary teammate," Marsha says smiling. She gestures to a figure walking stiffly, but swiftly into their direction. The figure donned a white and blue soccer uniform with blue cleats. Her black hair is tied into a bun and her white bang is swept out of the way, exposing her scar.
Laura growls and steps up. "I take that back; I'm playing." Her gaze hardens as she looks into the eyes of Tori. Tori steps up and smiled ruefully.
"Looks like I get to play on the same team as the witch that took Paul." She says simply.
Laura's eyes flashes dangerously; Paul shifted uncomfortably. Marsha looks between them confused; Blaise laughs at Marsha's mistake.
The Burning Rubies watched with interest, but settle for their own purposes.
Adaliah goes to the middle of their little group. "I'm not playing soccer. Period. So that leaves Samantha, TJ, and Freddy to play against those three."
Yuan really couldn't protest because he already competed, so he bows respectively towards his dark muse and doesn't say a word. TJ's heart swells up with pride.
Angel only nods, still trying to figure out how to get to Samantha and get her out of here.
Adaliah clears her throat loudly, catching the attention of others…except for Tori and Laura.
"We're ready when you are…"
Marsha grins; but Blaise blows the whistle, causing her to glare in his direction. He ignores her as he instructs the two teams, with the exception of Tori, into the locker rooms to change into their uniforms.
Paul looks to Marsha curiously, "How did you get the stadium for this game? I didn't think they rented it out."
"They don't," she replies, "I was dating one of the owners of the stadium when he cheated on me." She scoffs to herself. "On me! Instead of castrating him like I wanted, I told him he would regret it and he owed me…I cashed it in." she says with a smirk.
"You should have done more than try to castrate him," Adaliah adds in. Marsha couldn't help but agree. The males still out on the field subconsciously edged their hands towards their 'jewels' protectively.
The Burning Rubies came out first in their uniforms. It consisted of red and black designs and red cleats. Freddy walked out confidently. Samantha tried to keep up with the skipping TJ.
Angel smirked in Samantha's direction, which catches Cole's attention.
"I don't know what Angel's deal is, but she's not getting to Samantha." Cole says coldly. "I am not letting that girl go without a fight and I definitely won't let Angel cheat her out of winning!"
TJ smiles broadly towards Yuan's direction, "Lookie Wan! Ain't I sharp in this?" she says gesturing to her soccer outfit.
Yuan gives TJ a once over and smiles softly, "You look absolutely exquisite in those colors Tonya."
TJ chuckles, "Ima take eggsquizit as a good thang!"
The Iced Diamonds playing in the game had exited from the locker rooms. The two cross the field like soldiers heading into war. Laura's eyes were near slits; her mouth in a snarl. Naomi looked twice as fierce, her giggling giving away her 'game face' act.
They approach the others, who have mixed looks. Paul with fear and admiration; Freddy with admiration and amusement; Tori with scorn, but it was also directed at another blonde from her former team.
Blaise, once again, blows the whistle, causing Marsha to send a kick his way. He dodges it with a smirk and looks to the soccer players.
"Alright contestants, since it's only three of you on each team, we'll make the game short. Just make 5 goals and your team will win." Marsha walks to the center of the field with a soccer ball in her hands; she places it in the center and walks to the edge of the field.
Blaise takes this as his cue and looks at the groups of three.
"Are you ready?"
Samantha, reluctantly, nods. TJ and Freddy nod as well. Naomi nods vivaciously; Tori and Laura can't tear their eyes from the other.
Blaise raises an eyebrow but doesn't say anything as he guides the groups to the center field. He positions the teams into their right spots and holds up three fingers.
"On the count of three. One!"
TJ smiles encouragingly at Samantha, and Freddy holds a thumb up.
Naomi shakes her head as she hears a growl coming from Laura.
"Three!" He blows the whistle and makes a beeline for Marsha; he is not getting trampled by these teens.
Tori, surprisingly, is the first one to make it to the ball. She passes it to Naomi, who tries to maneuver past TJ.
TJ uses her quick feet to steal the ball in between Naomi and dashes towards the other end of the field.
Laura dashes after her, but falls to the ground. She gets up to see and innocent looking Tori running past her; she gets up and flings a handful of dirt in the direction she ran….it doesn't make it to its target.
TJ passes the ball to Freddy, who winks playfully at his girlfriend and makes the goal.
"Point for Rubies!" yells Marsha.
Naomi stomps her foot half-heartedly and laughs. He blows her a kiss and then trudges backwards as Naomi leaves with the ball. She passes it to Tori, who dodges Samantha and kicks for the goal. She would have made it in if it weren't for a foot to kick it out of bounds.
Laura smirks when Blaise blows the whistle. Marsha hits him on the head for blowing it close to her ear.
Tori's eye twitches and she frowns, "Really?! Stop being stupid and play the game."
Laura stared at her shocked; did this girl just…
Tori didn't see Laura coming jumping on her. They collide on the ground, limbs tangled with one another. Laura claws at Tori and yells a battle cry; Tori tries her hardest to block the blows. She pushes her off of her and kicks at Laura's ribs. Laura grabs her ankle and yanks her to the ground.
Naomi actually glares at Laura and Tori; when the two ignore her 'death stare', she snaps.
"Look you two! WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A CHALLENGE! Get your head in the flipping game! I don't care right now that you both want the same guy! I want a win! So take the bite out of your butts and use it on the field…NOW! Laura, I can see this coming from you, but Tori? I am so disappointed in you! UGHHHH!" she starts to breathe hard.
Her speech causes the Burning Rubies to stop in their tracks as well. Tori and Laura look at her with astonished eyes; they get up and brush themselves off.
Samantha holds a hand to her mouth and Freddy simply blinks. It takes TJ to break the silence.
"Um, can we get back to the kickin' game? I was havin' fun!"
Tori concedes and closes her eyes, "Fine, let's win this challenge ladies." She holds her hand out to Laura. Laura looks at her hand for a second and groans. "I am SO done with this," and she shakes Tori's hand firmly. She smirks and runs off, confusing the others, until they see the net moved with the ball in the netting.
She laughs victoriously, "We got a point!"
Blaise blows the whistle, "Point for the Iced Diamonds!" Marsha narrows her eyes, "If you blow that thing one more time in my ear, you'll be just like how my ex would have been!"
Samantha starts with the ball and kicks it with best efforts. Cole cheers on the sidelines for her, cheering for the Iced Diamonds as well. Paul relaxes as he sees the girls playing well together. Cole looks at his relief and pats him on the back.
"It'll be alright dude. Just hang on." He says comfortably. Paul nods and sighs.
"Yeah, I know, but I think I've come close to who I want…there's just one thing I'll have to do first."
Robin watches the game of stealing the soccer ball with interest; he hadn't ever seen the girls compete this way, determined not to let the Rubies score. If he must say, he's proud of Laura and Naomi; Laura has been proving herself in each challenge lately and Naomi has been a player since the beginning.
He didn't notice the figure approaching him. The figure sits next to them in a nice, sensible silence.
"I've come to the conclusion of respect for you," they say. Robin turns to the figure, to see Adaliah staring intently at him. He doesn't back down.
"This is what I'm talking about, you're not afraid. And I can respect that." She clears her throat, "And to tell you the truth, that makes me uncomfortable."
Robin shoots his eyebrows up in surprise.
"Yes, that makes me nervous. I don't like anyone not being afraid of me. I need the fear; it keeps my appearances strong. I have to be feared…it's all I have." She says quietly. Robin couldn't believe that she was telling him this. They were on opposite teams; but he decided to make the weirdness normal by making a proposition.
"Don't think of this as an advantage for me but…would you like an alliance?"
Adaliah narrows her eyes, "Why?"
"I know we're on opposite teams, but soon we'll be in the merge and I—we'll need the alliance. I know Angel is out for me right now and soon she'll come after you. Plus…after what you just told me, I think we could become quite the interesting pair."
Adaliah raises an eyebrow, "Pair? You saw how that worked out for the pretty boy over there right?"
"I don't mean that kind of pair, I like guys anyway." He states. Adaliah processes this information with hidden glee.
"Well in that case…"
Marsha looked at her invisible watch and groaned. "This match is taking foreveeeeerrr!"
Blaise raises an eyebrow, "Marsh, you're not even wearing a watch."
"I don't care!" she snaps, "Can we end this now."
He puts his mouth on the whistle and blows as hard as he can, forgetting that Marsha was right there. She holds her ears and narrows her eyes.
"Guys! The game is over!" Blaise is gone in a flash. "Don't you run away from me you coward! Get back here so I can show you how to kick a soccer ball!"
Moments later, Blaise is kneeling slightly with an icepack on his kiwis. Marsha was fixing her hair and smiled at the teams.
"Since you guys tied in the 'soccer' game, I'm rewarding both teams points. However, the Iced Diamonds are still in the lead! Let's bid Tori goodbye for helping the Diamonds today in their match; we shall see her soon!"
Tori gives a small wave and leaves with Blaise to guide her to the luxury car that will take her home. She looks back at Paul and gives him an encouraging nod and a smile; she nods with respect at Laura. She further gives Angel the finger and turns around to leave. Angel's nose flares but she doesn't allow Tori's actions to get to her.
Marsha begins to speak again once Blaise returns. "The winners of today's challenge will be determined by our final challenge." Her Cheshire Cat smile is back into place.
Cole gulps slightly as he stares at the pit before him.
"Do we really have to do this?"
Marsha nods, "Yup," popping the 'p'
Adaliah smirks, "Let's do this."
Before them was a large pit of mud…mud they were about to get in.
"You two will be competing in a mudfight!" exclaims Blaise.
"You'll be changing into your swimsuits; and the first one to say "uncle" in the fight, loses."
The two nod and head for the changing area to change. Paul looks to Samantha, who already knows what's about to happen.
Cole and Adaliah come out at the same time.
Adaliah hops into the pit first hand; Cole reluctantly after her. Adaliah goes to one end while Cole goes to the other. Marsha, now in a bathing suit, has the whistle in her mouth. She takes it out and smiles.
"You guys ready?" Adaliah and Cole nod. Marsha blows the whistle signaling the fight to begin. Cole doesn't get the chance to prepare because Adaliah is right on him.
"That buffoon has no chance against Adaliah," gloats Yuan. Samantha glares, her cheeks aflame.
"He is buffoon, he is my boyfriend," states Samantha. Yuan scoffs.
"What's the difference?" TJ swats at him.
"Wan, stop bein' a meanie pie and callin' Cole a monkey."
He glares at Samantha, but he stays silent. Samantha finds this amusing and giggles.
Cole slips through the mud to get out of Adaliah's choke hold and jabs her by the kneecap. Due to it being slippery, Adaliah falls under without much trouble. Thinking he has her down, he tries to stand up straight. However, she grabs his ankle and yanks him in the mud as well.
Fully covered in mud, she drags Cole and swings him around in the pit. Catching his balance, Cole lands on his feet and kicks Adaliah down on her back.
"Think you can beat me, Cole?" she taunts. Cole tries to wipe some mud from his face.
"Actually, no," he responds, causing her to laugh. She spears his through the mud, splashing some of the teens, thankfully not Laura this time.
Blaise, however, was in the line of fire and is glaring. He takes the whistle from Marsha and blows loudly.
"Fight over! Adaliah clearly won, so get cleaned up so we can tally the scores!"
After the mud is cleared, Marsha stands with a grim line gracing her lips.
"It seems we have a problem; both teams tied as the winners. So we'll have to do a tiebreaker…"
Blaise steps up, "Who would like to volunteer."
A cleaner Cole steps up, "I'll do it, since I admitted losing to a girl."
Angel, again speaks out, "Let Samantha do it!"
The smaller girl looks out in surprise and walks up to Cole. Cole looks pained; he can't let Samantha go home!
Samantha looks pained towards him; she can't let him lose his chance at winning the money.
"Your challenge will be a skateboarding competition, so let grab the boards and gear up!" says Blaise. Marsha looks saddened as she watches the two put their gear on.
Samantha trembles as she places one foot on the skateboard, terribly afraid. Angel seems to enjoy this and smirks the entire time.
Cole puts his foot on his board and sees Angel's smirk; his blood boils.
"On the count of three, you guys will race through the park and back. Our winner determines which team wins. One!"
Cole sighs and closes his eyes.
Samantha trembles, she has to let Cole win.
Angel's smirk turns into a sneer as neither teen move their board.
"Um guys, three means go…" starts Marsha. She looks between the two and understands.
"I can't let her leave because of me." Cole says. Samantha's eyes widen.
"I can't let you leave because of me! Besides…" she starts, "I'd lose anyway…"
Cole gets off of his board and embraces Samantha. "Don't think that Samantha, don't ever think that I would sacrifice you for money." He turns to Marsha.
"I'd like to forfeit and leave." He says. Samantha gasps once again and steps up as well.
"I'd like to forfeit and leave." They both look at each other and smile….Angel, on the other hand, wasn't.
"We'd like to forfeit and leave." Marsha tears up and smiles, "Oh you two are so adorable! I can't believe I've become such a matchmaker!" behind her Blaise pretends to puke, making the others laugh.
"So I guess I'll send you both home. This means we have no winner, and Blaise and I will cook for you guys. Say goodbye to Samantha and Cole."
Paul gives Cole a brotherly hug and hugs Samantha gingerly.
Samantha walks up to Laura determined.
"You take care of this guy while we're gone, ya hear?" Laura looks at her shocked, but nods nonetheless. Samantha and Cole walk hand in hand with Blaise leading them to the airport. They look back and wave; and then they're gone.
Marsha smiles sadly at the group as she waits for Blaise to return. "After all the work you guys went through today, I thought it would be a great idea to do what I'm about to do; Samantha and Cole would have really enjoyed this." Blaise returned in record time and hooked his arm into hers.
She walks off with Blaise, who gestures for the contestants to follow them. After a small walk, they arrive at an open field behind a cottage; in the field were two large air balloons. The balloons stood proudly in their blue and yellow striped glory. Inside of them were two men smiling broadly with the string in their hands.
"I thought we could do a little sightseeing of Barcelona before we left…from the air! And I know we travel by jet, but it's not every day you can see the air by a hot air balloon." Marsha exclaims. Blaise nods with a smile and gestures towards the balloons.
"Marsha, Adaliah, Robin, Angel, and I will be in one balloon. Freddy, Yuan, TJ, Laura, Paul, and Naomi will be in the second balloon. When you're ready, hop aboard!" He grabs Marsha's hand and heads to the first balloon. Adaliah looks to Robin and nods; they both head to their balloon with Angel tagging along behind them moodily.
Paul smiles softly at Laura and grabs her hand. Laura looks at him and smiles back. Naomi giggles and skips along with Freddy hot on her tail. TJ doesn't have to drag Yuan this time because he is secretly as excited as she is openly.
Marsha watches as the groups assemble and signals for the men to lift them. In no time, the ground was becoming more and more out of reach.
Adaliah looked to Robin, who looked back. She gave him the smallest of smiles, as if it never existed. Robin couldn't figure the girl out, and he knows that she won't divulge any information unless she feels like it. However, he does respect her and for that he will be patient. Robin gives her a smile that tells her all she needs to know.
Freddy looks through the clouds at the approaching birds and sighs.
"This is like a scene from Super Smash Brawl in the clouds…except that we're in hot air balloons," he says. Naomi looks at him, her hands behind her back.
"I know something that will make this even better," she states. Freddy raises an eyebrow. "And what is that, my dear?"
She holds out a phone to his face; as the light begins to focus, a broken, distorted figure shows up on the screen: Five Nights at Freddy's 3. Freddy's smile widens farther than it could ever be. He looks to Naomi and hugs her tightly; then he kisses her fully on the lips passionately.
"You're the greatest girlfriend a boy can ask for!" he shouts, and Paul smiles from his part of the basket. The man holding the handle smiled at the young couple.
Angel glowers slightly in the back by herself as she watches Robin talk to Adaliah in the front of the basket. Adaliah is her alliance, not his. She'll be damned if she allows him to take Adaliah. She is a hard player to manipulate, thus she needs her on her side to compete. She gloats on the fact that she has gotten rid of Samantha, but Cole wasn't supposed to go with her! Cole was supposed to get mauled by her brother for making Samantha leave the show…UGH! Robin has got to go, she cannot allow her plans to get screwed over like this; this is her chance at victory DAMMIT!
Paul hugs Laura from behind, and she doesn't complain. He kisses the back of her head and says something in her ear.
"You've been doing great these past couple of challenges, amazing even."
She nods and smiles, basking in the praise. She hears him sigh and prays that it's not bad news.
"After seeing Tori again today, I thought it would be meant for me to follow the path with her at the lead."
Although he can't see it, she rolls her eyes and frowns.
"But I think I've found the path I'm willing to take." Surprised, Laura twists her body towards him.
"What did you just say?"
"I just said, I found the path I'm willing to take." He grabs her chin and smiles, "I choose you."
Laura smirks and turns her whole body around, joining their lips together with her arms around his neck. The feeling of electricity courses through her whole body; yes, this time he feels it too.
"Awwwww! Those two are cutie pies! I neva thought Lara would be a sweetheart, but ya learn every day!" says TJ. Yuan, standing beside her, nods. He doesn't have a voice to give his usual snide remark because looking at TJ's hair blow in the wind was a much better site than looking at the blind idiot and loud mouthed peasant go at it.
He clears his throat and snorts, "If you're interested in dramatized triangles that needed closure a long time ago."
"Dramuties?" Yuan slaps his forehead; Tonya should be very lucky he strongly cares for her.
Marsha sighs as she looks out into the blue skies turning into different shades of red. Below them, the multicolored buildings and terrain looked like a sponge-painted canvas. Blaise is behind her with his arm protectively around her waist. She leans back into the chest and he holds her tighter.
"How's the little man?" she asks.
"Ha…ha," he responds dryly, "I'm fine and this is no little man."
Marsha snorts, "Yea right."
"It was cold that morning by the lake!"
"No one told you to skinny dip." Blaise grumbles under his breath and places his chin in the crook of her neck.
"You know what's next, Marsh."
She sighs, "Yes, I know."
"You have to call them about it."
"I don't want toooo. I hate her."
"Yes, but we need her."
Marsha snorts, "I'll do it if I have to."
Blaise sighs, "If you call, I'll give you a massage when we board the jet." Marsha contemplates the idea, tapping her chin with her finger for good measure.
"You give a hard bargain there….fine, I'll call."
He smiles in her hair and looks out to watch the sun start to set. The balloons float in the sky over the Catalonian fields, bringing the Total Drama contestants and their hosts to a nice end of the day.