Rachel Berry ★

Being a part of something special makes you special.

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44 [Accidental Video]
♪ What's the difference if I say?
[She's died. She's terrified of wandering Adstringendum alone and can't work up the nerve to go to her theatre after what happened there. She has yet to figure out what her death price is. Anna is gone from Adstringendum. And Rachel, who spends every waking moment of her time singing whenever things gets too much, isn't allowed to sing.

Luckily, she can dance. Which is exactly what she is doing, when the feed clicks on -- Rachel is at the dojo, in a corner of it, dressed in exercise clothing, sweating profusely as the music to one of the only working casettes she has working blasts out of the old boombox she has rigged into working. The choreography Rachel is using is directly from the original video and she is putting everything she has into replicating one of the most famous pieces of dancing in the history of music. After all, this is reportedly the best album of all time -- Rachel should do it justice.

But when she spins, she spins a little too quickly, and her feet catch together and, to her horror, Rachel falls squarely, yelping as she lands on her behind. She's still for a moment -- and the Van Halen solo kicks in -- and suddenly, Rachel darts to her feet and moves to a cloth dummy in the corner, and she begins punching it. As hard as she can, repeatedly, and she nearly knocks it over in her rush to pulverize the living hell out of the sparring dummy, perfectly in time to the bass of Michael Jackson's hit, before she punches it one last final time to send it to the floor with a dusty crash and a cough. But that isn't enough -- she kicks it hard enough to send it rolling into the wall, which shakes the PCD into shutting off.]

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[When the video turns back on, Rachel is sitting on the floor, with her back against the wall, staring at the dummy on the floor. She's breathing a little heavily and then --

Her foot kicks the dummy again, in a quick motion.]

I am not helpless.

[It's faint, whispery -- and Rachel kicks it again.]

I am not. I will not let them take anything else or anyone else from me.

... Miss Rachel...

[She's sitting on the floor now, kicking the dummy -- but each kick is getting a little weaker. She hasn't danced or sung in close to two weeks. Rebuilding her strength isn't going to come overnight.]

Ah! A-are you alright?

No, I am not alright!

[She's on the floor now, kicking the dummy -- over, and over, and over -- but each kick is getting weaker -- and her voice is shrill and it hurts to use her voice that way, but she doesn't care.]


[Her voice is getting hoarser and she's kicking the dummy -- thunk thunk thunk -- from her seated position on the floor, with tears in her eyes.]

[video, always video forever]

[Thomas merely raises an eyebrow at the 'performance' and when it shuts off, he hits reply with nothing more than the sound of slow applause.

What, for all he knows it's performance art.]

[ -- the applause stops her from kicking the dummy from her position on the floor, startled --

And she looks at the camera, eyes narrowed ever so slightly, with tear-stained cheeks and her chest heaving, almost... suspicious.

Is this person mocking her?]

That's more like it.

[This takes a moment or two to text, but -- ]

I can kickbox.

[There's an angel standing in the corner, Rachel, watching you like a creeper.]

[She's sitting on the floor now, just -- kicking the dummy on the floor. Over, and over, and over -- but each kick is getting weaker, and each controlled sob is getting quieter, and more choked -- and she shouldn't be exerting herself so much, but Rachel is having difficulty caring.]

[Ren watches the video for a long moment before replying quietly]

If you try to do too much after... injury you will only prolong your recovery.

I don't care.

[She's still kicking the dummy, though she's sitting down now -- exhausted. She hasn't danced or moved this much in two weeks, and for someone who spends a solid two hours exercising every morning in addition to constant upkeep, that is far too long.]

Your sense of rhythm is perfect.

[Softly, with a tiny smile.]

[ -- that stops her kicking the dummy. She pulls her legs up against her chest abruptly.]

It would have to be.

[A little quiet.]

[She stops kicking the dummy for a moment -- and Rachel is silent.]

... I can't sing yet. I'm not allowed.

[It seems like a really stupid thing to say, but Quinn knows Rachel enough to know that when Rachel can't sing, Rachel can't properly express herself. And with everything that has happened -- and one of her best friends leaving overnight -- Rachel not being able to sing about it has just been a ticking time bomb. Anna is the catalyst.]

You need to work on your stance a little, but you have some good bases to work from, Rachel-san.

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