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Pride: Your Way

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March 7th, 2018
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a dancer with music will perform.

Lupe and Mia looked at each other.

“Ready to start the year?” Lupe asked.

“With you by my side. Always.” Mia smiled back.

The team started practices following their co-captain sisters.
----- ----- -----

Aunt Isabel was giving her closing statements for the workshop when Simon yelped.

“What?” Zoe hissed, embarrassed.

“Pemberly Academia is coming to St. Mary”

“Wait, wait, wait Like the school with the all-star basketball team?” Sofi shrieks.

“Which was founded by designer Paco Jamandreu?” Martín asks from the corner.

“Class dismissed.” Aunt Isabel comments before walking out.

“Yes. Yes to all that.” Simon says, looking at his phone.

“What for?” Lupe asks.

“They--- they had some last-minute refurbishing that requires their students to be dispersed amongst local boarding schools.” Simon gasps out.

“Breath, Simon. So some super talented athletes are coming to our school. So what?” Zoe rolls her eyes.

“So our school will be on the news. Possibly more than once.” Lupe says, grinning.

“Let’s talk to Dad,” Mia replies.
----- ----- -----

“Yes, some of the Pemberly school is joining us,” Ramiro says, looking at the two girls sitting across from him in his office.

His two girls who couldn’t look less alike any more than they act alike.

“Dad, we’re going to need more information,” Lupe demands.

He folds his hands together.

“How long are they staying?” Mia suggests.

“A semester.”

“Are they playing for us or them?” Lupe wonders.

“That hasn’t been decided yet. The team may end up being split up.”

“Why are they remodeling when school is coming back?” Mia asks, curious.

“Girls, I’ve given you as much information as I can. Shouldn’t you be focused on settling in for the semester?”

“Yes, dad. Thanks again for letting us room next to each other.” Lupe says, kissing her father.

The girls leave. Lupe looks at Mia. Mia is confused about why Lupe has a suspicious expression.

Chapter Text

Chapter 1

March 12th, 2018

Lupe and Mia had been asked by Ramiro to welcome their new guests the best way they knew how. By dancing. The girls decided Mia was best for showing the individuality of Saint Mary.

https://youtu.be/z7V78vAi2B8

“What just happened? Was that for real?” Olivia scoffs.

“I liked it,” Tobias says watching the dancers group up.

“Come on. That was sad.”

“It was passionate.”

“Passion won’t win nationals,” Juanma comments, frankly.

“Excuse me,” Lupe asks. “What did you say about my team?”

Juanma turns and faces the raven-haired girl head-on.

“I said passion won’t win nationals.”

“And what would a basketball player like you know about nationals?”

Juanma’s face closes off a bit. Ramiro hears the commotion.

“I’ve been to the competitions. Trust me, that’s not going to win.”

“I’d appreciate it if you dispersed. The girls were welcoming you to the school. Clap and go to class.”
----- ----- -----

“That was rude.” Lupe fumes.

“It was. But did you see the other guy?” Agus sighs.

“He was cute.” Mia acknowledges.

“He was beyond cute,” Sofi says.

“Girls, do you mind grabbing us seats. I want to be in the center of class.” Lupe says.

Sofi and Agus walk off.

“Mia do you have something to tell me?”

Mia turns to deny anything but sees the expression on her sister’s face.

“Ok, the other guy was cute.”

“He’s friends with the person who insulted us.”

“We don’t know that they are friends per se. And it wasn’t so much an insult as a comment.” Mia cuts herself off because Lupe is about to seethe. “But the cute one said we were passionate. You know how much I want my art to reach people.”

Lupe nods. That was Mia’s biggest concern whereas Lupe wanted to win.

“Okay. I think you’re too nice but I’ll give the guy a chance to show himself better than his acquaintances.”

“That’s all I ask. It’s not like I want you to ask the blond for pointers.”

Lupe’s eyes bulge and Mia pulls her forward to class. Then stops abruptly.

“Mia!” Lupe shrieks as she bumps into her.

“Uh, you’ll be able to start forming that opinion now.”

Lupe looks around her and sees the “cute one”. She grins and marches right up to him.

“Where does your friend get off saying that about the Go! team?”

“Uh, hello.”

“Yes, hello. Tell me.” She crosses her arms.

“Well, Juanma is really opinionated. Sometimes he keeps it to himself. Sometimes he doesn’t.” He glances past Lupe at Mia. “I think you guys are good though.”

“Good? Good is not enough. We are nearly sensational thank you very much.”

“Okay.” He agrees.

“My name is Mia. The angry one is my sister Lupe.” She says, stepping next to his desk.

“Nice to meet you, Mia and Lupe. I’m Tobias.”

Lupe hums.

“And your friend, Juanma was it? How close are you two?”

“Pretty close. We’ve been friends since we were kids.”

“Same,” Mia says, then laughs. “Not me and Lupe but our Go! team. Most of us have known each other forever.”

Lupe sighed internally.

“Class.” The teacher calls.

“I can’t wait to meet them.”

Mia smiles.

“I hope you can forgive Juanma.”

Lupe grimaces.

“I would be able to forgive him if he had insulted anything besides my team.”
----- ----- -----

“Juanma, you insulted them,” Tobias says.

“Better for them to be insulted at their school than laughed off the national stage.” Juanma comments without looking up from his plate.

Olivia starts laughing.

“Juanma that’s too much. They wouldn’t get laughed off. They just wouldn’t make it that far.”

“Well, I think they would be amazing. The lead girl has great stage presence.”

Olivia and Juanma look at Tobias.

“Okay I might not know much about dancing and singing but I liked it.”

“Oh, they’re exiting the food line. Quick, Tobias do you want the blond or brunette? Y’know got to make sure Juanma doesn’t fall for the wrong girl.” Olivia says with emphasis at the end.

Juanma looks at her disgusted.

“The blond,” Tobias answers with a dopey grin.

Olivia shakes her head at her brother.

“Girls, come sit with us.” She waves them over.

Mia looks at their friends then Lupe.

“If you want to go ahead,” Lupe says, apathetic.

“Lupe, Mia come sit with us.” She repeats.

Lupe is thankful her father hates eye-rolling or else she wouldn’t be able to control herself.

“How does she know our names?” Lupe whispers to Sofi and Agus.

“Can we sit with them?” Mia asks.

“Fine. But you’re sitting next to Juanma. I want the “cute one”.”

Mia looks heartbroken.

“To sit by.” Lupe corrects herself.

“Are they going to sit or what?” Olivia mutters.

“Ciao,” Zoe says, smiling.

“Hi,” Mia says sitting between Juanma and Olivia.

“Hi.” Tobias returns, smiling.

Across works too, Lupe thinks.

“So you’re dancers?” Olivia asks.

“We are,” Mia answers, cheerfully.

“I used to dance. We won nationals when I was a sophomore.”

“But Pemberly doesn’t have a team.” Lupe blurts, confused.

“We transferred last year.” Tobias provides.

“Oh, I know! I’m going to have a get together this weekend. So we can all get to know each other.”

Juanma makes eye contact with Lupe. She narrows her eyes at him and looks away.

“Isn’t it a bit early to party?” Lupe asks.

“I don’t think it is,” Tobias says. “What about you, Mia? Feel like a party?”

“Always.”

And we’re lost, Lupe thinks.

----- ----- -----

Lupe: Tobias is not so bad. Juanma is to be ignored. But does Go! Need something?

Juanma: Can the teachers announce their decision about Basketball yet?... Lupe has nice eyes.

Mia: I hope Lupe like Tobias.

Tobias: Mia

Zoe: They are all overreacting.

Simón: Everyone is so cute!

Olivia: Will Juanma dance with me?

Sofi: where are the cutest basketball players?

Agus: Whatever Sofi is thinking.

Martín: Go! Costumes are much more important than Pemberly gang.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

March 12th, 2018

“So Mia do you like him?” Zoe asks at Go!

“He’s sweet.”

Zoe raises an eyebrow.

“Do you like him?” She repeats with emphasis.

“Maybe.” Mia giggles. “I haven’t even known him a day.”

“Either way. Maybe you should be less you about it.”

“Excuse me?” Lupe says coming to her sister’s defense.

“I think what Zoe means is Mia should flirt,” Simon explains.

Sofi and Agus start laughing.

“Mia? Flirt?” Martin asks incredulously.

“Yes, flirt. How else would he know she likes him anymore than a stranger? She’s too bubbly with everyone for him to tell a difference.”

Mia looks downcast.

“Whatever Zoe. Would you ever do that?” Lupe asks.

“If necessary.” She replies as Aunt Isabel walks in. “I hope he realizes how you feel.”

“Class is starting. Team start stretching while I look at Martin’s concepts.”

“Yes, ma’am.”
----- ----- -----
March 13th, 2018

“Juanma and Lupe.”

Stupid mixed second and third year elective, Lupe curses.

“Hi.” Juanma says, sitting down.

“Hi.” Lupe says, checking herself in the mirror.

“I’m, um, surprised you don’t want Olivia to have her party.”

And I’m surprised you speak.

“It’s not like we didn’t have the summer to party. And Go! needs work.”

Juanma pauses in setting up his multi colored pens.

“Right. Tobias mentioned you might have been upset by what I said.”

“Oh, no. I love when people criticize things they know nothing about. Especially when it’s my art and friends who have been working so long and hard at something.”

“I told you, I’ve been to the competitions. I’m not just saying it.”

“Fine. How about the fact that it was one performance meant to be informal with new members?”

“Um.”

“Exactly. Maybe wait until you have solid evidence that we suck.”

“That’s not...”

“Class dismissed.”

Lupe stalks out.
----- ----- -----
March 14th, 2018

“Why aren’t you rooming with Lupe?” Zoe asks again as Mis starts unpacking.

“Because we are sisters. And too much time together can put our lives at risk.”

“As if you could ever hurt anyone.” Simon says.

“SIblings bring out a different side.” Mia says, simply. “Plus we’re good friends aren’t we Zoe? Or would you rather I room with Sofi?”

“You’re my best friend after Simon. I could never let you submit yourself yo all that fangirling.”

“Simon fangirls.” Mia says confused.

“Fanboying is completely different.” He comments indignant.

They all laugh.
----- ----- -----

“Are you sure you don’t mind me rooming with you, Lupe? I can room with Sofi.”

“Agus, you are fine to room with me. My dad cleared the rooms with me a few days ago, when Mia and I decided not to room together. Unless you really want to room with Sofi. I can talk to him for you.”

“No, no. It’s okay.”

Lupe looks surprised at the outburst.

“Sofi and I are always together. Even she can get sick of me.”

“I’m always out practicing. Just don’t be too loud when I’m here.”

“Okay.”

----- ----- -----

“So Juanma what do you think of the school?” Tobias asks.

“I wish we weren’t rooming together.”

“This school isn’t as expensive so not having a bunch of extra rooms makes sense. We are kinda just taking over their school.”

“What with a couple dozen or so of us?” Juanma says as if he doesn’t know the exact number.

“I’m just glad they don’t have the same rules about co-ed in the dorms.” Olivia says.

Did she just disagree with me, Juanma thinks.

“Anyway, Juanma what do you think of our hosts?”

“I think it’s great that we have somewhere relatively close to go to school.”

“What do you think of the people?”

“Ramiro seems nice.”

For once Juanma isn’t sure where she’s going with this.

“What do you think of the daughters? I know Tobias is enraptured with one.”

“They are fine.”

“Really? Just fine. I saw you smiling at Lupe on the way to dorms.”

“Juanma smiled?” Tobias asks incredulously.

Juanma glares at his friend.

“I doubt I was smiling at her. I was smiling while looking in her direction.”

“If you say so.” Olivia singsongs.
----- ----- -----
March 17th, 2018
“Didn’t dad tell us to focus on school and Go! not socializing?” Lupe asks.

“I believe he wanted us to not gossip.”

Lupe glares.

“Either way, mandatory attendance for a party is insane.”

Mia isn’t going to correct her again.

“It’s mandatory? That’s so cool.” Sofi says.

“It’s not mandatory.”

 

“But you just said.”

“I was being extra. Dad just really implied he wanted Mia and I here.”

“Well it would have been weird if you weren’t at your own house.”

“Agus is right. Anyway, we’re going to go see if we can get this party trending online.” Sofi says, pulling Agus away.

“Trending. Trending is good.” Lupe comments to herself.

“Can we go say hi to Tobias?”

“Mia, you can go say hi to him. You’re almost a grown woman.”

Mia looks unsure. Lupe pushes her 3 feet forward and walks away. She’s proud until...

“Lupe!” Juanma says as they nearly bump into each other.

Her eyes narrow instinctually.

“Hello.” She says coldly.

Juanma bows in reply.

Hahaha. Did he just bow?

“I’m sorry. That was strange. I’m not sure why I did that.”

“Shouted my name or bowed?”

“Bowed actually. Um, the shouting was from surprise. You looked lost.”

“I was congratulating myself.”

“On?”

Lupe starts to gesture towards Mia but remembers she doesn’t like this fool.

“On my house being so beautifully decorated.”

“Oh, did you do it yourself?” He asks, seeming genuinely curious.

“No, I didn’t have time but Martín asked Olivia and I for final say. It’s about 30% my brain child.”

“Nice.”

“Anyway. I have to talk to Zoe.” Lupe lies to get away.

Did Juanma and i just talk like normal humans? Was Juanma a normal human? She remembers the bow and shakes her head.

“Did you and Juanma fight again?” Zoe asks.

Guess she came to find me.

“No. Why do you ask?”

“Because he is standing rather aimlessly on the edge of the dance floor. Did you make fun of his dance skills?”

“No.” Lupe huffs. “We had a pleasant conversation, made strange only by him bowing.”

“Boy likes you.”

Lupe stares at Zoe like she has a third head.

“Come again.”

“Boy. Likes. You.”

“And where did you get that from?”

“The bowing, it seems socially awkward. Like he doesn’t know what to do around you? And can there be another reason he’s talking to Mia right now?”

Lupe looks and Mia is talking to her enemy.

“Everyone talks to Mia. Anyway, how can you be a bad dancer as a coordinated basketball player?”

“Looks like we are about to find out.” Zoe says as Mia leads Juanma to the dance floor.

“Hmm. I wonder what mixes Gaspar has for music today.” Lupe says, trying to be unbothered.

Juanma could have another reason to talk to Mia.

https://youtu.be/IrxKEKaa4ho

------ ----- -----

Lupe: Juanma isn’t going to get in Tobias’ way, right?

Juanma: It’s not like I’m scared of Lupe. She just wouldn’t want to dance with me.

Mia: This is weird.

Tobias: Mia has such fun.

Olivia: Who doesn’t like a blonde?

Zoe: Not who she was supposed to flirt with.

Simón: Things are getting interesting.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3

March 17th, 2018

"Lupe. Walk with us!" Olivia yells grabbing her arm with the one she has free.

"Do I have a choice?" Lupe asks and nods towards Juanma on the other side of Olivia.

She gives a polite laugh.

"Juanma what do you think of Lupe's dress?"

Juanma looks surprised. He's not really asked for fashion opinions often.

"The ruffles are a nice detail."

"Agus was going to wear this same dress, wasn't she?" Olivia asks.

Lupe grins. Where did she even hear anything like that? Eavesdropping.

"Yeah but Agus chose hers this morning. She told me to wear mine."

"That's nice of her." Juanma says, confused.

"Oh, Juanma darling, it's not like guys wearing white shirts with jeans. 6 of you could and not even blink an eye. In fact that may be happening now. But with girls, picking the right outfit and looking nice is so important and difficult to accomplish. If your friend can find the perfect dress, giving yours up for her would be a huge sacrifice."

For forcing me into a party of three I didn't want to join, this girl sure knows how to make me sound horrible.

"Well then I'm sure Lupe is appreciative of Agus."

"I sure am. I need to greet my dad."

"What do you think of these sisters now that you've seen their lifestyle, Juanma?" Olivia asks the moment Lupe is out of earshot.

"I like their place. It's not huge like your house. And not a museum like mine. So you can actually see your family in a day."

"Nothing else? What of their class, Juanma?"

"Their class? It's 2018. What do we care about class?"

"Some still care, Juanma. Some do." And she walks away.

Good riddance.

Martín smiles to himself.
----- ----- -----

"Come on, girls. Dance off!" Olivia says, pulling them.

Maybe she's so aggressive because we're her only friends. That's kinda sad, Lupe thinks.

https://youtu.be/XLMZVH9zBpA

Everyone gasps.

----- ----- -----

She didn't even sprain anything. Lupe thinks looking around Mia's room.

Tobias almost carried her back to the dorms until dad pointed out we do have rooms here. So he carried her upstairs instead.

Facepalm.

"Do you need anything?" Tobias asks.

"Guys, I'm okay." Mia says, putting pressure on the ice Juanma thought to grab.

"Sure. Until you go to practice on Monday and fall again." Olivia says.

Lupe sits up at that.

"Wait. She's our best performer." Agus says.

"No offense, Lupe." Sofi adds.

Lupe shrugs in acknowledgment. She's more technical anyway.

"We need her." Agus continues.

"And she'll perform m. If you let her rest." Olivia commands.
----- ----- -----
March 21st, 2018

Evidently that means sitting with the Bingley siblings and nightly visits to check in. With Juanma involved for some reason.

He's not so bad. After several semi awkward conversations.

Olivia stated she feels mostly at fault for choosing the music. Tobias is concerned. Dad insists that I stay right next to Mia when I can.

Even Gaspar stopped by her dorm on a school night to check on her. I left as soon as I could. Somehow, dude's a snake.

Mind you, she didn't really get hurt. I know my sister. This is starting to annoy her. I need to put a stop to it.

"Dad this is ridiculous. Mia has fallen before. She didn't even cry."

"I know. But the two schools are united over this."

"Dad!"

"I'm a principal first at school, Lupe. And this us good for the school. Give it 2 more days, okay. Then it will be the weekend."
----- ----- -----

Well that was a bust, Lupe thinks stabbing her food.

"I know this isn't the time to say this but the dance you and Mia did was inspired." Juanma comments, glanninc at her plate.

"It's fine. Mia is okay. I'm upset for a different reason." Lupe whispers back.

Placing - https://youtu.be/r8KUeSCIR-E

"And that would be?"

"None of your business." Lupe says and winces. "Sorry, that was rude."

"No. You're right. We haven't known each other a fortnight."

Lupe raises her eyebrows.

"2 weeks. We haven't known each other 2 weeks. You don't have reason to tell me your inner thoughts."

"Anyway, tell me more about how you liked our dance. How it dazzled you."

"I said, inspired." Juanma smiles. "I couldn't look away."

"So you could look away from her first performance?"

"Can we forget the fact that I was so Frank the first time we met?"

"I'll try. Go ahead."

"Mia's performance on the first day was large but yours was commanding. It told a story. Maybe it's because I simply know you both better but it brought out your personalities. It would win regionals for sure."

"I'll consider your points."

Juanma smiles.

----- ----- -----

March 23rd, 2018

"They are playing for our school." Dad announces.

"Cool." Martín replies.

"Martín should join." Mia says.

"What?" He says surprised. "I'm an artist not an athlete."

"You've always been good at sports." Lupe argues.

"Yes but as a hobby. I've never been interested in a team before."

"We've never had a team before." Mia says.

"I think it would be beneficial for you." Dad says.

"Are you speaking as the principal or my dad?"

"As your dad. I love that you support the girls with Go! but you should have your own thing."

"My outfits is my thing."

"Yes but a thing separate from the girls."

"Hey." Mia and Lupe take issue with that.

"Don't you want your brother to make friends outside of yours?"

"Hey. They're my friends too."

"Sure." Dad says, unconvinced. The girls snicker.

"Wait, dad. Do we need a cheerleading team then?" Lupe asks.

"Dad, yes. We need a cheer team." Martín says.

"Are you already designing their outfits in your head?" Mia asks.

"Lupe we didn't talk about that."

"So this was planned. I knew it." Martín says.

"You'll be on the team with Juanma and Tobias." Mia comments.

"Hmmm. I'll try out. I like those guys."

Lupe is surprised.
----- ----- -----

Lupe: Go! might be a bit stale.

Juanma: she's interesting.

Mia: I don't like being catered but Tobias does it so sweetly.

Tobias: I'm glad Mia is better.

Martín: friends outside of my sisters' will be new.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4

March 24th, 2018

"So you'll do it?" Gaspar asks

"No. I can't believe you think I'd leave Go! and Mia."

"You can do both."

"I don't want to do both. Go! is my life. Mia is one of your closest friends. How could you do this to her?"

"Do what? We're just competing."

"You had no interest in national competitions before. For 3 years, you and Mia have been in a band. Even though I thought it interrupted her Go! practices last year, I let her do it because she needs a passion outlet. Now her close friend wants to rival her."

"I see. You're upset because you know we stand a chance."

"Gaspar, I know nothing about your team."

"But you know my talents. You know we can be competition especially if you lead us. Isn't that your dream, leading a team to nationals?"

"Yes. My team. I can't believe that you have other things to focus on, like your science but you would steal Mia's spotlight. Regardless we are getting off topic. I am not helping you organize your group."

Lupe leaves the room.

----- ----- -----

"Gaspar said we're putting the band on pause." Mia says, sitting on Lupe's bed.

"Did he tell you why?"

"No. He just said he would be really busy soon."

Lupe hates him. She really hates him.

"Mia, I have to tell you something."

Mia looks at her with those doe eyes.

Bite the bullet, Lupe thinks.

"Gaspar is starting a team to put into regionals."

"No way."

"Yeah. He asked me to help him."

Mia doesn't answer.

"Are you mad? It's okay to be mad."

"I'm not mad. I just thought he would tell me something like that. Not tell you and only you."

"Were you that good of friends then?"

Mia tells her all about him helping her cheer up.

https://youtu.be/2AqMXYve6I4

----- ----- -----

March 26th, 2018

Today the tryouts for the basketball and cheerleading teams were being held.
The coach from Pemberly had been transferred to St. Mary while the remodel was underway, which only made Juanma more certain that becoming Captain was a lock.

He stood in front of the potential players seated in the bleachers before him.

"I have seen some of you play before, but that doesn't mean you get to phone it in here. What you've done before doesn't matter. What matters is how you play here. So first we'll do some form shooting drills and then you'll scrimmage."

Juanma pursed his lips a bit, he appreciated that the coach knew he was an exceptional player. But at the same time, he seemed to go too easy on the players. Light scrimmage wasn't going to get anyone driven.

Still, he was going to give it his all. He paid close attention to the coach's instructions during the form shooting. It didn't matter what the coach asked of him, he was able to execute it perfectly.

He noticed Lupe's brother was trying out. During the scrimmage, they were on the same team. Juanma noted that they played well together. He was having a lot of fun playing with his large grin, and since they were winning Juanma didn't mind.

Tobias couldn't help but wish Juanma had more fun. Winning was nice, but this was still the game they played in hits backyard when they were kids. He liked playing with Símon. He was definitely new to the game and could use some practice, but he definitely had some potential. He hoped that he would still make the team, though that Sasha guy was kind of a beast.

The coach whistled and nodded. "Alright guys, good work out there today. I'll post the team list later this week."

Tobias walked up to Símon, "Hey, if you want we can play together. You played really good, I could just offer some pointers."

Símon smiled, "Sure. But you're not just trying to earn points with Mia, are you?"

His cheeks heated up, "What? No, of course not. I think you'd be a good fit for the team."

Símon nodded. "Yeah alright. But it wouldn't hurt your chances with Mia." He pat his shoulder with a smile as he headed to the shower.

Tobias was happy to have gotten her friend's approval, but now he just wanted to see her again. Maybe he could see her at cheerleading tryouts?

Juanma joined him in the locker room. "Alright, once we make the team we can go over plays. Summer's over."

----- ----- -----

Martina stood in front of the girls. She smiled softly. "So, I was captain at Pemberly and I'm really excited to bring cheerleading to St. Mary! I think you guys will be amazing. So let's get up and do some stretches."

Lupe stood up and went to stand with Agus and Sofi. They helped each other with leg stretches and looked at the others auditioning.

Sofi grinned. "Ooh. Look at cute guy hanging around."

Agus chuckled, "I bet he thought that Mia was gonna be here."

Lupe rolled her eyes, "This is a closed practice. We weren't ogling the jocks. Now focus girls. Forget he's there."

Martina waved at Tobias, "Don't be shy! We have another slot on the sign up sheet."

That made his cheeks red enough for him to make him leave. Juanma hadn't said anything about Martina being at St. Mary… but knowing him he might never.

Martina smiled, "Okay. So watch me and then do what I do, alright?"

It was a simple routine that she modelled twice for them. Lupe was pretty unimpressed and already thinking of ways to dress up the choreo, but she couldn't do that here. There were some spins that caused a few of the girls to fumble, but Lupe was able to pull them off fairly flawlessly.

Once practice ended, Martina clapped. "You guys were awesome! That routine was pretty tough for my last squad and you did great! I'll post the results Friday!"

Lupe made a face.
Lupe: That routine was hard for her last squad? Do we even stand a chance for nationals if that was her A material?

Sofi wrapped her arms around Agus and Lupe. "After we freshen up, let's grab some ice cream! We earned it."

Lupe nodded. "Sounds good to me."

----- ----- -----

March 28th, 2018
https://youtu.be/oj7a1An7lV0

"What is the most passionate thing you've done?" Lupe asks her sister in the courtyard.

"A sit in." Mia says confidently.

"Mia a sit in at age 7 doesn't count."

"A sit in is the single most passionate thing after a hunger strike."

Lupe just stares at her.

"Look." Mia plops herself down on the ground. "You can't ignore me."

"I could walk away."

"And with every step you take you know I'm sitting here because I believe in something."

"Do you believe in the answer to my question?"

"That this is the most intense thing I've done?"

"Passionate but sure."

"That word feels overused. Yes I believe in it."

"Did you stop to ask me why I want yo know?"

"Uh."

"What's going on here?" Juanma asks coming up with Tobias.

"Well, I wanted to talk to Mia about doing a math up against---"

"Are they bothering you?" A dark haired guy asks Mia.

Lupe sees Juanma's face flare up at bois appearance.

"I was asking my sister about doing a mash up against each other for nationals and she did this before I could get there." Lupe explains to both guys.

"You want to go against each other?" Mia asks from the floor.

"Stand up, Mia." Lupe says laughing.

"Fine." Mia stands. "Tell me more."

----- ----- -----

Lupe: Cheer and Mia will help Go!

Juanma: What is Alvaro doing here?

Mia: This will be fun.

Tobias: Mia is adorable.

Álvaro: double pretty.

Martín: Mia is definitely a pure white personality.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5

March 28th, 2018

"This is my friend Alvaro. He'd like to try out for Go!" Gaspar says walking in with the guy from earlier.

https://youtu.be/ezAP793eo3I

During the song, Lupe misses Gaspar talking to Zoe.

----- ----- -----

"So you're friends with Gaspar?" Lupe asks Álvaro after leading him to his locker.

"No. I literally met him on the way to Go! I think that was a joke about helping me find the workshop. Thanks for letting me in by the way."

"It's not really letting you in when you are talented. We need more guys. For some reason, guys aren’t really interested in joining. Might be scared of me?

“You don’t seem scary.”

Lupe smiles.

“That’s sweet of you to say. But you don’t know me.”

“I knew you within 2 minutes of meeting you. It’s like I’ve known you my whole life.”

“Player.” Lupe laughs.

“It was worth a shot. All jokes aside, I’m sure you just very much care about your team. Some people can’t handle that. I can.”

“I’m glad you can. So what’s the problem between you and Juanma?”

“Oh, right. Um, we got in a fight before school was out last year. He must still be upset.”

“You go to Pemberly Academia?”

“Uh, last year. I transferred because it wasn’t really my scene. I’m the grandson of the secretary. Some people didn’t’ appreciate that.”

“Juanma?” Lupe guesses.

"The Bingleys. Though they see his friends so who knows."

Lupe gasps.

"Tobias doesn't seem classist."

"He's not as bad as his sister but it's there."

"Oh." Lupe stores that knowledge away for later.

"Lunch?" Alvaro asks.

----- ----- -----
March 30th, 2018

"Hi." Juanma says, sitting down.

"Hi." Lupe says coldly.

"What now?" Juanma asks, exasperated.

"Alvaro."

"What about him?"

"He says you looked down on him for being the secretary's grandson."

"As if I could care about that."

"Well then, what about the fight last year?"

Juanma sighs.

"He told you a list of complaints?"

"No. Just the two. What do you have to say about the fight at the end of the school year? Are there more complaints?"

"Only that the fight was at the beginning of the school year, he started the fight and the rest is none of your business."

"Fair enough."

"Can we design our house now?"

Lupe states at him.

"For our economics project."

"Yeah, right. Before we start,"

"Yes?" Juanma questions.

"Can you come to Go! practice to see our performance? I'd like your input. As long as you don't mind being in the same room as Alvaro that is."

"Yeah. I'll come by. He can't keep me away."

Lupe blushes.

----- ----- -----

Lupe told Mia everything both Alvaro and Juanma said. Mia could believe everything except that Tobias cared about money. Olivia sure,, but not Tobias.

Lupe shrugged and said family isn’t that different. Mia gestured between the two of them. Lupe laughed and agreed could be okay even as Olivia’s brother.

Mia said she was going to show her style. Lupe didn't know what she meant.

https://youtu.be/cNCNJ3OSnYU

Well, now she did.

----- ----- -----
April 2nd, 2018

"Lupe. I need to talk to you." Zoe says.

"Sure. What's up?"

"I'vebeensneaking offtohelpGasparwith his team." Zoe says all at once.

"Again but slowly."

"I've been sneaking off to help Gaspar with his team."

https://youtu.be/0McjXjQW7wM

"Okay. Why?"

"I haven't been feeling creatively challenged with Go!"

Lupe takes a deep breath.

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault." Lupe says. "He asked me first. I haven't been letting people add to the plan for the workshop. Do you want to work together?"

"Yes, I do."

----- ----- -----

April 9th, 2018

The housing project got an A-.

Lunch is a juggling act. Sometimes Lupe sits with Mia, Bingleys, Martin, and Juanma. Other days are Alvaro, Simon, Zoe, Sofi and Agus. This is a Alvaro, Sofi and Agus day.

"Thanks for showing me around this weekend, Sofi and Agus."

"You’re welcome." Sofi says, twirling her hair.

“Is that where you all were instead of my house practicing.” Lupe asks.

“I came for part of it.” Alvaro defends.

“I did practice for the show.” Agus says.

Lupe looks at them expectantly.

“She practiced make-up on me.” Sofi says beaming.

So you could look nice for Alvaro no doubt.

“I accept your apologies.”

“Did we apologize?” Agus asks Sofi.

“Just go with it.” Alvaro says. “Thank you. Lupe. How’s Martina and cheerleading going?”

“Cheer is going fine. It’s strange not being in charge but nice to experience the learning side again.”

“Were you and Martina close at Pemberly?” Sofi asks.

“Not particularly. She had a thing with Juanma at one point. We weren’t in the same crowd but she was always fun on the bus to games. She’d have us singing and things.”

“Juanma singing?” Agus asks.

----- ----- ----

Lupe: Martina and Juanma dated?

Juanma: when do Lupe and I next have class together?

Alvaro: did she buy it?

Mia: 3 out of 4 parts of regionals depends on me.

Zoe: I can’t believe I wasn’t his first choice. It is on. We are going to crush Gaspar.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

April 14, 2018

"Do you think he'll like it?" Mia asks.

"Mia, it's regionals. It's not about your boyfriend liking your performance." Agus says.

Everyone gasps.

"It is important but not as important."

"Oh, good. I thought you were becoming Lupe." Sofi says.

Lupe laughs with everyone else.

"Oh, no. She's so nervous she didn't hear the insult." Símon says.

"Even I know we only need 1 of me." Lupe says
----- ----- -----

Mia's solo - https://youtu.be/oJg9WEb8mlc
Símon and Zoe - https://youtu.be/2FTIbBI81hU
Mia and Lupe - https://youtu.be/quOOKkvxI5Y
Group performance - https://youtu.be/QIBkvY6BSaE

----- ----- -----

"Why wasn't he there?" Mia asks concerned.

"I don't know but I intend to find out."

And find out she would.

Lupe knocks on the boys' dorm room.

"Why were you not at our performance?" She asks the moment Juanma opens the door.

"Um, come in."

"I don't want to. But I won't make a scene in the hallway. Why weren't you and Tobias at the performance? Even Olivia could have come."

"The moment the Bingley parents found out they had no plans this weekend, they decided to visit."

"Why weren't they planning to attend our performance?"

"We didn't know if we were invited."

Lupe pauses.

"Oh. Yes you were invited. You've been helping. Wouldn't you want to see the result? And Mia wanted Tobias there." She hurries on.

"Noted." Juanma smiles. "I did pop in. Sorry I didn't stay to congratulate you all. I knew it was possible."

She raises her eyebrows.

"Lupe, you are to forget I said anything bad."

"Right, right. Of course. Do you want to join Go! for dinner since your friends are gone?"

"I'd like to. Thanks."

----- ----- -----

April 16th, 2018

The boys filed out of the locker room ready for that Monday's practice. Juanma was the first one out and had already started practicing layups.

Alvaro had been talking with Martín and a few of the other players. He commended them on their techniques and offered some advice. Since he joined the team he'd even invited a few players over from time to time to play video games and order pizza. He needed to make a good impression on the team. He needed the other players to like him.

He saw Juanma already on the court and ran up to him, smiling wide. "Hey! Good job. Wanna play me for a bit until coach gets here?"

All he recieved was a short glare as Juanma tossed him the ball and walked off to sit at the bleachers. It was expected, but compared to their last conversation it was progress.

The coach joined them and smiled at the players as they sat down ready to hear what drills they'd be doing.
"Alright, before we get started I just wanted to make an announcement. Our big game against Brighton is coming up and we need to come together and play hard. And I think that our new co-captains Juanma and Alvaro are up to the job!"

The other players pat the boys shoulders and cheered. Alvaro was pretty excited to hear it, but Juanma clearly wasn't.

The coach continued, "Alright, let's do some free throw drills. I'm not going to let us get sloppy and waste a foul!"

The boys all went to line up at the free throw line. Juanma went up to the coach. "Co-captain? This whole time I thought I was the captain? I'm the best player on the team."

Coach frowned. "I thought you might have thought that, but when I heard Alvaro was going to transfer I wanted to wait make the announcement. You two play well together and you'll make the team great."

"But I can do it myself."

"Look, you're a great player and you keep everyone on task, but Alvaro... he is really good at keeping the team together and getting the boys psyched. But Alvaro isn't as disciplined as you are. The team needs you both."

He was going to say more, but Juanma just followed the boys to finish the drills.

The rest of practice went smoothly, though Juanma was fairly quiet and focused only on playing. But that wasn't terribly out of character for him, so no one noticed.

After practice, everyone headed off to the showers, but Alvaro pulled Juanma off to the side. "Hey, wait a minute."

"What is it?"

"Well, we're on the team and we're both in charge. Come over tonight. It's been long enough."

Juanma frowned. "We have to play together. But I have nothing to say to you." He started walking to the showers, but paused. "We both know what happened."

Alvaro looked at him and frowned. He wanted to say more, but he couldn't. He sighed and just headed off to the shower.

Martín saw him and smiled. "Hey. Are we still hanging out at your place tonight?"

Any trace of sadness washed away and Alvaro was all smiles. "Of course! It'll be great. Just don't eat all the pizza this time."

"No promises."

Juanma looked at them with a look of slight concern.

----- ----- -----

"The Bingleys won't be coming back to school. They will be studying independently until Pemberly is fixed." Mia reads from her phone.

"From where?"

"From home." Agus guesses.

"Well then, they can visit." Lupe completes her point.

"Their parents hates our school and have banned them from even talking to Jaunma. This is basically a goodbye text."

Lupe stops Mia from slamming her phone on the table.
----- ----- -----

Lupe: we won regionals. And Juanma came.

Juanma: Tobias isn't coming back?

Mia: I'm happy. But I'm sad.

Tobias: I miss Mia already. She's even more cheerful than me.

Chapter Text

Chapter 7

April 24th, 2018

"What's going on with you and your mom?" Juana asks.

"What do you mean?"

"I met her this weekend."

"You met my mom like 2 months ago."

"That's Mia's mom."

Lupe panicks.

"My mom. You met my actual mom."

"Yeah. It turns out my mom knows her. She was shocked to find out I was going to this school out of all the choices."

"Because she looks down on this school." Lupe says bitter. "She was probably surprised it was allowed as a school for Pemberly Academia."

"It's a great school. My mom did forbid me from dating you though."

Lupe panicks again.

"Oh. Were we going to date?"

"Not likely."

"Wow." She says slowly.

"No. I mean, don't you hate me?"

"Why would I hate you?"

"For the first day of school."

"I've forgiven that. You helped with Go! after all. I just enjoy teasing you about it."

"What about Alvaro?"

"It's not my business and shouldn't affect our relationship. It does but it shouldn't. Why would I spend time with you if I hated you?"

"Because we have a class project." Juanma gestures at their notebooks.

"Then I would only spend time with you when necessary."

"Because of the Bingleys."

"Who are gone now."

"Also your dad could be forcing you to."

"Have you seen my dad interact with his children?"

"No." Juanma answers frankly.

"Oh. Well, we're not forced to do much. Anyway, why is our supposed romance forbidden?"

"Because your family is crazy."

Lupe's eyes widen.

"My mom's words, not mine."

"Somehow that's worse. How could you tell them to me?"

"I thought we had this laugh at the ridiculous vibe going on."

"Well, yes. But that wasn't ridiculous. That's actually how people feel about my family. Why does she think we're crazy."

"Because your mom left your dad and had a child with Mia's dad. She says it's nonsense straight out of a novella and those always go into the next generation. Hence the no dating rule." Juanma says honestly.

"Your mom thinks I'm going to be my mom one day!" Lupe hisses.

"Who cares what my mom thinks?"

"I don't but you probably do. I thought you were my friend but I guess not if you can repeat those cruel things to me. I can't work on the project right now."

Lupe gathers her stuff quickly and leaves.

----- ----- -----
Juanma: now she has reason to hate me.

Lupe: How can I ever look at him again?

Chapter Text

Chapter 8

April 25th, 2018

"Is it really that bad?" Mia asks. "Didn't you say he apologized today in economics?"

"It's my mom Mia. You know I hate thinking about what she did to me, my dad, to your mom."

Mia looks down.

"I mean, she hurt dad and had a child out of spite. And then abandoned said child. Who does that?"

"I don't know. I can't believe it happened.

"Martín exists because my mom is insane."

"Your mom's not insane. Love drove her to do a strange thing."

"Will love drive me to do anything like it?"

"Lup, no." Mia says, hugging her sister's head to her body. "You know, you'll never be Mercedes."

----- ----- -----
April 26th 2018

Lupe was glad they didn't have class together. She avoided Juanma like there weren't a limited amount of people in the school. But there was still class tomorrow.

April 27th, 2018

Juanma said hello to Lupe, handed her a piece of paper and left her alone to complete her part of the handout. Score.

She saved the letter for her dorm because she didn't trust herself in public.

To Lupe:

I'm sorry again for what I said. Apologizing in person wasn't enough.

It was stupid of me to think mentioning your mom for the first time was a good idea I hadn't known you were the story my mom told me as a child. That's worse. I'm sorry again. I'm sorry, now for anything I say in this note that hurts you. Or anything I say in life that hurts.

I'm not good at predicting the effect of my words. Our friendship, I hope we are still friends, began with bickering over one if my thoughtless statements. I believe I have grown since that time.

I'll continue to grow from being friends with you.

You've been curious about Álvaro. But he hasn't been honest with you. Neither have u to avoid the pain and confusion of last year.

Álvaro and I have known each other since infancy. We were best friends because we were all each other knew. When I met Tobias, I abandoned him. I'll admit it.

A few weeks into the school year, Álvaro convinced Fede and Nico to throw our first game. My cousins thought it was a prank. Álvaro did it out of hurt feelings. But that drove me further away. He had Martina and Fede to be friends with but not me.

I thought I had outgrown his childish ways. But it was childish of me to cut him out without a conversation.

I digress. We had reached a new normal.

That is until Fede and Álvaro blew up the chemistry lab after hours the first day of school. I'm not sure how it happened but I do know my cousin would never think of breaking into the school. At least not before they were close friends. Which is on me.

Reading over this, I realize that Martina and you are on cheer together. It occurs to me that you may have heard some things from Álvaro or Martina.

Martina was my first date and a middle school version of a girlfriend. We ate lunch together like once a week. We dated a month. Somehow that convinced them both and my mother that we were soulmates.

Martina still gets invited over for dinner randomly to try and convince me.

But since meeting you, Lupe, since you first narrowed those fine eyes at me, I am certain I'll never be convinced again.

Lupe laughs out loud.

----- ----- -----
Lupe: Juanma is in love with me?!

Chapter Text

Chapter 9

May 5th, 2018

"I've heard so much about you." A boy says, hugging Lupe.

"Fede, off." Another guy says.

Fede releases her but looks sad.

"Lupe, I'm sorry. Fede you need to build a friendship first or at least ask people before you hug them." Juanma provides.

"Okay."

"Fede as in cousin Fede?" Lupe asks glancing at Juanma.

"Oh, you've heard of me." Fede asks.

"Only nice things." Fede looks confused and Lupe laughs. "Juanma adores you."

"Ah, that's why you have no idea who I am." The other boy says.

"Cousin Nico." Agus answers confidently.

"Oh, I'm famous." Nico says, cheerfully.

"For the official introduction, Nico and Fede this us Lupe, Sofi and Agus. Girls, these are my cousins." Juanma makes the introductions.

"So what are you doing here?" Lupe asks linking Fede's arms with hers.

"Nico felt bad that Juanma was all alone." Fede whispers.

He has us. Well not really, I guess he is alone now that Tobias is gone.

----- ----- -----

May 10th 2018

Lupe gets close to Fede and Nico in the span of a weekend. By midweek, the boys are having dinner at school. Her and Juanma's relationship was shaky from the fight and weird from the letter. But her affection for the group continues to grow.

May 12th, 2018

Lupe looks at the beautiful building in front of her. The pillars, the alcoves, and the trees. Is that towers? Wow, is that a lake?

"Oh, yes. It was my dream to come back to high school while visiting my cousin." Nico says.

"Sorry, Mr. College." Juanma says.

"You said, you wanted to talk to..." Fede trials off as Juanma glares at him.

"Talk to who?" Lupe asks.

"I wanted to talk to you." Nico replies, smiling at Lupe.

"You had to come to Pemberly to talk to me?"

"If I wanted it to be private."

Juanma glares at him now.

"Nothing to worry you, dear cousin."

"What about Mia, Sofi and Agus?" Lupe tries to ignore the awkwardness.

"They are gone." Nico says, laughing.

Lupe glanced behind them, still expecting to see her sister and friends.

"They really went off without a guide."

"They can take care of themselves." Nico hold a hand it to slow them down. "My cousin however needs me."

Don't reply.

"What do you mean?" Her curiosity getting the best of her.

"Cant you just date Juanma already?"

"Nico!" Lupe hissed at him.

"Hey, it was worth a shot."

"It's not your business."

"He told me you can't forgive him."

"It's just weird now." Lupe pauses. "Why am I telling you this? We just met?"

"Because I'm a big brother type. And you're conflicted."

"A bit but you can't tell him I said that."

" Your secret is as safe as mine."

"You have a secret from Juanma and Fede?"

"No. But I trust you would keep it as well as I will keep yours."

Lupe whacks him.

They all continue to explore Pemberly Academia. Perks of connections.
----- ----- -----

"Is that Tobias?" Lupe asks, looking off where Mia is in the distance.

"It is. Juanma arranged for him to be here."

"I've got to see this." Lupesays, running to her sister.,

"My parents think the curriculum isn't hard enough. They want us to be challenged. Olivia for some reason thinks you're beneath us. I don't agree with any of it. You are the best person I've ever met!" Tobias says.

"Really?"

"I guess I didn't have to say all that."

"I don't care what they think. You think I'm the best person in the world?"

"I know it. Plus, you're my favorite person. Mia Cacares - Achával, will you be my girlfriend?" Tobias asks, getting down on one knee.

"Yes yes yes" Mia says, pulling him up and hugging him.

Juanma rolls his eyes but claps.

Lupe just cheers.

----- ----- -----

May 13th, 2018

https://youtu.be/YhxBxTX9TZM

Juanma wasn't expecting Lupe's aunt to ask him to join Go! That was cool. And would be weird but welcomed because he was getting lonely.

----- ----- -----

Lupe: Juanma CAN sing!

Juanma: Maybe I should talk to Alvaro.

Mia: I'm so happy.

Tobias: She makes me happy.

Zoe: I still can't believe Gaspar got into Nationals too.