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no sleep for the
Grace felt that she was constantly stressed these days. Of course, her life had been stressful from the moment Le Cirque Noir began, but it had never been like this. There had never been someone else grabbing at power, someone else getting close to Sombre. There had never been anyone else close to Sombre before Lucifer arrived.@Lorne Carter
Being this stressed made her distracted. She should have been paying attention to rehearsals, watching everyone's practice with nit-picking detail, making everything as perfect as it could be. But she was spending more time in her head, more time wondering what happened between Sombre and Lucifer during their meetings.
Grace was supposed to be watching the aerialists, and she finally began to just as they were finishing. She blinked a few times before giving a curt nod. "That looked great," she said, absently. She trusted her performers. She didn't really feel the need to breathe down their necks, but at the same time–
"Could you run through it again?" she asked, though there was enough of a tone in her voice to imply it wasn't exactly a question.
Suddenly her tone shifted and she requested the start again. In any other situation this would be the exact moment where Lorne's attitude got the best of him, after working so hard only to be absently acknowledged before being made to begin again. Instead he was flooded with another rush of concerns; So it had been bad. Or maybe it was just little things? Was it him?
He jumped to attention before letting his breath catch up and was already on his mark as everyone began to move to their places. The routines began again, and he pushed himself once more, attempting to focus on every action, muscle and movement, as to not disappoint. And as he got wrapped up in concern, his movements became a bit too stiff. He was losing the necessary fluidity needed as he focused too hard on not messing up. The irony was not lost on him as he failed to complete a simple maneuver he had done countless times before.
no sleep for the
Grace paid a bit more attention to the routine this time, making a few notes in a small book, mostly lighting cues that needed adjusting, but also a few things the performers might need to work on, some suggestions for the acrobats' director.
“Thank you, everyone,” she said, a hollow pleasantness ringing in her voice. She was doing what she could to keep the whole circus from seeing how stressed she was, how badly all of this mess with Lucifer and Sombre was effecting her. She would keep a smile on her face and wave the performers off to do what they liked before that evening's performance. Just as Lorne was passing her, she reached out, calling, “Lorne?” When he looked at her she asked, “Could you wait a moment?” She smiled politely and waited, then walked over to him.
She place a hand on his shoulder, making eye contact with the performer. ”Are you alright? You seemed a bit off your mark just then.” She didn't mean to be insulting, and she always tried to take care of her performers, but it was especially important now. None of the shows, not a single act in the Spec Show could have a single flaw.
He slowly moved over to her, not particularly excited about the conversation. She placed her hand on his shoulder and he was unsure whether it was comforting or intimidating. He settled on both as he matched her gaze. She addressed his mistakes and he felt his usual defensive attitude show on his face, but the words caught in his throat. He wondered how overwhelming these rehearsals were becoming for her and what it is she'd actually been dealing with behind closed doors. He swallowed and dropped his head a bit, "I'll be sure to practice that section with Graham." his tone was somewhere between disappointed and irritated, but it was almost entirely aimed at himself. Something about grace turned him back into the 16 year old boy who couldn't stick a landing, and he hated that.
no sleep for the
Grace would have been disappointed, to say the least, to hear that the performers were actually worrying about her. She worried about them, often, whether it was in regards to their acts or their personal lives, but she never really thought of them worrying about her. She was, for all intents and purposes, their boss, and they had no reason to waste their time with concern for her. She was able to take care of herself.
Or she was supposed to be, anyway.
Lately, of course, with Lucifer and all that he was trying to change, she had found herself less and less able to to hold it together, and she felt her composure was beginning to falter.
She would hate to know that he could see that, even the least bit.
“Of course,” she said, her smile staying softly on her lips. She didn't worry that Lorne wouldn't work hard. He was one of the more dedicated performers, and that was among a group that was overall more dedicated than much of the circus.
“If you need a break, or some time off though, you know you can always ask, right?” She never wanted to overwork anyone, aside from herself. She knew an exhausted performer was just as bad as one who hadn't rehearsed at all, and she allowed them to take breaks from time to time, so long as the show could carry on without them.
Perhaps there was a part of her that hoped Lorne would tell her that no, he was fine, but she could take a break, if she wanted–if she needed.