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Flying Solo is the second chapter of Last Dance and was published on December 20th, 2017.

Synopsis

Amy and Piper's friendship reaches a crossroad when they are forced to decide which of them is going to go jump against Richelle and Lily for the female solo. Meanwhile, Ozzy is offended when not chosen for the male solo.

Chapter

Piper, Kenzie, Amy, Noah, Richelle, Jacquie, Ally, Finn, Ozzy and Josh stood around in studio 1. Smiles all plastered onto their silly little faces as they stretched for the upcoming day of practice, although, due to their advancement into nationals, they needed to think of something big to celebrate. Of course, the concept of changing the dance captaincy was yet to be thought of, because Noah was doing perfect, even if he did not think so.

With only four months, now officially three months and three weeks, as their time restraint before Nationals they needed to start with their teamwork immediately. Some dancers had already began to pitch some story ideas and plotlines that they could go with for their finals routine, if they were to make it that far.

Emily, Michelle, Giselle, Chloe, Eldon and Thalia slowly perambulated out of the office that was connected by studio 1 and smiled to their dancers greeting them with warmth and kindness. "Alright," Eldon began. "We need to get started and because we only have four men on our team, I have decided to just pick the dancer who will do the male solo." He began.  

The tension between the minorities in comparison to the teams statistics were brewing. The boiling point served as the moment Eldon was to reveal. "The male soloist is Noah!" This was most arguably the best decision for Noah was by far the best male dancer on the team. Although, both Jacquie and Noah were concerned on how he was going to balance everything out. 

The chorus of clapping resumed. As they then died down and Emily continued to speak. "Alright, for the female solo, due to how you dancers probably all want to dance it, each of our four choreographers, Eldon, Chloe, Michelle and Thalia, have nominated one female dancer to audition." Emily announced with excite. The sizzling immersive background noise adjudicating for itself. Prevailing against what was the rising rocks.

"Out of all the six females, I have chosen Lily." Chloe stated. Just then, Lily walked in. This confused everyone. What was going on? Why was Lily allowed to come back? They all scratched their heads as the horrible dance persona came back into their worlds. Why? Just... Why?

"Out of all the excellent female dancers, I have to go with Richelle, because she is a little firecracker." Thalia stated, this made Richelle blush of happiness. This was unreal for her. A solo? This would put her back to the spot and put her back to where she belonged; the top. After a devastating year, when she was nominated for something this highly coveted, she knew she could not take this for granted.

Michelle was then about to speak. The whole room went silent as they awaited for the words to be uttered by former Next Step Female Ms. Nationals Soloist two-times running, Michelle, to say her pick. She knew her choice would be valid because she knew the competition, therefore, her pick mattered the most. "I have chosen... Amy!"

Despite Piper being sad because as of then, she had yet to be picked, she felt happy for her best friend to be Michelle's pick of who would audition, now all they had was one more, Eldon was left.

"Piper. I have seen you dance since you were a little girl and I have high hopes."

This set an unceasing feeling to kidnap her stomach. She felt the pit drop deep into her like a bomb. An oncoming threat. She turned to Amy in curiosity. What would she think? The two wold be going up against each other for something they both passionately wanted, they knew this could potentially mean the end of their friendship. Piper walked over to Amy. "We should probably discuss this in the junction." 

-

The junction had been rebranded as "Shakes & Ladders" and in the newly renamed spacious juice bar, the two best friends, one Acro-focused and the other contemporary-focused, were drinking juice attempting to avoid the touchy subject on who would audition for the solo, but with the solo auditions starting no matter what in an hour, the two had to discuss it right away. 

"We should talk about this, the idea is driving me crazy." Amy said.

"Yeah, I know. The solo will tear our friendship apart, so it would be best for only one of us to go." Piper reasoned with her friend.

"Yeah, although which should it be?" This was going to be a tricky one because both of them wanted it diehard. Piper stared at Amy as if she was hoping for Amy to give her spot up. "What are you staring at me for?"

"I'm the weaker one, I will never stand a chance against you. Please, let me have this." Piper pleaded, begging for the spot.

"Well, I am Michelle's pick so that obviously means I can't fail her now." Piper frowned at Amy's comment. 

"Yeah, but that means that you'll end up getting several opportunities in the future. This might be my only one." Piper explained, "please, let me have it."

"You won't stand a chance against Richelle and Lily." Amy said.

"So? The least I can do is try." Piper yelled.

"Yeah? Well, I at least have a chance against them." Amy yelled and then stormed off. 

Piper was in confusion at what was going on with Amy. They had been friends for so long now; she had been with Amy since Amy was almost kicked out, she risked her own spot on the team for her back when Amy was kicked off of TNS West. She put her angered feelings aside when TNS East won and her team had lost the battle. She tried to stay reasonable when TNS West did the sit-in. For all she had done, for all they'd accomplished through their trials and despite their teams being on two different sides, how the more competitive of the two was not letting their opposing teams stop them from hanging out, the least Piper deserved was that solo. She could think of many more that she could potentially demand, yet she chose to stay rational, and this was what she got?

"Fine, if you are going to be like that, then I don't want to be giving my spot up. I will destroy you at the female soloist auditions." Piper argued, picking her bag up and storming off. The rage pressing into her every movement, and Amy knew something was off, but Piper felt the same accusing statement could go towards Amy.

There was something off with Amy, though. Piper was just one for grudges.

-

Ozzy stood in studio A, dancing his heart out to "Right Here, Right Now", reprising his dance from when he first joined the team that eventually lead him to where he was today. Finn walked in, the two shared the same discontent feeling with how they were both not chosen for the male solo. They understood why, or at least, the one half that was dancing at the moment, did not understand, yet Finn did.

Finn looked on to the dancer, and when he posed, he smiled. "Dude, that was good." 

"Yeah, right now, I am just practicing so I can bring my skills up so that hopefully one day I can bring home the Mr. Nationals Soloist title." Ozzy stated proudly.

Finn just laughed in response. "Yeah, keep telling yourself that."

Ozzy scratched his head. "What was that for?" Ozzy asked.

"It's just, you're too young. You are not mature enough and people just don't like how goofy you are. If you wanna dance the male solo, you need to be mature and have a lengthy story with the team. Like Eldon, like Noah, and hopefully one day, but not now, like you. You're a free-styler, not a choreography type person and your dance style would not be acceptable for the stage. That's why you were not chosen."

Ozzy nodded, agreeing to the terms of what Finn stated. "I know I want it, so deeply."

"Then maybe you are going to need to cut the humour a little."

Ozzy knew in his deep black heart that what Finn had uttered was truth. He had tried to cut the humour before, though it always bounced back better than ever like a boomerang, though he could not have that happen once more. He needed to prove Mr. Serious was inside of there, somewhere. He had to try and act serious during rehearsal, no matter how painful it'd be. That was how he got the ladies, though if it was worth it, if he could get some training from Noah, he would be alright, the ex-J-Trouper just knew it.

"Thanks for talking to me." Ozzy stated.

"Yeah, now, can you please get out? I wanna get started on my practicing for the duet." Ozzy obeyed and walked out, trying to keep in mind what Finn was saying. He knew that this would be hard for him, though he was determined to make sure that he was serious. He walked off, trying to figure out the possible ways he could approach being such a different person then normal. Why did this have to happen? He'd wished for A-Troupe to be the same as it always was; about individuality, not doing the same thing. He wanted things less robotic, and was debating on impeachment as the perfect idea. It would get his goal of individuality across, and show how committed he would be to something.

Could he, though? Could he pull off such a big task with little experience? Only time would tell, though he knew it would be a rocky ride. He tried to push all the negative thoughts about the risky endeavour away from his mind because he knew that if he was to think about them, spare any time for them, that his mind would be changed and he would never show off how great of a serious person he could be. How amazing he'd become. He'd be restricting himself to what other's would want, and that was something he was not in for.

All he had to do was get 5 others on his side. Easier said then done....

-

The four, Amy, Piper, Lily and Richelle, all stood in a cluster of dancers, preparing themselves for the female solo battle. This was one for a lifetime. One that no one could ignore. Michelle and Giselle were to adjudicate the female soloist auditions, due to their extensive knowledge towards the idea. With Giselle being Ms. Internationals Soloist, she could say she would be better off judging the competition then Michelle, who was actually Ms. Nationals Soloist, what they were fighting towards in the auditions.

"Alright." Michelle stated, "I want to see you guys do whatever you guys got. Lay all your best tricks out on the line, we need to see you." Michelle yelled, turning on Wings. Richelle in hr audition was totally unoriginal and chose to just redo her nationals audition when she was just J-Trouper back when Michelle, Emily, Eldon and Hunter were having their little fiasco. Lily did 5 chêne turns, a front flip and then a grande jete, doing a bunch of more ballet moves and ending in a ponche.

Amy did a bunch of Acro moves, trying to show off and then Piper  did just a bunch of pirouettes. For those were her specialty. Though, Amy did not take the audition too politely. Turning over to Lily. "See that girl?" Amy began, "How unoriginal?"

Piper stopped as if on cue for the music cut out. "Amy? What has gotten into you?" Amy yelled. "You are nothing like you used to your- hurting my feelings, you're bullying me. You are being super rude? Is this how you backstab all your friends? Because this has gone on for far too long." Piper yelled, even though the taunting was only at its genesis. She ran out, crying. Michelle staring off, turning to Amy in hyper confusion.

"I don't know what's going on with the crybaby." Amy spat, causing eye-rolls and name yelling to be what proceeded. 

Lily then scoffed, "and you guys call me mean. Did you see that?" Lily asked. She then high-fived the only opponent left in the room. Richelle.

Michelle and Giselle then turned to each other, and after five minutes of deliberation, turned back with a conclusive answer. "Richelle, congrats. You have received the solo." Richelle then smiled and hugged Giselle happily, knowing that this was what she needed to get back on track. Finally, she could have a role in the studio. This was all that she had ever hoped for, and now it was finally happening.

Though, while the one who had been crumbling at the seems for so long had finally been stitched back together by the solo she'd just garnered, it felt like now everything else around her was starting to fall apart as a result.

Authors Notes:

  • I know, I said that I'd update in like one month, but things changed and I got spare time to update. Congrats.
  • * I threw in some continuity, for example. I referenced Ozzy being not serious and sort of reprised the talk that he had with Noah in I Have a Vision. I also had Richelle reprise her solo audition in the episode The Final Cut and the Michelle/Eldon/Hunter/Emily drama in Season 2. I mention when Amy was kicked out of TNS West which occurs in the Season 5 episode It's All Fun and Games... and I also reference No Good Deed, when Piper lost her spot In an attempt at helping her friend get a spot on the same team as her. I reference Michelle being a two-time Ms. Nationals Soloist champion which occurs in What You Waiting For?. I also reference how TNS East had beaten TNS West in East Meets West and how they struggled to talk about it in Brave New World And on top of all that, Ozzy reprises his dance that he does in Go West, Young Michelle.
  • i had initially planned for Noah and Richelle to have a story line, though that had to be pushed back due to the length of the chapter already.
  • In an effort to celebrate Christmas, I have two chapters coming for you on Christmas Eve and (maybe) one on Christmas Day, and for New Years, I am doing the same thing!
  • After the winer break ends, I will be unable to write until Febuarry (hence, why I am going to write so much for the two celebrations) due to exams coming up, I'm pretty much failing in one class, and have yet to revise for the exams, so please, after the winter break, be patient.

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