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New Rules is the third chapter of Last Dance and was published on December 24th, 2017.

Synopsis

Noah must come to accept that his ex-friend is dancing once more, even if he does not like it. The Next Step races to find their final alternate with Lily on the team as an eleventh member. Meanwhile, Piper must find out where she stands with the team. While Jacquie grows insecure on her dancing after not even being allowed to audition for the solo.

Chapter

A-troupe was stretching, a smile plastered onto each of the eleven dancers as the tensions were rising. Each dancer was angered unconditionally to each other; Piper to Amy and Josh; Josh back to Piper; Amy at Piper; Lily at Richelle and back; Jacquie was secretly angered by Noah gaining the solo, though she'd rather not say it to threaten their relationship; Noah at Richelle.

Noah glanced back at his former friend, the two had yet to speak for a while and it felt a little insecure, they were dangling, the burning emotions like pyre. Emily turned to view the dancers stretches as they all felt disconnected. This was not good.

"Michelle, we have a problem." Emily stormed into the office to see the five other TNS faculty members, sitting together. 

"Yeah, we've seen. It looks horrid." Chloe intervened into the conversation that was not meant for her in the first place. "What are we going to do?"

"Well, it looks like the people needing the most repair are Piper, Josh and Amy. And there's an upcoming trio competition, what if we send them to the trio competition? We force them to dance their emotions out and if they don't want to do it, they could easily just walk out." Giselle interjected with the perfect solution.

The other fives who were not the aforementioned faculty member all expressed concurring with curt nods, "alright. Let's do it!" Thalia stated and then headed back off. She perambulated into the centre of studio A, all members of A-troupe had their eyes fixed on her. "Alright, we have an announcement. There is an upcoming trio competition. Me and the others have decided the best people for the dance would be Josh, Amy and Piper."

Neither of the three agreed. Their chemistry would be off and they'd surely loose. They all began to disagree with the solution to the chemistry issue, but Chloe walked in and shook her head. "I am sorry, but this is non-negotiable. We've seen the horrendous competitive nature, and right now it looks like we're starting to bring some of that negative energy here because the chemistry with the overall vibe of the team is horrible, and we need to tone it down."

"Gosh, you sound just like Phoebe." Piper rolled her eyes; she had no clue who the person she'd just referenced was, though, she'd heard about the person through talks wth James. Phoebe was a legend to the studio with her antics.

"I know, she's amazing." Thalia stated, unhappy with how the person she was inspired from and motivated by was being demeaned by the likes of a hero's sister. "Anyway, you three will do the trio. No ifs, ands, or buts." She stated, and the three sighed, they knew that they'd hate this. But if they had to, they'd be forced to make it work. Despite their distaste for the idea.

Piper was the one who hated the idea the most, first, she was going to talk to someone who hated her, dance with her, ad dance with her crush that she was (still) trying to get over, could this day get any worse? It already happened.

"And we have eleven dancers, we just need one more dancer to fill the twelfth spot for our twelve dancer Nationals team, if anyone knows anymore, please, speak up. I will keep in touch with all dancers I know, and same with anyone else the staff knows." Thalia stated.

Thalia walked out and Noah glared over at Richelle. "Can we talk?" Noah asked.

Richelle gave a calm nod and then hauled Noah over to the side, where the cubbies were. "What about?"

"Why are you still dancing? Aren't you injured?" Noah asked.

"I was injured, key word, was. I am all good to go, I have a clean bill of health and I can dance once more."

"Look, when I was getting over my back injury, it took weeks to recover, so perhaps you should just take three weeks to slowly ease into dancing?" Noah suggested.

"Noah, I can do this." Richelle urged. Due to the injury, the blonde was craving to fix her passion for dance in any way. As if she was on drugs. "I am healthy. I got checked out and okayed by the doctor."

"I am just saying, it's best to go slow."

"I know my body Noah, no one is taking this dance away from me. Not you. My ex best friend." Richelle said. After the qualifier, with the incident that broke her and Lola's friendship, she cut off all ties to Noah. Despite this, Noah was still concerned for Richelle and knew that the Acro dancer could permanently risk injury - something he was not in favour of happening.

"If you don't do it yourself and take it easy, I will tell Emily and Giselle." Noah stated.

"Goodbye." Richelle rolled her eyes and then rushed back to Lily. Even though the two teenagers, Lily and Richelle, were not on the best of terms, they still hung out. 

"What was all that about?"  Lily asked.

"Oh, just some idiot. Noah, my ex best friend, he thinks I should take it slow, like, hello? I am off my injury and we did a duet at regionals. Why does he think I should be going slow now?"

Lily slightly agreed with Noah, though, not to the same extent of the boy she'd agreed with to some degree.

-

The unwilling trio of Josh, Piper and Amy were practicing in Studio 1 to New Rules (Piano) and were hitting every move with precise accuracy, neither of the three were liking the dance and the trio only made things worse between them. They only really communicated through dance moves and never actually chose to speak words towards each other - or else the words spewed to the haters were to be vile.

The feel of the studio was very archaic, for they were doing a lyrical piece and truthfully, that was not the studios forte. They did the lift when the chorus began and Piper stopped. "Stop!" She yelled, being lifted down by Josh. "I can't do this." She said, storming off to studio A, where Noah and Giselle were making Noah's male solo for the Nationals Competition.

"I can't do the trio, I am sorry I just... I just can't. I can't put my feelings aside, it hurts too much to be around Josh, so please, find someone else to replace him? I am begging you. Anyone other then Josh." Piper pleaded.

Giselle turned over to Noah, "Noah, take five. I have some chatting with Piper to attend to." Giselle stated, Noah walked off, and Giselle turned to Piper. "Piper, the entire point of the dance is so you can push your feelings aside for the betterment of the team, okay? I don't want what happened last time with you and Josh-"

"But I can't get over him-" Piper cut Giselle off.

"No. You don't hear me. You'll do the trio, or you're going to be kicked off the team." Piper growled at the statement. She was trapped at that very moment. She could not leave, but she could not stay either.

-

The dancers of studio 1 left, and Jacquie walked in through the sorrow that caved lambently. Her body flowing of light. The rush grasped her fingers as she held the stealthy power in her pores. She sighed, looking down and flashing her eyelashes, blinking for five whole seconds. She then sat down.

Noah walked into studio 1 and saw Jacquie. "Hey." Noah said, walking over and sat beside her, wrapping his arm around her neck.

Jacquie quickly backed away. "What are you doing?"

"Aren't we... Dating?" Noah asked.

Jacquie huffed.

"Are you okay?" Noah asked concerned. "You seem super off."

"Yeah, I just feel so unconfident right now, I feel so alone. You got the solo right off the batt and I was not even allowed to audition for the solo." Jacquie said. "I just feel... I don't know... Like I am not good enough, jealous. I know." Jacquie sighed, "and I probably just pushed you away, too."

"No, I'd never do anything like that. I'd never leave you Jacquie. You're an amazing dancer, don't let yourself fall. I guarantee you that you'll be in the duet or the small group."

"Yeah, small group, perfect, just another place for someone else to shine." Jacquie grumbled quietly. 

"No, no one else is better then you." Noah gawked and pulled his girlfriend into a gracious hug, Jacquie finally let out a smile.

"Thanks for helping me." Jacquie said, the smile keeping a firm grip on her face.

"No problem." Noah said, and then let a smile back in return.

-

Noah turned over to the office in studio A, Michelle and Giselle were sorting out the papers for the upcoming trio competition. "Alright, I have some bad news for you guys." Noah stated.

The studio-runners' faces dropped, "yes, Noah? Continue." Giselle said nervously. Hoping someone did not need to be pulled from the team.

"It's Richelle, as you most likely know, she's injured, I am growing scared for her. She is finally off her injury. At first she took it easy and grew into dancing again, but she just made the biggest gap from dancing barely at all to pushing herself super hard. I am scared for her health and I want to make sure she is doing fine. I tried to convince her to not go too hard, but she is not listening to me." Noah explained.

"Thanks for the talk. I and my colleague's will do everything in our position to stop Richelle from further damage." Michelle stated, Noah then walked off. Michelle was secretly scared. Richelle could be damaging herself by making a big jump, and not easing into it. This nerved her as they could not loose the soloist before the competition came. Richelle was the best dancer in the studio; they needed her. Michelle knew the decision she had to make, Richelle could not dance until they sent the forms in. At least, not as much as she currently was. She was going 110% when before she barely went 20%. Even at the competition she barely danced.

Michelle looked to Giselle. "So it's settled, she can't do the solo." Michelle said.

"What? She's our best dancer!" Giselle exclaimed. 

"Yeah, but she's taking herself way too far when she's still in the early stages of healing, we can't risk it. We must stop before it gets too hurt." Michelle stated.

Giselle sighed, "fine." Though, she did not like the concept of this.

-     The dancers were stretching, for yet another day of dancing as they had to get ready for the appending doom that was the competition the team was to attend in the following day, this would make or break the people's prespectives of the team going into the competition and this made Emily and Giselle really nervous over their chances at competing against all the other competition out there - they had taken a look at their opponents and their dances they'd done previously, and they knew they would not stand a chance, all the other teams were forced to be reckoned with, but it felt like for them, that they had no leverage. They had nothing new. All they had was win the biggest competition and then flopped like a fish at the first step on their second time around.

Giselle and Emily had a big surprise for the dancers, just then, Zara walked in. The dancers who had known her from her time on TNS East and A-Troupe, those being Piper, Amy, Josh, Noah, Ozzy and Richelle, grasped her presence and held her tight in a hug. Embracing her welcome back. "It feels so great to be back." She said, her voice battling against the cacophony that was the other dancer's bright reactions of her return.

"I feel so happy that you're back." Emily stated, "and Zara, you are being granted the female solo." 

Richelle's hearts dropped at the uttered words; what? She'd fought for that solo, she nurtured it with her living soul. She did everything for it, and needed it because of how she'd injured herself. She needed this to make her happy. She for once felt as if she was fitting in with that solo. Though, this was karma.

"What are yoy doing?" Richelle yelled at Giselle.

"Noah had a talk with me and Michelle, and we thought it was best for you to take your time. You are going to become an alternate, until I can see you have taken your time to gradually become the dancer you used to be. It took Noah weeks to recover and he feels you should take that amount as well. Richelle, listen, we did this for your safety." Giselle said.

"Besides, it could also count as karma, because when we had created A-Troupe once more, formed our A-Troupe after TNS East & West, you stole Zara's idea and got the solo, so now, this is payback."

Richelle growled. They dispersed, as Noah walked over to his bag and Noah was met with an angered Richelle. "You are nothing her now. I will destroy you. You're through." Richelle yelled storming off.

Noah officially had to live with what he did - but could he? He was just trying to save Richelle from herself. Zara felt bad too. She did not want a solo that was not hers, although, she could not say no to the solo, could she? This was the Absolute Dance Nationals they were talking about -- one that could make or break their dance careers -- it was time to chose, morals, or a future?

The toughest choice of her life.

Authors Notes

  • I know, I said tthat I was going to update twice on Christmas, I meant Christmas Day, so this does not count. I am almost done the second chapter after that, and that should be good. so stay tuned for that, I am just going to say that things are going to heat up.
  • i thought the concept of Noah still caring would be really nice because Noah and Richelle grew apart in season 5, and I have no clue what is to come in season six, although, I have a strong feeling they will get closer then, but I mostly based Noah's actions off of his actions in Stand and Deliver when he was really inclusive which ultimately would make him dance captain. I thought that he would still care because Noah is caring, and friendly, even if someone does not care for him he will care, I thought the least of a good enough thing to do would be for him to be concerned for his friend, or ex-friend. As they hung out with each other all through J-Troups and A-Troupe, and because she is a teammate and Noah wants to make sure everyone is good, that there is nothing wrong.
  • I just want to say that Nochelle won't happen. I am not a Nochelle shipper, don't hate me for it, but I am not, personally, I don't ship Noah with anyone but Josh, though, they won't happen either cuz I want to make this realistic and I don't think they'd date.
  • I thought of Zara coming in because she honestly is my favorite character in the show, and I wanted Richelle to have an enemy this season and so I felt it to be convinient as a little throwback to when Richelle stole Zara's solo, for Zara to steal Richelle's solo.
  • I thought that Jacquie would be the type of person to get insecure if someone was better then her, because she is really confident about her skills, she thinks she is the best and so I think it would be normal for her to have a breakdown and think she is not good enough, that's just my opinion.

    See

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