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Risk It All is the seventeenth chapter of Last Dance and was published on February 9th.

Synopsis

Ozzy and Noah have a dance battle to determine the dance captaincy, meanwhile, Josh and Finn pitch their idea to Emily and Giselle, but while one shows distaste in the risky idea for their finals routine concept - the other goes behind their back to help them. Both sides feel the pressure of the dance battle, and turn to those who they know could help them.

Chapter

Noah walked over to the office in studio A, and turned towards Giselle and Eldon. "Hey. I need to talk to you." He said quietly to begin. "I ended up leaving my position as dance captain, but once Emily told me about how the dance captain would become the alternate, I honestly kinda want to be it, as I don't think I can handle the pressure."

Giselle laughed. "You're kidding me, right? Because you took on Internationals before, so there's no way that you are incapable of handling Nationals. It's a step back."

"It's just that my girlfriend Jacquie has been going through a rough time with insecurities and I really need to be there for her in this time of need, and I was an amazing dance captain." Noah was trying to speak words that just flew out of his mouth one-by-one. Not knowing the severity of the words, and the impact for which it may come with.

"Noah, you are an amazing dancer and we need you on our team. Are you sure that you are wishing to be made an alternate?" Giselle asked.

"That is very so." Noah nodded.

"Fine, you will verse off against Ozzy in a dance battle tonight at 7: 30pm to 10: 00pm. Be there at studio 1. It'll be a party. The first match will be from 7: 30 till 8: 00. And the second match will be from 8: 00 to 9: 00 and the final round will last until ten, with a two-hour after party to celebrate the new, or current, dance captain." Giselle stated affirmatively. Making sure Noah knew that these were the ground rules set in place and after that, there'd be no more switching of the highly-coveted role.

-

Giselle and Emily sat in the studio 1 office, marking papers for the upcoming nationals competition as the ease filled their stomachs. Their minds were far away from the outcry of dancers hating on the current monarch-esque gladiator-dance styled fight that was to ensue during the days end. Josh and Finn walked in, their faces trembling with nerves as their faces screamed of unsureness.

"Can I help you?" Emily turned and asked, her brows raised as she knew that they wanted something. After all, recently with all the drama, that was all that ever happened, seemingly.

"Actually, yeah." Josh said. "We have an idea for the nationals finals routine that we think would be amazing to put in. It is basically remaking the original A-Troupe routine that won us regionals for the first time in ten years, back in the golden days of James, Riley and your dictator-like reigns." Josh said as Emily let out a face of disgust whilst the blonde co-head was reminded of her past self, of one she used to be. That horrible person. "But with a twist."

"Carry on." Emily said calmly, with a hint of somber in her voice.

"Well, we want to remove the girl part, aka what Michelle did. And replace it with another guy."

"No! Absolutely not!" Emily shook her head, opposing the idea with strong force. To her, this was deemed too controversial of an idea for The Next Step could tackle. "I am sorry but this is too much of a controversial idea. This studio has been about the heart, not tackling topics. That's the Abby Lee Dance Companies job. Write to Abby Lee, not me." Emily said.

"That did not seem to matter when The Next Step East was a thing. We legit had a dance about seduction and murder." Josh said, referring to Noah and Richelle's 'Believe' solo.

"Don't care, now get out of my office." Emily said and then headed off to go do some other important business around the studio. Giselle got up. 

"Yeah, she might not be into the idea, but I am." Giselle said.

"What about Emily? You two are co-heads and need to stick together. If not, we may have another entire four months of everyone being in danger like regionals." Josh said.

"Yeah, I don't care. They've seen us be friendly, we need to show that we are not messing around." Giselle said. If they wanted to play nice, they could theoretically, however the judges had already seen that from their three teams. They'd already seen their amazing dances that gave off a fun vibe -- they needed a more down to earth feel, tackling real subjects.

"Alright, so when should we start the rehearsals?" Finn asked.

"I would suggest in like three days, as right now a bunch of other drama is happening and we need to spread everything out, just so we can handle it all without an uproar of anger by the dancers like last time. So check back and three days so we can get deeper into it."

Finn and Josh nodded and headed off, smiles on their faces and they worked on their -- what they wanted to be -- dance without music, with a bunch of lifts, and amazing choreography, they knew that this would be the trick. They knew that this would be worth the wait, and worth the anger of Emily, even if it meant hiding this from Emily for an impossible time. Since they still had almost four months to keep this hidden, could they really hold it up? That was their biggest worry, but was that good enough to be a worry, fore there were bigger problems at hand. Like the team falling apart due to the response from how there'd be a big match to determine who'd get the dance captaincy being a polarizing one.

-

Noah was in studio A, warming up for the dance captaincy battle against his once-friend. He was feeling very nervous and did not want to do this at all, but he figured that by now he had no choice. It was ride of die at this point with no return. He needed to be the best that he could be and he knew it in his heart.

Jacquie walked in feeling very excited for the upcoming events. Her voice showed no expression of concern and it showed content and proudness. "How are you doing?" She asked her boyfriend.

"I am doing... Not so well." Noah admitted the truth and sighed.

"Are you sure? What's wrong, because I can't wait for the battle, I am sure you'll do amazing." Jacquie reassured him.

"No, you don't get it. I am versing my ex-friend. I don't know why but if I win I am going to feel guilty, like I don't deserve it somehow." Noah said.

"Need I remind you that you were the dance captaincy first. You deserve it." Jacquie said, and she turned to face him and then got up, extending her arm. "Okay, get up."

Noah let out a soft chuckle and they began to slow dance a little bit with a splash of awkwardness, but at the time, the two felt happy as could be. There was nothing else other then the two of them and they needed to push past all their insecurities and doubts and make sure that Noah got his spot back, the highly protected spot. One which he knew would be a task to retrieve once more, but one that he'd fight for. Even if that meant hurting people in the process, but then again, would he feel the need to be guilty? Ozzy was not even a friend anymore. He was a former friend, and therefore, sorry was not valid. That word hosted no use to his vocabulary anymore.

"We're gonna crush them."

-

Ozzy sat in the locker room, getting his stuff ready. Richelle walked into the room smiling and turned to Ozzy. "You're gonna crush them." Richelle said. 

"Yeah, except I don't like how they're treating this as a two-hour-and-a-half drama thriller." Ozzy spoke only of thy truth as he lifted his head down with a squint of sorrow left barreling out of his head, gushing out like blood to a knife. Could he really go on with this?

Richelle slammed her locker door shut after grabbing her dance bag from aforementioned locker and paused, turning to the dancer on her side fighting that night. "What do you mean?" She questioned. Curious as to Ozzy's intent.

"I just don't like how they're treating it as something to define the studio's history." Ozzy complained. "Like, there's literally posters and other dancers are arguing about hw they feel and people are advertising it on the random streets in Toronto!" Ozzy elaborated. He was only listing off things that he had seen throughout the day at the studio and during the time he was not there, and this was all legitimate. Nothing false. He had seen it with his own foreseen eye. What was he to do, though?

"You'll be fine. You just need to secure that spot, and hopefully maybe someday make me the co-captain? I would love to, though if it gets in the way of our relationship, I would not mind." Richelle said. Ozzy and Richelle both knew of their feelings for each other, it was undeniable, clearly. Their feelings were so obvious like the Battle of Troy. He could not at all deny his feelings, and neither could she. So they both knew that a relationship would be due sometime, once they were to finally admit that they loved each other. Despite that being harder then it sounded. So that comment came naturally to Richelle and Ozzy's brain. Instead of it being something crazy.

Ozzy took a long pause, but for a different reason then Richelle's foreseeing-eyed comment."I know what I have to do." He said at the end and raced out to Emily's office. "I need to tell say that the battle can't be a whole two hours and a half. Please. I want it to be normal. Okay? No two hours. And I need it to start at 8: 20. I'm busy but can make it then." Ozzy ordered.

Emily's eye blinked. This dude, the dance captain, telling her what to do? He needed to learn his place. Though, she kept quiet, and calmed down. Knowing that he could not make it was understandable. "Thank you for letting me know. I will let everyone know affected immediately." She responded, and Ozzy walked out, a sense of pride filling his every step. Knowing that he had to win, and failure was not an option at this point.

-

8: 20 had came, and the room was packed to the brink with dancers and the non-dancers alike, as the advertising had worked and several there had decided to come and join them in their watching of the crazy dance battle. This was a big deal to them, and brought the hype up to its most golden moments.and Ozzy walked in ten minutes earlier, and the battle was to begin. This was it, the final countdown. At the end of this battle, the dance captain would be officially found out to be one or the other. No more asking, everything would be set in stone.

"1...2...3.. go!" Emily said, and then Take It To The Top began to play, Noah and Ozzy both started on strong notes, however, Noah took the cake, knowing that he had an advantage to Ozzy in how his dance moves were more stylized and more technical. He hit every move. 

The song ended, and the crowd cheered Noah's name. "Noah wins round one! If he wins the next round, he gets the dance captaincy." Emily announced. The next song that played was a well-known to the original A-Troupers, who were also present, and the song was 'Addicted To You' and Michelle and Emily got flashbacks from their old days of fighting over silly things such as Eldon and being liked by A-Troupe more then the other. The two were just happy to have finally moved on from that stage and get past that now.

Noah's moves unsurprisingly and once again, topped Ozzy's, and the crowd cheered his name again. "Looks like Noah is our new dance captain!" Emily said and the crowd went wild, everyone except Richelle and Ozzy. Ozzy casting down a dark shadow of a defeated face to the crowd standing before him, and Richelle giving a stern and determined face of bitter and sour force, mad that their plan had been foiled.

Ozzy walked down the stairs and faced Richelle's tense stare make him feel frozen in that place in time. The shivering tone of her glance made everything all the more worse for his state of mind.

"How dare you?! We had a deal and you just completely ruined it for me! Why would you do this? You knew how much I wanted that dance captaincy!" Richelle yelled, though only her and Ozzy noticed while a tear raced down and painted a watery line on her her cheek that claimed venomous intent to her body, as Ozzy was left there shook. About to say something, say anything, Richelle stopped him. "Don't bother, I'm over you." Richelle yelled and stormed off.

And, in that very moment, Ozzy knew he'd messed up.

Authors Notes

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