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Seven Nation Army is the eighth chapter of Last Dance and was published on December 26, 2017.

Synopsis

Richelle discovers the horrifying truth after coming back to The Next Step. Jacquie confronts Richelle on what she tried to do to Noah before she'd left. A dance battle is held to determine the fate of the studio heads, but Kate quickly gathers them and puts them back in line, they continue to fight though.

Chapter

The plans and fate that rested on their chances of winning had been sealed and forced shut. Richelle was too busy putting her blue new pointe shoes away as she was plotting down what time to meet up to begin the protesting - all that the blonde held space for excite for in her heart was this plan, and her boyfriend. Ozzy walked in.

"Aren't you the best?" Ozzy asked, a playful chuckle on his face as he hugged Richelle after his girlfriend put the shoes away.

"Awe thanks, but I can't dance. Could you... er.. maybe meet up with me at Shakes And Ladders? I just need to be alone for a moment." Richelle explained, looking down as she then sat down.

Ozzy agreed too easily, "yup, sure. See ya in twenty?"

"Would never miss it in a heartbeat!" Richelle's voice boomed as her boyfriend walked out of the locker area. She turned her attention to her foot and took her black dance shoes off that worked well for anything but ponte, and sighed, as she noticed the damage she had committed to her foot. Her foot looked busted up, and badly, too. Things were not looking food for her and she only could just feel a little bit of hope as her world caved.

She grumbled, no one was stopping her. She kept her strong composure as she then took the shoe and put it back on, walking over towards her locker once more and then heard the slam of the one besides her.

Jacquie.

"You!" Jacquie yelled. "You tried to impeach my boyfriends position as dance captain! What were you thinking? You made a big mistake because I will end you!" Jacquie yelled at the now-injured-once-more dancer.

"Oh no, you've made the mistake I can't dance if I don't become the dance captain!"

"You don't deserve to dance." Jacquie yelled.

"Excuse me? Says the person bullying me! I've been dying to dance since I got injured a few months ago, and now I can finally dance! No one believes me as they all want me to take things slow, can't I just dance for once in my life?" Richelle grunted.

"I'm just doing what's right for the team, you should not be dancing."

"Yeah, right!" Richelle did not believe the accusations pinned onto her that stuck in her mind like a sticky note that was being spoken by Jacquie.

"Oh, tell your boyfriend, Ozzy, or whatever his name is, that his idea is useless, Kate picked them for a reason, and we should not be the ones in charge, the students should not have the power to do such a thing like this." Jacquie yelled, storming off.

Richelle then stormed off to Shakes And Ladders, a frown on her face as she sat besides Ozzy in a weird in this weird cone of silence. The silence trapping her from within. She bit her lip to try and evade the awkwardness and discomfort she felt due to the grim undertone that was placed up on the studio, though she could not. Nothing helped, not even telling herself that everything would be okay - for those were lies, and Richelle only dealt with the truth.

"So.." Ozzy asked, "are you just gonna sit in silence? Or are we going to talk?" He asked.

Richelle extended her hand happily to hold Ozzy's hand, which made Ozzy, in turn, smile. "Yeah, of course. Actually, talking would be best for me, as I need to escape from all the drama happening right now." She admitted and the two shared a chuckle in unison.

"Alright, well what do you want to talk about then?" Ozzy asked, raising his brow. 

"We could talk about the whether?" Richelle suggested

"But that's stereotypical," Ozzy whined, and Richelle let out a laugh in return.

"Oh Ozzy, you really know how to make me laugh." Richelle stated after the laugh.

Jacquie walked in and sighed, giving Richelle a lifeless stare. Richelle did not deserve Ozzy, actually, it was Ozzy who did not deserve Richelle. Ozzy was childish, silly, useless, while Richelle was the best dancer of them all, and Jacquie needed to make it to the top. She had a way to bring Richelle to someone her level of skill - while destroying her dancing in the process.

That was when it hit her, she had to bring her sister, Alexa, in. Things were about to get 10 times more complicated for A-Troupe.

Jacquie rushed off to talk to Giselle and Emily. "Giselle! Emily! We need to talk, like, right now. Just get everything off your desk right now and focus on me because we have a really huge emergency going on." Jacquie began.

Giselle gave a curious look. "Yeah? Continue? What's wrong Jacquie is anyone injured?" Giselle asked.

"No, the dancers are plotting to conspire against you. They were wishing to impeach your power, but I am not going to that happen which is why I am telling you now - so that you can put a stop to it."

The studio runners were appalled at the idea of the dancers wishing to due to hateful things to their power. Why? This made absolutely no sense anymore. 

"Alright, gather everyone up and we will talk about this in a fair and peaceful way." Giselle gave the situation an ending; their idiotic tenancies was to end right there.

-

The next day, the dancers stood strong and proud, their thoughts shadowing the reality that they probably would be never that much of the truth, their poses very unique and unidentical to one another as the three rebellions to the rebellions waddled in with those thy held grudge against. Playful grins as their time for their plan of attack was to ensue. "What is all this about?"

"You, and all the other factuality of TNS have been unfair to us. We're just kids, and we can't afford to be held like this." Ozzy yelled, the other trémates backing their potential-dance captain up, Ozzy needed support, so support he'd get. With Noah agreeing, he'd gotten most people on his side, though a select three who held grudges against him had left it to be less powerful then the movement could be if all had joined in for the fight.

Giselle sighed, "i am sorry, but Kate chose us, she was the best studio owner TNS has ever had."

"That's not true.." Amy said, "We had multiple better one's."

"Well then can you name some? The only faculty we've ever had besides her and us were Phoebe, Chris, Riley, Cathy-"

"Riley," Amy said, although this was far from true,

"A good studio owner/head, or any part of the faculty of a studio, is to bring them to glory and win the championships, did Riley do that? No!" Emily rolled her eyes.

"No, the studio head needs to be fair, it's not about the competition, it's about dance. Ms. Kate literally said that this studio was about the heart of dance and competition should not matter at all!" Amy yelled,

"We are a competition team!" Emily yelled.

"How could you even say that about Riley? She's your own sister!" Amy yelled

"Because she was a terrible studio head!"

Kate stormed in and growled. "I have heard the noise all the way from the hallway! You people are making me feel utterly horrified at the fact that I have put you people-" she pointed to Giselle and Emily, "in charge of the studio because you guys don't know how to keep your dancers in line and of your behaviour and tone of voice. Yelling is not okay! And you guys-" Kate pointed to the dancers, "for going behind my back and deciding my decisions were not good enough! This is my team, not yours, so don't try to make changes to stuff I put in place. I have tried to be nice, but this yelling, this fighting and this arguing - it needs to stop, now!"

The whole entire argument - after Kate uttered the words, turned to using words as guns and sentences as knives, killing one victim by speak of hatred, mutiny, allowing the words to carve stitches into the back of their heads and leave scars forever and ever, engraved on their foreheads were the ideals that they'd put before them. That they'd allow to run lose like kids in a playground, as if they were adults, the darkening feeling as if it was midnight as their mental state changed, though they themselves and their selfish tactics had yet to evolve like their mindsets as they continued to try their impeachment.

Kate yelled once more. "Enough!" Kate yelled, "this has gone on for far too long. Ozzy, pick six of your dancers to compete against the staff of TNS, alright? We will have dance battles, and there'll be six rounds, one dancer per round, and one point per round. I will decide on who wins each round!" Kate yelled,

Ozzy turned to his dancers. "Alright - Richelle, Noah, Kenzie... Uh.... Finn, Piper, Amy!" Ozzy said as the aforementioned six stepped up, prepared to battle.

Stand Up began to play as Emily went up and began to dance, Ozzy turned to his dancers. "Alright... Kenzie, you are going up against Emily. You're a great dancer, even if you are the weakest link of the group. You'll easily beat out Emily, for sure." Ozzy said and then Emily finished her jazz routine and Kenzie went up doing a very emotional jazz piece. Everyone clapped as they turned to Kate for the answer on who'd won the first round out of the six-round battle.

"Kenzie."

One point - Ozzy, zero points - TNS faculty.

Heartbreaker began to play and Giselle took the floor. Looks like they were playing the studio-head cards first. Ozzy sat and contemplated in thought for a mere second for that fact that they were running out of time. He turned back to his dancers, "Richelle. You can beat the Acro dancer, I know it."

Though, due to the recent discovery of how the injury reformed, she was not quite sure as she wanted to take it slowly for now. She sighed, realizing that she had no choice. She got up after Giselle's solo had commenced and began to dance her hardest, full out, despite everyone thinking it was a bad idea. Ozzy knew she was struggling, but wanted his girlfriend to be happy and for them to have an actual shot at wining this, and if that meant risking permanent injury with his girlfriend - then so be it. Though, Richelle went lightly.

"Giselle."

Ozzy's face dimmed, they'd lost one. And it was their best dancer, if Richelle could not compare to them, then what chance did they stand at winning this? All hope had been lost for the group of renegades.

Rewind then turned on and Eldon took the stage, and everyone clapped hard. Eldon was known to be a tough one, though Noah knew he could take the only male out of the group he was in, down. He'd done it before, he could do it again. During Noah's time on A-Troupe in unison to Eldon, he'd always battled Eldon. Now, this was the final straw. Noah went up when he felt the opportunity called it and danced.

"Noah."

Noah was honoured to have finally beaten Eldon for once and for all. It felt as if it was a reward, and though he felt it would fit to leave A-Troupe now that his deed was done, though he felt that the battle, the fight within him, was far from over, there was still a whole lot more coming his way. Nothing was officially over.

Coming Home turned on and Thalia went up. Ozzy turned over. "Amy." Ozzy appointed for the person in the battle and then Thalia finished and Amy went up; both dances were energetic and excite-full. Allowing imagination to be explored.

"This is a tough one... But I'm gonna have to go with... Thalia on this one." Kate said and then everyone sighed, their hope was fading.

Empire then turned on and Michelle went up, trying her hardest and then Piper looked up. "I got her. I can't wait to crush her." Piper said, her eyes fixated to see the routine the former-nationals soloist was doing. She snarled as she realized that the girl who she was facing had her dancing get worse and worse as the time progressed. There was a moment when the blonde was at the top and now, she could barely do anything whatsoever and she grew to question what happened.

But for the competition, she had a grudge against Michelle for trying to steal her partner during the duet-qualifier auditions during the year prior, and trying to steal her spot in the quintet-qualifier the week prior. The behaviour was no excuse for someone as happy as her which made Piper channel her anger and enraged heart with the passion that stirred her, and controlled her. Allowing her dance to be much more presentable and make a statement.

In the end, Michelle had gotten the prize of the round. Now, the group had only one shot, they were at a loss now, though. They had one more chance and even then it would be a tie and not a definite win, what happened after that? It was either loose or tie, and he hoped that the ladder was the more likely. Though it was not. They had one last person on either side; Finn for Ozzy's crew and Chloe on the other. Sadly, Chloe had way more experience.

Right Here, Right Now turned on and each side, Chloe and Finn did their solos and Kate was about to make her decision. This was it, the fate of their team was to be sealed. "Chloe-"

The silence shattered, and Ozzy looked at his members, "Alright. Let's go. If our demands are not to be met, then we're out." Ozzy said, allowing the dancers he'd got into a cult-like group to follow him into the studio 1 locker area. The deafening silence of the forest scared them all, the jungle had been taken down, and they had no home to dance at. Richelle turned to the dancers who had just then all agreed to meet up down at Shakes And Ladders.

"Richelle, you coming?" Ozzy asked.

"Yeah - just give me a second." Richelle said and then everyone exited, agreeing to the terms of which she uttered. Richelle sighed as she crept to the bench and opened the shoe, noticing how her foot had been busted up bad. She was not taking care of herself, and now, she might just not be able to ever dance again. She had to stop, and now, she was forced to admit it.

She needed help, and quick...

Authors Notes:

  • The order of the songs was deliberate, as the main theme that they used in the trailers for season 1 was Stand Up, and during season 2, it was Heartbreaker and Rewind, in season 3, the main song judging by the trailers would be Coming Home, and Empire for the second half. The main two season four songs were Take It To The Top and A-Side, now since I did not have that many dance battles to sift through, I cut Take It To The Top, as that was already something heard this season as the rebellions main anthem. for season 5, it became Right Here, Right Now, as well as Can't Stop The Fire, though the ladder of which had to be cut from the battles because I did not have that much room.

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