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The Final Countdown is the 30th chapter of Last Dance and is the final chapter in the whole book. It was published on February 25.

Synopsis

The Next Step is about to dance in the finals, but when they're knocked out of the running when allegations are brought up, Ally must break the chain and confront the board, along with an incarcerated Richelle.

Chapter

Ally looked around nervously whilst Richelle soared in. "Alright. I am ready!" She called out effortlessly. The hermit studio was ready to destroy her dance career forever by exploiting her misdeeds and calling authority on her, and thus, she was not going to let herself sit there and watch her being attacked. She had to do something and Ally had the perfect idea; Her initial idea was to just expose them, but could not due to the contract. However, she ended up ripping the contract apart, due to her being disgusted by the actions, not wanting to work for a team who's as cheating, as well. She wanted things to be fair, and knew that times had to change. She now had full reign over of which she could do, say or enact. Her first choice was to take the evidence of them cheating (e.i; the letters, and the signatures, and the cheques), and would use it to pin the board down, causing an outrage.

However, it was too late. "Check this out?" Ally said, showing Richelle the actual results. Richelle was in immediate shock.

"I knew it! I knew our performance was way better then Gemini's!" Richelle squealed with such hope and power in her voice. "They must have ended up paying extra to get first in the awards ceremony." 

"Or, maybe it was a part of their plans. To make it more realistic!" Ally prompted.

"Well, the idea of a team winning internationals twice in a row is unbelievable enough, don't you think?" Richelle asked.

"I guess you're right..." Ally muttered. 

"Well, regardless, we need to stay close. They already know, but they were a riot after hearing such ideas. I have to go back up and check on them." Richelle stated firmly, as she then walked off to the dressing room.

-

Emily was in the venue, looking around with a smile on her face. She had some time to reflect on her past grievances, and she had learned from her mistakes. She needed to hold on to what she had, and she did not do that. She let it go when things went awry, not her way. She pulled the plug on such an amazing opportunity, but on the bright-side, if Emily was still in charge when Richelle's secret had been spoiled to the public inside the building for which they practiced on the grounds of, she probably would have ended up kicking both Ozzy and Richelle out of the studio and quickly replacing them. Surely, that would have made everything better, but maybe not? Maybe it would not have made Ally able to expose the boards shady bribery down the line? Maybe everything wasn't okay, and maybe this was for the greater good, for that she was struggling, for that Richelle did what she did?

Emily took a peek in the dressing room and saw them, she let a sigh emerge from herself and confronted her fears of what she was, who she had become. She frowned, and walked in. "I'm sorry, the truth is that the idea of lgbt+ nature represented in the dance was not a bad idea, I was just stuck in the past." Emily admitted.

"It's fine, but I don't know when we'll be ready to forgive you. But you can watch for now?" Giselle asked, and Emily gave a nod. It was sad that whom she had once called her friends were now turning on her for the second or third or maybe fifth time in a row, now. But she was used to it, so now it did not affect her as much and she just smiled, and shrugged. Allowing her to seize every moment she had, surely watching them and supporting them was not as cool as running a studio, but she'd take it for now....

-

The Next Step was rioting profusely. They were in such a shocked state of mind at the fact that Gemini had cheated. Richelle had just raced off to find her crook of a partner-in-crime, Ally. Just then, two police officers came in. "Has anyone seen Richelle?" 

"Wait, why?" Thalia asked, nervously. The name of Richelle sprung up in their mind, as she recalled the horrific and illegal extortion for which she played a role in, and so did Ozzy. Just then, Sophie, the leader of Gemini, as well as Skylar and Madison, bursted in with the leader of the internationals board.

"Richelle extorted someone." The moment Richelle's name was heard, she had came back. 

"What's going on?" Richelle asked.

"You're under arrest." The police officer said, and Richelle's eyes widened - this was actually the end of the line for Richelle, really? She had built her walls, and cemented her foundation and yet in the end none of it worked out well in her favour? She risked her life for dance, and now everything was crumbling down in an earthquake, a tornado. She was in such a damaged state of mind, and knew that she had to stop at that moment, and yet somehow she could not. There was a voice in the back of her mind forcing her to go on, and one thing she realized was that she was not happy this way; surely dance made her happy, but yet there was still much more to the key of happiness that she did not know about. There was way more, she still had her whole life ahead of her, so she could luckily learn... Eventually. "Put your hands in the air."

Richelle did as called, and put her hands up in the air. "There they are!" Skylar called. "Ozzy was the person who ended up bringing them together! Listen to this!" Skylar said, handing a tape of the audio recording for which Ally had received once earlier to the police and the nationals delegate.

"So how has A-Troupe. Anything new? Is there anything I can help you with? Any advice? Anything wrong?" Ally asked through the audio recording. Her voice was striking to the other dancers surrounding them.

    "Actually kind of not, I extorted someone in order to go to National's, and I now feel guilty, and I don't know what to do." She admitted, panicking. "I feel so scared to go anywhere, the police could come to me." Richelle admitted.

    "Wow. When was this, and was Ozzy involved?" Ally was shocked to hear that Richelle would do something, though maybe it did not seem that surpassing, given her addiction to dancing.

    "Yeah, Ozzy suggested it. And I extorted his brother, who deals in illegal businesses."

 "Ozzy and Richelle, you two are both disqualified from competing at this years competitions!" The delegate said.

Richelle looked devastated, her tears coming from a filter which seemed to contain a fountain. Her cries were somber and grim as her goal had now been destroyed. Ozzy looked towards his girlfriend. "I can't believe you! I trusted you and look where things went wrong." Ozzy said to Richelle. Before ending it with a, "we're over" and storming off.

"This means that you now have 9 dancers, and are unable to compete, which means Gemini automatically wins! They'll dance at the closing ceremony at around 2pm." The delegate said, before walking off, leaving the Canadian Toronto-native team in shambles. They collected their things, and got ready for defeat. Things were looking very dark for them in their weakest moments. There was no hope for them, or at least in their minds that was what it felt like to them.

Gemini was getting ready and Ally was with them, she had to battle between her inner-self and the thoughts that were collapsing in her mind, about to kill her and implode. She knew that she had to save the team for which she was most dedicated to. She then ran out of the room and locked the door. She then made her way to the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre of which Richelle was being incarcerated in.

She looked at the person guarding the building. "How much for Richelle's bond?" Ally asked the person in charge.

"About $264.75." He said.

Ally took the rest of the money that she had acquired from the competition and Richelle's jail door was opened. Richelle was elated to be out, and she smiled. "So, we're heading to kick the butt of the Gemini's?" Richelle asked.

"You bet." Ally said, and then rushed off to the nationals building. There, the announcer was there, calling their names and wondering why they were not showing up. Was there a problem? Had they been stuck in there from someone? They had no clue, and their security cameras had been broken for weeks now, and so thus had no other way of checking then checking up on them, but that was simply not possible.

Than, Richelle and Ally raced onto the stage, receiving a bunch of shocked and angered faces in the crowd as their team cheered the duo on. "Everyone, Gemini cheated!" Richelle announced, making everyone only more mad at them, and hating their team, and only wanting them to die even more. Ally grabbed her phone and showed it up on a projector that they had. "These are photos of the Gemini's studio owner, Sophie, actually signing cheques under Gemini's name for bribery into acsess for the next to internationals, and we all know that you can't get into internationals without winning nationals and you can't go onto nationals without having won regionals. They also have bribed their way into winning those competitions."

"Is this what you want, Absolute Dance Board? An unfair, unstable and corrupt way of doing these dance competitions? Are you sure that is how you want your ways to be known as?" Richelle asked. "Because dance competitions are supposed to be a fair place where people are allowed to be themselves and get judged, surely they get judged, but that's the only immoral part of it, here we're all dancers and no one should be demoted because they can pay money for bribery. If you keep going down this dark path no one will enter these competitions anymore. You hear me? Boycott Absolute Dance Competitions!" Richelle yelled. 

They started to gain a following, and the crowd began to say it along with them, and then Ally grinned at the fact that their campaign was gaining traction against the audience,

"Hey, if you guys still are not convinced why it should be Gemini who gets disqualified and not The Next Step,  I will let you in on one secret." Ally stated, and the gossip was about to begin. "I was a spy for them and I had to go against my friends. They hired me to spy on my friends, and report back to them so that they could sabotage their dances and make them win, and make it look like their bribery's would have done nothing, nice try. I'm not that dumb Gemini, oh, and I ripped the contract up so that I could say this. Yeah, have fun in court Gemini because I want to sue you when I'm like 20, so in like 6 years."

"I had to be a spy, because or else someone who would actually be committed to the team would probably do it, which would be a horrible decision and we would actually be on our knees, in shambles now. So Absolute Dance Board, you have five minutes to make your statement, your response, and that will change history. Will it be The Next Step going onwards to Internationals, or will a boycott begin?" Ally asked, pressing the questions down everyone's throats.

The quiet was violent as they waited for a response, and the delegate for the board grinned, and walked over, following Ally and grabbed the microphone. "I understand your points..." He said, but it felt as if a but was coming in there soon, "and thus, Gemini is eliminated from the competition and banned from ever competing in regionals ever again. We will issue no refunds, which means that they have lost millions of dollars and will probably have to leave the dance world for quite a long time. Have fun, oh, and we will track down whoever was allowing this to happen behind the scenes, and have everyone be replaced who partook in this immediately. The Next Step, do you guys care to do the honours of closing this competition off now?"

"I guess," 

And so, Ozzy and Richelle were allowed to dance once more, and everyone on their team who were part of the ten -- everyone but Noah -- walked on, they were feeling very excited for what was to come, and Josh and Finn stared each other in the eye, as they were in the middle. It was it, the last straw as they waited for the music to play. It finally played, and Last Dance began to play, by Dua Lipa. Bringing every inch of fibre for which was imaginable into the routine for they worked so hard to complete. They made sure everything was on perfect timing, and they had to make sure everything was perfect, and it was. The lgbt+ representation was perfect, and on that night, the two fateful lovers, when the music finished, collapsed into a touch with one another. They succumbed to their avoidance, and finally admitted their love, and kissed one another, as meanwhile, the lights dimmed and the staff of TNS; Chloe, Eldon, Thalia, Giselle,  and now Emily all embraced each other in a hug. "You're forgiven." Chloe said, as this might just very well be their last dance....

Authors Notes

  • Honestly, thank you guys so much! No one actually reads the story, but it's fine. I had a blast wriitng it. If ten to twenty people like this story, I will make a seuqel. So message me on the wikia if you want a sequel.
  • Ironically, Dua Lipa's "Last Dance" (the song of which is the song the title of the book is based off of) played when writing the second half of the chapter, and I ended up putting it on replay and will do so until I am completely done reorganizing everything, and adding all the proper categories into chapters.
  • Have a great day everybody! That's a wrap. Owen.

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