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Treat You Better is the sixth chapter of Last Dance and was published on December 25.

Synopsis

In an attempt to make things better, Finn invites Josh to help him get the duet spot. Richelle argues with Noah over the dance captaincy and tries to impeach him from his position, which does not sit well with the faculty of the team.

Chapter

Richelle stormed into studio A that night and plopped her bag down, and growled. Lily was stretching there as well and noticed the anger in the dancer's face. Scared of herself, she had to continue to dance, forget about everything she ever was. She was mad at Noah and Zara? Fine, let her be mad, she had to dance her anger out of her so no one could see it the following day.

"What's wrong?" Lily asked.

"It's Zara, she stole my solo and now Noah is preventing me from getting it back." Richelle explained, "he thinks I am not good enough to dance because I just got cleared from my injury after regional's."

"I see his point." Lily said, "You just got cleared right after Regionals and yet you stilled danced at regional's. Certainly not 100% but you still danced. You can't just go from 20% to 110%, you need to take time." Lily said.

"Are you kidding me?" Richelle asked. "I thought you'd understand. Out of all the people you have the most dedication and passion for dance. You know your worth. You are a great dancer."

"So? I might be cocky, though I would never let myself dance on an injury."

"Yeah? Well I am not you! I can handle this, okay?" Richelle said.

"No you can't." Lilly said which made Richelle drop her new blue pointe shoe that she had just gotten before the battle with Zara for the positon of the female soloist. The male and female soloists would be granted automatic spots as featured dancers on their twelve-dancer team, the rest would have to audition, and Richelle knew she needed that featured solo spot. Therefore, she needed to keep it in her reach, but the way Lily said that with so much trust, truth, sharpness. The way it just slid out, as if they both spoke of the truth. She ran to hug Lily, crying. 

Lily was the one person who could get her to understand, the one person who could make her see the light, though she quickly refrained and gained the correct composure. "I am not giving up."

"What? You're gonna risk everything to maybe not dance again? I know you, Richelle! Dance is all you have - if you loose it you'll loose your life." Lily said,

"And without it, I have no life." Richelle said.

"Yeah? But do you want to be miserable all your life?" Lily asked, hoping that she could be the one to set things straight, that she could be the one to bring Richelle to confront herself, she knew of the girls weaknesses, and knew how to get her to admit stuff, though it did not work. The one time, the one time she thought she could make sense, it just went in one ear and out the other. 

"You're just going to stand there? Not responding?"

"Yeah, I made up my mind. I'm dancing." Richelle rolled her eyes, unbelieving of how the one person like her would possibly try to make her listen, to get the truth for once in her whole life.


"Fine, do whatever you want, but don't blame me. You're the one who's gonna be miserable for all their life because they danced on an injury and now can't do the thing that they love forever. You're only going to be nothing." Lily said and then stormed off. As this point, she gave up on Richelle. She could not get her to listen, so she had enough. Richelle can do whatever she wanted, and she'd have her way, but as long as she knew that it was no one's fault but her own. But, that she was also loosing her one like-minded friend in the process.

There was no use saving her, she was already six feet underneath and was a lost cause.

Finn was studio 1, preparing for the oncoming duet auditions - they had no clue exactly who would do the duet or if there'd even be auditions for who'd represent their Toronto-bound studio in the second round of the close competition, but in case there was to be auditions, he needed to be his best. As there was no way it would be an easy fight. He had to be to the best of his ability.

There, Josh walked into the studio, a smile on his face. "Hey, what are you doing?" Josh asked, curiously. He was wanting to improve because all he was, was some silly little country boy from the streets, he had no clue what the real competitive world was, and he needed to know. He was also wondering if he could help because Josh was a generally fun person.

"i am just practicing for the duet auditions, surely we may not have any updates on that yet, but we need to be prepared, if we're going to win this thing, we need to practice months in advance." Finn explained. Finn was very much like Josh; the two were country boys, hailing from the tiny town of Clinton. They both needed to have a taste of the light that was the city, and the duet would be just the perfect reason, be the perfect push to the real world, the adult world.

"That is.." Josh pondered over the idea, never having thought of it, though it seemed like a good move. Out of all the dancers, these two, were probably the weak links of the troupe. "Not a bad idea actually, mind if I join in? I could potentially contribute some moves?" Josh offered.

"Sure, I'd love it." Finn said and then Finn gave a smile. "Alright so what if.." Finn said and then did a B-Twist.

Josh gave a snicker. "Oh." Take It To The Top began to play, "it's on." They had a hip hop battle and they danced their hardest they could ever, bringing everything to the forefront. Holding nothing back. They needed this, and collaborating like this would bring their routine to new heights.

They were really enjoying themselves. They were dancing their hardest and doing stuff they'd never dare to do before and everything felt transparent, as if they could see their their skin. It made things really easygoing and lighthearted when taking in the overall concept.

Josh high-five'd Finn. "You're not too bad."

"Well, you're not too shabby yourself." Finn admitted. 

"Anyway, I have to go, but I will see you around?" Josh asked.

"Well, I mean, I'm not going anywhere, so you can count on me to be right here!" Finn said and the Josh grabbed his stuff and headed out. Not knowing that as soon as he stepped foot off of the grounds, the studio would be threatened, typically, he'd keep the team at peace, but the civil war was emerging. One that no one could stop.

-

Noah was in studio A, stretching as his ex-friend stormed in. "I am sorry, but this is ridiculous." Richelle yelled and scoffed, "I can't dance until I get the approval of the dance captaincy, and therefore I want the dance captaincy so I can dance."

"I am sorry, but you're overreacting!" Noah yelled back.

"They won't let me, so if I can become the dance captain, then they will trust me!" Richelle yelled her explanation, pleading for her ex-friend to understand. But that was the problem, her ex-friend who wanted nothing to do with her, just so happened to be the one person she needed the approval of for the battle of the dance captaincy - the dance captain. Despite their friendship having been exiled from the girl's life, the man did not want to give up, just yet. He saw hope.

"I am sorry, but this has gone on for long enough. We are all doing this to save you from yourself." Noah yelled, harshly. Defending his ideology. "I am not sorry about this, but I am not handing you the role. Because it'll only have bad affects."

"I need this! I need to dance!" Richelle pleaded.

"You never learn, Richelle! That's why you have no friends! Because you don't listen to your body, you need time. I've been through an injury and it can take over a month to be properly healed!"

"But you don't know me, I know me, I know my body, I know I can handle this!" Richelle defended herself, though it just felt like one long sentence in the eyes of the beholder.

"I've been friends with you for nine years, I know you, Richelle! I know you better then you know yourself, so please, just stop it! This is going to end very badly, you need to chill down, or else I am going to Giselle and Emily and telling them about you being so obsessed with dancing!"

"Dancing is all I have left, and if I can't dance for eight hours a day I am going to snap, whenever I am not dancing I twitch, I get angry. I get mad. I need to dance for my health."

"Yeah, that sounds like an addiction, something that you should not. So it sounds like you're suffering from withdrawal, therefore, I will not allow you to dance. As it is in your best interest if you stop dancing for now, I will talk to Giselle and Emily and tell them to turn your position into an alternate."

"But-" Richelle squeaked, but had no time to continue her sentence.

"No but's. Now leave me alone!" Noah yelled frustrated and then grabbed his grey dance bag and began to walk off, but then Richelle narrowed her eyes and then rushed to Noah.

"I am going to campaign for the dance captaincy. You are not going to stop me, you're through at this studio." Richelle denied her injury, though little did she know that the more she danced, because of how she had been dancing non-stop 110% after not doing much dancing or none at all, the way she had just sped up her process of getting back to dancing and not taking her time to gradually get into it once more, the weakening of her bone gradually increased and became more severe, in no time, she could have another injury if she did not stop dancing. An even more serious one.

-

The cacophony was not good, as the dance captain trembled into the A studio nervously. After hearing what the addicted-to-dance teenager said, about how she'd try and strip Noah of his pride and take the one thing, minus Jacquie, away from him, the most amazing thing he could ever be blessed with - the dance captaincy, away from him. Who would ever think of that? He heard Richelle's booming voice conspiring against him.

"Yeah, that's right, only 3 rehearsals of dance class a week instead of our usual six!" Richelle said, "oh, and only 3 hours of class! Though, we will have everything set in a strict positon. And extra classes, of course. One hour classes on each style that we focus on here in A-Troupe so everyone can get better at each style, and better themselves for the safety of the team, and so we can successfully win Nationals. As well as team-trusting exercises each week to strengthen our trust." Richelle campaigned.

"And that all comes at the cost of Richelle injuring herself again, though, this time permanently, as well as Richelle being the star dancer, and so that means we lose our star dancer, and the rearranging of the dances because Richelle will probably make her the female soloist." Noah backtalked.

"I am sorry, but who do you think you are? Trying to take this away from me?" Richelle asked.

"I am sorry, but this has gone on for long enough, Richelle, you are on the path of self destruction and it does not look good for you in the end, I am sorry. But I am doing what is best. Richelle can not be dance captain." Which then, that line, spawned arguments. Everyone in the team was yelling at each other, and for what reason? People were divided against who should be it. Zara, Amy, Jacquie, Piper, Ally, Lily and Kenzie, they all wanted their change to not become apparent. They did not want the girl as dance captain, though, Josh, and Finn were on the fence. The rest of them, Ozzy. The only one, was rooting for Richelle to become the dance captain. But, that was only because he was still struggling with his feelings for her.

Giselle, Chloe, Thalia, Eldon, Michelle and Emily stormed out. "Alright!" Michelle yelled, "enough! The fighting has gone on for too long! It is time that we host a vote, those who want Richelle as the dance captain, go to the right side, those who wish to have Noah remain their dance captain, move to the left.

Ozzy was the only one who went on Richelle's side; Richelle cried, a tear falling down her, and then she raced downstairs and into the studio 1 locker room. Richelle was through with the studio, she had no clue what to d0, she just knew she had to find another studio, somewhere other then The Next Step, to dance at. One place that could let her dance.

Would this be the end for her time at the studio? No, certainly not. She still had one hopeful person who had the slightest of chances for convincing her to come back to her home, her haven, the person she trusted the most and the person who'd been by her side since the very beginning, even if that was not the case for long.

Ozzy. Ozzy was the person who could save Richelle from leaving, there was a very slim chance, like, 11%, not even, 5%? 4%? 3%? 0.1%! Though, that was still a chance, there was still hope.

If Ozzy could get there in time...

Authors Notes

  • The reason it is Ozzy coming to her is because they've been growing and hanging out with each other, and so they're friends. That is the backstory. Just know that it'll cause a lot of drama.
  • This is the second update that I am posting in order of celebrating Christmas! Enjoy.
  • In the initial synopsis, I had planned for Josh to invite Finn but I got to writing and I had already written in Finn by accident and then went to change my mistake, but it never felt right when I changed it.

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