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What About Us is the twenty-sixth chapter of Last Dance. It was published on February 19.

Synopsis

The Next Step puts the finishing touches on their routines before heading off to Nationals; Josh and Finn must go up against Piper and Zara for their duet after not showing up for three days.

Plot

Back to the day of when Ally came in to film the videos, it was 8am and Josh and Finn had walked into the studio ready for their duet. Chloe, Giselle, Michelle and Emily there. They were ready for the dancing, and preparations. National's what? They were excited for what was to come.

"Alright, let's get this on with." Emily said, turning on the music as they began to get ideas and then began to dance. Their dance was amazing technical, each was good as it and it pumped them up, adrenaline coursing through their viens and making things super excited. Now all they had to do was ace the lift and it would be solid. 

The two were scared about doing a big life at the end, they were unsure of whether or not they could trust each other, despite having been friends for about two months now. Give or take a few in weeks. Regardless, they went into the lift, and Finn cracked.  He was scared about what the feelings could mean. He felt something pulling him into something deeper. Trending icy waters. 

By the time the lift ended, he ran out of the studio.

-

Josh and Finn had not talked in a few days; due to both having crushes on each other, and growing their chemistry in the meantime in a duet, they were too scared of doing the duet. They had stopped attending the rehearsals for the duet when it was still half finished. It was.. Weird. They were acting weird. Josh wanted to know why Finn had blocked bis number and all social media of which he had that he knew about, and Finn wanted to know why Josh was avoiding him. They could not confront each other about this, they were too scared about it.

Thalia, and Chloe, along with their second-hand dance captain and current female soloist, Michelle, there as well. Awaiting the arrival of the two whom of which would not show up. They were avoiding the duet. This was what angered them; the two had been fighting for the duet to happen, and now that it was to officially be set in stone that it was to happen, they just decided to bail? Not gonna happen...

"Why are they not showing up?" Chloe asked. "They asked for this, pretty lousy if you ask me."

"I know!" Thalia said. "We leave for Nationals tomorrow. We can't have this ever happen again." Thalia said. Everyone was now stressed out - they had to leave for nationals the day following, and their finals routine was not pristine. Not even half done! They needed to clean their act up. Why would they even try this at such a vulnerable point?

"I'll find two other people to do this." Chloe sighed, as if she did not want to so such an idea at such a short-handed moment. This was their third rehearsal skipped and they needed to start practicing. Chloe walked around into the hallways and came across Piper and Zara.

"Dude, is he not amazing?" Piper gushed over about a celebrity, it was unknown which celebrity she was talking about, but she had a photo of someone open on her phone, showing Zara.

"Oh yeah, he's bae alright." Zara laughed as the two were having a great time together. They had never actually befriended each other until now, before then they never really had hung out. So this was fun, new, refreshing. After hanging around their regular friends for a year or less, things were getting stale, and befriended each other amped up their emotions and this made them happy to be around each other.

"Piper, Zara." Chloe approached. "Josh and Finn had a duet that they have not attended three rehearsals to. It's for the nationals finals routine. Do you two wanna be their replacements?" Chloe asked. 

The two quickly rushed to the opportunity and got to the studio in 60 seconds. Chloe was amazed at how eager they were. They began to practice.

-

Meanwhile, Josh and Finn were downstairs in Shakes & Ladders. Neither one of them talking to the other. Situated on opposite ends of the juice chain. They had nothing to say because they were too scared. Too scared to admit their caving life fullness. Their love for one another. Their cherish, and more then friends aspect to them. It was silly to some, but they just could not get it out.

Josh got the nerves to walk over to Finn. "We need to talk."

"What is there to talk about? We just have not spoken, that's all." Finn said, looking down with a frown at Josh.

"No, about us. I know we're in a rocky place. And we need to stay friends." Josh said. The two had not confessed their ideas for their friendship, but they knew that it would come eventually. "We need to get back there and rehearse. I get it, we're both struggling with our own problems."

"Yeah well, it's complicated." Finn rolled his eyes.

"That's what everyone says." Josh said.

Finn paused. "Well everything is complicated." Finn said before walking away and leaving Josh scared for the future. Josh began to follow him, Finn turned around. "What do you want from me?" Finn cried out.

"I just want to do the duet. I'm sorry but I can't risk my spot on the team again!" Josh said. Finn sighed and nodded, and they returned to the studio.

They walked into studio A to notice Zara and Piper doing their choreography. What?! They were immediately offended over this action. They wanted it back.

"What is this?" Finn asked.

"Well considering you guys missed 3 classes which you guys should have been working on your duet and Finn ran out after the lift the last you guys entered. I decided that enough is enough and I replaced you." Chloe said. "We needed to, we could not just waste our time waiting for your petty drama to be done and over with, Nationals starts tomorrow." Chloe lashed out at them.

Josh and Finn's faced dimmed. "Wow.." the two were unaware of this and were now scared about how their own emotions got in the way of the betterment of the team. How selfish could they have been? They finally understood the full picture.

"Let us prove it to you that we are worth it." Josh insisted. "We'll have a dance battle." He challenged the two girls to a dance battle.

"Alright." Zara said. "Winner gets duet."

The music, Classicality, turned on and Josh and Finn went up first. They hit every note, went one hundred and twenty percent in and they gave it their all. Holding nothing back as if it was their last dance. They used their awkward chemistry to their advantage. Adding it into their dance to fuel the fire known as their harsh movements in the dance. It really settled everything in and allowed the dance to be cooked and roasted for longer then the others.

After that, Piper and Zara went up to the same song. Their dance was straying away from the original idea; it was hip hop, flashy, and exciting and Josh was getting offended. They turned a sensitive subject into a dance for the generic feminist. This is not what the dance was supposed to be for. Girl power? Seriously? Could they be any more cheesy? Josh, the one who made the idea for the duet, was in utter disgust.

"Alright. We've decided that Josh and Finn should keep the duet. After all they started it and it pictures a more controversial shock-factor-style topic. So Josh and Finn, congrats. But you guys need to stay here for five hours and finally rehearse for once in your lives." Chloe said. "And I will be watching you." She said.

Josh and Finn laughed, not really minding all that much about dancing for five hours straight, practicing, and they got into first positons and then began to rehearse. 

Zara walked over to Giselle. "Hey, can we talk in your office?" Zara asked curiously.

"Yeah, why Zara? Is this important?" Giselle asked.

"Well if it was not important, would I be asking you?" She asked. 

Giselle nodded calmly. "You make a good point." And the two perambulated towards the office. Once there, the two sat down adjacent from each other. "Alright Zara, what did you want to talk to me about?" She asked, giving her full attention to her.

"Well when I first joined, I was given the female soloist role and I wanted to know what with Michelle as our official female soloist, and Richelle as the understudy, does this mean that I am no longer the official female soloist? Because I've been working hard on my solo. I can show it to you. I will go to any lengths to keep it." Zara said.

Giselle frowned. "Sorry, we gave the two spots up already. I can add you to the small group with Piper, Amy and Jacquie?" Giselle asked. Jacquie had made up with Piper and Amy and so now they were the trio again. "And I could maybe fit you in as a soloist in an upcoming solo competition if I find one?" Giselle suggested with all her heart. She felt bad for the girl, she really did. But the past was in the past. She could not let another person have the solo when they already had their soloist and the soloists understudy. They had to do another alternative. Take another road.

"Okay, thank you." Zara said and then got out of her chair and then walked off.

-

Richelle walked over to Noah. "There you are!"


"Yeah?" Noah asked, Noah had not talked to Richelle in ages, their friendship had kind of went down by the wayside because of the drama happening in the last four months. "Why do you need to talk to me?" He asked, raising his one brow.

"Because, we're friends." Richelle said. "And friends give each other and I need advice."

"We haven't talked in forever. You completely disregarded me as a person ever since we got love lives." Noah said. "I know, it sounds petty, but what about us? What happened to our friendship? Where did we go?"

Richelle paused. What he was saying was so true. He had completely forgotten about him ever since he'd befriended Ally and had all of the drama with Ozzy. "I'm sorry. I guess I'd just lost track of time, Richelle, you understand, I'm the best dancer, and I need to be there for the studio all the time. I fell short on my friends, and I made a love interest, and now I have more drama...." Richelle confessed. "I really am sorry." The girl apologized.

"Thanks, and I am not entirely sure if we're friends. But right now, I need to stay away from drama, so I can't be associated with some fugitive like you." Noah said, walking away to the other side of the room. Leaving one single strand of a tear to shed down her cheek. Richelle looked back, and felt the rush of the memories of which they used to obtain slip away from her, recalling their last moments together.

Just then, she heard a cacophony of words littering her space in between them. It was the sound of A-Troupe come back into the studio, ready for the day ahead. Their first day in Nationals; this was going to be epic. They had worked so hard to make it and they finally were getting there. And no one, not even Gemini, would stop them from taking Nationals by storm. With mature topics to hard-hitting choreography, they could not wait to get started with the competition because they knew that they'd make it at least till the female solo round and they wanted to see how far they would make it this time around. 

The dancers talked amongst themselves, before Giselle cut them off. "Okay!" She said, silencing them. This was it, this was where everything changed, they were hours away from competing at Nationals, and no one could believe it themselves.

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