They had been through a lot to get to where they were now but it was all worth it. Just seeing Richelle smiling, actually genuinely smiling is something he hasn't seen her do since they were in J Troupe together, made it all worth it to Noah. And seeing Noah give her that lovesick fool look she'd seen him give to so many others now directed at her made her incredibly happy and everything they'd been though was worth it all.
It was the duet at Regionals that made Noah realise his true feelings for Richelle. Regionals was also the time that Richelle realised that she still liked Noah and hadn't stopped liking him like she'd thought.
It had felt awful breaking Jacqui's heart but he couldn't let their relationship go any further once he'd realised the truth. He had waited a couple of weeks after he'd broken up with Jacqui before approaching Richelle to talk to her. He'd admitted his feelings to her and waited anxiously for her to say something until after 5 minutes of silence she'd admitted that she returned those feelings. Now they were the happiest they'd ever been and it showed whenever they danced. It didn't matter whether they danced together or alone, their dancing was on point.
The Next Step had won Regionals under Emily and Michelle's reign and they were now getting the team ready for Nationals. They'd given Noah and Richelle a duet for Nationals and made sure that they both knew that the two women trusted them to make the right decisions and to choreograph the duet together but if they felt they needed help or if the duet needed a bit of a boost all they had to do was ask.
With the added pressure of choreographing their own Nationals duet Richelle was starting to stress herself out which is why Noah had planned something special that was just for her.
"Noah, where are we going?" Richelle asked, "This blindfold is getting itchy."
"Sorry 'Chelle," Noah apologised, "We'll be there soon."
"We'd better be otherwise I'll refuse to dance with you," She threatened.
"Oh Richie," Noah gasped, "We both know that you wouldn't do that."
Richelle pouted knowing he was right. They both brought the best out of each other when they danced together and they challenged each other to be the best they could be. They always had.
"And," Noah broke the silence, "We're here."
"It's cold," Richelle stated, "Where are we?"
"Look around," He rolled his eyes while untying the blindfold.
"Don't you roll your eyes at me Noah!" She exclaimed.
"How did you-?" He gasped, "You know what? It doesn't matter. Just look around you Richelle."
"Wow," She uttered softly looking around at the ice rink glowing with fairy lights, "You did all this for me?"
"You deserve it," He nodded with a smile, "I used up a favour and the place is all ours for the next couple of hours."
"Thank you Noah," Richelle thanked him with tears in her eyes, "It's perfect. I can't believe that you remembered."
"Of course I remembered," He smiled, "Ice skating is your second love after dance. It's something you like to do to help you to de stress because you think the cold is soothing and helps you to think."
"You're amazing Noah. You are really something special," Richelle smiled softly, "I'm so lucky to have you as my boyfriend."
"We're both lucky to have found each other," He kisses her on the cheek, "Now let's go get our skates on."
Richelle grinned and dashed over to the counter where Noah had brought his own skates and her skates from home. Noah smiled at her excitement and followed her over to the counter.
Richelle giggled and squealed as she stepped onto the ice. Noah smiled softly as he watched her giggle and twirl on the ice. He remembered the rush of affection (the same rush of affection he's feeling right now) when they were just J-Troupers and they'd gone ice skating as a team and even back then watching her smile as she twirled and skated made him smile.
Later that day after they'd left the J-Troupers they'd ended up at Richelle's house. She'd excitedly showed him her figure skating trophies and medals as she explained that she loved both dance and skating but dance would always come first while skating on the ice was a way to help her de-stress because the cool air was soothing and helped her to think.
He remembers every expression on her face that day and he wonders why he has never realised his feelings for Richelle until now.
"NOAH," Richelle's voice called him out of his thoughts, "Come on!"
He skates over to her and they started to dance, twirl and leap together. It was just what they both needed. It kept them connected and it made them realise that they want more than anything to stay together for every step of their lives whether personal or career. They simply didn't see themselves with anyone but each other anymore and that's the way it would stay for the rest of their lives together.