Disclaimer: Nope, still not mine, none of it.
A/N: Hey guys! Second one shot in a week, how cool of me, huh? I was so glad about the first one's response, that I had to write more. Plus those plot-bunnies keep on bugging me... I love them!
This is a sequel to my first Step Up story called 'As long as you're with me'. It's not as fluffy as that one, there's a lot more drama and angst in this one but I heard that you guys liked it, so enjoy. Please don't forget to review.
Title's the name of Robin Thicke's song.
Lost without you.
The weeks that followed the shooting of the video were not what we could call very pleasant for Chase and Andie.
It all started on a Tuesday, exactly a week after that day. It was not just any Tuesday, not for the couple anyway, it was supposed to be a big deal. It was supposed to be memorable and cheesy, it was supposed to be important because that Tuesday was their anniversary. They had been together for a whole year and it had to mean something. Chase had never been for that long with anybody else and he thought that Andie would want to mark the day, make it special.
Chase thought wrong.
Andie did not even mention the date, not once. She just went on with her day as if it was any other day, as if she did not care. She did not wait for him next to his locker, with a stupid goofy grin, hands behind her back holding a gift she had purchased weeks ago. No, that was him. He had waited for her for half an hour that morning and had been late for his first period. He had decided to not give it too much thought, she was probably too shy to do that at school. He had convinced himself that she would wait for him next to his truck at the end of the day. But when their last period ended and she just kissed him on the cheek telling him she would see him tomorrow before joining Missy who was waiting for her outside MSA, he understood that this day -their day- was not as important nor meaningful to her as it was to him. He had just stood there, watching her walk away and in that instant he felt hurt like he never had before. He had no idea he could actually feel so disappointed .He was disappointed in Andie for forgetting but mostly, he was angry and disappointed in himself for being such a fool.
He had gone home that day with an ache in his chest and just wanting to wallow like a freaking girl surrounded by his dogs and video games. He had done just that or at least he had tried to while dodging all night the desire to call her and ask her what the hell was her problem.
The days that followed were so awkward between the couple that it was affecting the crew's rehearsals and their schoolwork. Chase was angry all the time and kept on snapping at people. He barely talked to Andie and when he did there was so much sadness and anger in his eyes that she tried to avoid them as much as possible which of course made their exchanges very difficult. The crew was in utter confusion. Nobody except Andie and Missy understood Chase's behavior and it was starting to get on everybody's nerves. The Streets were coming soon and the ongoing tension was jeopardizing their chances of keeping their title. Each member of the crew had tried to go talk to him but it was useless.
"I'm fine," he would repeat endlessly. Or the typical Chase response, "Of course every thing's OK! Why wouldn't everything be OK?". That was either followed by an eye-roll or a shrug from the person asking the question. They did not know what was more frustrating: the fact that Chase was being a jerk for no reason at all or the fact that he did not want any help to get better. Of course, none of them (except Missy) knew that the only person who could fix things could not bring herself to even have a conversation with Chase. Andie knew that she was the cause for all of this mess but she was too scare and too ashamed to make amends. So, instead she kept on worrying about her boyfriend, about their friends, about the Streets and about the upcoming release of the hottest and steamiest video she had ever seen without doing anything about it.
'Push' made its debut three weeks after the shooting and by then, the tension between Chase and Andie had grown so much that their friends were expecting a break up very soon. They were the major topic of gossip around the school and girls and boys all over MSA were rubbing their hands together in hope of becoming their next significant others. Those two hotties had been out of the market for way too long and the majority of the student body was anxious for their relationship to end.
Chase knew that he should get over it. After all, it was just a day in the calendar. There was no need to get this angsty or dramatic but truth be told he did feel like it was worth every bit of anger he had felt for the last two weeks. He knew something was off with Andie, he knew she had valuable reasons to explain her behavior and by now, he was sure she had not forgotten their anniversary. He also understood that, if he wanted things to get back to the way they were, he should probably talk to her. But Chase was a 18 year old guy, who was as stubborn as his girlfriend was and who believed that she could have at least apologized.
As for Andie, she was missing Chase just as much as he was missing her and everyday she would wake up and promise herself that today would be the day. She would go right up to him and explain, apologize and beg him to forgive her.
She never did.
Instead she would arrive every morning in front of MSA, look up into those sad brown eyes and buckle under her nerves, fears and shame.
The situation only got weirder when Enrique's video started to air. Needless to say that Andie and Chase were more the center of attention than they ever were. Guys would clap Chase's back with sly grins on their faces while girls would send dirty looks toward Andie. She was famous for her short fuse and she had threaten so many girls by the end of the week that she was constantly followed by one member of the crew to avoid any "incident" as Moose had called them.
Approximatively two weeks after the release of the video the event that led to the tell of this story happened. Chase was walking along the main corridor of the fifth floor after school hours to get a book from his locker when he saw his girlfriend. She was frowning up at Jason Conrad, a senior majoring in acting, who was leaning dangerously too close to her. He was smirking and began to brush his freaky long fingers up and down her bare arm. She recoiled as if she had been burned and pushed him away while throwing him the most disgusted look Chase had ever seen.
If you were to ask Chase what happened in the next few seconds he would not, for the life of him, be able to answer you. He had just felt this raging hatred toward Jason along with this overpowering anger that had built up for the last few weeks took over his self control. The next thing he heard was his knuckles cracking from punching Conrad's jaw so hard. The actor fell to the floor while Chase stood over him, his breaths coming out with difficulty. He turned to look at Andie and what he did not expect was to find her on the verge of tears with a shocked expression on her saddened face. They stood facing each other in silence not even realizing that Jason had gotten back up on his feet and left them alone.
"Did he hurt you?" Chase asked after what felt like centuries of silence.
Andie shook her head and murmured a weak 'no'.
"Did he say something?"
"Nothing that I haven't heard before," she sighed. This were the first words they exchanged in almost a week and it had to happen because of a jerk. "Why did you do it?"
"I don't know," he said looking down at his hand that had started to hurt like hell.
"So you just go around punching people for no reason at all?" she asked, anger rising in her voice. He looked up at her, his eyes intent and piercing. She shivered violently; he had never looked at her like that.
"No, just jerks who think that my girlfriend is a freaking stripping poll!" he said through clenched teeth.
"Oh, so I'm your girlfriend again now?" she asked putting her hands on her hips.
Have you ever had moments in your life when you knew that what you were about to say was either the stupidest or the most dangerous thing to say? That if you let the words slip, then things would inevitably change for the worse ? And despite of that knowledge, you spoke the words anyway because anger or stupidity had blinded you?
We all had one of those moments and this was Andie's. She regretted the words when they were crossing her mind but there was nothing to stop her from saying them. When they were said, she was not sure whose pain she was really feeling, his or hers, but she knew that only the sorrow of losing her mother had been more devastating than this moment. The way his eyes clouded with hurt, the way his hands started to shake at his sides, the way his chest was moving up and down with much less constancy... she knew that those were images she would never be able to forget.
After a while, he nodded, almost to himself before looking down at her.
"I guess you're not anymore," he said tonelessly before turning around and leaving her alone while her tears were burning paths down her cheeks.
During the next two weeks they had manged to avoid each other completely. School had ended a few days after their break up so the only moment they should meet were during practice and even that did not happen. The night of their break up, The Streets took place. Not knowing what had happened between their friends, the crew had arrived at the abandoned and crowded building with excited grins and pumped up confidence. Andie and Chase had come because they both refused to let their friends down, it would not have been fair. But the physical and emotional distance between them was so real that it felt like nothing could diminish it.
Unlike last year, they danced before the 410 and unlike last year they were not better than their long time rivals. One of the routines was based around Andie and Chase teasing each other. Missy had choreographed it, inspired by what she had seen in 'Push'. She had hoped that dancing so closely with each other would have helped break the ice between them but it had never really worked. She had proposed to cut it off completely but strangely enough Andie and Chase had refused. Somehow both of them thought that if they could dance together like they used to, then things would get back to normal.
Unfortunately for them and the rest of the crew, that plan was shot to hell when, when unknown to their friends, the couple broke up. When it was time to dance that routine, both Andie and Chase froze. They just stopped in front of each other, eyes locked and hurt distorting their features.
He wanted so desperately to hold her, kiss her, tell her that he could no longer be without her. He wanted to hear her say that she loved him more than anything. She wanted to go back in time and change everything. She wanted to feel his strong and protective arms around her and let herself get drowned in him.
None of those things happened.
Instead, Hair who was doing his part of the dance came crushing to Chase's side and they both fell to the ground bringing Andie, Missy and Moose down with them. During the next few seconds everything happened in slow motion. Andie could see shock and surprise crossing the faces of a majority of the crowd.
Once they finally tangled themselves out of each other, they got up to their feet and looked around. The rest of the crew had stopped dancing and were looking at them with confusion and defeat.
Silence had engulfed them all and the only sound that could still be heard was the mix that Cable had put together ending.
"What the hell was that?" DJ Sand yelled in his mic making people from the crowd snicker and laugh.
Andie felt as if she could no longer breathe. It was becoming too much for her. In a few hours she had lost two of the most important thing in her life: Chase and The Streets. It was all her fault, she was very painfully convinced of that fact and it just made the situation worse. She looked at her crew and felt a weight descending on her chest, suffocating her. They looked so disappointed and sad.
She could no longer bear to be there with them, she did not deserve to be their friends; she had ruined it all. Before anyone could react, she had took off running, not once looking back.
During the next few days, the crew had made everything in their power to bring Chase and Andie back together. Missy (after much pressuring and threatening) had finally explained what had happened between them and even if they were expecting it, they took the news as badly as the loss of their title. Chase and Andie had become an emblem to their group; they had a hard time believing that things were definitely over between them. They just could not stay separated, they had to do something.
But how much can anybody do when they both refused to return their calls or did not even bother to answer their doors. After two weeks they were at loss of what to do and resigned to the possibility that it was, indeed, the end of a beautiful story. They did not know where to go from there or where the crew stood or if there still was a crew.
Moose seemed to be the most affected one; he was as depressed as Chase and Andie were. He refused to accept the fact that they had broken up and what it meant for the rest of them. He needed to do something, he was determined to help them fix it and the more he thought about it, the more he got closer to forming a plane. It would be complicated and hard to accomplish but it was more than worth it.
A few days later, Chase was laying on his bed, contemplating the whiteness of his roof (yes, because it really was something to ponder about) when his cell phone went off. He sent a dirty look in its direction but picked it up when he saw that it was his brother.
"'Lo," he grunted.
"Chase, you need to come down the school quickly!" Blake's voice was urgent, concerned and furious at the same time. Chase shot up from his bed and run down the gigantic marble staircase in his house while putting his sneakers on.
"What's the matter?" he asked worried.
"I don't have time to explain, you need to get there as quickly as possible," Blake pleaded on the other end of the line and that scared the living daylights out of Chase. Blake was never pleading, he was demanding and commending but never pleading. Something was definitely wrong. "I'll be waiting in Studio A," he added. Chase was on his way faster than it took for Blake to hang up.
Blake smirked at Moose who was grinning happily.
"Your turn," he said to Sarah who shook her head but dialed Andie's number anyway.
"Andie, I just got a call from your director... Yes, I know he's no longer your director... Would you just listen to me? He needs to see us, I'm already on my way, He said to join him in studio A... How the heck should I know what he wants? Stop mumbling and get your butt here! OK, see you soon," she ended the call and look up with a smile.
"You guys were great! Have you ever though about giving acting a shot?" Moose smiled as the three of them made their way to Dance studio A where the crew, Felicia, Sophie and Charlie were waiting for them.
"Done!" Moose announced proudly and the group cheered.
"I'll get everything ready," Cable said going to set the material up in the middle of the studio.
"Moose are you sure this is a good idea?" Sophie asked still unsure.
"Yeah, they're gonna trip when they see each other," Missy added.
"I don't know what's gonna happen but quite frankly I don't care. I'm tired of this," Moose explained. Sophie put a hand on his shoulder and he relaxed a little. They waited in amicable yet slightly anxious silence. Moose's plan was a good and nice one but it could also back fire in all of their faces. Both Chase and Andie were known for their tempers and short fuses so it could get pretty ugly. And that was not even the worst case scenario... What if they could not even stay in the same room anymore? What if they left before they saw what Moose and Cable had prepared?
"All set," Cable announced with a grin which was reciprocated by the rest of them.
"Where did you get all the footages?" Blake asked crossing his arms curiously.
"I always have a camera on me," Cable explained.
"And I like to play around with it," Moose added.
"Well, I certainly hope this will work. I want the old Andie back," Sarah said with a sigh.
"Me too," Charlie declared sadly.
"You should see "Moping-Chase", not very fun either," Blake mumbled which made them all chuckle.
Ten minutes after the phone call, Chase arrived in front of the MSA. He frowned. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The school looked like any other school during the summer holiday; empty. He quickly parked his truck and made his way inside. There were no police officers, no firemen, no crowd... nothing. When he arrived inside the studio he was taken aback by the presence of most of the people he knew and cared about.
What the hell? he thought angrily. He opened the door and all eyes turned to look at him. They greeted him with either nervous or mischievous smiles.
"Blake, what's the problem?" he asked with a scowl not bothering to respond to the greetings. It was hard to be back in this place, in this studio, surrounded by all his friends. It just reminded him of her and he could not take it. Not yet.
"Hello Chase," his brother replied.
"Blake, I nearly got killed getting here!"
"Yeah, I'm sorry about that," Moose spoke up, "but I really needed you here as quickly as possible," he explained with an apologetic smirk.
"Can't tell you just yet."
"Moose," Chase growled becoming more and more aggravated, "I really am not in the mood, so-" he was interrupted when the studio door opened and revealed a surprised Andie. He looked over at her and felt his heart, or what was left of it, fell to the bottom of his stomach. She looked as depressed as he felt but managed to still look breath-takingly gorgeous. She met his eyes and he saw the sorrow in them. It was as heart wrenching as her beauty. He quickly looked away and glared at the group.
Despite their apprehensions, they held their ground and looked at him with determination.
"Guys, what are you all doping here?" Andie asked looking at them confusedly. As soon as Chase heard her voice, her soft yet slightly raspy voice, he felt like he could no longer stand up so he turned on his wheels with every intentions of leaving and never coming back. He had no idea a man could suffer this much.
"Chase don't leave, please," Sarah stopped him.
"You have to stay," Jenny almost yelled. He put his hands on the door and breathed heavily.
"I can't," he said softly.
"Please, we have something for you," Charlie's little voice pleaded but Chase did not move. Andie was stuck in the middle, not really wanting to be here either but unable to move from her spot between Chase and the group. If she concentrated hard enough, she could pretend it was a practice day and that nothing had changed.
"Chase, this is important," his brother tried but only received a glare in response.
"Oh, for the love of God, stop being so dramatic and get your ass here!" Fly rolled her eyes angrily at him and if Chase was not feeling so low he would have laughed at her tone. Andie decided to join the group and stood between Missy and Felicia who both put a hand on her shoulders.
"Chase, do you think I'd be here if this wasn't something important?" Sarah asked and he finally turned to look at her. It was true, if Sarah was here then he had to at least hear them out. He nodded and slowly made his way toward them. Cable went to turn on the TV while the teenagers and Charlie sat down in front of it. Blake, Sarah, Andie and Chase were the only ones left up. Andie and Chase were on opposite side of the group trying desperately to not look at each other.
"You guys better sit down, this is gonna take a while," Moose looked up at them and the ex couple finally sat amongst the rest of them.
The screen of the TV finally lit up, showing the parking lot of MSA.
"Is it on?" Moose's voice could be heard before he jumped in front of the camera. "OK! Hi Chase, Hi Andie, this is Robert Alexander the Third or you know... Moose," he grinned and waved, "this is your anniversary present. I know it's a "couple" kinda celebration but this means as much to you as it means to us. The crew and I have been looking for weeks and weeks for the perfect present for you two and let me tell you, it wasn't an easy task. Then one day, I found this-" he was interrupted when the camera turned around to show a close up of Cable who was holding it.
"He means to say he stole my camera and proceeded to shamelessly go through my personal files," Cable said with an annoyed glance at Moose. The group of friends seating on the floor laughed at that while Moose shrugged.
"Same thing. Anyway, hope you guys will enjoy. Happy anniversary,"Moose said with a huge grin while winking to the camera before he faded to black.
At that moment Andie and Chase looked at each other, at loss of what to say or do. Even though it was a very sweet gesture, it only reminded them that they never had a chance to celebrate their anniversary.
They looked back up at the screen when Blake appeared on. He was seating behind his desk in his office and was looking contemplative and amused. He crossed his arms before looking up at the camera.
"When I think of Chase and Andie, I think complementarity. I've rarely seen two people who were more meant to be than those two. I may have had my doubts about Andie being an MSA student, but somehow, I never doubted that she was not good enough for Chase. As different as they may seem, it's their similarity that amazes and comforts me. Our parent may think that they're too young and I do too but I know that there's something permanent about Chase and Andie. Just look at the way they dance together; it's beautiful," he finished with a small smile and the people in question looked up at Blake who was standing in the dance studio looking intently at his younger brother. Chase and Andie looked at each other before looking back up at Blake, eyes wide. He shrugged and smiled at the both of them before pointing the TV where a footage of them dancing together was playing. Moments from rehearsal with the crew, preparation for the showcase, dance assignments and even some clips from them dancing together at The Dragon were assembled together to show just how perfect they were when they danced together. Despite the hurt that was burning inside each of their chests, they were not able to retain the smiles that appeared on their faces. They really looked great.
The footage ended and Sarah and Charlie appeared on screen. They were seating on their couch, smiling at the person holding the camera. Andie smiled and looked down at Charlie who was seating next to her, grinning cheekily.
"Do you like Chase, Charlie?" Sarah asked her son who grinned.
"Chase is the most coolest tallest person in the whole wide world," the boy answered enthusiastically and the group in front of the TV laughed wholeheartedly.
"Do you like when Andie and Chase are spending time together?" she asked this time.
Charlie nodded, "Chase makes Andie happy and when Andie is happy you guys don't fight. I hated it when you guys fought," he finished in a small voice. His mother wrapped an arm around him and looked up at the camera.
"He said it better than I ever could. Chase and Andie make each other happy and believe me, in the end it's all that matters," Sarah said with a smile. "Happy anniversary, kids."
The next footage was of Chase and Andie's moments spent with Sarah and Charlie. There were a lot of smiles and laughter. The clips breathed joy and carelessness. It made everybody in the studio smile softly. Plus Charlie was too much of a cutie.
The last scene (which was showing Chase and Andie seating on Sarah's couch watching TV while Charlie was sleeping with his head on Andie's lap) ended and Moose appeared again, this time wearing different clothes. He was seating on top of their lunch table smiling at the camera.
"Andie and Chase are my best friends. I was there from the beginning of their relationship and I knew the first time I saw them talk and annoy each other that something was going on. They never knew this but there were bets on when and how they'd end up together," at that piece of information Chase and Andie glared at the Moose who was seating not far away from them. "I won, of course. I knew it would happen at The Streets, much more dramatic, you know? They love drama," he said with a roll of his big brown eyes. "I'm glad they're together not because they make each other happy or because it works. Please! No, I'm happy because it feels natural. Andie and Chase love each other like they dance, naturally and with passion and as a dancer I can appreciate that," he finished with a shrug.
This time no footage followed Moose's intervention. Instead Missy and Felicia took his place. They were seating in Missy's backyard ad looking rather smugly at the camera.
"OK," Missy started, "Andie's been my girl for as long as I can remember and I don't think I've seen her look more... what's the word?" she asked turning to Felicia who smirked.
"Horny?" Andie blushed while the rest of the group laughed at Felicia's joke.
Missy laughed in the video as well before continuing, "Yeah that but also, radiant you know?. She's smiling an awful lot lately and it has to do with that hot charming and smirking dancer of hers."
"Yeah, he's a cool guy, I guess and they look kinda good together," Felicia admitted reluctantly before pointing a finger at the person behind the camera,"If Tuck ever hears about this, you're dead!" she threatened and everybody laughed again.
Missy shook her head with a smile, "They're all cute and stuff and they take care of each other," she finished and the two friends nodded to the camera before saying, "Happy anniversary."
The next clip was one of Chase carrying Andie in his arms out of the studio the time she fell and hurt her ankle. Andie smiled at the scene and her eyes wet up when she remembered the concern shining in Chase's eyes. She had told him she was fine but he had insisted on carrying her anyway.
"You just want to show off," the Andie of the video said and the Chase who holding her chuckled.
"You know me so well," he had replied before kissing the side of her head. Andie had smiled and leaned her head against his shoulder.
The clip ended and left place to the rest of the males of the MSA crew: Cable, Hair and Smiles. They were leaning against a wall of one of the studio, probably studio C Chase thought.
"I can't believe it's already been a year," Hair started.
"It was a good year. Thanks guys for brining us together," Smiles added and the three boys nodded.
"Happy anniversary guys. We hope to celebrate more of these with you." Cable said with a small smile.
It was short but it was more than efficient.
They faded to black before Fly, Kido and Sophie appeared. The three girls were seating on the stage of the auditorium, legs crossed with papers scattered around them. Andie remembered that week; Kido and Fly had been helping Sophie with one of her scenes for the acting class.
"Without Andie and Chase there wouldn't be an us," Fly started.
"We won the Streets because of them," Jenny carried on with a smile.
"Chase is the the guy he is now because of that relationship. He stepped up for Andie and believed in her and that was something I never saw him do before. I've seen them together, there no doubt in my mind that they belong together. You'd have to be blind or stupid not to see that," Sophie said with a smile.
"Happy anniversary, guys!" the three girls yelled happily at the camera.
The next footage had the girls "awwww-ing" while the boys smirked. Well, almost all boys, Charlie looked quite disgusted; Andie heard him mumble something about "cooties" several times. It showed various clips of Chase and Andie being Chase and Andie. They were showing the couple in their every day life together and it surprised no one to see that they always managed to stay close to each other and touch, even in the simplest of ways. They were holding hands, embracing, kissing.
Chase remembered that at the beginning of their relationship they were both reluctant to flaunt their it. They were not very comfortable with the whole PDA stuff but the more they spent time together the more difficult it seemed to get them to detach themselves from each other. They grew more and more comfortable with their physical relationship, so much that in the end they did not even notice that one would automatically reach for the other when they were in the same place. In fact, it had become so natural that their friends immediately knew that when they were not touching in any way, it meant that they were in a fight. It had become an inner joke among the crew.
Chase could not count the number the number of times they were interrupted during a make out session. He missed being close to her like that, he missed her soft touches and the power of her kisses. He missed being able to comfort and reassure her and being the one she turned to. He missed her presence and he hated the memories of what they used to be just as much as he cherished them because they were slowly and painfully killing him. Their break up might be very fresh but he felt as if they had been apart for years. He missed... Andie.
The last clip showed Andie leaning against Chase's chest while his arms were wrapped around her and his head was laying on her shoulder. They were watching Moose and Cable fool around at the end of one the crew's practice. Chase whispered something in her ear and she laughed heartedly. He watched her adoringly and laughed along with her. He waited until she had calmed down before deposing a sweet kiss on her neck. She smiled contently before titling her head up and pecking his lips softly. He tightened his arms around her and she deepened the kiss. The camera zoomed out and showed the crew watching the couple.
"Get a room," they chorused all together lightly but it was no use, the couple had long ago stopped replying to the teasing.
The screen faded to black once again and when it lit up again, this Cable took place in front of the camera, in the middle of the MSA parking lot.
"OK, I'm gonna take it from here, seeing as our friend Moose isn't capable of staying away too long from his own girlfriend either," Cable shook his head and Moose who was seating on the floor punched the shoulder of the Cable who was seating next to him.
"Poor Sophie. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little present. It wasn't much but I'm sure it'll be something you'll both appreciate. And before you ask how we got all those clips, I'll tell you that if you guys spent less time groping each other, you'd notice that we're always fooling around with the camera. I have thousands of footage stocked in my PC and they're not just about the two of you."
"There are two interventions left and they are probably the most... hummm, let's just say interesting. God knows it took us enough time to get them. Enjoy. Later!" he waved one last time before disappearing leaving the place to Chase.
Andie and the Chase seating down in the studio knew exactly what was coming and they both groaned. They remembered Cable and Moose coming to them with a "project" for one their class, begging to get an interview out of them. The trick had been to get those footage of each separately and like Cable had said, it had not been an easy task. They pretended that the assignment was to talk about something significant, it did not matter what or who, as long as it was an important aspect of their lives.
What else would Chase and Andie talk about if it was not about Andie and Chase?
So, there stood Chase, in front of the camera with an uneasy look, almost fidgeting. He looked cute, Andie thought. At first his words were uncertain and distant but the more he talked, the more confident he grew and there was no doubting the words that were coming out of his mouth.
"Andie West is my "something significant". I could not say in how many ways she amazes and surprises me. There's just too much to tell. She's a force and she became my strength. She probably has no idea how brilliant she is but I'm glad that I'm the one to share all of this with her. I'm very grateful that she's in my life. I can't believe I'm about to tell this in front of a camera but she's my everything," he finish with an intense look in his eyes and the hint of a smile on his lips. He nodded to the camera before turning around and leaving Cable and Moose alone. Unlike the other clips, this one did not end right away and Cable kept on filming Chase, following his tall figure until he reached his destination. Andie was waiting for him with a smile next to the entrance hall of the school. As usual he leaned down and kissed her neck before taking her hand and leading her inside the school. The scene faded to black when they disappeared behind the huge doors of the school.
Andie's nervous look appeared the next moment and she looked even more ill at ease than Chase had. She had a hard time keeping her eyes on the camera and she kept on playing with the hem of her tank top. She took a deep breath before looking up at the camera with as much confidence as she could muster.
"He cares about me. He treats me with respect. He's there, constantly, no matter what, without me having to ask. He just knows me and doesn't judge for who I am or where I come from. He accepts me. It's a great feeling. I always feel safe when I'm around him. He warms me and makes me smile even during my lowest time. The anniversary of my mother's death, he came to my house and sat next to me all day without saying anything. He just sat there and held my hand without asking me how I felt because he knew there was no way I could explain it. I never got the chance to tell him how much I loved him for being there that day," she took a deep breath and crossed her arms before continuing. "I don't think there's anybody who can compete with Chase Collins but if you're asking for an objective point of view, then you came to the wrong person. In case you didn't know, I'm a little biased," she laughed before looking up at her two friends behind the camera. "Are we done here? Because he's actually waiting for me," she asked with mock annoyance.
"Shocker!" Cable replied.
"Later, Andie," came Moose's answer a few seconds later, when he had finished laughing. Andie smiled before leaving the two boys alone.
The last footage was made of clips of the crew together, hanging out, dancing or just goofing around with Chase and Andie as the center of attention. The video ended after a few minutes and when Cable got up to turn off the TV, an anxious silence had taken place.
Chase looked over at Andie but Charlie was hugging her so her head was hidden by the little boy's shoulders. He had no idea what to think of this video. He had so many questions running inside his head and so many emotions running through his veins that he really was at loss of how to react. So he just sat there, blinking down at the floor.
After a while they all stood up and waited for something to happen. They looked from Andie to Chase but neither seemed very eager to be the first one to break their two weeks of silence.
"Any reactions?" Moose asked.
"When did you do this?" Andie asked making Chase look over at her once again. Her voice was raspy and he noticed that her eyes were red from dried tears. He felt his heart wrench.
"We shot it like two months ago," Cable said.
"Why didn't you gave it to," she stopped before saying the next word. She did not know that a two letters words could be this difficult to pronounce, "us then?"
"We wanted to," Jenny spoke up.
"But you guys seemed so off that day," Sophie explained.
"And then things only got weirder and weirder until we completely forgot about it," Smiles finished. Andie and Chases nodded but remained silent.
"Well, I don't know about you but I'm awfully hungry," Sarah said with a meaningful glance and they all took the hint.
"Yeah, how about Indian food? My treat," Blake offered and they all agreed, rushing off before neither Chase nor Andie could stop them.
They stood in awkward silence in the middle of the studio not knowing what to do or say or even if there was something to do or say. Many questions were consuming them but they were so afraid to ask them. After a while, Chase realized that the silence was worse than anything else, let alone awkward silence. There was never any awkwardness between them and he hated that because what some stupid lack of communication they had created discomfort. Because in the end, it all came down to just that, a stupid lack of communication driven by pride and fear.
So he spoke up and the question he asked was the one she feared the most, "Why?"
She took a deep breath and decided that he deserved at least the truth.
"I was scared," she admitted pathetically and he raised an eyebrow in question. "You're Chase Collins," she elaborated after a while as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. He was even more confused and she sighed with anger. "I couldn't find you a present and I took it as sign. If I couldn't find you a present after a year of being you with then why was even with you? Then the crazy thinking started and there was no way to stop it. All those stupid questions, that little voice that kept saying that you are too good for me and you were just dating me out of pity. I couldn't mark that day because maybe it'd make you realize that it has indeed been a year and that it'd scare you and then...," she stopped unable to pronounce the words.
"Then what?" his voice was shaky and she knew that he was angry. She looked up at him with teary eyes and shrugged helplessly.
"Then realize that you didn't wanna be with me anymore."
"Why would you even think that?" he asked with a scowl.
"I wasn't thinking clearly. I was just scared outta my mind and I didn't know how to talk to you about it."
"Did you believe it?"
"Not really but I was so afraid of losing you that I couldn't do anything. I was literally paralyzed."
"You should have come to me," he said with a sigh.
"I know," she nodded.
"Did I do something?" he asked apprehensively.
"No, no, never, you were... perfect. To be honest I was scared of me and of us in the future as well. We're so young and our lives will start changing soon. We'll meet new people, do new things, go to new places. How was I to know that you'd still wanna be with me when that time comes?" It was true; their lives as regardless teenagers were almost over and even if they were carrying on together it did not mean that things between them would not change. He understood her then because those thoughts did cross his minds during the last few weeks of their relationship.
"Andie, no matter how much I want to, I can't give you any certitude and I can't make any promises because you of all people should know that life is unpredictable," he took a few steps closer to her and she looked down at the floor. "But I can tell you that these last few weeks were worst than hell for me and if that's any indication as to how I feel about us not being together than I will try my best to make you wanna stay with me."
He brushed the tears running down her cheeks with his thumb and she shivered at the touch.
"I'm sorry, Chase," she whispered and he smiled his first real smile in weeks. It's all he wanted to hear. "I'm sorry for upsetting you, for not trusting us enough, for losing The Streets... I'm sorry I was such a freaking girl!"
He chuckled lightly then and cupped her cheek. "I'm sorry too, babe," and she smiled as well at those sweet words. She looked up in those beautiful brown eyes, full of relief and love and felt herself warm up for the first time in way too long. "I missed you," she barely had time to finish the sentence that his lips were on hers. It was sweet and tender sometimes even hesitant as if he was trying to reassure himself that he was not dreaming. She looped her arms around his neck and let this feeling-the feeling of him- surround and swallow her whole.
"Oh, you have no idea," he said when they released each other. She laughed softly then and he grinned wholeheartedly. He loved making her laugh, it gave him a sense of accomplishment. He hugged her then, very tightly and this time she was the one who kissed his neck softly.
"They're probably waiting behind the door, you know that right?" she asked lightly, feeling all the tension and exhaustion leaving her body at once. He chuckled and nodded on her shoulder.
"Good because I have a few more questions to ask them."
"The bet?" he nodded "And the clips of us making out?"
"Oh they are so in trouble," he whispered in her neck and she hugged him tighter. She knew that he did not mean that; she knew that he loved his friends and brother just as much as she did for what they did.
Outside the doors of the studio, their friends were watching them with wining grins on each of their faces.
"Took them long enough," Sarah commented and the rest of them laughed.
A/N: I know it was quite long and not very original, plot wise but I like it. Please review. I'll probably be back...