A/N: I am newly obssessed with Step Up 2 and, you'll notice, I'm also obssessed with Blake and Chase. This is another study of their relationship, taking a look at the stages of their relationship and how they grew closer and farther apart. Reviews make my day, so let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: I own all of it...in my dreams. In waking life, however, I'm just a poor college student who really needs a job.

Thunder

When they were younger Chase was afraid of thunderstorms.

Blake remembers the first time that it happened. It was one of those serious storms, the kind with thunder that shakes the house and lightning that strikes buildings and wind that howls and uproots trees. The first big clap of thunder, one that made the windows rattle, and his door slammed open.

He shot up in bed, blinking and trying to figure out what had happened, as the small figure of his brother bounced onto his bed.

"Chase?"

"B-B-Blake, I'm s-scared," the tiny voice said in reply, and into the darkness Blake smiled and held out his arms. Chase, only five years old with his blonde hair sticking up all over the place, crawled into his embrace and sat there, shaking.

"What are you scared of, Chase?"

The thunder roared and Chase gave a little squeak, burying his head into his brother's chest. "T-That."

"It's just thunder. It can't hurt you."

"But it's loud. And it's scary."

Blake tried very hard not to laugh at his little brother, as he rubbed the boy's back soothingly. "It is loud and scary, but it's just a big sound. It's like someone slamming a really big door in the sky, nothing that can hurt you."

There was another clap of thunder and Chase's grip tightened. Blake ruffled the boy's hair.

"Do you want to sleep in here with me tonight? I'll protect you."

Chase nodded, looking up at his big brother. "Promise?"

Blake smiled. "I promise." He shifted and pulled up the covers around his brother. "I'll be right here all night, and no matter what happens, I'll protect you."

Chase nodded again and closed his eyes. Blake placed a kiss on his forehead and burrowed down to sleep.

And every time there was a thunderstorm, until the days when Chase thought of himself as too old to go running for his brother, Blake's bed held two people instead of one.


With a sigh Blake turned off the lamp and headed upstairs. He had only a couple more weeks of summer before he headed off to England and he had a thousand things to do before he went. For the moment though, his top priority was sleep.

There was a loud clap of thunder overhead as he walked down the hallway. He paused outside of his brother's room, staring at the door. It hadn't been long ago that the thunderstorm visits to his bedroom had stopped. Chase, eleven and soon to be the only child in the house, had unofficially declared himself too old to be frightened by silly thunderstorms.

Really though, Blake thought that the end of those times had less to do with his age and more to do with the fact that Blake was leaving.

He would never forget the look in his brother's eyes when he told him the news. It was shock, right in the beginning, and confusion and then it quickly, swiftly transformed to hurt, to anger. And then his eyes dulled completely and Chase had turned away. "Good for you."

At the next rumble of thunder, at the next flash of lightning that illuminated the whole world, he opened the door to his brother's room.

Chase's eyes flashed with the lightning, as Blake slipped into the room. He pulled up a chair next to his brother's bed and sat. The boy, no longer little, no longer quite-so-innocent, watched him.

Blake opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again as the thunder roared.

"I promise." He remembered.

Chase stared at him and he reached out, ruffling that messy blonde hair.

In the flash of brilliant white light, Blake caught the edge of his brother's small smile.


It didn't thunder very often in England. Oh, it rained, of course, but thunder and lightning the way it was back home was rare. There were a few grumbles from time to time, but not many house-shaking roars.

But they did come, eventually. And on those nights, laying in his bed, Blake couldn't sleep. He listened to the rain patter against his window, listened to the wind howl. He watched the lightning streak across the sky. And he listened to the thunder that shook the world.

Sometimes he held his breath, watching the door, expecting to see it fling open, expecting to see a blonde-haired child run in and curl up against him. Sometimes he went and walked the halls, almost searching for his brother's room, so that he could sit by his bed in silent comfort.

He wondered if it was thundering back home.

He wondered if Chase was laying awake, waiting for his big brother to tell him that everything was all right.

"I promise."

He didn't sleep.


Blake finds it fitting, in a kind of ironic way, that it comes back to thunder in the end. He stands in the pouring rain, the sky crackling overhead, and he watches his brother.

He remembers back to those days of fear and closeness, to the growing gap between them, to the space that he forced between them. He remembers how he came back to take over MSA, with all of his big plans for the future, and how his little brother sometimes stared at him as if he was a complete stranger.

That gulf of space between them was so much wider since he came back. Sometimes he thinks that Chase just wants to tell him to leave him the hell alone, since he didn't seem to have a problem with abandonment before.

And now, standing in the rain, watching his brother twist and jump and spin and flip in some kind of animalistic, primal form of dance, watching his brother perform in a way that he could never do himself, he remembers back to those days where he promised things.

He finds it fitting that Chase, that little boy with messy hair who ran for his big brother when the sky growled, now stomps on the pavements, his movements as furious and fluid as lightning, as fierce as the storms that he was once so terrified of. Chase has become that thunder that he always feared.

And Blake stands in the crowd, with the earth trembling beneath his feet, watching the storm in front of him.

"I promise."

It's fitting that he is here, now, watching the person who doesn't need his protection any more, the person who has lost all of that violent fear.

He stands and watches, because a long time ago he promised that he would be there.


Second A/N: Just a quick little word about the weather in England: I don't live in England and I've never been there--though I really want to go--so I have no idea whether or not it thunders a lot. But, I did look up weather statistics for England, specifically London, and I got the impression--possible an inaccurate one--that severe thunderstorms aren't as common as they are in say, Maryland. Someone, please, correct me if I'm wrong. All inaccuracies like that--and grammatical errors--are completely my fault. Thanks for reading!