Disclaimer: I do not own Camp Rock, Barney, Guitar Hero, The National Audubon Society, Winged Migration, "Stand By Your Man" or "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair".
A/N: Once again, many thanks to MissNata13 who is my sounding board when I start to doubt myself. I have been super cranky lately and hate everything I write. I appreciate the amount of time you spent trying to figure out my issues with the story. You
It was a warm, sunny day and the sound of a piano floated through the air. Caitlyn could hear people laughing and goofing off in the distance, but instead of joining in, she was spending her free time sitting on top of a wooden picnic table watching her best friend. Mitchie sat leaning against a tree smiling lovingly at the boy resting beside her. The two were so caught up in each other that they didn't even notice the producer observing them.
"You aren't jealous, are you?"
Caitlyn didn't need to turn around to know the speaker was smirking.
"No," she replied honestly. "I'm just trying to figure out how she went from canoe rides and meaningful glances with you last summer to this big romance with your best friend this summer. I obviously missed something."
Shane chuckled at her bluntness and sat down next to her on the table.
"She didn't give you any details?" Shane asked.
"Nope. She just said that things didn't work out and that you were better off as friends. Then, next thing I know she has some epic love story going on with Nate." Caitlyn replied.
Shane didn't say anything at first, a little surprised that Mitchie hadn't gone into any details about their brief relationship with Caitlyn. It wasn't like it was a secret – there hadn't been any big fight or anything. It just sort of fizzled.
Caitlyn was caught off guard by Shane's sudden pronouncement. "Huh?"
"Me and Mitchie. No sparks." Shane repeated.
"Really?" Caitlyn was honestly surprised. "Cause based on Final Jam you two looked like you had fireworks during a lightning storm sparks."
Shane laughed ruefully. "I know. I think we expected that too, but once we actually got past all the mystery and obstacles, it didn't turn out that way." He hesitated before adding, "It was a little bit like kissing a sister. Or what I imagine it would be like to kiss my sister if I had one."
Shane noticed Caitlyn looking at him skeptically. "I swear. It wasn't just me. She felt it too… or didn't feel it, I guess."
She shrugged as if accepting his analysis and went back to observing the happy couple sitting on the dock in front of her. Shane, on the other hand, began to watch Caitlyn. He remembered her from last summer – mainly her solo performance at the Jam and her dancing that first day in his class. She had so much presence that he had been shocked when his uncle had told him she wanted to be a producer, not a performer. The incongruity intrigued him. After a few minutes, Caitlyn finally turned and looked at the boy next to her.
"Something on your mind, Rock Star?"
"Maybe," Shane answered vaguely. When Caitlyn rolled her eyes and looked forward again, he continued. "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure." Caitlyn replied without looking at him.
"How come you don't dance here at Camp?"
"What?" Caitlyn had not been expecting that question. "I dance. I danced in the Final Jam finale last year. And I showed up to your dance class at least once."
"I know – I saw you. And you were better than everyone else. So I was wondering how come you're always on your computer or behind the keyboard instead of showing off what you can do."
Caitlyn shrugged, hoping Shane couldn't tell how much she enjoyed his compliment. "Last I checked this was a music camp, not a dance camp." She gave Shane an evil grin as she continued, "Besides, I can dance circles around the pathetic dance instructors they hire here, so why bother."
Caitlyn expected Shane to be offended by her comment, but instead he laughed.
"I know, seriously, what was Uncle Brown thinking? Who puts a singer in charge of a dance class? He would have been better off with you or Sander."
Caitlyn smiled at his honesty. "You actually didn't do so badly once you stopped being such an ass. Andy really improved a lot."
"Gee, thanks, Caitlyn," Shane said with a look of amusement. He liked the fact that she was so blunt; she didn't try to impress him or kiss up to him because he was famous. It was a nice change.
She gave him a cheeky grin, "Any time, Gray." She looked back towards the dock before hopping down off the table. "I'd better get going. The lovebirds aren't that interesting, and I told Mitchie I would work on her Pajama Jam song."
Shane nodded and watched her walk away. He was taken by how gracefully she moved and wondered what sort of dance she would do if she wasn't restricted by Brown and Dee Dee's lame choreography. Without thinking he called out, "Hey Caitlyn."
She stopped and looked back at him.
"Do you think I could see you dance sometime?"
She looked at him like he had gone crazy. "Uhm…no," she answered quickly and turned away.
Shane jumped off the table and jogged after her. "Why not? You can show me how hip hop is supposed to look," he joked. "Brown still has me teaching a beginning class."
Caitlyn spun and put one hand on her hip. "Are you mocking me, Gray?"
"No, honest," Shane put his hands up in surrender. "I would really like to see you dance."
Caitlyn narrowed her eyes as she looked at him. He sounded sincere. "What's in it for me?" She finally asked.
Shane looked confused for a moment. "I don't know. How about I sing you a song?"
Caitlyn smirked. "Any song I want?"
Shane shrugged. "Sure. You dance for me, and I will sing any song you want for you."
"Okay. Meet me in the dance hut during free time tomorrow."
And with that, she was gone. But he knew where to find her.
True to her word, she was waiting for him in the dance hut, already stretching. She stood up as soon as he entered the room and gestured towards her computer. "Go ahead and start the music I cued."
He nodded, hit a few keys and collapsed into a chair to watch her performance.
She took his breath away.
Watching Caitlyn dance was like watching a living contradiction. She managed to come across as totally free, but her movements were the definition of physical control. At first she gave Shane some mocking, almost defiant looks, but eventually she lost herself in the dance and she looked joyful. But what struck him the most was how sensual she was. Shane had watched a lot of girls use dance as a form of foreplay, and he knew that Caitlyn wasn't doing that. She wasn't trying to be sexy – she just was. It was the most incredible thing he had ever seen.
When the music ended, her hair was damp with sweat and her chest was heaving. She stood looking at his expectantly, but he didn't say anything.
"Well? What did you think?" She finally asked.
He blinked once before saying, "You are an amazing dancer, Caitlyn Gellar."
Shane wasn't sure, but he thought she blushed just a little.
He shook his head before adding. "So I guess I owe you a song. What do you want me to sing for you?"
Caitlyn laughed mischievously. "I'm not sure yet. I have a list of ideas, but I figure I have all summer to decide."
Caitlyn tortured him for the rest of camp with various possibilities, ranging from "Stand By Your Man" to some random show tune called "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair". In the end though, she let him off easy with a rousing rendition of the Barney theme song, and she even sang along with him. He really enjoyed the summer, but he forgot about Caitlyn as soon as he headed back into his hectic, everyday life.
He didn't think about her again for several months. It wasn't until he had gotten back from another disastrous date with some beautiful starlet that she even crossed his mind. It was like Mitchie all over again; the girl was gorgeous and sexy and he felt nothing when they kissed. He was starting to worry. After a careful self-analysis, he decided that he wasn't gay. He was just hollow and empty and very afraid that this was his lot in life. He tried to think of the last time something or someone really made him feel alive.
The image that crossed his mind was of Caitlyn dancing. Watching her had dazzled him. Made him catch his breath. And maybe stirred something else as well.
But what if it was Mitchie all over again? Her voice had captured him, but in the end, it didn't translate into anything more than a comfortable friendship. He wanted passion and excitement. But at least he felt a glimmer of hope when he remembered Caitlyn. She was pretty and fun and stood up to him; he liked being around her. And he more than liked it when she danced for him.
But she was back in whatever town she lived in. How was he supposed to see her? He couldn't exactly call her up and ask her to make out with him to see if he felt a spark because she turned him on when she danced and he was going through a rough patch with women. That would be beyond weird.
The solution came to him the next morning while Nate was rambling about Mitchie coming to visit. Mitchie and Caitlyn were friends.
"Hey, Nate," Shane said casually. "We should invite one of Mitchie's friends from camp along to keep her company while we're working."
Nate looked at Shane in surprise. Normally he wouldn't want to have to share his girlfriend, but this time they had a lot of things on their schedule that couldn't be moved. "That's actually a good idea. I'll suggest it to her. She could see if Lola or Caitlyn are free."
"Crap," Shane thought. It never occurred to him that she might invite someone besides Caitlyn.
"Can we suggest Caitlyn?" Jason asked. Shane could have hugged his friend. "Lola's nice and all, but Caitlyn's my favorite." He grinned before adding, "She sent me a birdhouse after camp."
Nate shrugged. "Sure. If you promise to keep her entertained so I can have Mitchie to myself when we're free."
Jason grinned. "Works for me. How about you Shane? You up for hanging out with Caitlyn."
"Sure," Shane said casually. "I don't mind; Caitlyn's cool." Now he just had to hope she could come and figure out how to get rid of Jason.
She came, and she ended up spending a lot of time with Shane and Jason. After the second day, she finally asked the two boys, "Am I here to hang out with Mitchie or to entertain you two while they make out?"
Shane laughed. "Maybe a little bit of both. Do you mind?"
She shook her head. "Nope. I'm good."
She settled onto the couch next to Shane before asking, "How have you two been? Anything exciting you want to tell me about?"
Jason grinned. "I joined the Audubon Society," he announced.
"That's great Jason," Caitlyn said sincerely. "What exactly does that mean?"
"They sponsor bird walks and educational stuff, and they have centers and sanctuaries all over so I can stop while we're on tour. It's awesome."
Caitlyn smiled at his enthusiasm. "Cool. Do Nate and Shane go with you?"
Jason shook his head. "No, Nate is usually texting Mitchie and Shane goes on a lot of dates."
Caitlyn smirked at Shane. "Really? Is there a girlfriend I don't know about?"
Jason continued talking, oblivious to the glares Shane was sending his way. "No. I don't think he even goes out with most of them more than twice."
Shane finally jumped in to defend himself. "It's not like it sounds. I just can't seem to find anyone that really interests me. They're all nice enough, but there's just no…"
"Spark?" Caitlyn teased, remembering her conversation with him during the summer.
"Exactly. And I don't see the point of leading them on if I know there' nothing there."
Caitlyn gave him an amused look. "I guess that's a good policy. But did it ever occur to you that maybe if you spent some time and got to know them, there might be a spark? Sometimes it takes time to warm up to people." She nudged him with her elbow. "Like you. When I first met you I thought you were an egotistical jerk, and now I actually don't mind hanging out with you."
"Gee, thanks," Shane mumbled, distracted by the weird feeling he got in his stomach when Caitlyn touched him, but he snapped out of it when Caitlyn challenged the two boys to a Guitar Hero battle.
Before Shane knew what had happened, it was her last night and he still hadn't managed to spend any time alone with her. And then he was saved by the birds. Or a cable showing of Winged Migration. Jason was totally entranced, and he didn't even notice Shane and Caitlyn sneak away.
"You sure you don't want to stay and watch the movie," Caitlyn joked.
Shane shook his head. "Believe it or not, I've already seen it twice. Did you know that there isn't a plot or anything? It's about birds flying. An hour and a half of birds."
Shane smiled as he heard Caitlyn burst out laughing. He decided to go ahead and take a risk.
"Hey, Caitlyn, can I ask a favor?"
"Does it involve birds?" She asked cheekily.
"No birds; I promise."
"Okay, go for it," she said.
He took a deep breath. "Can I kiss you?"
Caitlyn froze. That was not what she was expecting. She blushed. "Why would you want to kiss me?"
All of a sudden it hit Shane just how strange his request must sound to Caitlyn. He had never given her any indication that he thought of her as anything more than an acquaintance, and here he was asking to kiss her. "You know what, don't worry about it. Just forget I asked." He muttered, turning to walk away.
But he stopped when he felt her hand on his arm. "I didn't say no; I just wanted to know why."
He couldn't explain it all to her, the emptiness and fear, but he didn't want to lie to her either. "I like you," he said. "And I've been thinking about you recently. About that day you danced for me."
Caitlyn grinned at this admission. "Really?"
"Well then," she said breathily. "I guess I could bring myself to kiss you."
As she leaned in, he braced himself for disappointment – for that familiar sense of emptiness. But when Caitlyn kissed him, he finally understood what people meant when they talked about fireworks. He pulled her close and deepened the kiss, sliding his hands into her hair.
When they finally broke apart, Caitlyn leaned against Shane's chest.
"Wow," Shane gasped. "What was that?"
Caitlyn chuckled before replying, "A spark. I think that's called a spark."