Fated

Well, this is just about the last chapter. I've totally loved writing this fic, cause I was inspired by the movie 'Save the last Dance' and cause I adore ballet myself. I've really enjoyed hearing from all my reviewers, and though I can't promise I'll write something more about a topic that you like, I'll still be grateful if you stay to the end of this story and see how it all turns out. I didn't actually mean to make it so short, but this just seems like the right place to end it, once and for all.

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Sara looked over rather tiredly at the door which had just opened, but smiled gratefully when she saw who had come.

'Derek!' she exclaimed happily. She was resting, and looked beautifully calm, as if all the fear had gone out of her and she had given her heavy burden to fate.

Derek's eyes burned at the injustice of seeing her, who had suffered so much, tortured even more. She was evidently worn out, but still expressed gratitude and rapture for him. He walked gently over to her and sat down on the bed, taking her slim, pale hand in his.

'So tell me,' he urged her softly. 'What did you decide?'

Sara's eyes seemed to see right through him for a second, then focused back on his face. They were lit up by some magical secret only she knew.

'I'll do the operation,' she said simply. 'It wouldn't be right to shrink from what could open up the door that has been slammed in my face.'

'And what if it doesn't work?' Derek asked anxiously. His eyes probed into hers, and he found fear in them- but only a little. Her serenity more than made up for it. 'Wouldn't you just be getting your hopes up too early?'

At that, the fear took over. 'Aren't you behind me?' she demanded, wide-eyed.

Instead of answering, he leaned down and kissed her lips so lightly that he hardly so much as brushed them, but the love that blossomed up inside her banished her fears immediately.

'When will they operate on you?' Derek changed the subject. 'This afternoon. It will take a few hours, but I should know by evening.' Seeing the worried look in his eyes, Sara told him confidently: 'Don't worry, I'll phone you the second I get hold of the news.'

He shook his head. 'Chenille and I will be waiting outside.'

Sara gasped. 'During the whole of the operation?'

Derek looked slightly bewildered. 'Of course,' he answered. 'What did you expect?'

She leaned back on her pillow and closed her eyes. A radiance hung about her, as around one who has just received enlightenment.

Derek got up quietly, and gazed at her in silence. Her long golden hair lay silkily on the white pillow, as did her eyelashes on her cheeks. The hands he had always admired were folded over her chest. The picture was one of a goddess; one that would stay in his memory forever.

He suddenly knew that no matter what happened, Sara would accept it. And as long as she did, he would, too.

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Sara glanced at the clock and calculated. She still had about ten minutes before the operation was to start, but it would take five minutes to transport her to the surgery room. That left her with five free minutes.

She did not even have to think of how to spend the last bit of time. Checking that the nurse was gone, and that no one could see her in any way, she sat up and pulled off her sheets.

Then, gritting her teeth against the pain, she swung first her healthy, and then her injured leg over the edge of the bed. Steadying herself on her bed, she got up. That was the easy part.

Taking a deep breath, Sara tested her weight on her damaged leg. As immediate pain shot through her, she lifted it up again quickly.

Defeated, she sank back on the bed. 'There's NO WAY I can do this!' she muttered angrily. Yet somehow she knew that she had to. Just this one last time.

Dance. Dance till the end of her freedom. Dance till the time when her fate would be decided. She knew she could never stand it if that ballet class at Julliard's had been the last time she would ever dance. She would not let it happen.

Dance. Dance. Dance. Dance. The rhythm pulsed through her entire body, waking her sleeping limbs and muscles. Dance. Dance. Dance.

A divine, unearthly strength filled her, opening her eyes wide. As gracefully as if she were a butterfly rising into the air she lifted herself off the bed.

She was dressed in the simple shirt and shorts that served as pyjamas at the hospital. But to her, the room evaporated. In its place, there was not the ballet studio of the Julliard, not the living room in her old home where she had practiced long and hard for so many hours, not anywhere else she had ever danced. It was just her and the rhythm inside her, from the moment she first pointed her feet and lifted her arms to an oval over her head.

There was no pain. There was no feeling except the blood rushing through her, supplying the endless strength she was receiving from somewhere beyond our world.

Arabesque, attitude, pirouette, petit tours. Everything came back to her with no difficulties, and her body obeyed her commands before she even thought of them. The movements swirled into an intricate pattern.

Dance. Dance. Dance. Dance. Gradually the rhythm grew fainter, and left her. The godly strength slipped away from her. She did not try to hold it back. She knew she couldn't.

And then she was back in the hospital room. Wearily she felt her hot, tear-streaked face. Her damaged hip hurt unbearably. But it had been worth it.

Exhausted, she dropped back on the bed. Hearing footsteps down the hall, she hastily pulled the covers back over herself. Nobody should know she had been out of bed.

As the doctors entered the room and were busy lifting her onto a bed on rolls, she was in a triumphant daze. Even if she died now, or was crippled, it didn't matter. She had had her life down to the last glorious detail. And she could still feel the seraphic glory that had been hers for those last five minutes.

On an impulsion, she lifted her eyes to the ceiling. Now she could hand herself over to fate. Now she was ready.

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'How is she?' Chenille asked her brother, who was just coming into the waiting room, anxiously.

He looked at her steadily. 'Very calm and composed,' he informed her.

'How can she?' Chenille was mystified. 'I mean, there's her whole profession on the line! I know I'd be just about crazy by now if it was me.'

Derek shrugged. 'She has an unbending strength somewhere inside her. I guess she needs it, because of what happened to her mother and all.'

They sat in silence for awhile. Suddenly Chenille clasped her hands.

'It's starting now!' she exclaimed wildly. 'I never pray, but now I HAVE to!'

Derek smiled slightly. Maybe his sister felt the need to pray, but he would just keep faith with Sara as best he could. Just imagine he was holding her hand now.

People hurried by the two teenagers, both with their heads bent in solemn spirits, and both trying to believe as hard as they could that everything would be alright.

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'Sara. Sara, wake up.'

A familiar voice was coaxing her out of the hazy fog that surrounded her. Blindly, she followed, for even in her state she could tell that it was a voice to be trusted.

And suddenly she found she could open her eyes. Derek's tired face was illuminated with the light of the reborn.

'Sara, thank goodness you're awake! The operation was successful!' he shouted happily.

Right behind him was her best friend, Chenille, squealing with excitement. 'It's true! You'll be able to dance again in time to do it professionally!'

'No way. It can't be. can it?' Sara was trying to figure everything out, and could not grasp that the miracle had happened.

Suddenly, Dr. Stirn appeared, smiling benevolently.

'Yes, it's true, Sara. You will be able to recover in time to attend Julliard classes and go in for the spring exams with excellent chances. From the medical point of view, there will be no obstacles for a professional career. But no more night-time wandering, okay?' He winked at her.

Lots of people have said that the truth is hard and bitter, but at that moment Sara thought there was nothing more glorious and beautiful than the shining truth. EVERYTHING was going to be alright. She hugged Derek and Chenille close to her and laughed with a relief she had not felt possible. The world was hers to conquer once more.

And, once more, she felt that divine strength flooding her again, just for a second. Sara registered it with gratitude. She was sure that it had been that strength, and Derek and Chenille's trust and love, that had saved her.

Dr. Stirn had one more warning: 'I know you're over the moon with happiness now, but just remember that it's going to be hard to work up to Julliard's standards again. I don't know how good a dancer you were before, but it will take some time till you're that good again, believe me.'

Sara simply laughed. She felt invincible. Still holding Derek and Chenille tight, she assured the doctor: 'THAT won't be a problem.'

And as soon as she felt Derek's kiss once again, she knew that nothing that could happen would be this bad. Because she would have Derek's love forever and ever.

(A/N: The end of the story? No, there's still one little bit. Enjoy!)

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Five years later, the same Sara was nervously testing her balance on her pointes. She was fully made up, and was dressed in her costume already. It was hot and stuffy in the wings of the stage.

Who would have ever thought that it was me who would be picked to dance the principal role in Swan Lake, she wondered. Her first solo in the American Ballet Company.

Stretching her legs on the barre that had been put up behind the stage, she grinned excitedly at Ellie, who smiled back, happiness dancing in her eyes. Ellie had realized her eating disorder, and had gone to a clinic to get help. But she had still been able to dance, and had made it to the company, just like Sara. She was dancing in the corps de ballet (A/N: the main body of dancers in a ballet company, who usually dance together in a group).

Suddenly, she was interrupted while warming up. 'Miss Sara, someone to see you,' a stage assistant was saying, but Sara didn't even hear. For there he was, beaming at her.

'Derek!' Disregarding her make-up and delicate costume, she threw her arms around him. He held her close, and she could feel that heavenly feeling soaring up inside her. Derek had come to see her dance!

'Miss Sara, you're on in one minute', another assistant informed her. She simply nodded, and clung to Derek passionately- or, as best she could in her tutu (A/N: dancer's skirt that is usually made out of layers of tulle).

'Look at where you are now!' he whispered in her ear. 'Principal dancer of the American Ballet!'

'Look at you!' she retorted, smiling proudly. 'A bachelor of medicine!'

He winked happily. 'Now go out there and show me your love,' he grinned at her.

'No problem,' Sara said, her eyes dancing. 'When you're watching me, I dance like I'm Margot Fonteyn (A/N: She was the dancer in the story her mother told her when she was twelve)!'

'No,' he replied, affection shimmering in his eyes. 'You dance better.'

A hasty kiss, and Sara was at the edge of the stage, waiting for her cue. When it came, she ran gracefully out onto the stage, aware that Derek's eyes were on her.

And she danced. She danced for Derek, for her mother, for Chenille, for Ellie, for her dad, and for everyone who had ever believed in her, Sara, as a dancer.

THE END

OMG, that was so heart-breaking to write, cause it was the last chapter. Sorry that it was so short after all the really short chapters you've had to bear. Oh, well, can't be helped. Anyway, I'd appreciate a review for the end of the story, just telling me what you thought of my ending or what you would have changed. I cleared up Ellie, so that's not on your minds. It's funny, when I started writing this I never thought it would turn out like THIS. So weird! Well, hope you all liked it anyway.

Thanks to everybody who ever reviewed and especially to those that have been with this story for a long time and have reviewed often (HAA, megs, Danielle, Amy Czislowski, CurlyQ, MarsMoonStar, chosen_gurli)! I'm so grateful to you guys! I better quit the mushy stuff or I'll start crying. Also, tons of thanks to my dear little sister cuty-cat for editing my stories and catching all my dumb mistakes, and telling me what she thinks. Actually, even for just taking the time to read this. THANK YOU!!! Your very affectionate Shooting Jewel