Disclaimer - I don't own any part of the Step Up franchise. I do own, however, all of the OC's in this story.
Penelope changed back into her clothes she was wearing when she first arrived at ballet class; a pair of jeans and a plain pink T-shirt with her scuffed up sneakers. She grabbed her bag and walked out the door, heading for the main doors. Her sisters had left her in the changing room all alone and said they'd wait for her at the main entrance. She rushed down the long hall with her duffel bag clutched to her tightly. She reached the front and saw her two older sisters sitting on one of the few benches waiting for her. In the practice studio next to them people were still dancing. The looks Annalice and Genevieve gave them were filled with disdain and disapproval. Penelope looked to her right and saw why. It wasn't because of anyone who was in that class, as she had thought but it was they style of dance they were dancing.
"Ugh," said the oldest of the sisters, Annalice.
"How can they dance to music like that?" agreed the middle child, Genevieve.
The lady at the desk-Ms. Keener-shot a glance at the girls who just uttered those words. Her eyes narrowed but she went back to the computer screen.
Penelope, however, didn't agree. She just watched what they were doing, how they were doing it. Their bodies moved in a way so foreign to the little girl, that she was entranced by it. She was used to grace and poise, to the low classical music. They weren't pointing their toes, or spinning on them. They were spinning on their heads. It almost looked…fun. The music was loud, the beat fast. It shook the glass. The way their feet moved seemed inhumanly fast to her.
"Mommy's here," Genevieve said abruptly. Penelope blinked and followed behind her sisters. She was the only one that said bye to Ms. Keener and she replied politely, even though she didn't particularly like the rest of her family.
"What were you girls staring at?" Angelina asked, spotting her daughters in the rear view mirror. Her brown eyes sparkled with curiosity. Her long dark hair tumbled down her shoulders in thick curls.
"People were dancing that stupid style you and daddy don't like," Annalice answered.
"Oh?" inquired their mother. "Hip-hop? RnB or whatever it's called."
"Yes," Genevieve said.
"Disgusting style," muttered the dark haired woman venomously. "You girls do know you shouldn't ever try anything even remotely close to that, right?"
"Yes," the two oldest daughters said in unison. Penelope didn't say a word, just continued staring out the window at the buildings and homes and streets that were passing her.
"Penelope?" her mother asked sternly while her eyebrow arched up.
"Yes," she said quietly.
That was thing about dancing. In her family, it was vital to be in ballet. That meant training nonstop; never ever missing a meeting, no matter what; and don't complain and face it with a smile. It also meant hating every other style of dance her parents and sisters hated. Though she was only five, she thought she ought to have at least some opinion and not everything had to be ballet, ballet, ballet all the time. She found hip-hop interesting, despite what her parents said about it. She liked the way they seemed so free, so careless about their movements but yet, in a way, she could tell that they were putting so much effort into it, to make it flow just right so it could seem like it was careless and easy. Though their movements weren't exactly graceful and elegant, they had something to them. Penelope couldn't put her finger on it. The music sounded fun and happy, unlike the classical music her parents made them listen to. Penelope understood why they would want to dance to that kind of music. Fast, loud, up-beat, seemingly effortless, freedom…
All the things her parents were against.
Against the Rules
By age thirteen, Penelope was staring to loosen up about her parents rules against certain things. Dance especially. Some of the music she had on her iPod were something her parents would have a heart attack to. It was the complete opposite to what they wanted her to listen to. She danced to it secretly, making sure the door was locked and the windows closed.
She was just about to pull her iPod out of her pocket when she felt herself slam into someone. Penelope stumbled back and mumbled an apology to the person she just ran into. Drew Smith, the blond who had a violent streak and was twice Penelope's size just looked down at her. Apparently she didn't hear the apology.
"Did you just run into me?" she asked menacingly.
"Yeah and I apologized," defended Penelope.
"You made me ruin my Science Project."
"Once again, I'm sorry." She tried to step past the blond girl with puke green eyes that burned with anger but it was no use. Drew pushed Penelope and Penelope pushed right back. Drew's meaty fist flew forward but Penelope side stepped it. Drew tried again and Penelope just bent backwards, dodging her attack. Like an elastic band, the meaty fist drew back and Penelope sprang back upright. Before she could do anything however, Drew's hand enclosed round the front of her shirt collar and she was yanked toward the blond. Instinctively, Penelope's fist flew forward and connected with her nose.
Penelope fell to the floor, grabbing her book bag and running towards the -
"Penelope!" a loud voice yelled. She turned to see a lady in dress suit with her hair pulled back into a tight ponytail with her arms crossed over her chest. "In my office. Now."
"You got into a fight at school?" her father screeched. "Why?"
"I accidentally bumped into someone."
"Did you apologize?"
"Not well enough apparently," said Genevieve snidely as she checked her nails. She reapplied the pink polish to it. Next to her Annalice snickered. Their mother cast them warning looks but didn't say anything. Figures, thought Penelope. Of course mom wouldn't say anything. Annalice and Genevieve are just too perfect.
"I did it out of self-defense."
"I don't care. You are grounded Penelope Brynn Griffins!"
Penelope. She never liked the name. She preferred to be known as Brynn. Most of her friends called her that. Her teachers called her that. It seemed like the only people she would have thought would call her that, since she liked it better, were her parents and sisters. Even her cousin Moose still called her that and they hadn't seen each other since last Christmas. They never called each other by there real names but by the names they liked to be called by. Ever since they were little they've been like that.
"Go to your room," her father said calmly, but she knew his anger was right underneath the surface, ready to explode any second.
As she lay in bed that night, she thought back to how fast she would react when Drew's fist almost collided with her. She would twist and turn and duck effortlessly, as if it were easy. As if she had been doing it all her life.
As if her body was made for it.
Now if only ballet came that naturally to me, she thought, then maybe my father wouldn't think of me as failure compared to my sisters
Two years later, at age fifteen, she'd had enough of it
Her feet moved in time with the music, never missing a beat. Normally, she would lock her door and close the windows and anything else this situation called for. But she was angry and the only way she could simmer down and let the emotion leave her body was if she was dancing. Hip-hop dancing.
Her back was to the door when her father walked in. He noticed her and what she was doing. When Penelope turned around again she came face to face with her father. They stood there, just staring at each other, his eyes wide with shock, disbelief and anger while hers were just as wide and contained shock, disbelief and -
His hand came in contact with her cheek so hard and loud a cracking noise rolled through the house. Her head snapped to the right due to her father's force and her breathing became labored. She panted and stared at the tile floor of her room.
"Pack your stuff," he said, rage fueling his voice. The words came out sharp and rough, slicing the space that separated them. "Your leaving. I'm sick and tired of this. I refuse to have someone who dances in such a foul manner live under my roof."
"You make it seem like it's illegal to dance like that! What if I don't like ballet and all the crappy music you force me to freaking listen to?" she yelled at him once her head was facing him once again, trying to prove her point she's had for so many years.
"Watch your tone with me young lady," he pointed a firm finger at her. "That crappy music you say I force you to listen to is the kind of music that is respectable and classical. It's the kind of music people should listen to more often rather than that shit you were just dancing to."
"Well I'm, sorry father," Penelope spat out sarcastically. "I'm sorry I couldn't be the Prima Ballerina you always wanted me to be. I'm sorry I couldn't be as perfect as Annalice and Genevieve. I'm sorry I like dancing my own way."
"I've been a great father and this is -?"
"A great father? No. This family treats me like shit, aside of mom. And sometimes she doesn't act like that because of you.Genevieve is a royal bitch to me due to the fact that you spoil the crap outta her. Hell, Annalice is nicer to me than she is. You don't understand the meaning of being a great father."
He glared daggers at her but instead of being scared she held her ground.
"You are a disgrace to our family."
His words hurt her. rammed into her ten times harder than his slap ever could have, those words did. Her eyes widened for a fraction of a second before returning to normal. Tears were waiting to tumble down her cheeks but she was determined not to let that happen. She wouldn't show him that he had caused her any pain. They continued to stare at each other for a bit before he stalked out of the room. She could hear her mother and father fighting and yelling. Traces of the conversation could be heard.
"Why…shut up… she doesn't…how could you -"
"The hell she doesn't…disgracing our…"
"It was bound to happen sometime," a sarcastic voice remarked that wasn't part of Penelope's parent's feud. Genevieve stood in the doorframe, casually leaning against it. Penelope's anger bubbled up to it's surface and she marched over to where her dear sister was and balled her hands up.
"Genevieve stop," Annalice interfered but her sister didn't take that wonderful advice that she should have.
"Wipe that smirk off your face," Penelope said angrily.
"Or what?" Genevieve taunted, her smirk growing larger at her sister's anger. "Your going to dance like that again. All you'll really do is make me puke up dinner."
Penelope's balled up fist slammed into her sister's jaw, causing her to stumble and hit the wall. Genevieve slammed into the wall behind her and sunk to the floor. She sat on the floor with her hand on her jaw and a horrid look on her face as she said, "You bitch!"
"Just because you're older than me," Penelope said menacingly at her sister, "never gave you the right to treat me like a piece of crap. That punch was for all the times you were a bitch to me."
Penelope walked back into her room and with shaky hands locked the door as she began her packing, with tears tumbling down her face, hot and fast, dripping off her chin.
She didn't hug anyone as she was about to get on the plane. She just turned to them. Her mother looked sad, but if she was she didn't say anything. Genevieve glared at her. Annalice looked a bit saddened at her youngest sibling's retreat but she didn't say anything either. Finally her eyes landed on her father. Again, no emotion.
"I guess I'll…go now," Penelope said before turning away. She didn't know what to expect. Maybe it was for one of those dramatic scenes in a movie where, as the person is walking away, ready to board the plane, someone calls out her name and they have an emotional talk and the protagonist is convinced to stay and they all live Happily Ever After.
Yeah, she thought, snorting quietly to herself. That won't happen.
And it didn't.
There was no long, heartwarming talk about why she should stay and that their sorry for treating her the way they did for all those years. No one calling out her name. She just looked down at the tops of her scuffed up Nikes and continued walking.
Once she was on the plane, she pulled out her iPod, put a headphone in each ear, leaned back against the chair and let the music that she had been secretly listening loose. For once she didn't feel bad in the slightest that she was listening to the music she had grown to love so much. She skipped over any classical songs that she forgot to delete. She kept her eyes closed. She kept the volume up high. She kept the smile on her face.
Hey guys! So, this is my first Step Up fanfic and I hoped you enjoyed the first chapter. I saw the Step Up 3 and when it was over I kept thinking about making a sequel (which happens a lot after I see a movie I REALLY like) but I thought it would just pass...Turns out, it didn't. It was up to the point where I couldn't stop thinking about it (major obssessing) and before I knew it, I had the idea for this story, Step Up 4: Let Loose. Like I said (wrote?) before, this is my first Step Up story and I would really appreciate it if you guys would give me some feed-back. Tell me if you love it, hate it, like it, dislike it-put it all in your review. Got a question? PM me! :D Once again, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter and hopefully you liked it enough to stick around for the next chapter...? :D Well, thank you for reading it, whether you liked it or not. Please review to tell me what you think, what you suggest needs to be improved, etc. :D