Step Up

by

Numb3rsfan

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Angst, possible H/C, AU with possible OOC connections, possible Language

Disclaimer: I don't own the Partridge Family and am in no way affiliated with said television program. This story is purely for the enjoyment of you, the reader.

Author's Notes: Please don't forget to read and review!

Summary: The Partridge Family find they are having trouble stepping up when manager Reuben Kincaid drops a bomb shell on them. Not only does he want them to preform with dancers but they all have to preform a routine with the dancers...in front of a live audience.

Chapter One: Power Play

"One, two, three, four."

Keith glanced at his family; his mother on keyboards, sister Laurie on piano, brother Danny on bass, sister Tracy on tambourine and brother Chris on drums. They all were ready and so he had given them the four beat countdown.

The Partridge Family was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for a charity concert for the state governor. They were to have two performances. One on Friday afternoon and the other on Sunday evening at 5:30 pm. At first Shirley hadn't wanted to do a performance that late but after a talk with their manager who had practically had to grovel, she had finally, grudgingly agreed with the stipulation that they were to leave directly after the concert. No shaking hands, no autograph signing, nothing. The children needed their sleep plus they all would have school the very next day so they had to get back in time. Of course their manager Reuben Kincaid would agree to anything as long as Shirley preformed at the requested time.

Tapping his foot, Keith moved his body up in such a manner that the others would know he was about to start playing.

Sinking back on to his feet he began the opening sequence to Singing My Song.

"Singing it out to the people. Singing it out to them all. Singing my song and they're singing along. All of my problems are oh so small, all of my problems are so small!" Keith sang.

Off in the corner they all could see that Reuben Kincaid was having a little 'talk' with another person that none of them recognized. It was clear that neither man were happy, but the question was...why? None of the Partridge's had seen Reuben as steamed as he appeared to be at that moment; all of them imagining that they could actually see steam rising from Reuben's head.

Getting Reuben angry was easy...especially for Danny who would call Reuben up at any time of the day or night for some imagined problem that just had to be discussed and of course Reuben would show up and start complaining; either about the time of day, Danny or in some cases his girlfriend Bonnie Kleinschmidt.

Still keeping time with the music, Keith shuffled his body around so that he could give his mother a confused look while not having to move his mouth away from the live microphone. Shirley who was sitting at the keyboards just shrugged her shoulders as if to say that she didn't know why Reuben was so angry either!

Thankfully the song ended just as Reuben came over to them, popping pills as usual. Shirley had asked him quite a few times not to do that in front of the kids, but even she knew that perhaps the pills would calm him down enough for him to tell them the oh so obvious bad news.

Hands gripping his guitar, Keith looked at Reuben, curiosity written all over his young face. "What's wrong this time?" Keith asked.

Reuben sighed, taking a good look at the stage in question. While it was big enough for a fairly good production number, he knew that none of his clients, especially Keith would be open to what the 'guy in charge' wanted.

"Come on Reuben, spill." Keith said. He took off his guitar and placed it in it's stand that was beside one of the back amplifiers before returning to his former spot on stage; Reuben hadn't moved at all, instead he just stood there looking at the stage as if he were measuring it up.

"Yeah Mr. Kincaid. Did the managers decide to cancel our payment?" Danny asked. He was so obviously worried about the money but from the look on Reuben's face it was so clear that money wasn't the issue.

"Huh? Oh...no no, nothing as disastrous as that. This tops that!" Reuben said, gesturing to the stage in obvious anger. The Partridge's were confused. Why was Reuben mad at the stage? It was an inanimate object...wasn't it?

Keith scrunched up his eyebrows in confusion and folded his arms before asking, "What...the stage steal your wallet or something?"

Reuben gave Keith a look that told him that he wasn't funny and that Reuben wasn't amused at all.

"No...worse!" Reuben shot back.

Danny, who had just put his bass up, snapped his fingers. He had been listening to the conversation and after Keith's remark, he had a comeback line.

"I got it! The stage stole your girlfriend!" Danny shot back to Reuben.

"I DON'T HAVE..." Reuben paused, realizing that he was shouting, so he lowered the volume of his voice and continued, "I don't have a girlfriend and no...the problem is worse than that!"

"Alright Reuben...why don't you just tell us what's wrong?" Shirley asked. She stood up and walked down the three steps that led to the main floor from the stage.

Reuben reached in to his front pocket and withdrew a crimson colored handkerchief, batting his forehead with it for a few moments. He wasn't really sweating, but that wasn't the only time he did the thing with the handkerchief. He did it when he was nervous about something.

"Mr. Dodson...the guy who hired you for this little mousetrap here," Reuben began, gesturing to the stage when he said mousetrap, "has two little requests...and I think he's out of his mind!"

"Only two requests?" Shirley asked. Requests weren't that unheard of, especially requests meant for them, but from the look on Reuben's face, it was clear that these 'suggestions' were either dumb or unbelievable...or both.

"Well...let's hear these requests before we decide if Mr. Dodson is out of his mind." Laurie said, rising from her place at the piano and going to stand beside Keith, who still had his arms folded, waiting for the other shoe to fall.

"Mr. Dodson requests that...one, you allow several dancers to dance in the background of one of your songs." Reuben said.

Dancers...okay...different but not all that strange. Most of their songs, while upbeat weren't really the thing dancers danced to, but it was possible that Keith could up the anti perhaps, or if push comes to shove write a new song specifically for the dancers...right?

"If that's the bad part then the good part must be really good." Keith said. He for one wouldn't mind dancers, in fact he would rather enjoy them as would the audience...he would just have to find something for them to dance to.

"That isn't even the half of it Keith. The second request is...Mr. Dodson wants all of you to do a dance number with the dancers. Not sing with them...dance with them! And these aren't your average cocktail dancers...these are hardcore professionals, dancing to a type of music that...well...I wouldn't go so far as to call it music...more like noise if you ask me." Reuben said.

Keith totally missed the part about the dancing because his mind went straight to the music aspect. Whatever music it was, it must have been pretty hard for Reuben to refer to it as noise.

"What...like the type of music we did for the block party last year? …wait...did you say dancing?" Keith asked.

His mind had finally caught up with everything that Reuben had said. Dancing...oh hell no! Singing, perhaps swaying side to side, banging his fist in the air, tapping his foot, swaying in place...those were things he could do and what could be considered dancing but anything other than that...oh hell no!

Reuben shook his head. "Harder than that Keith...way harder. You can feel the beat through the floor and when you can feel the beat through the floor you know it's noise and not music!"

Keith was confused. He had never heard of this type of music before. He knew of Vivaldi, Beethoven and the old school song writers and genre's, as well as the bubblegum works of groups such as the Beatles and the Monkees, but from the way Reuben was describing this music, it was a whole new genre all together!

"Oh come on Reuben it can't be..." Laurie began, but a small commotion shut her up. Making their way to the stage were four girls and four guys. The girls were all dressed in skimpy outfits that showed a lot of cleavage, and a very mini skirt, and the guys wore sleeveless dark blue t-shirts, form fitting dark blue pants and black shoes.

They all pushed past the Partridge's and took up pre specified positions on stage. All of a sudden, almost out of nowhere a very loud beat was heard. The Partridge's at first were frightened; everyone clamoring off of the stage as fast as they could when it started to vibrate in time with the beat. After six beats something akin to a synthesizer and keyboard were heard, as well as violins and then as if things couldn't get any worse, the guys and girls on stage began to dance; not the typical 70's style dancing...or the box step, but a style of dancing that none of the Partridge's had ever seen before.

It look part ballerina work part...they couldn't think of the correct word for the other part but it had the slight feel that it was meant for the black community as well. The male and female dancers were moving their arms and legs in ways that put all of the other dance styles to shame, and while the music was hard, the dance moves; while bold, were graceful as well. Keith was unsure about it but slightly eager to find out if he could dance that way too...until he saw the back flip; preformed in sync by two of the male dancers. Keith's eyes grew as big as saucers. He had seen backflips before; who hadn't? But that was...totally different!

Tearing his gaze away from the dancers, Keith looked at the rest of his family; all of whom had a dazed look on their faces. Each and every one of them were staring, open mouthed at the dancers. It wasn't a stare of awe but of disbelief.

"You have got to be kidding me." Laurie finally murmured when the song had ended. Reuben was glad for once that they agreed on something.

"That's exactly what I said but Mr. Dodson said it was in the contract!" Reuben replied.

Hearing that, Shirley looked at her friend and manager. "Just where in this contract does it say that?" She asked, not recalling the line where it called for them to make fools of themselves by dancing to something that was supposed to be music!

"Right between the line where it describes your accommodations and your payment." Reuben said. He had a copy of the contract in hand but even as he started to point out the section to Shirley, she just ripped it from his hands and looked at it herself.

After reading it, Shirley sighed and none too gently handed the contract back to Reuben. What she really wanted to do was make this Mr. Dodson eat the contract! Why were people so sneaky? What was Mr. Dodson trying to do? Ruin their singing careers?

"Kids stay here. Mr. Dodson and I need to have a little talk!" Shirley replied. She marched for the front door; her high heels clicking on the floor as she walked away from the stage.