Chao- A fan fic for Chao's favorite movie of all time!

Disclaimer: DarkChao1663 does not own Cats Don't Dance.

Summary: After their grand performance, Sawyer chats with Danny and learns the spirit found in his soul. One shot!

Warnings: None

Pairings: None

Strength of Passion

"Wow, I can't believe it." thought blissfully an orange tabby in a sea green vest and dark green pants on a vast stage with all of his friends by his side. "We actually did it."

On the streets of Hollywood in the late 1930s, new stars were born. It was hard to imagine that the fresh rising actors were animals, but many who had witnessed such a grand performance after the premier of Li'l Ark Angel, including the head of Mammoth Studios, were willing to jump on board.

As those who had danced and sung their hearts out stood proudly on stage next to the short man in the fancy suit, several photographers snapped numerous photos with their blinding flashes as journalists scribbled down every detail in their miniscule notebooks. Plenty of buzz flooded the streets, and each of the animals that took part on the grand show glowed with joy.

As the whole crew chattered with delight about their new, bright future, Danny broke away so he could pick up his dark green jacket he had tossed away and his black bow tie that came off at the beginning of their act. He also noticed the two pieces of clothing Sawyer had removed just as she made her grand entrance. He couldn't help but smile softly as the girl's angelic voice still rang in his ears along with the explosions from the stage and the audience's cheers.

Just then, Pudge came over and pulled down on Danny's white sleeve with a bit of a worried expression. Before he could speak, the orange cat knelt down and whispered very closely to the penguin.

"Are you sure?" Pudge asked as he pulled away.

"Yes, I am." Danny nodded and then added with a playful wink. "Let's just keep that between you and me."

"I hope you didn't plan to start production on the moon." Sawyer smirked as she joined in, referring to the secret conversation between the cat and penguin.

The two friends looked towards the actress in her sparkling green dress. Standing up from his positioned, Danny laughed, "That will be plan B if anything goes wrong at Mammoth Pictures."

"Now was that thought up before our little mishap with the ark?"

"I dunno; I am pretty good at planning on my feet."

He gave the girl her cap and cover skirt back. Sawyer smiled as she accepted her clothing and placed them back on.

Everyone around them was prepared to call it a night. They wanted to rest up before tomorrow with new promises coming around. The Persian was about to leave when the tabby pulled her aside for a moment.

"You know, it may be a hotel room, but why don't you come to my place?" Danny offered cheerfully. "I have a terrific view!"

The invite might have been sudden, but he figured he owed his friend a little something special since she believed in him and brought everyone backstage. He wanted to tell her that, but so much commotion swarmed the area it was hard to get a word in. Sawyer felt the same.

"Sure." she smiled.

Placing her arms around Danny's, she was about to head for the entrance she came in.

"No, not that way." the tabby entreated.

"Why not?"

"It'll be bombarded with reporters! We should go out back to avoid them."

"But I thought you wanted to get interviewed so you can get noticed?"

"We can always talk with them another time. This story won't be blowing away anytime soon."

Although she had always longed to be praised for her dancing and singing in Hollywood, right now Sawyer only wanted to spend time with Danny. She trusted him, and the two made their way out through the back exit. Sneaking away from one of the largest theaters in Hollywood, the two still heard the roar of the crowd, photographers, and news reporters from the front. They both laughed with mirth as they managed to escape the claws of leaches searching for any gossip.

The tabby and Persian took a quick rest in one of the alleys. Sitting on the many crates, they tried to catch their breath. Once he was ready, Danny stood up from his spot. He offered his hand and asked, "Ready?"

Sawyer took her friend's hand with confidence, prepared to follow where ever the orange cat headed for.

The walk over was nice for the pair of cats as they cruised together in the moonlit night. Danny chattered lightly about what he had done for the eve of their premier as Sawyer laughed in amusement and amazement. Just as he was about show off an idea he had always thought about back on Kokomo, he had to shake his head to clear himself of his dizziness.

"Are you ok?" Sawyer asked. "Or was that part of your act, too?"

"Come on, falling over isn't the end for any actor!" Danny brought up with a laugh. "And I wonder how Farley Wink is going to feel when he hears all this."

"I'm sure he'll be heartbroken that his favorite secretary will be out." Sawyer remarked carefree.

Arriving at the hotel, the first thing that caught their eyes was the logo. The large, green neon sign read El Greco, which translated to The Greek. The hotel the talented and fun loving cat stayed at appeared appropriate; theatre did come about from the Greeks, and now that movies had been made people all around can enjoy a story acted out live or filmed.

The two entered the tall building and rode up an elevator all the way to the top. Feeling slightly dizzy from the rush of ascending the several stories, Danny leaned his back against one of the walls. At their stop, he guided his friend down the hallway to his rented room. When the door unlocked, Danny allowed his guest to enter first. As Sawyer strolled in, she grew surprise how nice a room the cat had rented for the past few days. It may not be the fanciest room in Hollywood, but the size and furniture appeared reasonable for the price.

In the room with maroon carpet rested a single mattress large enough for two people placed against one of the creamed color walls. A table stood opposite and was accompanied with two chairs. A small nightstand was placed beside a tiny window with a great view out towards the large city. A mini white fridge along with a single stove and a few kitchen supplies were kept in as well. The bathroom was compact, but it appeared to get its job of showering and toilet usage done.

"Nice place." Sawyer complimented as she came in. Danny helped removed her outerwear and hat and placed them on a wooden coat rack. He then proceeded to do the same with his own green jacket as Sawyer walked towards the window. She sighed with pleasure as she gazed down the grand city that glowed with neon signs of restaurants, motels, and other businesses everywhere below. The two were finally accepted to be taken seriously in the art of theatre.

"I'll say." the orange cat agreed as he came to join her. "I woke up every morning happily just knowing I was in a town I've always wanted to be in. I got to see the sun shine down on this gold town, and I was always stunned to catch the glow of the neon signs at night."

"Must be very different from Kokomo."

"Very different. But it's nice."

"And now that you have a job with contracts that will be flooding in, do you plan to find a new place?"

"It's nice here, but I guess finding an apartment will be easier on my budget."

The two laughed. It felt good to have a chuckle after delivering an improve performance while finally ridding themselves of the terror of Darla Dimple.

"Did you want some coffee or tea?" Danny offered candidly as he pulled away from the view he saw every day. "You must be thirsty after all that wonderful singing you did."

"Sure, tea sounds nice." Sawyer nodded. She took a seat on one of the wooden chairs at the table.

The orange tabby strolled towards a single stove. He placed on the kettle for the water to boil and pulled out a few tea bags from underneath a cabinet. He then took out two cups and saucers as well as two spoons he had brought along to save money. After setting up the cups on the counter, he felt his own vision growing blurry. He lost his balance for only a second.

"Is everything ok?" Sawyer asked as she noticed a little swaying of the feet and the sound of silverware clanking.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Danny smiled after regaining his balance.

"Are you sure?" the female feline questioned. "You seem tired."

"Well, I did do a lot of planning the night before." the tabby laughed. "Can you blame a guy for sneaking pass security to write in a few extra, well deserved invites?"

"Maybe your first role will be a crook." giggled the girl.

"Or a historical figure for a civil rights movement." the boy countered playfully. "But whatever part we do get, I know we'll play it well."

Sawyer smiled as Danny swung over with their drinks. Looking at her beverage, she recalled some of her acting buddies did not at all want any villainous roles. Everyone wanted to play the hero. But Danny seemed different. He only truly cared about acting.

The two chatted about how exciting their new jobs would be. Sawyer listened politely as Danny spoke about a few recitals he had done in Kokomo, including an embarrassing act that involved him playing a magical tree in a stiff costume only to fall over during a live show. Taking a moment to rest his talkative mouth, the Persian mentioned a few pieces she had been through during her first few months of acting in Hollywood. She admitted she felt great she was back under the spot light rather than just filing paperwork for those still chasing their dwindling dream.

Finished with their drinks, Danny took their cups over to the sink where he would wash anything he used by hand. As he scrubbed the cups with an old rag, he found his energy leaving his paws. He shook his head as tiny black dots formed in front of his eyes.

"I need to stay awake just a bit longer." he mentally told himself.

Happy with the day she had, Sawyer stood up and stretched. Reaching for her belongings on the coat rack, she remarked, "I should get going; we both have big days ahead of us."

"You should let me walk you home." Danny heavily insisted.

"Don't be silly; we're already at you place. I'll be ok."

"But I wouldn't want you to get harassed by any gossip news reporter."

"That's nice of you to consider, but I don't think a report would be as bad, as say, facing Max."

Danny slightly laughed at the comment. Determined to help out his friend, he briskly walked over to get his own jacket. Sawyer was about to protest when she decided to accept the idea. He reached the coat rack and was about to grab his jacket when his head began to spin once more, far worse than any time before.

Just then, the tabby lost complete balance and fell to the ground, landing on his knees and paws.

"Danny!" Sawyer shrieked. She at once rushed towards her fallen friend. As Danny tried to lift himself up, the Persian buckled down right beside him. After placing her caring paws around one of his arms, the tabby unlocked his eyes part way.

"What… what happened?" he whispered confused. Sawyer gasped, understanding Danny had blacked out for a moment. She assisted him to stand up. With one of her paws pressed against his chest, the tabby hissed as though he was in true pain. The pair paused as Danny took some time to breathe. Sawyer guided him towards the mattress in the room and instructed softly and sweetly, "Let's get you to bed."

"But you're my guest. It's supposed to be my job to entertain you." he tried to reason. "And I should take you home."

Sawyer brushed off his remark, "You've done enough entertaining for tonight. You went through all that trouble for all of us by getting our invites and dancing on stage. It's no wonder you're so worn out."

As the two sat on the bed, Danny replied softly in a serious tone, "More or less."

Even though the beastly servant was gone, the cat understood his body was now folding underneath exhaustion, especially since he did such a spectacular show live. He at once gasped quietly realizing he allowed a secret to slip out. He turned his view towards Sawyer, who looked at him befuddled. Unlucky for him, she had picked up on his unexpected somber voice. Actually unsure of what to say, he silently turned away.

The Persian remembered what took place in the theatre before everyone headed for the exit and then backstage. She was glad to see Danny underneath the spotlight, but his outfit was a complete mess, and he spoke with such confidence as he tidied himself up.

"Danny," Sawyer began with true concern. "I knew it was your doing for the invitations, but you didn't show up until the end of the movie. I guess you were backstage the entire time with setup, but... Did something else happen?"

Danny closed his tired eyes and sighed. He wanted to keep his fight a secret and enjoy his time with Sawyer, but now he had caused her to be troubled. Unlocking his emerald irises, he saw Sawyer placing one of her small paws gently on his shoulder for comfort. He could tell the girl genuinely cared about him.

"Pudge and I were doing setup for our surprise live show when we were ambushed by Max." Danny at last confessed. Sawyer gasped with fear. Danny continued boldly, "He tried to stop us from what we were doing, and I escaped to the roof…"

He explained what took place between him and the brute butler. He gave himself chills just thinking about running for his life. When Max was gone for good, he and Pudge returned to the stage to enact their original plan.

The girl became stunned. She had no clue what her high spirited friend had done right before everyone's own concert.

Danny sighed heavily. While he was under the light and gave his speech, he may have been placing himself together, but he had delivered what he had wanted to say with such conviction. He allowed his heart to guide him. He behaved so well it wasn't until he assumed his friends had left him that he began to sweat. It was hard to imagine that even though he was mocked, he still considered those around him to be his friends.

"No wonder you're so tired." Sawyer at last spoke. "And even after all that, you still went out to perform?"

"I couldn't let Max stop us." Danny replied truthfully. "Not after all the hard work everyone placed in. I knew I would be facing him again, and this time I was prepared."

"But, Danny, you were the one who placed in the most work out of all of us. If it wasn't for you, many of us would still be struggling with our careers."

"I know… And I also know some of us might have even given up after this movie, or even with what had happened at Mammoth Studios. But I couldn't just leave when so many of us had dreams of performing in Hollywood."

"Does anyone know about this? You fighting Max like that?... Tillie, Francis, even that grouch Cranston… They all seemed happy with what had happened; their dreams finally came true."

"Pudge does. And I asked him to not speak about it; I would like for everyone to follow their dreams, not worry about me."

Sawyer became mute. Gazing into Danny's eyes, she spotted how much passion lied within him. A strong spirit was displayed on stage while he sang and danced, even after such a horrific battle with a giant everyone feared. Even after the two's first unwelcoming encounter on set, Danny persisted to achieve his goal.

"Besides," Danny added quietly, "if anyone deserved to be on stage for such talent, it should be you."

Sawyer inhaled sharply as Danny smiled. Before anymore could be said between them, the actor's heavy eyes closed, and his worn out body fell forward on to his friend. With the tabby's body resting against hers, the actress reflected on what she had been told. She thought back to how she caved in and went on to be a secretary for an animal actors' agency. Her heart that had once been filled with dreams didn't want to be denied such opportunities any longer.

And yet even after all he had been told by animals and the scorn by humans, Danny continued his fight.

He came to Hollywood with a list of how make his goal into a reality. He stayed in a city that disrespected him to motivate others to relive their vision. And even after the pair came back to El Greco, the cat wore a huge smile as he spoke about his dream.

Moved by such passion, Sawyer tightly hugged her dear friend.

She now had her own chance to perform her dreams.

Xxx

The sun gracefully rose over a city with streets of gold as new stars were finally given a chance to fulfill their dreams enacted with passion. As a new day approached, two cats awoke and remained in their stylish clothes they wore the previous night. Exiting the small room and heading down the elevator, the two reminded each other their plans to meet everyone at Pinky's before heading to Farley Wink's to see what ideas and acts would come along.

The sun was bright as their smiles as the two exited the hotel.

"Ready for another day?" Danny asked as he offered his paw. After resting easy for a night with a good friend, he was prepared to take on the dream he always held in his heart.

"So long as you're there." Sawyer giggled.

Down the sidewalk, the two stopped walking for a moment. Each one looked into the other pair's eyes. Grateful to know her dream at last came alive, Sawyer found herself drawing closer to Danny. She drew up an enchanted smile as she mentioned, "Looks like everything you wrote on your list came true. Including this one."

"I don't know what you're talking about." Danny innocently replied, playfully pulling away. "My list only involved steps that would help me reach stardom!"

"Danny!" Sawyer yelled as she placed her paws on her hips, upset such a beautiful moment was ruined.

"That's my name!" the tabby winked as he skipped away for some space. "And soon it'll be up in lights!"

The female cat at once chased down her friend as the two were on their way to their dreams.

The End

Chao- Just wanted to highlight how Danny went against Max and then performed on stage. How did he do that? Anyways, been meaning to upload this fic on this site for a while, but the original file was lost due to a pilfered laptop. Hope you enjoyed this! More stories for this movie are on their way! Thanks for reading! See you in the movies!