Hi! This is my first Dance Moms story, and I'm not really sure where exactly I'm going with it, but we'll see. Basing it a bit off of the dance and lyrics of Cry, Maddie's solo from season one. I just feel like Maddie's been down lately and I wanted to make that into a story.

Ten minutes til the girls were supposed to be onstage, and Chloe was missing. Everyone was loud and bustling, and the only person that noticed was Christie. Nia was finishing Paige's hair, Brooke was helping Mackenzie stretch, and Maddie was practicing in the corner, as usual. Chloe was strangely absent. As Christie took in the scene before her, Kelly piped up. "Where's Chlo?" she asked.

"I don't know," Christie replied. Kelly shrugged and went to go check on Nia and Paige.

"Maddie," Christie called, and Maddie ended a turn facing her, eyebrows raised. "Have you seen Chloe?"

"She's still not back?" Maddie asked, surprised.

"You know where she is? We don't have much time," Christie said. She was about to ask where Chloe was when Maddie pulled off her shoes (the girls weren't allowed to go anywhere in them) and took off running.
"Maddie, wait!" Christie called, getting Melissa's attention. "Just tell me where she is!"

"I can't," Maddie yelled back, "It's a secret!"

Melissa walked over. "Is she going to get Chloe?" she asked.

Christie nodded. "Where did she go?"

Melissa shook her head. "I don't know. Maddie wouldn't tell me either. But as long as someone knows, I figure it's okay."

Christie sighed and nodded again. "I hope she's okay."

"Oh, she must be," Melissa said confidently. "Maddie would have said something if she wasn't."

Maddie could hear her footsteps pounding as she ran down the sickly golden hall, all grace left behind. Why hadn't Chloe come back yet? She said she'd be back in the dressing room in just a few minutes.

She reached a fork in the halls and turned left, praying she was moving in the right direction. She glanced ahead and saw the sign for the bathrooms and exhaled in relief. "Chlo!" she called, but there was no answer. She stopped running and started walking. She cautiously slipped into the bathroom. "Chloe? You still in here?"

There was a sniffling from the far stall, and Maddie peeked under the door. A pair of feet clad in tights compulsively flexed and pointed, and Maddie got down on her hands and knees. She could see the tutu against the wall, so she crawled clumsily under the door, the heels of her hands making small thuds against the dark tile.

"Chlo," Maddie whispered, pulling herself over to Chloe and wrapping her arms around her friend. "What's wrong?"

Chloe didn't move, just continued trying not to cry. Maddie hugged her for a few seconds and then felt a tear drop onto her shoulder. Immediately her mind flashed the words "make-up" and she grabbed a roll of toilet paper. She tore some off and started wiping Chloe's eyes and talking to her about Mackenzie. Chloe quieted.

"Is my mom coming?" she finally asked, her voice quieter than normal.

"No, but I can go get her."

"No!" Chloe said quickly, and then she fell silent.

Maddie waited a beat before saying, "I didn't tell anyone where you were. Your mom asked but I told her I'd get you myself. We have to go now. I know you're super nervous, but you'll be fine," Maddie said with a smile. "I love watching you dance. Everyone does. You're always so fierce!"

Chloe faked a smile and allowed Maddie to pull her to her feet. When Maddie's arms wrapped around her again, Chloe wanted to writhe, but she took a deep breath and held still. Maddie pulled away and grabbed Chloe's hand. "Come on, we have to go!"

Maddie tugged Chloe all the way down the hall and back to the dressing room.

No one seemed to notice Chloe's bloodshot eyes.