I don't know if you can call any Dance Central fan fiction an AU. What little you know of each character from the games alone give almost no (if any really) back story. It's personalities that have been built for DC. But how any of the characters ever got to know each other really is up to yourself I suppose.

That said, I'm taking huge liberties with this story. And I'm not apologizing for any of them.

If you've stuck with me this far, and you're planning to keep going, then I really hope you enjoy the ride. This story is getting a T rating, but be sure to check at the start of each chapter for particular warnings, because it's going to graduate to M material more than a few times in the future.

And drop a note to tell me what you think!

Good luck.

Telaka

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Chapter One

Wanna Dance Pretty Girl?

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Goad the night. Ask for a devil's fate and shake hands with that ugly future. We owe our wretched pasts nothing because they will never pick up those calls again. You owed that man nothing.

She pulled her socks a little higher, tugging with absent-minded force so they would cover her calves. Her long torso framed by a pair of rose-red braces slung loosely over her shoulders. The fresh blue silk of the blouse was foreign, lush, easily persuaded apart where her breasts sat in a half-cup bra.

Are you asking for something? A black checkmark struck upon your adult life? Do you want them to forget everything you have become? Do you want to forget yourself?

She waved a hand over the dresser, fingers twitching indecisively. Client lists and lunch dates and post-it notes with times, quotes and doodles of love hearts and cats, all strewn over the wood alongside spilled make-up and Parisian perfumes and emboldening costume jewellery. Some of it – the jewellery – she hadn't worn for months, dare be it even ever at all. Gifts from admirers and friends, and zealous associates who thought business and reality were one and the same thing. Poor lambs.

She decided on just a quick spray of perfume. The wind outside was beginning to pick up, and the streets would be quieter tonight for it. Summer was passing, this the first week they'd had rain and cool nights. People would be realising they had less money than they thought, now that the sun had cooled and the celebrations of the long days ended. The dance halls and the sordid lounges and the long bars would be crowded, but they wouldn't be desperate with over-capacity. She would be able to move around, to drink without it spilling by someone else's idiotic accord. She would be able to hear the other girls talking and she would be able to stay till closing without wanting to murder more individuals than was reasonable or even necessary.

She used to know all the tricks, at least. It was her job once, and not too long ago, to understand these bodies and minds who passed through the night and danced in the dark. But this night was full of selfish resent, self-centered reasoning; forget the man, remember yourself, forget yourself.

She left her coat behind and strode into the evening bidding hello to you, devil.

Together they jumped the cue and strode through the dark halls, cut through the smoke and descended straight onto the dance floor like a free fall directed only by the music.

She knew Taye in so much as she knew she liked her. And though Aubrey led them to the floor, it was Taye who was emboldened to bark at the people, and then laugh when the crowds parted angrily for them.

There was nothing for them in those first moments but to dance. No better way to show the world you had stopped caring than by surrendering to a bodiless entity like music. A beat that jumps into your bones and possesses your core, and from it you steal pure joy, and ignorance, and you forget.

Aubrey moved with sin-like pride; a high head and elbows out, eyes closed, hair loose and mouth agape. She stole the space and dared anyone to come near, dared with every time she beat her foot into the floor, or swung her arms, or jutted her hips. Taye was gone to another corner and if they met up again at all tonight it would be purely by coincidence. Each had their own agendas to fulfill, and personal wars to wage.

Once the first heady wave of music passed, and lulled to a dull roar, Aubrey turned her back to the floor and headed to the bar. She ordered a water, turned back around, and took stock. It was a generous expanse of floor on this opening level. Then, to each side East and West, a string of tables and padded couches built into the long walls, and upon those tables danced the girls, and sitting in front of them the boys wishing they could touch; the oldest of our lasting professions. Above and all around was a balcony, with the DJ as lord and more dancers and some cages, for more girls to work in. A regular public ratio of around three women for every one man. Ample security with a heavy focus on the tables. Some of the girls on them frighteningly young, but nothing that surprised Aubrey.

She watched them for a while, switching out, changing tables, coming and going and always smiling. Though if anyone believed those smiles, then more fool them. Dressed, it seemed, as each unto their own. Some would disappear through locked doors once when they were done, and others would meander on the floor with the music, emboldened and drunk and well paid.

Then, as the beat changed, as Aubrey's heart once again raced with it, as she made to put down her glass and join the fray once more, she got caught.

It was out of grey shadows, from the very back of the room, that across each table a singularity in leather boots approached. A ripple of dissatisfaction threw each working girl off their stride and like dominos they stopped one by one and also looked.

She went by on long legs, crossing each gap between the tables like there was no gap at all. Bare, freckled skin until half way up the thigh, and even then it was just a pair of cotton shorts that managed to show off the yellow underwear beneath. A midriff covered by a loose sleeveless tee, bright yellow too and emblazoned with the number 59 in ocean blue. A black bra clearly showing. Wild, unkempt hair thrust into a careless bun and an assault of bay-brown bangs kept in check by a bleach-white cotton headband.

Each girl she passed she grinned at, baring straight teeth or flashing her tongue jovially. She walked across the tables like she was strolling across a sidewalk. But as each girl moved to let her pass, Aubrey felt it akin to watching a beast ascertain its dominance over its land.

She came down in one stride and paid no attention to the boys who called drunkenly, stupidly after her. Security nodded nonchalantly at her passing, and as she came abreast to the bar a tender threw her out a wink and a bottle of cold amber beer.

"Not a bad beat tonight."

They were shoulder to shoulder. She had moved again, like a cat, and now stood by Aubrey's arm, and she didn't bother to look her in the face.

"Want to dance?"

Aubrey frowned, tried to walk away without being forced to say something, but the other woman put her shoulder out and stopped her. There was a glean of sweat on her skin, and a slight breathlessness in her voice, like she had been running.

"Don't be shy now, pretty girl."

She looked at Aubrey then, and cut down the auburn's glower with a grin almost wider than her own face could manage to pull for her.

"Lighten up, jeeze! Don't wanna dance, fine. Maybe I can get you a drink? Larry's tossing me out free ones tonight apparently."

"Maybe you can just get out of my way."

The other woman stayed very still, but the grin never faded, and her hazel eyes danced under the roving lights of the hall.

"What's up; don't like girls?"

Aubrey lifted her hand and pushed it against the woman's warm, bare shoulder. And in that moment she shivered, stopped this time by an almost insistent need to supress such a sudden and nameless desire that she thought she would convulse.

The woman just laughed.

"Come on, I think we should dance."

...