Some months ago, whilst writing "Secret Life of Jessie", I began to tinker with various thoughts linked to other fics I wanted to put into the works, and amongst them was this one: a sequel for 'Just Dance'. This fiction is inspired not only by the most recent film version of 'Fame', but also by a youth theatre ballet show that took place where I work.
Chapter 1 – Advice & Autos
The chatter from the locker room was enough to draw anyone's attention. It was October, and the gymnastics team were just beginning for the season, in conjunction with the training for the invitational gala the following May.
In the midst of all the commotion, one girl picked her way through the hubbub of the communal rooms to reach an empty spot on a bench. It was not randomly selected, there was someone there she needed to talk to.
A blonde girl turned around to face the red head.
"Jessie? What are you doing here?" Bo's surprise registered on her face. "This is the gymnastics meet period."
"I'm here for practise too, remember?" Jessie frowned a little. "I thought you'd have heard Woody say."
"He probably did," Bo admitted with a laugh, her features returning to normal. "But it's been a busy summer, Jess. How are things with you?"
"Oh, they're just peachy," Jessie rolled her eyes. "I thought I'd come back as a fully fledged second year and love every minute of it. But so far the schedule this semester is driving me insane."
Bo smiled. "Yeah, it takes a little getting used to, I admit."
"How's third year treating you? The gymnastics gala must be a scary prospect," Jessie commented, dropping her bag onto the floor and taking a seat next to where Bo was standing.
"It's not so bad. Its not like I'm not used to it, but it is awfully complex and new routines are always a bind. But then I don't have to tell you that, what with your daily grind."
Jessie gave a wan smile. "Yeah…new routines," she said faintly.
"What is it?" Bo suddenly flopped down onto the seat next to Jessie and put a comforting hand on the redhead's shoulder.
"It's nothing. It's just…I'm afraid I'm not as good as I used to be. When I was younger I was able to adopt all these poses, do all these moves, and being away from dance for a few months, I think my muscles have gotten stiff. I was in the kitchen at the house last night, trying to do a double pirouette and I was rubbish at it, Bo."
"You were practising ballet moves?"
"Yeah. It's the one thing I did growing up, and if I cant do a ballet move in a small space without nearly knocking myself out on a cupboard…"
"Then the space is too small," Bo giggled. Jessie shot her a withering look. Bo composed herself and forced herself to be serious. "How about Buzz? Can't he help you out if you're having difficulty?"
Jessie thought fondly of her boyfriend and dance partner. "Sure, Buzz is great…but he cant do ballet, Bo." She giggled herself at the very image of her macho other half even trying the activity. "He can certainly come into the dance room and help me, and spot me, etc, but as for any advise or assist otherwise, there's no help."
"I wish I could help, Jessie." Bo gave her a sympathetic look. "But I have my own problems. I'm sure you'll sort it out though." She got up as the other students started to file out. "I have to go, I'm sorry. Maybe talk to Buzz about it?"
With that, she skipped out, leaving Jessie sitting on the benches to ponder.
"Buzz?" Woody knocked on the door of the room belonging to his best friend.
"Yeah?" came the reply from behind the door.
"Oh good, you're here, can I come in?" Woody tried the handle but the door was locked. He released his grasp and gave the wooden door a suspicious look. "What are you doing in there Buzz? The door's locked."
"Oh…ah….um….one second." There was a brief scuffling, a noise like something being thrown across the room, and then footsteps and a soft scraping of a bolt being drawn across. The door handle jiggled as from the other side it was opened, before Buzz peered out into the hallway.
Woody craned his head over his slightly shorter friend, trying to see if Buzz had someone else in there with him. Maybe someone with red hair, knowing him. But to his relief (and slight dismay at lack of gossip) the room behind was empty, save for the usual mess of dance clothes and assorted papers that Woody knew to associate Buzz with.
"What did you want?" Buzz broke Woody's thought bubble with his question.
"Oh, yeah…." Woody fidgeted for a moment. "You know that car you just bought over the summer?"
"You mean Mira?" Buzz arched one brow at the reference. His new purchase, financed mostly by his parents as well as most of his own savings, was also his new project outside of his dance work. He had, over the years, become adept at learning the ins and outs of the workings under the bonnet of a automobile, and his little beauty, an fully restored Apollo GT, was no exception. To earn the truth, he would be paying off the debt for years to come, but he was confident that once he got the right job and started earning he could have it sorted out in no time.
"You know, I've told you not to name it." Woody chuckled. "You'll only end up heartbroken when it gets repossessed."
Buzz shot him a filthy look. "For that remark, no, you can't borrow it."
"But…" Woody's face fell. "You know I'm taking Bo out tonight and my car's in the garage."
"Should have thought of that before you started being an idiot," Buzz started to close the door again. Woody raised a hand and placed it against the wooden door, trying to stop Buzz in his action, but it was useless. Buzz was a lot stronger, thanks to his constant dance workouts, and even as Woody pushed against the door, so it continued to close.
Giving up as the bolt slid back into place on the other side, Woody sighed and took a step back. "Buzz?"
"Buzz, c'mon please. I'm sorry." Woody muttered.
"What was that?"
Woody gritted his teeth, picturing Buzz leaning nonchalantly on the other side of the door, as he, Woody Pride, sweated it out. "I said I'm sorry."
"Can't hear you." Buzz's voice was maybe a little more singsong this time.
"I said I'm sor-ry." Woody enunciated.
"Like you mean it."
"I'm SORRY!" Woody shouted, throwing up his hands to an imaginary audience.
There was a momentary pause before the bolt slid out of the lock for the second time in ten minutes and the door jiggled open. Buzz leaned on the doorframe from inside, peeking around at his friend. Woody thought he saw a smirk cross his friends features before he spoke.
"I'll loan you the car on two conditions."
Woody sighed. "What?"
"One, you have to double date with me and Jessie. Tonight."
"I…" Woody stuttered, his eyes widening. Buzz's gaze bored straight into him as he weighed up the pros and cons of such a situation. But there was no way out of it. He had promised Bo this evening and he couldn't screw it up. He relented, his shoulders dropping. "Fine. What's the other condition?"
Buzz smirked, the amusement obvious this time. "Two, I'm driving. We'll see you at seven thirty!" Before Woody could speak, Buzz closed the door firmly a second time, leaving his poor friend staring in defeat.