Fandom: Step Up 2: The Streets
Pairing(s): Chase & Andie
Rating: PG-13/R (for language and adult themes)
Summary: Post-Step Up 2: The Streets; Andie's father comes home and she is forced to confront her past when it collides with her present.
The knocking woke him up. It was incessantly loud for this time of … He forced his eyes open and looked at the clock.
Who the hell needed him at two in the morning?
The door to his bedroom opened suddenly, light from the hallway flooding in. “Wake up. We need you downstairs.”
He pushed himself up, looking at the man framing the doorway. The light from the hallway assaulted his vision, made him squint into it. “What?”
Blake’s eyes narrowed, his expression worried. “Get up, Chase. Andie’s guardian is here—Andie’s gone.”
Clarity slammed through Chase as he rolled out of bed, grabbing the discarded t-shirt on the floor. He tugged it over his head as he followed Blake into the hall and down the stairs to the foyer.
“Sarah,” he called when he was halfway down, blinking away the grogginess. It melted away as he saw Sarah pacing on the marble floor.
Sarah turned, her worry in her eyes. She opened her mouth to speak, but Chase beat her to it.
Sarah visibly sagged, defeated. “She isn’t here?”
Chase’s bare feet hit the landing and he came to stand in front of Sarah, towering over her by six inches. “No, Andie’s not here. I dropped her off at home earlier when we got done practice.” Confusion was being replaced by something else.
“Oh, God,” Sarah mumbled, rubbing her eyes with the heel of her hand. “I should’ve known this would happen.”
“Known what would happen?” Chase demanded, becoming more awake and more concerned with each passing moment.
Blake put a hand on his younger brother’s shoulder. “Easy,” he warned softly before looking at Sarah. “Why don’t we all go and sit down?” he suggested. He took Sarah by the elbow and led her into the parlor, Chase following silently behind.
When they were all seated—Blake and Sarah on the overstuffed couch and Chase in an antique armchair—the elder Collins turned to Sarah. “Now, what happened to Andie?”
Sarah’s gaze flickered to Chase and he got the distinct impression she was about to censor whatever had transpired between her and Andie.
“Andie got some … bad news,” Sarah said evasively.
“What kind of ‘bad news’?” Chase cut in quickly, his eyes darkening. He leaned forward, resting his forearms on his knees, bracing himself.
“I told her that her father contacted me. He said he wanted to see her,” Sarah replied softly, shaking her head. “Andie and her father never had a very good relationship, and she didn’t handle the news well.”
Blake turned a questioning glance to his younger brother.
Chase shrugged. “Andie’s never talked about her dad with me.” He looked over at Sarah. “What happened that she’d run away at the idea of seeing him?”
Sarah shifted. “I’m honestly not sure,” she answered, uncertain. “I never asked, and Marie—Andie’s mother—never mentioned why she left Howard.” Sighing, Sarah buried her face in her hands. “If she’s not here, then where is she?”
Despite the gravity of the situation, Chase almost smiled for a second. Sarah thought Andie would come to him first.
As quickly as the thought entered his mind, another formed:
If Andie didn’t come to him first, then where else would she go?
“Did you try Missy?” Chase asked slowly. It stung a bit to think Andie would go to her for help before him, but they’d only been dating for a few months. Missy and Andie had been friends for a while before that.
Sarah shook her head. “I came here first.”
Chase stood quickly. “I’ll try calling her.” He didn’t wait for a reply as he stalked from the room towards the stairs, his long legs eating up the distance. He hit the stairs at a sprint, taking them three at a time. His cell phone was in its cradle, charging. He quickly unplugged it, finding Missy’s number in his contact list and turning to go back downstairs as it started ringing.
Chase winced at the harsh tone. “Missy, it’s Chase. Listen—”
“What the hell, man?” she whined. “It’s freakin’—”
He clenched his teeth. “I know what time it is. Have you heard from Andie?” He knew the answer before she replied.
“Andie? No. Why? What’s going on?”
“Andie’s … gone.” He frowned. There really wasn’t another word for it.
“What d’you mean she’s ‘gone’?” Missy was waking up now.
“Look, it’s a long story. Can you call around and see if anyone’s heard from Andie?” He made the request as he walked back into the parlor. He shook his head at Sarah’s questioning glance, and sighed as her face crumpled.
Chase ended the conversation and hesitated in the doorway. “Missy hasn’t heard from her,” he said unnecessarily. He scrubbed a hand over his face and looked down at Sarah. “Where else would she go? Who would she go to?”
Blake touched the back of Sarah’s hand. “Would she leave town?”
Chase felt his heart slam against his ribcage in alarm. Andie wouldn’t leave town without telling him …
… would she?
“I don’t think so,” Sarah murmured, trying to focus. “She grew up here. Her aunt lives in
“Then she’s here somewhere,” Chase affirmed with conviction. “We just need to find her.” He looked at the cell phone in his hand again. “You’ve tried calling her?”
Sarah nodded, miserable. “It goes straight to voicemail. She has it off.”
Chase sighed quietly. “She’ll check her messages, though. Maybe if I left her a message…” He turned away and walked back into the hallway, hitting Andie’s number on speed dial. He frowned as his girlfriend’s breathy voice came on the line:
“Hey, you got Andie. You know the drill.”
“Andie, it’s me,” he spoke softly into the phone after the mechanical beep. His gaze flickered back to Sarah, who was talking to Blake, shaking her head. “Look, I’m not sure what’s going on … Just call me, OK? I’m worried.” He lowered the phone and stared at it for the span of several heartbeats before hitting the ‘END” button.
“Sorry, Missy,” Tuck said into his phone, sitting beside Andie on the old sofa, “I ain’t heard from Andie.”
Andie stared at him with anxious eyes, her knees tucked up to her chest, where she was huddled on the end of the couch.
Tuck’s eyes hardened. “Yeah, I’ll call ya if I hear from ‘er.” He ended the call abruptly and fixed her with a longsuffering look before tossing the phone onto the battered coffee table in front of them.
“Thanks,” Andie whispered, biting at one of her nails.
Tuck leaned back against the cushions. “D, you can’t stay here forever.”
“I just need to get my head together,” she answered quickly. “I promise I won’t be here too long—”
Tuck sighed loudly, leaning forward. “That ain’t what I meant. You know you can stay here as long as you need, D, but someone’s gonna find you sooner or later.”
She nodded quickly, her head jerking in rough movements. Tuck considered walking to the kitchen and grabbing her a beer—something, anything, to settle her nerves. Her eyes wandered, staring hard at an invisible spot on the adjacent wall.
Andie blinked and refocused her gaze back to him. “What?”
“Why’d you come here?” Tuck asked again, his voice softer. “I ain’t no secret we haven’t talked in months. Hell, I don’t know why Missy bothered callin’. They must’ve tried everyone else.”
Andie shifted, uncomfortable. She ripped the nail on her thumb with her teeth. “Because … because you know. You know what my dad did.”
Tuck figured as much, but he still needed to hear her say it. He nodded slowly, still waking up.
Andie was shaking her head slowly, her brow furrowed in concentration.
She glanced up at him. “How did Missy know I was missing?”
Tuck grimaced as if he’d sucked a raw lemon. “Your boy Chase called her.”
“Chase?” Andie’s voice lifted an octave. “How the hell would he—”
“Apparently Sarah knows you’re gone and went to him, thinking you’d be there,” Tuck cut in, frowning.
Andie groaned. “Sarah knows I’m gone?”
Tuck snorted. “What? You think she wasn’t gonna figure it out, D?”
“I thought I’d at least get until the morning before she …” Andie trailed off weakly, sighing.
Tuck shifted uncomfortably. “Do you even have a plan?”
Slowly, morosely, she shook her head, her doleful eyes luminous in the faint light. “I just knew I needed to get out of there.”
“And you came here,” Tuck answered calmly, rationally. “What do you want to happen, Andie? ’Cause I have no idea.”
“I just want it to … to stop. I want him to go away and leave me alone,” Andie hissed quietly. “Why now? Why is he here now? It’s like my life is finally going the right way and now this?” She swiped at her eyes, not having the strength to fight the few tears that managed to escape.
Tuck blew out a long breath and leaned forward towards her. “Look, D, I think it’s time you told someone.”
Her eyes snapped up to his face. “What?”
He held up his hands, trying to calm her. “Ease up, girl. All I’m sayin’ is, it might be time to tell someone what happened with your dad.”
“What? Like the police?” she scoffed, incredulous.
Tuck frowned. He wasn’t a fan on the police and as a general rule tried to avoid them. “Maybe,” he allowed. “Or Sarah.”
Andie was still shaking her head.
Tuck looked away, visibly swallowing his pride. “What about Chase?”
Andie surged to her feet suddenly, eyes blazing with horror. “No!”
Tuck nearly jumped. “Dammit, D—”
“He can’t ever know!” Her pitch turned a step away from hysterical. “None of them can—”
Tuck caught her hand and tugged her back down to the couch, sitting. “OK, OK,” he relented, uneasy. “We won’t tell them.”
Andie swallowed audibly. “Tuck, the only reason you know is because … you were there the last time I saw my father.” She was shaking, her hands trembling as she buried her face in them.
His hand settled on her back, rubbing in slow circles. “OK. I got it. We won’t tell.”
A long, uneasy silence settled between them. It thickened, hardened, making it difficult to breathe. To think.
“It wasn’t your fault, you know.”
His voice was so soft, she nearly missed it. Not sure if she’d heard him correctly, Andie dared a glance up. “What?”
Tuck’s gaze was uncharacteristically gentle. “It wasn’t your fault, Andie.”
Her face twisted, broken, as she struggled to catch her breath. “Tuck—”
“You were a kid, D,” Tuck went on, his tone low and gravelly. “You didn’t do a thing wrong. He fucked up—not you. You ain’t got nothin’ to be ashamed of.”
Andie looked up at him, desperately wanting to believe his words. “I can’t ever tell anyone,” she choked out. Tear droplets hung like suspended crystal on her lashes, threatening to shatter against her cheeks. “I just want him to go away.”
Without thinking about it, Tuck drew her tight against his side, hugging her to him. “It’ll be OK, D. I won’t let him near you.”