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.
She couldn’t even find peace in sleep.
Tuck leaned in the doorway of the spare bedroom and watched the worry lines carve themselves into her face as she tossed restlessly in her slumber. Memories of another life haunted her dreams, lurking in the shadows of her charred subconscious. It was poison, all of it, but he had no clue how to cut it out of her life.
Andie was his surrogate little sister, had been since he met her as an eleven-year-old six years earlier. The little girl who loved to dance and refused to run home when he—a man at sixteen—ordered her scram. Instead the brunette girl in pigtails studied their moves—his moves—with unflinching comprehension that someone her age shouldn’t have. After a session, she could mimic almost all of their moves. Slowly, Tuck’s protests of her staying became less adamant, and more amused.
She never left, and pretty soon he stopped caring.
It wasn’t until she was thirteen that he understood what had happened to her.
Understood that she danced to escape. To live again.
The same reasons he did.
Their roads were different, but they had come together at the same conclusion: Dance was their way of regaining what had been lost, stolen. It wasn’t simply movements and beats; it was a method of coping. Surviving.
Since that day, Andie had been an honorary member of whatever crew he was in. At fifteen, she had been one of the founding members of the 410.
He could still remember the disbelief in her eyes when he told her she was done in the 410 only months earlier. The memory tasted like iron in his mouth, bitter and cold.
It hadn’t been that she was at MSA. Tuck knew Andie was talented, and MSA was a great chance for her. It was a chance he, and most of the other 410 members, could only dream of. MSA could open all sorts of doors for her, and he wasn’t selfish enough not to want that for her.
It was the lies. The fact that she couldn’t trust him with her decisions when she had trusted him with so much more.
The word churned in his stomach, angry and roiling. He had never handled betrayal well, and it was no secret he considered the other members his family. But with Andie it was different, something more. He thought they were too close for that to happen to them. Her lies, that she felt the need to lie, caught him completely off-guard and he’d reacted badly.
He couldn’t fault her for forming her own crew. Andie was born to dance, a fact that she had proven at the battle.
He couldn’t stop the smile that drifted across his face, unbidden. Despite the burning rage he felt at watching her dance and blend effortlessly with another crew, he couldn’t help but be proud of her. Andie had blown them all away. But then, she always did.
Tuck grimaced. He wasn’t too happy with her taste in guys, though.
Despite their public falling out, Tuck had been careful to keep tabs on Andie. He knew from several sources she had been dating Chase Collins since that night. From what he heard, Andie was happy, and he couldn’t fault her for that.
Tuck clenched his teeth, scowling into the darkness as he turned away. He’d be damned if he’d let Howard West rip away all Andie had worked for these last few years.
Chase reluctantly locked the side door to MSA, giving it a quick tug to make sure the lock served its purpose. He’d about given the night janitor a heart attack when he had show up thirty minutes earlier looking for Andie.
“She’s not there?”
Chase spun quickly, his heart slamming against his chest at the voice behind him. He sucked in a sharp breath as he made out Moose and … Sophie?
He frowned and took a few steps towards them. “What are you two doing here?” His gaze landed on Sophie as he asked.
Sophie’s expressive brow eyes widened and she looked hesitantly at Moose.
Moose frowned. “Looking for Andie. She’s not there?” he repeated.
Chase shook his head. “No. She wasn’t inside.” He raked a hand through his disheveled hair. “I have no idea where she is.
“Damn,” Moose muttered. “I tried calling, but it went to voice mail.”
“Yeah, me, too,” Chase replied, looking down the empty street. “I have no idea where she would go. I checked here, Sarah went back to the house to see if she went back, I called everyone…”
“Has anyone called the police?” Sophie asked softly.
Chase gaze cut to his ex-girlfriend, the reason Andie had once been expelled from MSA. The girl who had manipulated the truth to keep them apart, and had nearly succeeded. “No, Sophie, we can’t call the cops.”
She winced at his harsh tone. “Maybe someone should. Isn’t it their job to find people?”
Chase opened his mouth to bite out a reply, but snapped it shut at the last moment. He sighed deeply. “Sarah’s worried if we call the cops, she’ll lose custody of Andie. Andie could be sent to Texas to live with her aunt, or something.”
“Oh.” Sophie scuffed the toe of her shoe against the concrete.
Chase eyed her critically. “Why are you even here, Sophie?”
“She was watching a movie at my house when you called,” Moose interrupted, his voice cool as Sophie stepped closer to his side.
Chase couldn’t hide his surprise. “Oh, really?” His tone was more mocking than he would’ve liked, but it was there nonetheless. His patience was gone, and standing by as Sophie Donovan made a ploy for Moose—a guy she never dared look at until he joined Chase’s crew—was like tap-dancing on an exposed nerve tonight.
Sophie had the decency to flush, folding her arms under her chest nervously. “We were just hanging out.”
“Not that it’s any of your business,” Moose added, scowling in a way that made him look even younger.
“Whatever.” Chase shook his head and started heading across the street for his truck.
“Call us if you here anything!” Moose yelled out.
Chase waved a hand to indicate he’d heard as he unlocked the door of the SUV and climbed in the driver’s seat. He shut the door and leaned his head back against the headrest, wondering for the hundredth time that night where the hell Andie was.
He was never going to get any sleep.
Tuck stomped down the stairs, grumbling under his breath as he wrenched the door open. He glared at the familiar face in front of him. “What the hell do you want?” he demanded crossly, blocking the doorway.
“I want to see Andie.”