Another one-shot for you guys. I got inspired to write this after I watched the movie "Leap!" (I heard it's called "Ballerina" in other countries), and the story is loosely based off of this. I posted this on my fanfiction account but I thought it would be fun to post it here too.
Also: ballet is not my forte, but I tried my best to keep the facts straight in this story. Please R&R with an open mind! :)
She wiped the sweat off her brow and rose from her crouched position on the floor. She then stretched her aching back muscles before placing the tub of soapy water and the mop back in the janitors closet.
Hesitantly, she glanced at the clock in the corridor of the studio. 6:30 AM. 30 minutes before anyone would get here.
She tiptoed towards Studio Room 1, taking some of the ballet flats from the lost and found that someone had left and never retrieved. She glanced at herself in the mirror.
Her outfit consisted of a filthy collared shirt and ripped jeans, clothes that she had barely managed to scour a few weeks before getting this job. Nevertheless, she squeezed her eyes shut and imagined herself in a white tutu and tights, just like the girls in the classes who she sneaked glances at every so often.
She held onto the wooden railing on the wall and played through Mr. Eaton's instructions in her mind.
First position. Feet flat, toes going outwards. Arms relaxed.
Second position. Heels apart, back straight. Arms opened.
Third position. One foot in front of the other. One arm in second, the other in front of you.
Fourth position. Heels aligned, twelve inches apart. One arm raised, the other in second.
Fifth position. Feet parallel, heel of one foot nearly touching the toe of the other. Both arms raised.
She smiled to herself. It was always her dream to become a dancer, but as an orphan who has lived a part of her life on the streets, she almost gave up on it. But when she found out about the studio, she knew she had to take a job there. If not for herself and her survival, then for her dream.
She began humming a song to herself, the classic that she had heard in the girls' beginners class.
And she danced, without a care in the world.
He quietly exited his house, sighing in relief as he stepped out into the fresh air. Last night was brutal, with Marcus constantly telling him that his dancing wasn't good enough. Did he care that his son was one of the best in his class? Not one bit.
He made a resolution to himself that night. He would prove to Marcus that he really was the best premier danseur, even better than Marcus himself. So he had gotten up early in hopes that he could practice before his lesson beings.
He unlocks his father's studio and steps inside, relishing the familiar feeling of the cool tiles on his feet. He sits on a bench, storing his extra clothes and slipping on his shoes. He then stands and heads to Studio Room 1, which was by far his favorite room in the building for its large mirrors that were singular to this room.
He pauses abruptly when he hears music inside the room. Is there an intruder? A robber? But no, why would a robber want to dance when they could steal instead?
He cautiously opens the door, just enough so that he can see who is inside. He covers his gasp by placing a hand over his mouth.
A girl. By far one of the most beautiful that he's ever seen. Shimmering blue eyes, with blonde locks of hair that fall loose from her ponytail as she dances.
One minute she's jumping, the next minute she's spinning around. But it doesn't matter than she probably has the worst form that he's ever seen. When he looks into her eyes, there's something there that people take years to find;
It's clear to him that she aspires to be a dancer. And he knows that with her passion, she can do it if she really wants to.
He opens the door even more, causing it to squeak. She squeals in surprise, placing her hands behind her back as he comes out behind the door.
"What do you think you're doing?" He asks. She gulps. This man, he's the owners son. She's seen him in the advanced classes, how gracefully he leaps and twirls like a true dancer. She is always in awe of how great he is. But she also knows that this man is powerful enough to take away the only job she has.
"I... I was..." She looks down at the ground. "I was checking to make sure that the floor was clean enough to dance smoothly on." She chuckles nervously, knowing that he probably wouldn't buy her excuse.
"Don't try to lie to me," he chastises, crossing his arms across his chest. "I know perfectly well that you were dancing here, just a few minutes ago." She opens her mouth to respond, but he silences her by raising his hand. "Don't even try to contradict me. We both know it's true."
Her posture deflates, knowing that she's been caught. She clasps her hands together as she pleads. "Please, sir, don't tell anyone. Please sir, this is my only job—"
He silences her again with the raise of his hand. "Fine, fine. I'll let you go on one condition."
Her eyes light up, and he notices how the light catches them, giving them a bright blue color. "Anything sir."
He takes one step closer, as if trying to keep a secret, even though there are only the two of them there. "You have to let me teach you."
She pulls back slightly. "Wha-what?"
He looks into her eyes and gives her a soft smile. "I'll let you go if you let me teach you ballet." He isn't sure why he was doing this for some random girl, but once he saw that passion in her eyes, he knew she would be worth the time and effort.
She can't help but frown and his positivity. She was sure that she would have to put in extra hours or something, anything other than what he just said. So she asked the obvious: "Why?"
He takes another step closer, feeling the need to be close to this girl whom he's barely even met. "Why? Because what I just saw was true passion," he says, pointing at her. "And I know that if you work hard enough, you can be the best dancer at this studio."
She blushes at this comment. Here's a man who she hardly even knows, who is by far one of the most graceful dancers she's ever met, telling her that she has the potential to become a real dancer.
"Really?" She whispers. It all feels too surreal. She's one step closer to achieving her dream.
"Yeah." He says, smiling at her reaction. Then extending his arm out, he says, "So we have a deal?"
She smiles and shakes his hand in affirmative. "Yeah. We do."
She arrived at the studio early the next day and got to work immediately. They had both agreed to meet each other early for training at 6 AM for a one hour lesson, then at 6 PM for another one hour evening session.
He entered the studio fifteen minutes early than they had planned. When he saw her cleaning, he got down on his knees beside her. She glanced up as he took the sponge from her hands.
"You go mop, I'll clean the mirror." He says, already beginning the task.
She looks at him, baffled. "But sir—"
"Don't call me sir, that makes me feel old. Besides, I'm pretty sure that I'm the same age as you." He says, then glances at her again. "Am I right?"
She tucks a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "Well, I'm almost eighteen." She says, blushing.
He smiles at her shy actions. "So am I. So don't call me sir, call me Spencer."
Spencer. She liked the sound of that. "Okay, Spencer." She says, smiling at the way the name rolls perfectly off her tongue. Then she looks at him again. "I'm Anna, by the way." He smiles back at her. Anna.
They make quick work, cleaning the last studio in a record speed of ten minutes.
"Okay." Spencer says, clapping his hands once they've put the supplies away. "First off, do you have proper shoes? I saw you dancing with some yesterday."
"Um, I just used the ones in the lost and found," she confesses, rubbing her arm timidly. "They seemed to fit me fine."
He sighs. "Alright, I guess that'll have to do for now."
She slips them on, then glances expectancy at Spencer, who is seemingly deep in thought.
"How about we start with the basics." He decides. "Today we're going to learn about the ballet positions. They're the basics of all—"
Anna raises her arm, much like a student would interrupt their teacher. "Um, Spencer? I think I know how to do them."
He arches his eyebrow, disbelieving. "Really? Okay, first position then." She complies and does the best she can as he calls out the rest of the positions. When she's done, she tries to gage his expression. Much to her dismay, he doesn't seem too pleased with what she has done so far.
After a few moments of silence, he says, "That wasn't too bad, considering that you've never had any formal training. But it still needs some work. Follow what I do."
They practice the positions throughout the hour, Spencer constantly adjusting her position. It's only when the session comes to a close that she realizes how much work it'll take for her to actually get good at this.
"Hey, don't be disappointed," Spencer says, noticing Anna's change of demeanor as she takes off the ballet shoes. He places his pointer finger under her chin, causing her to look up at him. "You're doing great. This is only the first session, so don't give up. You're working hard, and it's going to pay off. You'll see." He tells her in all sincerity. She nods and looks back at him with determination, knowing that if she hasn't given up on her dream yet, she sure as hell won't give up on it now.
He smiles at her confidence, giving her a fake salute on his way out. She smiles back, getting ready to start the day.
Currently he stands by his fathers side, being the teacher in training for the 5-7 year old girls class. His main attention, though, is something — or rather, someone — outside the window.
There stands Anna, rapidly changing from first position to second to third to fourth to fifth, then repeating it again, as she stands behind the reception desk, where there are only moms and dads on their cellphones. He's extremely proud of her dedication to the subject. He knows she won't let him down.
A few hours later and it's his lesson. Anna stands by the window, watching as he does one, two, three, four, five, six, seven pirouettes in a row. A steady bead of sweat trickles down his forehead as he continues with eight, nine, ten. Anna's jaw goes slack as she watches in complete awe, realizing that she's getting trained by the near master of this art.
He stops having completed twelve. He wipes his sweat with the back of his hand, then meets her eyes through his periphery vision. He smiles and waves at her, a feeling of warmth overcoming him as he realizes that she was watching him. She smiles and waves back.
"Spencer!" Unfortunately for him, Marcus was the only one "qualified" enough to teach the advanced boys class. "Stop looking out the window!" Then addressing the entire group, he says, "I want another round, this time see if you can make it to fifteen." Spencer stands in position, feeling the pressure knowing that this time Anna is watching him. "Go!"
One. Two. Three. Four. This continues with ease until he starts getting to ten. On his thirteenth pirouette, he stops and puts his foot down, feeling slightly dizzy. Usually he's okay with working under pressure, but with Anna, it's a whole other story.
He watches as the rest of the class is able to successfully complete the fifteen pirouettes. He knows that Marcus will give him hell for this later. So close.
"Class dismissed!" Marcus yells, waving off everyone. Just when Spencer thinks that he can get away with it, Marcus calls out, "Spencer, stay." He internally groans and waits as the rest of the class shuffles out.
"What the hell was that?" Marcus yells. "Do you want to embarrass yourself in front of your classmates? You're going to be inheriting this studio after me, at least prove to me that you deserve that much!"
He sighs, looking down. "Sorry. I'll try harder next time."
Marcus releases a low growl. "You better." He exits the classroom, slamming the door shut behind him.
Anna, having seen the entire encounter, tentatively enters the room. "Hey," She says, successfully gaining Spencer' attention.
He gives her a faux smile. "Hey."
"Are you okay?" She asks. She knows they've only known each other formally for a day, but she can tell that there's something off about his stance.
"You like getting straight to the point, don't you?" She blushes a bit at this statement, regretting asking him. But then he says, "Yeah, I'm fine. This kind of thing happens all the time." He doesn't know why he can tell these things so easily to her. There's just something about her that just attracts his attention.
Anna is shocked hearing this, but decides to cheer him up rather than bring up the topic again. "Really? Because I would never be able to do this," She says, attempting a pirouette of her own, which is really just her spinning in circles on one foot.
He laughs out loud, a true belly laugh that makes Anna laugh as well. She spins faster and faster, both of them laughing. Suddenly, she stumbles, dizzy, but Spencer catches her in his arms before she can fall.
He smiles at her and she smiles back before realizing their close proximity. She blushes a deep red and stands, brushing off the imaginary dust off her pants. Spencer, though, stands in complete silence. How could he feel so... complete with someone he just meet?
Anna's clearing of her throat snaps him out of his stupor. "Well, I guess I should be going." She says, pointing towards the door and slowly backing out, wanting some time for herself to figure out how she felt about Spencer.
"Okay. I'll see you in a bit." He says. She smiles in good-bye and they continue on with their day.
Spencer made up an excuse, telling his father that he wanted to practice for a bit and that he would close up the studio on his way out. So currently he and Anna are back in Studio Room 1, still practicing the different positions.
As the hour comes to a close, Anna gets better and better, until Spencer thinks that she has completely mastered the topic.
"Well done, Anna! I told you that the hard work would pay off," he praises as she takes a sip from the water fountain.
Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she says, "Thanks." Then, sighing, she says, "I guess I'll see you tomorrow." With that she heads off to the janitors closet, ready to clean up the hallways. That was her routine: studios in the morning, everything else in the evening.
"Woah, woah, woah, what are you doing?" Spencer asks, seeing that Anna has taken out all the materials that they had used in the morning. "Haven't you done enough already?"
Anna laughs at this. "Nope, I still have to clean the hallways and lobby area, Spencer." She dunks the mop head in the water and begins.
"Well then here, let me help you." He says, taking the sponge again as he starts to clean the windows.
"Spencer," she says, swatting at his hands. "You don't need to do that. I'm getting paid, not you! You've done enough already."
He waves her off. "Oh come on Anna, just let me help." She sighs and lets him continue his work, knowing that he won't let up anytime soon.
After a few minutes of comfortable silence, he says, "So all I know about you is that you love to dance. Tell me something else about you."
She glances up at this. "Like what?"
He shrugs. "Anything. Like your childhood, or... I don't know, really anything, you know?"
"Why don't you start, since you seem to know what you want?" She says, thinking about what she wants to reveal about her life to him.
"Fine." He sighs before beginning. "Um, I was born on April 6th... and my mom died when I was four. She loved to dance, so I kinda felt like by dancing I would always have a part of her, ya know? Well anyways, I've been dancing for twelve years now, but didn't dare to tryout for the high school team. Um, and I went to NYU for college, which believe it or not, has an amazing dance program. So I feel like that was a great accomplishment in my life, since I decided that I want to keep dancing. And now I'm learning the ropes of this place 'cause I'll be running it soon."
Anna lets out an airy chuckle. "Wow, you've done a lot with your life..." She trails off, knowing that hers was nothing compared to his.
"Well don't be embarrassed, tell me about yourself." He urges her on, wanting to know more about this girl who he seems to be highly attracted to.
"Well... I'm an orphan. They say I was born on October 4th. Um... I was raised at a crappy orphanage with an equally crappy education for twelve years of my life, until one day I had enough. I decided to escape that place. Little did I know that the real world was hell compared to there." She scrubs the floor harder, thinking about her idiotic decision.
"I lived on the streets for the rest of my life, and since I didn't have a great education it was hard to get a job. A few months ago I landed upon this place, and I took the job that was offered to me. With my savings and this job I'm able to have my own place at an apartment close to here, which is really nice." She sighs and leans her weight on the mop. "So yeah. That's my life."
She glances down, not willing to look at his sure-to-be shocked face once he realizes what a failure she is.
Suddenly, she feels a pair of warm hands around her waist. She gasps and turns around as Spencer pulls her in for a hug. He rubs her back so soothingly that she thinks she's going to cry at the amount of kindness he's shown her today.
"Well then, that's even more motivation for you and I to accomplish this dream of yours, don't you think?" He says, reassuringly.
She looks up at him then. He's one of the nicest people she has seen in a long time.
Maybe that's why she liked him.
A month had already passed, and Anna was getting better and better at her passion that was ballet. Since they met five days a week for two hours, she had advanced rapidly and quicker than those who took one hour, once a week classes. She even continued to practice behind the reception desk, and while it brought stares from some, she didn't mind. What mattered was her and her dance, and both she and Spencer respected that.
"Hey," Spencer says, entering the studio. He grabs the sponge and begins cleaning the mirrors. No matter what Anna did, he never let up, so eventually cleaning the mirrors was Spencer's job, while mopping was Anna's.
Anna looks up and gives him a smile. "Hey."
They continue to work in a comfortable silence.
Once they finish, Spencer says, "I'll put these away," pointing to the supplies. "You can start stretching." Anna nods in agreements and slips on the ballet shoes. They are the same ones from the lost and found, since the owner had never re-claimed them.
When Spencer re-enters the room, Anna is already doing some warm-ups. He smiles looking at her. Her passion, the same one that he was first attracted to, is still present, and if anything, it's gotten stronger. Much like his feelings toward her.
Remembering his plan, he shakes his head, as if the action could clear his mind, and walks toward her. She looks up from her barre stretch and smiles at him.
Nodding towards her shoes, he says, "Take those off."
Frowning, she looks down at them, then looks back up at Spencer. "What? Why?"
"Because..." he says, trying to build suspense. Taking his hands out from behind his back, he finishes his sentence: "I got you these."
She gasps looking at the prize in his hands.
Red ballet shoes.
She takes them from his hands cautiously, as if they would vanish if she didn't take care of them, and examines them. Spencer smiles wide looking at her expression. She runs her fingers along the length of the shoe, feeling the quality of the soft leather in her hands.
She looks up at Spencer and says, "Thank you so much Spencer. You have to let me repay you... these are amazing—"
He raises his arm at that, interrupting her the same way that he did a month ago. "Don't. Please. It's my gift to you. After the hard work that you've shown so far, you really deserve it." Then, he adds softly, "Besides, if I remember correctly, it is your birthday."
Anna gasps. Even she didn't remember what date it was today.
But he remembered.
Before she can thing about what she's doing, she flings herself at him, squeezing him in a tight embrace. He returns the embrace immediately, suddenly extremely glad that he had remembered.
"Thank you," she whispers into his shoulder. She doesn't remember the last time she had gotten anything for her birthday, let alone someone other than herself gifting her.
He pulls back slightly, stunned into silence at the sincerity of her voice. And then they realize the position that they've gotten themselves into.
Nonetheless, however, they look into each others eyes for a few moments, staying the intimate position. Spencer looks into her murky blue depths, which are slowly becoming brighter and clearer as she stares back at his ocean blue eyes.
Spencer brings her closer to him, enjoying this position more than he should. He frowns slightly, analyzing Anna. She is the key to his guarded soul. She is the only key there is. Unique.
As she looks at him, she realizes that he is one of the sweetest, kindest, truthful, and hard-working guys she has ever met. She would still be a measly janitor and receptionist without him. But now, she feels important, like she is of some value to someone.
Before they realize it, they both start leaning in. He glances down at her lips, and the break of eye contact breaks Anna from her dazed state.
"Spencer..." She starts, for some reason still unsure of herself, but he doesn't let her finish.
Instead he places his lips on hers.
And they kiss.
Their lips move together, almost as talented as their feet on the dance floor. Their tongues dance to their own melody and rhythm, unlike any song they've ever danced to.
They pull apart but rest their foreheads together, breathing the same air.
He places his hands on her waist, pulling her even closer, and says, "I think I loved you from the minute I saw you."
Anna gives him a small smile at this, and, finally deciding to stay true to her feelings, places her palms on his chest and gives him a response that was music to his ears: "I think I loved you too."
They both had a passion for dance.
And it was that passion that brought them together.
At first it started with respect.
To him, it was respecting her love for ballet.
To her, it was respecting his dedication to the art.
But somewhere in the middle, they found love.
And much like one's passion,
Love never fades.