A/N – Did anyone else lose access to today? Well, because that happened, I am posting this early.
I suck at describing dances, so any time there is a dance sequence, I'm sorry!
I am connecting this to my other Step Up fanfic, Fighting For Something Real, but you don't really need to read it first. Tyler ends up with a girl named Tara instead of Nora, that's all you need to know to read this.
Disclaimer – I do not own the Step Up franchise.
I remember the first time I saw someone move like they were from another planet. I couldn't keep my eyes away. When I was little my mom took me to watch a jam session in the neighborhood. It started out small, but word spread.
Soon, some of the best dancers around were showing up to compete in something they eventually called The Streets. It became Hub, and I got a front row seat to history.
I wanted to glide and spin and fly like they did. But it didn't come easy. My mom would tell me 'don't give up, just be you, cause life's too short to be anybody else.' She was right.
When I was 16 my mom got sick. In a couple months, she was gone. Everything changed. Including The Streets.
I grinned as I heard the crowd as I walked into the club. This place always put a smile on my face since school was going downhill.
"Yo, my turn" I knocked Sand to the side with my hip, taking the mic and the headphones from him.
Sand chuckled and forked them over. "No problem, girlie" he nodded, giving me the DJ booth.
"Yo, yo, yo! What up Baltimore!" I cried, in my happy place. Then I spotted a familiar face. "My, oh, my, what do I spy with my little eye? Tyler Gage! Everybody, we got royalty in the house!" I yelled.
Tyler is really hard to miss, with his build. "Hey Tyler! Where's your main girl Tara, Gage?" I asked over the mic. Tara had always been nice to me at MSA.
"She's getting ready to go on tour!" Tyler called over the music, which I turned down.
"Tyler and Tara are going on tour! Hey, if you ever need a DJ…" I trailed off, acting serious.
"I don't think Tara would like the Big Mouth of Baltimore following us on tour" Tyler replied, and the crowd cheered.
"You kill me, Tyler. You know you love me. Alright everybody, we gotta do something special. Clear the floor, wanna-bes!" I got some boos at that, but they all knew I was joking, so it was all good.
I changed the track. "Back up! Here we go!" then, the girls picked up the floor covers of our new surprise. "Trampolines! Damn, your mama's gonna wanna see this!" I cried. And the battle started.
I kept up a running commentary as they dances, and Tyler school his opponent. "Oh, my God!" I cried when Tyler got up on the table and did a back flip. "That just happened!"
I was living it all. Tyler was crazy. "Damn, Ty! You schooled her. It's alright, Andie!" I cried as the crowd surged on Tyler, everyone trying to grab hold of the living legend of the back streets of Baltimore.
I smiled as I looked out at the crowd. I loved dancing, but DJ-ing was my thing. My name's Jenna, but I don't think anyone really knows my real name.
Everyone calls me the Baltimore Big Mouth, or Mouth. I smile whenever I think of my shortened nickname, it made me think of Goonies.
The rest of the night was a little boring, but I had fun anyways. Working the night shift was hard, with going to school and all.
When I finally got home, I crashed. School was starting soon, and I needed all the sleep I could get if I was gonna school the rest of my class.
I was a bit disappointed I didn't make it into MSA for dancing, but the new director, Mr. Collins, was a hard-ass. It was classical or nothing, for the most part. He played everything by the book.
So, music it was. And I did love it.
MSA was a little lonely. I mean, I knew everybody, and everybody knew me, but I didn't really have any friends.
My classes were easy. It was lunch that was hard. At least, until I spotted Andy, sitting alone.
"Andy!" I screamed over the noise of the courtyard. I skipped over to her quickly. She greeted me with a brief smile.
"Hey Mouth. I didn't know you were an MSA kid" she told me.
I snorted. "Girl, I ain't gettin' nowhere if I didn't go here. I only got my job at the club 'cause Tara danced there" I explained, sitting on top of the table, on a clean spot, facing her.
A boy with curly brown hair, with an army green hat on his head, came up behind Andie. "You're in my seat" he told her.
She looked at him emotionlessly, but he just snorted. "I'm kidding" he assured her. "I mean, this is my seat, but I'll give you a pass today."
I snorted at his comment. Some dude jammed his tray into the garbage without really throwing anything away, before walking away without stopping or slowing down. "Nice, nice. Nice shirt, Napoleon Dynamite. Nice" the kid called after him. "You look fantastic today, but the way. Nice hair"
I didn't know why he was still talking, the dude was long gone, but whatever. The kid slammed onto the bench next to my feet, setting his tray about six inches from my hip. What's up?" he asked, looking at both of us, like he knew us.
"I'm Robert Alexander III. You can call me Moose" he introduced himself, sliding off his backpack.
"What's up, I'm Andie" she said, pounding fists with him.
"No, no, no" he shook his head. "It's like this. Give me your hand. You gotta blow it up" Moose corrected her fist bump. "Blow it up, right? Blow it up" he made an 'explosion' sound, and Andie weakly copied. "Go back like that" he instructed, pulling his arm back. "It's mine, so…shh" he joked.
Andie smiled and shook her head. "This is Jenna" she introduced me.
"But everyone calls me Mouth" I added.
"What, like the Goonies?" Moose asked, chuckling.
"Yeah, exactly!" I agreed, not bothering to explain my name. We all looked over when we heard a can being opened, then promptly poured into the garbage. We looked away awkwardly.
"You're not eating?' Moose asked as he dug in.
"You call this food?" Andie asked, looking at Moose's food.
"Tofu dogs are both nutritious and delicious" Moose informed us. "This is good" he added, taking a bit of the mustard and ketchup loaded dog. "Mm" he hummed. Andie and I snickered. There was a glob of mustard right above Moose's top lip.
"Tastes like candy canes at Christmas" Moose sang. Andie and I laughed harder.
"Moose?" he looked up at me. "You got a little something…" I sighed and grabbed a napkin. With my other hand I grabbed his chin to hold his face still, and I wiped the mustard off his face. "There."
Moose blushed slightly. Andie stood up and grabbed her crap. Moose stood as well, grabbing his bag. "See, I knew we could help each other out" he said to us.
"What makes you think I need help?" Andie asked, acting tough.
"'What makes you think'…" Moose mocked before he grabbed her map and corrected the orientation. Andie scowled and snatched it back. "Trust me. I have what you need" he told her. "I have the inside on everything. Who's dating, who's hating. And who's hooking up"
He wrapped his arm around our shoulders as Andie and I started walking. "What's up, Dan? What's up, Gator? See you guys later" the guys clearly had no idea who Moose was.
"Man, I gotta go. I got class in a few, and I need to set up my stuff" I told them, pulling away from Moose. "I'll see you guys later. Good luck, Andie. It was nice to meet you, Moose" I called back at a hurried to class.
"Alright, so why'd he come back?" Okay, I just left them, and suddenly I find them again.
"He wants to make MSA the next Juilliard" I said. They both turned to look at me.
"Mouth? I thought you were going to class?" Andie asked.
I shrugged. "I did. This is it. You two following me or something? I mean, I know I'm amazing and all…" I dramatically tossed my hair over my shoulder with the back of my hand, making them laugh.
"Anyways, there are a lot of changes going down that nobody like" Moose told Andie as she opened up her locker. Or tried. Moose slammed it with his fist and opened it up easily. "The Collins are like flippin' MSA royalty. Chase, he's a ladies' man."
"He's a player?" Andie clarified.
"Completely" I nodded.
"Like an all-star. He's only recently taken the jersey out of retirement. So be warned" Moose explained as we watched Chase flirt with a group of girls following him around.
"Oh, and that's Cyborg Sophie" Moose added, "She's an MSA machine and Collins' crowning achievement." Moose nodded toward a window where a slender, dark-haired girl was dancing alone.
I had to admit, I felt a little jealous. Sophie looked beautiful, and she was talented, and she had Moose's attention.
"She's a triple threat. She acts, sings, and dance. She won every competition out there. But she just lost the biggest battle of them all, the one for Chase's heart" he said the last part dramatically, and we laughed.
"It's like I've landed in an episode of The Hills" Andie whined.
"Well, he broke up with her a few weeks ago, but they'll end up together and live happily ever after" Moose said.
"They are the power couple of MSA" I added.
"Just in time for the season finale, huh?" Andie said flatly.
"See, I knew you'd come around" Moose smiled as Andie walked away.
"I like you" I said, propping my shoulder against the wall and looking him up and down. "You're funny."
"Thanks" Moose smiled. It's funny, when I first saw him, he didn't look that tall, but standing next to him, I barely reached his chin. Of course, I'm really tiny.
"I gotta fly, check you later" I smiled, heading back to class.
"Hey, hey, hey, Mouth is in the house!" I cheered once I got to the tables. The club cheered as I switched tracks. This was why I loved my job. I can influence a whole crowd with just a change of beats.
"Alright everybody, time to see who's good, who's great, who's hot and who's not. If you impress me, I'll make you your own track" I said, switching beats.
See, that's why they call me Big Mouth. I usually can't shut up. And I talk super-fast.
I enjoyed watching everyone dance. The energy was so high, I could feel my mood lightening.
"Yo Mouth, when you gonna join us on the floor?" a female dancer – I don't know her name – asked me from the floor.
I shook my head. "Y'all know me, I leave the floor to people that can handle it. I'm the beauty behind the beats, the magic that made the movie, I'm the goddamn Queen. Now show me something worth watchin' ya'll! I'm getting bored!"
The crowd cheered and, if anything, the atmosphere got even more intense. People were dancing for all they had, and it was crazy what some of these people could do.
I wasn't fond of crew performances. Maybe the Four-one-oh had turned me off of it. I was glad they rarely showed up while I was working.
It's not like I made it public that I didn't like crews, but I didn't praise the Four-one-oh like DJ Sand did. I think they waited for his shift for an ego-boost.
After a few tracks I left the table or a bit to hit up the bar.
"Sup, Mouth?" the bartender – I could never remember his name – handed me a bottle of water. It was only thing I would drink when I was at the table, and every bartender that had ever worked at the Dragon since I started had been warned of severe consequences is they ever even tried to give me alcohol.
"Just getting hydrated. Don't want to lose my voice" I laughed over the music.
He laughed too. "Baltimore Big Mouth lose her voice? That'll be the day."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever" I grinned, grabbing my water and heading back to the tables.