Hey everyone! So, here's the last chapter :( I know this is kind of an odd place to end the story, but the story about their senior year, "Here's To Us," began with Nationals my junior year. I wrote it last fall, for those of you who haven't read it yet and are interested in what happened to them their senior year. I love these characters way too much to stop writing about them, so I'm definitely planning on more. I do plan on starting a story that's a crossover between Emma's world and Allie's world, as well as a story from when Emma, Ryan, Nick and Ava were little. Hope you guys enjoy the last chapter and review if you want me to keep writing!
Chapter 12: A Night To Remember
Emma looked at the poster in the hall on her way to Gold Stars practice. Ryan and Ava were running for junior prom king and queen. She was surprised to see this, neither of them had mentioned it to her. With all the family issues (both her own and with Ava's family) she hadn't had much time to think about prom, but she had enjoyed the freshman/ sophomore dance her freshman year.
"I wasn't expecting that," Nick said, coming up behind Emma.
"Yeah, but I hope they win!" Emma said.
"So do I," Nick said. "Come on, let's get to practice."
Emma smiled and took her boyfriend's hand as they walked to practice. She smiled at the sight of her mom at the front of the room.
"Now that everyone's here, I'm going to award the MVP awards for Regionals," Rachel said. "Usually we give two, though everyone did a great job. However - I'd say our Regionals MVPs are Ryan and Ava."
The group applauded as Rachel gave Ryan and Ava the MVP trophies. "So what songs are we going to sing at Nationals in Chicago?" Ryan asked.
"Well, I'm going to give Nick and Emma the duet at Nationals, since Ryan and Ava had the duet at Regionals," Rachel said. "It's going to be an original song that Finn and I wrote when we were juniors, Pretending."
"I love that song!" Emma said out loud.
"Yeah, so do I," Nick said.
"That's good to know!" Rachel said. "And then for the group numbers, I was thinking the mashup from my first ever Regionals, Any Way You Want It/ Loving Touching Squeezing. For the other group number, I thought of Paradise By The Dashboard Light by Meatloaf."
Everyone seemed to like the song selections. At the end of practice, Emma began walking out with Nick, Ryan and Ava.
"So I saw you two are running for junior prom king and queen," Nick said to Ryan and Ava.
"Yeah, we are," Ryan said, putting his arm around Ava.
"Well, I know you have our votes!" Emma said.
"Thanks, we'll need them!" Ava said.
"Your dad's getting home today, right?" Ryan asked Ava.
"That's right," Ava said. "I'm so relieved."
"How's he doing?" Emma asked.
"Well, the doctors think he responded well to the surgery," Ava said. "They are doing another test today, but since they caught the cancer before it really had a chance to spread, they think there's a chance that he won't need any more surgeries."
"That would be great," Nick said.
"Yeah," Ava said.
"Give me a call when you find out, okay?" Ryan asked his girlfriend.
"I will," Ava told them.
"So, what did the kids think of the songs for Nationals?" Finn asked Rachel at home as they made dinner.
"They liked the song ideas!" Rachel said. "I wish you could stay and help out though."
"I do miss working with them," Finn said.
"I've been doing some thinking," Rachel said. "Would you maybe like to be co-directors next year?" She'd had this idea for a while, but had been afraid to suggest it. Finn had been so good with the kids when she'd been out on maternity leave and recovering from surgery, and she'd like to work side by side.
"Do you think they'd let me?" Finn asked.
"Why wouldn't they?" Rachel asked. "You were on a national championship winning team in high school."
"But I don't work at the high school," Finn pointed out.
"You're employed by the school district," Rachel said.
"I'd love to apply to be co-director with you," Finn said. "It's too bad I'll only be there for one year that Ryan and Emma are there, but we'll get to work with Sarah for all four years, and then Grant and Zoe if they decide to do it."
"I bet they will," Rachel said.
"Are the kids excited to go to Chicago?" Finn asked.
"They are," Rachel said. "So am I. But I'm even more excited for Nationals in New York next year."
Finn gave Rachel a hug. "So am I. That's where our first ever Nationals were."
Later that night, Emma was in her room working on homework when she heard her phone ring. She saw that it was Ava and picked it up. "Hey!"
"Hey!" Ava said. "I have some good news."
Emma smiled, already feeling happy for her best friend. "Tell me."
"My dad won't be needing any more surgery!" Ava said.
"I'm so happy for your family," Emma said. She was so glad Ava wouldn't have to go through what she and her family went through.
"Yeah, all the tests came back okay," Ava said.
"That's great news!" Emma told her friend. "Is your dad happy to be home?"
"He is," Ava said. "And my mom is too. Thanks so much for letting me stay with you guys."
"You're like part of our family!" Emma said.
"Yeah, my mom wants to have you guys over for dinner soon to thank you," Ava continued.
"Well, we're all really happy for you," Emma told her friend.
"And I was wondering - how about this weekend we go prom dress shopping?" Ava suggested. "I'll call Lizzie, Lexie, Laura, Izzy and Meg to see if they want to come with us, too."
"Yeah, that would be great!" Emma said. "You'll need to find the perfect one to wear to be prom queen."
"I already called Ryan to tell him the news," Ava said. "Thanks again for everything."
"No problem," Emma said. "We love you."
"I love you guys too," Ava said back. "Bye Emma."
That weekend, Emma stood in front of the mirror at Macy's. Ava, Lizzie, Lexie, Laura, Izzy and Meg had already picked out their prom dresses. She was the only one who still needed to choose one. She'd tried on so many, but none of them felt right.
"Emma, I'm sure you'll find one," Meg called from outside the changing room.
Emma took a quick picture of herself in the mirror on her phone and texted it to her mom. "Do you think Nick will like this one?"
"I'll be right out," Emma called before stepping out to show her dress to her friends. "I'm sorry for making you guys spend so much time here."
"Emma, this is definitely my favorite of the ones you've tried on," Laura said.
"Yeah, you look so pretty," Izzy added. "Nick would love that."
"You should wear that one to prom," Ava said.
"This is my favorite of the ones I've tried on," Emma said. Then she felt her phone vibrate and looked at it. Rachel had replied to the text. "You look beautiful."
"Then you should get it!" Lizzie said.
"Okay, I think this is the one," Emma said.
"It IS the one," Lexie confirmed. "It'll look good with the five of our dresses when the six of us perform Ryan and Ava's first dance song as prom king and queen."
"We don't know if we'll be prom king and queen!" Ava said.
"We know you will," Lizzie said.
Emma smiled to herself as she paid for the dress. She was sure she had the six best friends ever.
A week later, it was prom night and Emma was in her room getting ready when she heard a knock on her door. "Come in!"
Rachel came in holding Zoe. "Wow, Emma, you look so beautiful!" Rachel said.
"Pretty," Zoe added.
Emma smiled. "Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Zoe."
"Can I come in?" Finn asked.
"Of course," Emma said.
Finn stepped in. "Wow. Emma, you look so much like your mom did on our junior prom night."
"I still haven't forgiven you for not taking her to that," Emma said.
"Good for you, Emma," Rachel said. "I got stuck with he-who-must-not-be-named."
"Didn't senior prom and the rest of our lives make up for that, though?" Finn asked.
Rachel smirked. "Fair enough."
"Did Ryan already leave for Ava's?" Emma asked.
"He did," Finn said. "Want to go down and wait for Nick?"
"Yeah, I'd like that," Emma said. She went downstairs with her parents and youngest sister, where Grant was watching cartoons and Sarah was reading a magazine.
"You look really pretty," Sarah told her older sister. "I can't wait until I can go to dances."
"You went to that one," Grant said.
"Yeah, some stupid middle school one," Sarah said.
"Don't underestimate middle school dances," Emma told her sister. "That's where it began for me and Nick."
Then they heard the doorbell. Emma went to the door, opened it and saw Nick.
"Hi," Nick said.
"Hi," Emma said.
"I have something for you," Nick said, handing Emma a wrist corsage.
"Thank you," Emma said, hugging her boyfriend.
Finn and Rachel took their pictures before they left for the prom. When they got to the school, Nick turned to Emma and smiled.
"What is it?" Emma asked.
"It's just that you look so beautiful tonight," Nick said.
"When I went dress shopping with the girls, I took the longest out of all of us to pick out a dress," Emma said.
"You did?" Nick asked.
"Yeah, none of them felt right until this one," Emma said.
"Well, this was the right one!" Nick said.
"Hey guys!" Emma turned and saw Ryan and Ava.
"Hey!" Nick said. "Ava, Emma was just telling me about how she took so much longer than the other girls to find her prom dress. Thanks for helping her pick this one."
"Yeah, I heard all about that," Ryan said.
"Don't make fun of me, guys," Emma said. "Let's go get some dinner."
The food at prom was great, and the Gold Stars had provided some great music. Emma and Nick got to do a duet at one point, as did Ryan and Ava. But the underclassmen and seniors did most of the performing, so that the juniors had lots of time to dance with their dates. Eventually, prom royalty was announced, and Ryan and Ava had won prom king and queen. Emma, Lizzie, Lexie, Laura, Izzy and Meg performed the song for their first dance, and then Emma returned to dance with Nick.
"I know this is going to sound weird, but a few days ago, I had a dream that you were prom queen," Nick said.
"That's crazy," Emma said. "I'm glad Ava got it though. She deserves it. Same with Ryan for prom king."
"I'm happy for them too," Nick said.
"You know, I'm really glad we were together for all of this year," Emma said. "Last year was hard, with me in New York and us broken up."
"Yeah, but we just got stronger this year," Nick said. "And we're going to kick butt at Nationals and have an amazing senior year."
Emma snuggled into Nick as they continued dancing together. She had a feeling their senior year would be their best yet.