Okay first of all, I know "A chorus line" was set in 1975, but if this seems slightly more modern then just imagine it that way.
I wrote this because I watched the musical, loved it, but was dissatisfied with how Al and Kristine were just dismissed when I very much wanted them to get through. I was depressed, so I decided to write this.
Disclaimer: Al and Kristine and Zach and the mentioned dancers and the brief extract from the song "Sing!" all belong to whoever wrote the musical. But do seriously think I could write it?
The day of the audition started with Kristine throwing up in the toilet of their small apartment. Al knelt beside her, gently holding her red hair out of her face until she was finished. When she was, he flushed the toilet for her and passed her the bottle of mouthwash, keeping his arm around her.
"Sorry," she said, slightly embarrassed, "I guess it's the nerves."
"Don't be nervous," Al told her gently, "You're gonna knock 'em dead." He kissed her cheek and proceeded with gelling his hair back, both facing the mirror.
Kristine stood next to him, watching him on the mirror. "What do you think the director will be like?" she asked nervously.
"Strict, but that's because he'll be testing us," Al replied, with a comforting smile to her on the mirror, before continuing with his hair.
Despite her husband's smile to her, Kristine felt herself worrying again, "What if I, you know, uh, um, do that thing, where, uh-"
"Worried you'll lose it?" Al asked, always knowing what his wife was trying to get across and say.
Kristine nodded. Al turned to actually face her. "I'll be there to hold your hand all the way through it."
And he was, when they entered the studio Al kept a firm hold on her hand, only letting go when it was time to dance, which was one of the things Kristine could do without her scatter-brained self showing through. When it was her time to dance with the other three members of her group Al squeezed her hand before she went to dance with them, and then when it was over he wrapped his jacket around her to soothe her. And when they were put into a line he held her hand, and then when the director, whose name was Zach, told her to come forward and speak and she couldn't remember what she was meant to be saying, Al reminded her of what she was trying to put across, always knowing what she was trying to say.
In all her life Kristine had always been slightly… Scattered. She often couldn't pull herself together and rambled nonsense, and was very insecure in her teen years. No one really bothered with her, finding her annoying or too nervous and chatty. The only time she felt herself was when she was dancing, which she had been doing since she was a little girl. So she went to dance college, and tried not to draw too much attention to herself. She had been more than surprised when a handsome Italian-American man introduced himself.
Kristine took a swig of her water bottle, pleased with how today's class had gone. Nobody had asked her too much or put on her on the spot, so she managed to at least look like a normal, put-together person. On her good days she managed to hold a conversation without forgetting too many of her words, but when put under pressure she tended to lose it a little and occasionally forget her own name.
Though it was a week into college and she still hadn't found the confidence to talk to anyone yet.
That changed when a voice said from behind her, "Hey there. You're a great dancer."
Her throat immediately starting to close up, and it didn't make it any better when she turned around and saw that the guy was absolutelyfreakingbeautiful, with perfect hair and kind eyes.
Realising she should probably say something, though words were jumbling through her head at lightspeed she managed to get out, "Oh uh y-yeah um, thanks," accompanied by a slightly nervous laugh. Expecting him to run when he realised she was a nut-job, but instead his eyes twinkled slightly.
"You are very welcome," and his tone was warm, "My name's Al."
He stuck out his hand.
"Uh oh right um yeah, K-Kristine. I mean, it's my name." She reached out to shake his hand, and was aware her face was probably as red as her hair. Al smiled and squeezed her fingers slightly, possibly causing Kristine to die there and then.
"Nice to meet you, Kristine," she immediately felt a sense of loss when his hand left hers.
"I- um, yeah you too."
Still smiling, Kristine's heart gave a sudden swoop when Al said, "You are really cute, Kristine."
Anxiety now coursing through her body she tried desperately not to faint. "I- um thanks. Thank you for the um, the, the…" She closed her eyes in embarrassment of not being able to remember the word.
"Compliment?" Al offered, and Kristine nodded, hating herself for always forgetting words. "Yeah, compliment."
"It's no problem," Al grinned, "I hope to see you around."
"Uh yeah you too, I'll just be around the um thing, the, where…"
"Yes. That. Sorry I um forget words sometimes. My brain is sort of, uh…"
The smile didn't leave Al's lips. "Like I said, it's cute."
Oh, when he said cute he had meant her way of talking? Oh.
"So, I'll see you tomorrow?"
Kristine could do nothing but nod. Al smiled at her one more time before departing, and then it registered a completely cute guy had come over to her, found her craziness cute and then wanted to see her again.
The next time she saw him they were partnered for dancing class, and as if for some miracle he still seemed to like her, and had the amazing ability to be able to finish her sentences for her when she forgot. When he asked her out she said yes, but it was never as if there was another possible answer. When they first kissed she managed to not slip into a coma. He told her that she was adorable, and Kristine was finding it increasingly hard not to fall in love with him. In the end it was he who said it first, curled up together watching a dance completion show. Once he had admitted she couldn't not say it back, and when it registered she was in love with a man who loved her back Kristine didn't believe happiness came at a higher level. Well maybe when he proposed and maybe at their wedding, where she forgot the vows, was sure their relationship was over when Al lent over and whispered to her what she was meant to say, and Kristine knew she had to hold onto him.
All throughout their time together, Al had taken care of her. He reminded her of what she was meant to be saying, smiled affectionately at her whenever the was a chance, pretty much became her rock, and whenever she felt scatter-brained or nervous he was always there as a stable surface to hold onto. Being with Al made her confidence grow to the point she could often speak by herself in large crowds with stuttering too much, though she could usually only do that with Al also in the crowd. They had graduated Dance College together and gone onto to be on the chorus line of a few Broadway performances, but never anything major.
Then they both applied for an audition for an upcoming musical. Whilst in the room, Kristine wondered how she had ever been so lucky as to have this amazing man love her unconditionally, and she couldn't help but love the way he loved her.
Zach had been asking her questions for a while now, about her childhood, and Al had been standing in the background reminding her what she was meant to be saying. Especially when she was describing how she couldn't sing, and was nattering on about it, with Al finishing her sentences for her instincitively. When she realised what she had been doing and said,
"Oh I know you're thinking what a crazy-"
"Ding-a-ling," Al finished, his voice filled to the brim with affection as he took hold of her hands.
But in the end, despite their best efforts in the dancing, they didn't make it through.
As Al and Kristine walked away from the audition room, arms wrapped around eachother, they tried their best not to let the disappointment show. Al held his wife closely to him, and she leant into him firmly, both trying to keep them from falling apart. But as soon as they stepped out into the hallway, and the auditionees that gotten through and the director were out of view, Kristine buried her head in Al's shoulder and started to sob quietly.
Al leant onto the wall and turned Kristine in his arms so she was fully pressed against his chest, rubbing his hands up and down her arms comfortingly.
"I'm s-so sorry," she cried into his chest, and he kissed the top of her head.
"You were brilliant," he whispered into her red hair, "They were idiots not to choose you."
Kristine buried her head closer into him. "Maybe if I could sing a little better-"
"No," Al said firmly, "It's not your fault. You were beautiful and an amazing dancer." Al hated it when Kristine got insecure like this. He knew she was amazing, and beautiful. Ever since he had first seen her dancing in college with such passion and beauty, Al had been drawn to her and once her walls had come down and she let him in, he hadn't let go since.
Kristine let out a sigh and leant back slightly. "I guess I wanted this more than I thought."
"You did great," Al insisted once more. Kristine smiled weakly at him.
"Only because you were there to stop me from messing up. You're my rock."
Al kissed the top of her head again, "And you're mine."
"A pretty unstable rock," she told him, only half-jokingly.
"The most perfect and amazing rock there is, and I would never want a different one."
She was smiling now, and noticing that Al felt his mood lifting too. He never felt truly happy unless his wife was too. He took her hand and they pushed off the wall, shoulders pressed together.
"There'll be more auditions," Kristine said, her heart lightening slightly.
"Of course," Al said, feeling brighter now that Kristine wasn't upset anymore.
So they went home and got changed, and then went out for lunch at a pizzeria they loved, and laughed knowing that someday the entire audition would just be a faded memory.
Though the conversation they had about what they would do if they couldn't dance stuck in Al's mind. When Kristine agreed that having kids would be a good idea with one of the other female dancers, when their dancing careers are over. Though truly Al wouldn't care when they have kids. They had been married for almost two years, and though they weren't financially strong he couldn't see any downsides to it.
When they got home again after lunch, there was a message on the phone from Kristine's sister.
"Hey, Kris. How did that audition go? Call me back!"
Al watched as a shadow crossed Kristine's face, and stepped forward to wrap his arms around her. "There'll be more auditions," he murmured into her ear, and Kristine nodded and went to answer the phone.
They fell asleep that night wrapped closely around eachother in bed, as the always did, Al's cheek pressed to the top of Kristine's head.
But when Al woke up Kristine was gone from the bed, and when his hand searched her side he found it cold, meaning she had been gone for a little while. He sat up, looking around for her in slight confusion, missing her warmth. He got out of bed and walked through to the living room where Kristine was sat on the couch, her face filled with different emotions.
"Honey?" Al asked, and she looked up when she saw him, but her expression didn't change, "You all right?"
She swallowed and stood up, walking over to him. "Uh," she said, "Well… Um, so here's the thing… Well I suppose it was sort of a good thing I didn't get the audition."
"What? Why?" Al asked, slightly shocked and angry but also curious.
Kristine looked to her feet as she continued, "My, uh monthly, thing-"
"Yeah, well it's been sort of late, and um, you know how I threw up yesterday and stuff, well this morning I sort of uh took a test and.. I'm, um…"
"Pregnant?" Al finished, his voice barely above a whisper. Kristine looked up to meet his eyes, biting her lip and nodding.
Al looked at his beautiful wife. "We're having a baby?"
She nodded again.
"We're having a baby!" he said in a voice now choked with emotion, and he stepped forward flung his arms around her, picked her up and spun her around the room, her own arms coming to hold him. Al set her back on the floor and kept one arm around her whilst the other came to her stomach.
"Oh my God," he murmured, peppering kisses all over Kristine's face and head, tears starting to fall from his eyes.
"A-are you happy?" she asked uncertainly, as if the way Al was embracing was not enough answer.
"I think I might actually die from happiness," was his reply, now simply holding Kristine to him as if she was the most precious thing in the world, which to him, she was. Suddenly the memory of yesterday's audition had faded, and nothing else mattered. Then it hit him. He was unemployed and had a pregnant wife.
"I need to get a job," he realised, and Kristine looked up at him.
"It's fine, as long as your hap-"
"No, honey," Al said firmly, "I need to be able to support you and our- our child." His eyes flicked once more to Kristine's currently slim stomach.
"Just promise me you'll stay in dance," Kristine asked, her eyes wide and begging.
"I'll try my best," he promised, letting himself melt once more into his wife's hold.
He didn't want to have to wait to make auditions, he wanted to make money for his family now, so for a few weeks he wondered what he could do. Within a month he started teaching dance to semi-professionals. A parent of one of the teens in his class was impressed with his work, and offered him a job as a private dance teacher, which Al accepted with the promise of a higher pay.
So he became a private dance teacher, and after he put himself on advertisements in the newspapers, he accepted jobs privately teaching three more students ballet and any other type of dance that was requested. It wasn't what he'd dreamed he'd be, but Al was happy, and despite the fact her bump wasn't even showing he didn't allow Kristine to even suggest getting a job herself.
Because Al had grown protective over her through the years, finishing her sentences and taking general care of her through her life, and now he had two lives to take care of her was doing it properly.
Because nothing meant more to him than Kristine and any child that she bared. Not Broadway, or acting, or dancing.
His family was his everything.
There we go. I am satisfied. Even though they didn't make it through they're happy and they're gonna have a baby :D
I love the dynamic between Al and Kristine. During the entire act they were constantly holding hands and smiling at each other and at one point Al wrapped his coat around her shoulders, and it's so sweet how when she's rambling he reminds her the words she's forgetting. I love how caring he is of her. Just the best couple.
I just had to write this. I might write some more chapters about the other characters that got rejected, and maybe some of them that got accepted. Anyway, Altine/Kristal for ever!
Rate/review if you liked c: