|Life's A Show|
|Season 1, Episode 6|
|Air date||April 10, 2014|
Dance, Dance 101
Reading Between the Lines
NYADA is doing one of its annual off-Broadway productions and this year it got the rights to do Once More With Feeling, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical. For Jaxon, Miles, Chuck, Monique, and Nicole this a dream come true. But for Lana, who never wanted to do musicals, this is a chance to be a part of one of her favorite shows of all time. As Miles competes for a main role, he learns that it could open doors for him in Broadway, which is his dream. Of course, it may not open them as fast Miles wants them to open. But when an opportunity arises for a small Broadway role, will Miles be willing to give up what it will take to secure the part? And more importantly, will it ruin his chances in NYADA's production?
- Hallie Grace as Buffy Summers
- Jaxon Pierce as Spike
- Rose Mitchell as Willow Rosenberg^
- Nicole Martin as Willow Rosenberg^
- Lana Addison as Tara Maclay
- Evan Marx as Rupert Giles
- Chuck Salvatore as Xander Harris
- Monique Ducasse as Anya Jenkins
- Miles Larson as Sweet
- Honey Berry as Dawn Summers
^ The part of Willow will originally be awarded to Rose for "looking the part," however, after she gets hurt during rehearsals, her role will be given to Nicole for the actual show.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performed by|
|Rest In Peace||Spike||Jaxon Pierce|
|Under Your Spell/Standing (Reprise)||Tara/Giles||Lana Addison/Evan Marx|
|I've Got A Theory/Bunnies/If We're Together||Giles, Willow, Xander, and Tara/Anya/Buffy||Evan Marx, Rose Mitchell, Chuck Salvatore, and Lana Addison/Monique Ducasse/Hallie Grace|
|Dawn's Lament*||Dawn||Honey Berry|
|I'll Never Tell||Xander and Anya||Chuck Salvatore and Monique Ducasse|
|Going Through the Motions||Buffy feat. Demons and Vampires||Hallie Grace feat. Cast|
|Under Your Spell||Tara||Lana Addison|
|What You Feel||Sweet feat. Dawn||Miles Larson feat. Honey Berry|
|Walk Through the Fire||Buffy, Spike, Sweet, Giles, Xander, Anya, Willow, and Tara||Hallie Grace, Jaxon Pierce, Miles Larson, Evan Marx, Chuck Salvatore, Monique Ducasse, Nicole Martin, and Lana Addison|
|Something To Sing About||Buffy and Spike feat. Anya and Tara||Hallie Grace and Jaxon Pierce feat. Nicole Martin and Lana Addison|
Note: *Denotes an unreleased song
Lana, Jaxon, Camryn, Tyler, Evan, and Chuck made their way down the hallway to Broadway 101, hoping that this week's assignment would be more fun than the one last week in which they studied Shakespeare and the way in which he wrote. They had all been eager for a more fun, hands-on lesson than sitting at desks, flipping through Shakespeare's entire library of works.
“I don't know what it is with Miles lately,” Lana said. “To say he hasn't been the same since Breezy dropped the baby bomb is an understatement. Last week, he nearly destroyed everything just to try and show up Jesse.”
“Well, at least he's mellowed out somewhat since then,” Jaxon replied.
“But this is Miles we're talking about,” Chuck added. “Give it time.”
“Camryn?” Lana asked, looking at her girlfriend for a comment.
“Oh, me?” Camryn asked. “I'm staying out of this. I don't know Miles as well as you guys do and I don't know what is normal for him. All I know is he almost got both of you in trouble last week and I don't find that very cool.”
“Neither do I,” Evan added. “Or very smart for that matter.”
Jaxon nodded at Evan as he opened the door and held it open for the others as they walked into Broadway 101. Lana threw her duffel bag on her desk in the back and took her seat as she and the others waited for class to begin.
“Today, we are continuing our lesson on Shakespeare,” Chase said as he walked to the front of the room and everyone groaned. “Now, wait a minute. This week is going to be a much more fun week than last week. We're actually going to act out scenes from Shakespeare. Who will go first?”
Chase scanned the room, looking for two candidates. He settled on Miles pretty quick, but took a little bit longer finding a girl.
“At least we're not analyzing stacks of Shakespeare this week,” Tyler said. “That's pretty hard when you're dyslexic, you know.”
“Miles and Camryn,” Chase said as Camryn looked up surprised. “Come on down and run through a scene I have selected in Romeo and Juliet.”
“This ought to be good,” Jaxon said, looking at Lana, who didn't seem too pleased.
“The infamous girl-crazy Miles running a scene from the most romantic of Shakespeare's works with my girlfriend?” Lana asked. “I swear, one step out of line and I will cut off his dick and flay it.”
“That would be an improvement,” Evan replied. “Then he couldn't think with it anymore and boom! Problem solved.”
“We're running through the balcony scene,” Chase said as he handed two playbooks to Miles and Camryn.
“I got this,” Miles said, sitting the playbook aside. “I memorized this play already. I can do it in my sleep.”
“Then, by all means, proceed,” Chase said as he took his seat.
“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?” Miles recited. “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief that thou her maid art far more fair than she. Be not her maid, since she is envious. Her vestal livery is but sick and green and none but fools do wear it; cast it off. It is my lady, O, it is my love! O, that she knew she were! She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that? Her eye discourses; I will answer it. I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks. Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, having some business, do entreat her eyes to twinkle in their spheres till they return. What if her eyes were there, they in her head? The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars. As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven would through the airy region stream so bright that birds would sing and think it were not night. See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!”
“Aye, me,” Camryn read unenthusiastically.
“She speaks,” Miles said as he knelt down before Camryn, who looked confused. “O, speak again, bright angel for thou art as glorious to this night, being o'er my head. As is a winged messenger of heaven unto the white-upturned wondering eyes of mortals that fall back to gaze on him when he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds and sails upon the bosom of the air.”
“Does any of this make sense to you?” Evan asked Tyler, who shook his head.
“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Camryn read flatly. “Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet. Why is she asking where Romeo is? Can't she just look down and see he's in her back yard?”
“Wherefore means why,” Chase said.
“Then does whyfore mean where?” Camryn joked as the class laughed.
“Please, continue,” Chase said, motioning at them with his pen.
“Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?” Miles asked.
Geez, he is taking this way too seriously, Camryn thought as scanned the pages of her playbook and tried to find her place.
“'Tis but thy name that is my enemy,” Camryn read. “Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, and for that name which is no part of thee, take all myself. So, like, is Juliet gonna just screw him right here on the balcony? Juliet, you're such a slut!”
“Alright, alright, alright,” Chase said as the class laughed at Camryn. “Now on to the next part of the lesson. Camryn, you may take your seat, but Miles, I want you to stay. Now, back in Shakespeare's time, women were not allowed to take roles in his plays so the female parts had to played by men. This really spoke to the talent of the actors because men had to be able to both play a convincing female and, sometimes, share romantic scenes and kisses with other male actors. There was no room for homophobia in the 1600's theater world. Which brings me to my next lesson. For this scene, Miles you and another male will have to do the most intimate scene in Romeo and Juliet: the infamous kiss.”
“Ooh,” the class said in unison as Camryn made her way back to her seat.
“Thank God that's over,” Lana said as Camryn took her seat next to her.
“Um, let's see,” Chase said, looking around the room. “How about Jaxon? Come on up and play Juliet.”
“And now it's my turn to be sacrificed,” Jaxon said to his friends as he stood up and walked to the front of the class to join Miles.
Chase handed Jaxon his playbook, flipped to the appropriate page. Jaxon scanned the page, thinking it over as he prepared to read the scene. Miles reached over and took Jaxon's hand firmly.
“If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,” Miles recited. “My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”
“Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,” Jaxon recited as he gazed into Miles' eyes. “Which mannerly devotion shows in this, for saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch and palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.”
“Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?” Miles recited.
“Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer,” Jaxon replied, reading from his playbook.
“O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do,” Miles said. “They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.”
“Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.”
“Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take,” Miles said as he moved in for the kiss and stopped.
“Go on,” Chase said. “This isn't high school. This is a serious school for the arts. You have to treat each lesson as if it were a play. Don't break character and most importantly, do what the script says. Now, kiss.”
Miles nodded as he leaned and pressed his lips to Jaxon's. Jaxon hadn't quite prepared himself just yet for Miles' kiss, which came off more as a lip-assault than a kiss. Miles lost track of how long the kiss lasted, but he knew maybe he kissed Jaxon a bit too long. Jaxon looked shocked at what he had timed as a five second kiss. What had gotten into Miles?
“Um,” Miles said. “Sorry, I zoned out.”
“Yeah, okay,” Jaxon said, standing there uncomfortably.
Finally, the bell rang and it was time to dismiss. Chase nodded, giving them all permission to gather up their stuff and leave.
“See you guys at the same time tomorrow,” Chase said. “And Miles, can you stick around for a few minutes? I need to talk to you about something and I can write an excuse for Jesse's class for being late.”
“Sure,” Miles said as he waited for everyone to leave before shutting the door.
“What I saw today impressed me,” Chase said. “You have real acting skills and you had no problem memorizing your lines. You didn't even fumble any of them. Have you considered trying out for NYADA's annual musical? Auditions start this afternoon after school.”
“I never thought about it,” Miles said. “Do you think I would be good? I was in a couple plays at Lima, but that's high school and this is...this is NYADA. It's a whole different league.”
“You have the potential, Miles,” Chase replied. “That is, if you apply yourself. Why don't you come by here this afternoon and audition for it?”
“Alright,” Miles said with a smile. “I will. Thanks Mr. Atkins.”
Glee: The Next Generation presents The NYADA Years
Jaxon and Lana stuck together as they headed toward Glee Club since Camryn had to skip it today due to having a check-up. As they passed Chase's door, they head him on the phone, talking about the annual NYADA musical.
“Hey, isn't that the play Miles is auditioning for?” Lana asked as she and Jaxon stopped to listen.
“So, we can't secure the rights?” Chase asked. “They turned us down? But who turns NYADA down? No, I understand, Carmen. But what about the play? Some of the students were really looking forward to it, especially Miles Larson. I think he finally found something he can connect to. Well, I'm not sure if we can secure rights to another musical so soon. And how am I supposed to start auditioning today for a musical that we aren't even sure of what it is yet? Okay, I will. Thank you, Carmen. Bye.”
As Chase hung up the phone, Jaxon and Lana looked at one another.
“Halloween is coming up,” Lana said. “What if we managed to secure not only a musical, but one that would be appropriate for Halloween?”
“I think that would be great, but how are we going to do that?” Jaxon asked.
“My dad is a record executive and he happens to have a few connections,” Lana said. “I promise I can get the performance rights to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical, Once More With Feeling.”
“Are you kidding me?” Jaxon asked, looking excited. “That's only my favorite musical episode of any TV show ever!”
“Calm down, boy,” Lana said. “You're so excited you're looking like you wanna hump my leg.”
“Lana, are you serious?” Chase asked as he stood in the doorway. “Your dad could secure performance rights to Once More With Feeling? How soon could he get clearance?”
“How soon is now?” Lana asked as she took out her Samsung Galaxy and smiled.
The next morning Jaxon, Lana, Camryn, Tyler, and Evan walked together down the hall as a flyer caught Jaxon's attention. He stopped, looked at the flyer, and made his way over to the bulletin board.
“Who's gonna to audition?” Jaxon said as he removed the push pin and took the flyer down off the cork board and showed it to the others.
“Not me,” Tyler said. “It's hard for me to memorize my lines so I'm not big on live productions.”
“Count me in,” Lana said as Camryn, Evan, and Jaxon all three gasped in shock. “What? Can't I audition for a musical?”
“It's just that you skipped High School Musical last year,” Evan replied.
“That's because I think High School Musical is stupid,” Lana said. “This is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I am a diehard fan of. You know, Willow and Kennedy forever.”
“Willow and Tara forever,” Jaxon argued as Lana rolled her eyes.
“Whoever we ship aside, I think this would be a great opportunity to be a part of one of my favorite shows,” Lana said. “I'm auditioning.”
“Me too,” Evan said. “I was born to play Spike I think.”
“Actually, I think Jaxon is better suited for Spike,” Camryn said. “After all, he has the look and the blonde hair.”
“And his dad looks like Spike too,” Lana added.
“Yeah, guess you're right,” Evan said. “There are plenty other male roles for me. I'll be good at any of them.”
“That's right,” Tyler said. “Good luck to you guys. I will there to support you during rehearsals and in the front row the night of the musical, but I am sitting auditions out.”
“Me too,” Camryn said. “I made a dreadful Juliet. I couldn't make heads or tails of what I was reading and I kept noticing all the glaring logic flaws and you guys know I'm not one to keep my mouth shut. I'll keep breaking character again.”
“That's okay,” Lana said as she kissed Camryn on the cheek. “I love you anyway.”
Jaxon stuck close to Lana as they entered the Broadway 101 classroom and took an empty seat. Chase turned around and smiled at them.
“Ah, welcome to the last day of auditions,” Chase said. “We went ahead with the first round of auditions yesterday and a few of your friends have already auditioned.”
“It was kind of weird,” Nicole said. “We weren't sure what the musical would be since we couldn't secure the rights to Mamma Mia!, so Mr. Atkins had us audition with any musical of our choice. I have to admit, though, the element surprise is exciting.”
“Well, thanks to Lana, I can finally reveal what musical we are doing,” Chase said. “Miles, pass out these playbooks.”
“Yes, sir,” Miles said as he got up and walked to the front of the classroom.
Miles' eyes went wide as he looked down at the playbook and began passing them out.
“Righteous,” Rose said as she lifted hers up and looked at it. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer!”
“Yes,” Chase said, smiling. “Lana's father was able to secure us the rights to do it this year.”
Krystal turned her nose up as she looked over at Lana.
“Eh, it was nothing,” Lana replied.
“Alright, we have about six more auditions and we need to get started on them as soon as possible so we can get to the second round,” Chase said as Miles returned to his seat. “Jaxon, please find a scene and begin your audition when you're ready.”
“Alright,” Jaxon said as he flipped through the playbook. When he finally found the page he was looking for, he stood up and walked to the front of the classroom and showed the page to Chase.
“Jaxon, you will be reading opposite Lana,” Chase said. “Lana, you're reading Buffy in this scene. And action.”
“You should go back inside,” Jaxon read. “Finish the big group sing. Get your kumbayas out.”
“I don't want to,” Lana read.
Jaxon sighed. “The day you suss out what you do want, there'll probably be a parade. Seventy-six bloody trombones.”
“Spike,” Lana said.
“Look,” Jaxon said. “You don't have to say anything.”
“I touch the fire and freezes me,” Lana sang.
Jaxon raised an eyebrow, acting surprised as slowly he and Lana walked toward each other.
“I died,” Jaxon began to sing.
“I look into it and it's black,” Lana sang.
“So many years ago,” Jaxon sang.
“This isn't real, but I just want to feel,” Lana sang.
“But you can make me feel,” Jaxon sang at the same time.
Jaxon and Lana walked even closer, until they were eye-to-eye. They gaze at each other a moment and then they kiss.
“And scene,” Chase said as Lana and Jaxon promptly broke the kiss.
“Ew, gross,” Lana whispered as she wiped her mouth.
“Yeah, well, you're not my ideal make-out partner either,” Jaxon replied.
“That was great, guys,” Chase said. “Take your seats and we'll do the next auditioning pair. Chuck Salvatore and Monique Ducasse?”
Chuck gave Jaxon a pat on the back as he and Monique passed Lana and Jaxon on their way back to their seats. When Lana and Jaxon were seated and Chuck and Monique had gotten settled, Chase gave them the go ahead.
“And action,” Chase said.
“It's a nightmare,” Chuck read.
“It has to be stopped,” Monique read.
“It's a plague,” Chuck said. “A nightmare about a plague.”
“It was like we were being watched,” Monique said.
“It's like I didn't wanna be saying things--”
“--like there was a wall missing,” Monique continued.
“--but they just kept pouring out,” Chuck continued.
“--in our apartment.”
“And they rhymed and they were mean and--”
“Like there were only three walls and not a fourth wall and--”
“My eyes are not beady!” Chuck shouted.
“My toes are not hairy!” Monique shouted back.
“And scene,” Chase said. “Very good. Alright for our next audition, can I please have Krystal Graham and Todd Wright please?”
“Of all the people to have to read with, it has to be Pizza Face himself,” Krystal said beneath her breath as she passed Jaxon and Lana.
“Can she be any bigger of a bitch?” Jaxon asked. “That was just rude.”
“I hope she doesn't get cast in the play,” Lana said. “Unless I get cast as Buffy and she gets cast as a vampire. I would enjoy staking her through the heart.”
“I think that would be murder,” Jaxon said.
“Manslaughter if I claim I slipped and her chest cavity broke my hand's fall,” Lana replied.
“Yeah, that would work,” Jaxon said.
“And scene,” Chase said, bring Jaxon and Lana back to attention. “Alright that concludes all the acting auditions and now it's time to kick off the second round, which are song auditions. Alright, we'll start with callbacks for Spike and can I please start with Jaxon Pierce?”
“Congratulations,” Lana said as she squeezed Jaxon's arm. “Knock 'em dead, tiger.”
Jaxon took a deep breath as he made his way to the front of the classroom and took his place. He nodded at the band and turned to the face the audience.
“I died so many years ago,” Jaxon sang. “But you can make me feel like it isn't so. And why you come to be with me, I think I finally know. You're scared, ashamed of what you feel. And you can't tell the ones you love, you know they couldn't deal. Whisper in a dead man's ear, it doesn't make it real. That's great, but I don't wanna play 'cause being with you touches me more than I can say. And since I'm only dead to you, I'm saying stay away and let me rest in peace.”
Jaxon jumped up on a desk and made a kicking motion.
“Let me rest in peace, let me get some sleep,” Jaxon sang. “Let me take my love and bury it in a hole 6-foot deep. I can lay my body down, but I can't find my, sweet release so let me rest in peace.”
Jaxon jumped down and walked over to Lana, pulling her out of her seat and leading her back to the front of the room with him.
“You know, you got a willing slave,” Jaxon sang as he slowly backed Lana toward the wall. “And you just love to play the thought that you might misbehave. But till you do, I'm telling you stop visiting my grave. Let me rest in peace. I know I should go but I follow you like a man possessed. There's a traitor here beneath my breast and it hurts me more than you've ever guessed. If my heart could beat, it would break my chest but I can see you're unimpressed. So leave me be and let me rest in peace.”
Jaxon put his arms on either side of Lana, pinning her to the wall as he sang.
“Let me get some sleep,” Jaxon sang. “Let me take my love and bury it in a hole 6-foot deep. I can lay my body down, but I can't find my sweet release. Let me rest in peace. Why won't you let me rest in peace?”
As the song ended, Jaxon unpinned Lana and they made their way back to their seats. Chase smiled and nodded, impressed with what he had seen.
“Great job,” Jaxon. “You really embodied Spike during your performance. Next, can I see Todd Wright?”
“Warn me the next time you plan to use me as a prop,” Lana said. “I didn't know what was going on.”
“Sorry, I just got caught up playing Spike,” Jaxon said.
“Well, you were born to play this role,” Lana admitted. “I feel bad for Miles, though. He would surely want to play Spike and after you killed it, I think the chances are slim.”
“There are still three other male roles,” Jaxon replied.
“But you know how Miles is,” Lana said. “He's not going to take it very well.”
After all the callbacks for Spike had finished, Chase looked at Lana.
“Lana, I want to test you for another role other than Buffy,” Chase said. “Same with Evan, I would like to test you for another role beside Spike. So, Lana and Evan, can you please come up here and do the song I've selected for you?”
“I swear, I better not be playing Dawn,” Lana whispered to Jaxon as she stood up and walked to the front of the classroom.
“You'll be doing Tara and Giles' reprise,” Chase said. “Alright, let's hear what you guys have got.”
“I'm under your spell,” Lana sang sorrowfully. “God, how can this be? Playing with my memory. You know I've been through hell. Willow, don't you see there'll be nothing left of me. You made me believe.”
“ Believe me I don't wanna go,” Evan sang.
“And it will grieve me 'cause I love you so,” Lana and Evan sang. “But we both know.”
“Wish I could say the right words to lead you through this land,” Evan sang. “Wish I could play the father and take you by the hand and I just--”
“Wish I could trust that it was just this once, but I must do what I must,” Lana sang. “I can't adjust to this disgust. We're done and I just--”
“Wish I could stay,” Lana and Evan sang. “Wish I could stay. Wish I could stay. Wish I could stay.”
As the song ended, Chase applauded. “Great job, guys. Your harmony was perfect.”
“I would like to change who I am auditioning for,” Miles said. “I would like to audition for Sweet. I think it would be fun if I could play bad.”
As Miles said this, Krystal smiled at him, her eyes twinkling with delight.
The next morning, everyone had gathered before classes to see the cast list which Chase had posted. Slowly, each and everyone person looked down the entire list to see if they saw their name.
Singing Vampire #1........Krystal Graham
Singing Vampire #2.............Jason Kelley
Handsome Captive................Mike Sachs
“Somehow I knew that Hallie would get Buffy,” Lana said.
“Are we jealous?” Jaxon asked.
“No, not at all,” Lana said. “I just thought that maybe Mr. Atkins would cast against the typical blonde.”
“But that's whole point of Buffy,” Jaxon said. “I mean, Joss Whedon intended to take the dumb blonde who dies first and turn that stereotype on it's head and thus, Buffy was born.”
“Yeah, you're right,” Lana said. “I just thought that Nicole should have gotten the part.”
“Or, maybe, you're still a bit sore at Hallie,” Jaxon suggested.
“Or, maybe not,” Lana said. “Nicole has her heart set on a part in this musical. Now's she been reduced to Rose's understudy.”
“I'm a vampire?” Krystal scoffed. “Why am I not Buffy? I should be the star of this musical. I'm the most popular and influential girl at NYADA.”
“Maybe some people don't believe in kissing your ass,” Lana said.
“I have like two lines,” Krystal said.
“Be glad you're not the non-singing vampire,” Lana said. “He has no line and bites it in the first thirty seconds of the first musical number.”
Krystal rolled her eyes as she crossed her arms and stormed off. Lana and Jaxon laughed as they watched Krystal throwing a fit the entire way down the hall.
“You know, this means and Rose have to play a couple,” Jaxon said teasingly.
“Oh, just because one time during truth or dare, I admitted that I thought Rose was hot, you decide you're never gonna let me live it down,” Lana said. “Well, remember when you and Adam kissed and you told me you got a boner? Hmm?”
“Hey!” Jaxon said. “We agreed never to speak of that!”
“Ha!” Lana said, smiling. “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
“I'm the understudy for Willow,” Nicole said, discouraged as Honey put her arm around her.
“You would have been a great Buffy or Willow,” Honey said. “Or even Anya, Tara, or Dawn.”
“I tried so hard,” Nicole said. “I gave it my all. I love Rose, but I bet she got cast because she looks the part. Who better to play Willow than a natural redhead?”
“I think Rose would be a great Willow, too,” Honey said. “She has the sense of humor. I think you both would have been great in this musical. It's not fair that there just aren't a few more roles.”
“I heard Chase is looking for a girl and guy to play the woman who gets a parking ticket and the guy who got the mustard out of his suit,” Todd said.
“Great,” Nicole said. “I can be Parking Ticket Girl.”
“At least she has more than one little solo line,” Todd said. “I have to get impaled on a sword.”
“I bet that's what James is gonna say when he gets home for Thanksgiving,” Lana joked, elbowing Jaxon in the side as she laughed.
The next day, rehearsals were underway as everyone scurried through the theater, getting into their positions, dressing the set, or changing into costume.
“Come on guys, let's hurry up and get into position,” Chase said. “We need Honey on set to run through the 'Dawn's Lament' scene.”
“I'm here, Mr. Atkins,” Honey said as she hurried onto the stage and into position.
“Alright, in this scene, Dawn is upset so she starts to sing for the first time, giving into the power of Sweet's musical spell only to be kidnapped by Sweet's goons,” Chase explained. “I want melancholy. And, action.”
“Does anybody notice?” Honey sang. “Does anybody even care?”
As Honey finished singing the last line, three extras dressed as Sweet's goons appeared behind her, threw a sheet over, her and drug her offstage screaming.
“Sorry I'm late,” Lana said as she joined the other cast members. We had problems with my wig. Someone in hair and make-up misplaced it.”
“Well, now that you're here, we can go back and run through 'Theory' because we've had issues with it in the past.”
“Yeah, sure,” Lana said as she walked onstage an got in position.
“I've got a theory that it's a demon, a dancing demon,” Evan sang as he adjusted his prop glasses. “No, something isn't right there.”
“I've got a theory some kid is dreaming,” Rose sang. “And we're all stuck inside his wacky Broadway nightmare.”
“I got a theory we should work this out,” Chuck sang.
“It's getting eerie,” Chuck, Monique, Evan, Rose, and Lana sang. “What's this cheery singing all about?”
“It could be witches, some evil witches,” Chuck sang as he turned to face Lana and Rose, who looked at him expectantly. “Which is ridiculous 'cause witches, they were persecuted. Wicca good and love the earth and women power and I'll be over here.”
“I've got a theory it could be bunnies,” Monique sang as everyone looked at her, pointing out the ridiculousness of what she had just said.
“I've got a--” Rose began to sing before Monique cut her off.
“Bunnies aren't just cute like everyone supposes,” Monique sang as the lights dimmed and the spotlight came down on her, cuing the smoke machine and laser lights. “They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses. And what's with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for, anyway? Bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies!”
As Monique struck her big ending pose, the lights came back on and everyone went back to their song as if nothing happened.
“I've got a theory we should work this fast,” Rose sang as she sat down and opened a magic book.
“Because it could clearly get serious before it's passed,” Rose and Evan sang.
“I've got a theory it doesn't matter,” Hallie sang as she appeared in the doorway of the Magic Box set. “What can't we face if we're together? What's in this place that we can't weather? Apocalypse? We've all been there. The same old trips? We should we care?”
“What can't we do if we get in it?” Hallie, Rose, Lana, Chuck, and Monique sang. “We're working through within a minute.”
“We have to try,” they all sang as Evan joined in. “We'll pay the price, it's do or die.”
“Hey, I've died twice,” Hallie sang.
“What can't we face if we're together?” Hallie, Rose, Lana, Chuck, and Monique sang.
“What can't we face?” Evan sang.
“What's in this place that we can't weather?” Hallie, Rose, Lana, Chuck, and Monique sang.
“If we're together,” Evan sang.
“There's nothing we can't face,” Hallie, Rose, Lana, Chuck, and Monique sang.
“Except for bunnies,” Monique sang.
As the song ended and everyone scurried into place, Rose stepped on the hem of her dress and tripped herself as she hurried down the steps. Thrown off balance, Rose tumbled down the small set of steps and hit the wall with a thud.
Jaxon and Evan pushed their way through the other students and hurried to Rose's aid. Jaxon reached down and scooped down to pick Rose up as he carried her back to the seats.
“Are you okay?” Jaxon asked as sat Rose in one of seats.
“My ankle,” Rose said, grimacing. “It hurts to move it.”
“Let me take a look,” Evan said. “My dad's a doctor.”
Rose nodded as Evan undid Rose's shoe and slowly and carefully took it and her sock off.
“It's swelling pretty bad,” Evan said as he examined Rose's ankle. “Can you move it?”
Rose shook her head. “It hurts too much.”
Evan nodded. “I think you have a hairline fracture, Rose. I better get you to the hospital.”
“I'll drive,” Tyler said as she stood up from his seat. “You can sit back there with Rose and keep her calm and comfortable.”
“You guys don't have to do this,” Rose said. “I can walk it off.”
Rose stood up and tried to walk, but when she put her weight on her right ankle, she crumpled in pain, barely being caught by Jaxon before she hit the floor.
“You can't even stand up on your own, much less walk,” Jaxon said. “Listen to Evan and let him and Tyler take you to the hospital.”
“But the play,” Rose protested.
“The play will go on,” Chase said. “I hate to do it, but your understudy can step in for you.”
Rose looked sad as she nodded. “Okay, Mr. Atkins. I'll go to the hospital.”
Chase nodded as he put his hand on Rose's shoulder. “Take care of yourself, first and foremost, Rose. You're more important than a play.”
“Lana,” Jaxon said as Lana appeared to check on Rose. “Can you let know Johanna know that I won't be home for a while and ask her to start on supper? I'm going to follow Tyler and Evan to the hospital and make sure everyone's alright. And I'll keep them company until they discharge Rose.”
“Yeah, sure,” Lana said. “I'll just bring supper home for all of us. You go and take care of them.”
“Thanks,” Jaxon said as he hugged Lana. “See you when you get home from work.”
As Jaxon picked Rose up and carried her out the door, following Evan and Tyler, Miles headed out of the wardrobe room and made his way over to the seat where he had set his backpack.
“You've got talent,” Ryan said as Miles looked up, surprised.
“I thought you had, uh, gotten let go,” Miles said.
“I did, but I'm here on business,” Ryan said. “I had to come see Chase. Look, Miles, that is your name, right?”
“Yeah,” Miles replied.
“I was tough on you during auditions,” Ryan said. “I guess you can say I'm way too passionate with things and once I get focused on something, I have tunnel vision.”
“And so you've come to apologize to me?” Miles asked. “How noble.”
“Miles, I've moved on from NYADA, but the fact that I did you so wrong still bothers me to this day,” Ryan said. “I just believed in you and Jaxon so much that I was utterly disappointed that you both let me down. I had such great expectations for the both of you. I mean, Miles, you could go so far if only you believed in yourself like I believe in you.”
“I guess it doesn't matter,” Miles said. “I still managed to get into NYADA.”
“I've been working on a brand new Broadway show,” Ryan said. “It's called 'Love of a Lifetime' and they're predicting it will be a big hit. I'm the director and I'm looking for people to be in it. That's why I'm talking to you.”
“What can I do for you?” Miles asked.
“Lend me your talent,” Ryan said. “If this show takes off, you would be a star, Miles. Isn't that what you want? I know you have a passion for Broadway.”
“I do,” Miles replied. “And to be a star, isn't that what everyone here at NYADA wants?”
“Then here's my card,” Ryan said as he handed a business card to Miles. “Call me if you're interested in making your dreams come true.”
Miles nodded as he looked down at the business card. As he looked back up at Ryan, he was already headed out the door.
Lana was standing outside the theater when her cellphone's alert went out, letting her know that she had a new alert on Twitter. Lana pulled out her phone and opened Twitter, realizing that Parker Pennington had posted a new tweet.
Guess who might be the HOT new couple at McKinley...might it be Davies and Ana? #Davina
“What the hell?” Lana said aloud.
“What is it?” Aldy asked as he stopped to see what was wrong.
“I just read the newest tweet from Parker Pennington,” Lana replied. “Davies and Ana might be the newest couple at McKinley. Man, Ana wastes no time, does she?”
“Why do you even follow that loser gossip hound?” Aldy asked. “Half of what he tweets are just rumors and what ends up being the truth is no one's business anyway.”
“Parker's Twitter account is my lifeline to Lima,” Lana said. “I have to know what's going on there.”
“We do still have friends who go there,” Aldy said. “In Jaxon's case a husband, and in my case a girlfriend. We have a way more reliable lifeline to Lima than that dork.”
“I'm going to call up Ana and give her a piece of my mind,” Lana said as she scrolled through her phone's contacts. “I can't wait to tell her what I think about this!”
“Lana, listen to yourself,” Aldy said.
“Ana?” Lana asked. “Did I catch you at a bad time? I did? Good! What the hell do you think you are doing? You just dumped my friend and you've already moved on to another of my friends? What's next, huh? Moving on from her to my sister, Lynsay? I can't believe you!”
Aldy shook his head as he sighed and decided to leave Lana to her little freak out in peace. As Aldy walked away he could hear Lana's tirade continuing.
“Of course, you're going to say that nothing's going on,” Lana continued. “But you've been found out, Ana. I have it on good authority that you're dating Davies. Why does it matter if I heard from Parker? Well, that may be so but Jaxon and James made it work. Okay, yes, we will talk more about this later because I'm not through giving you a piece of my mind! Alright then. Bye.”
Lana growled as she hung up the phone and put it back in her pocket.
I'm tempted to call up Davies and give her a piece of my mind for causing all of this with her little kiss, Lana thought as she started down the hall.
The next day, Miles decided to skip Dance 101 so that he could have time to meet with Ryan before rehearsals. Miles swallowed the lump in his throat and reached up, knocking on Ryan's door. After a few moments, Ryan opened the door, his face lighting up as he saw Miles.
“Miles, I'm surprised you came,” Ryan said. “So, have you decided that you want this?”
“I do,” Miles said nervously.
“Good,” Ryan said. “Why don't you come on in and we can talk.”
Miles nodded as he walked in and stood there awkwardly. Ryan closed the door, locking it behind him as he walked over to Miles and looked at him.
“You seem nervous,” Ryan said. “Don't be, Miles. I'm not going to bite. However, what I am going to do is make you a star. The star you deserve to be.”
“Thank you, sir,” Miles said.
“How old are you, Miles?” Ryan asked as he sat down on the edge of his desk.
“Eighteen,” Miles said.
“Good,” Ryan said. “So you're an adult now. You're...mature.”
“I think so, yeah,” Miles said.
“Well, I can promise you a role in this production,” Ryan said. “But, I am going out of my way to help you out. My question is, what can you do for me, Miles?”
“What do you mean?” Miles asked nervously.
“How bad you want this, Miles?” Ryan asked. “I need to know how bad you want this.”
“Really bad,” Miles replied. “This is my dream, sir.”
“I need you to prove it,” Ryan said as he stood up and looked directly in Miles' eyes. “Show me how bad you want this.”
“Please,” Miles said. “I'll do anything.”
“Anything?” Ryan asked.
Miles swallowed the lump in his throat and nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“There's a nude scene in this production,” Ryan said. “I need you to be okay with that, Miles.”
“It's no problem,” Miles said.
“Good,” Ryan replied. “Then you won't mind getting undressed and letting me take pictures for reference.”
“Really?” Miles asked. “I uh, I don't know about that. I mean, I've never done anything like that before. I've never even sent pictures of myself to my girlfriends.”
“This is different, Miles,” Ryan said. “This is Broadway. This is art. Come on, Miles. Don't be shy. All the big actors and actresses have had their careers defined by their nude scenes.”
Miles stood still and Ryan reached down and unbuckled his belt and then pulled the zipper down, helping Miles get started.
Just do it, Miles thought. You have worked hard on your body. Be proud of it. This could make or break your future career. While everyone else is slaving around in NYADA, you'll already be on your way.
Finally, Miles pushed his reluctance aside and started to strip naked.
“Do I need to be hard?” Miles asked as he tossed his pants aside and stood there in just his boxers.
“Not yet,” Ryan replied as he took his camera off the table. “Go stand in front of that wall.”
Miles walked over to stand in front of the blank, white wall and faced Ryan as the camera began to go off, each flash blinding him. As he struck every pose that Ryan asked, the repeated bright light of the flash began to disorient him.
“Think you can get it up now?” Ryan asked.
Miles nodded as he swallowed another lump and began to touch himself, trying to do as Ryan asked. After a few minutes of struggling, Miles had finally managed to work up a hard-on.
“That's it,” Ryan said as the flashes continued.
Miles stood there, spacing out, trying to transport himself someplace else. He didn't try to think about what was happened. He didn't want to really, but he knew Ryan was telling the truth: fame didn't come without a price.
“That's great,” Ryan said. “Now, one more bit of business to attend to.”
“What's that?” Miles asked.
“This,” Ryan said as he reached down and grabbed Miles.
Miles' eyes went wide and he wasn't sure what to do. Ryan had grabbed him tightly and his touch was both frightening and disorienting. Miles had never allowed another guy to touch him like this and especially in such a private place.
“No, I don't think I can,” Miles said.
“Miles, these are the big leagues,” Ryan said. “There is not one A-list actor who got where they are today without giving some of themselves up. They've all slept with a few people to climb the ranks. It's how it is. They don't tell you that beforehand though. They want fame to seem so glamorous when it's really pretty mundane. So, you have to sleep with a few people? It's completely normal in Hollywood, Miles. Just close your eyes and pretend it's your girlfriend.”
Miles nodded as he closed his eyes and pulled his hand away from Ryan's. He felt Ryan drop to his knees and soon a rush of pleasure washed over him as Ryan enveloped him. Miles fought the feeling. He knew it felt good, but he tried to keep reminding himself that he shouldn't enjoy this. It was business. It was the way things had to be. It was his ticket to fame. But still, at the same time, he noted that Ryan was pretty good at what he was doing. Soon, the thoughts in his head began to overlap, creating a sense of chaos that was maddening. He pushed it all out of his head and just began to enjoy what was happening. Soon he felt himself reaching a state of pure nirvana and grunted loudly as he tensed up and had an orgasm.
“See?” Ryan said as he stood up, his finger brushing his lower lip. “That wasn't so bad. Quick and painless.”
“Yeah,” Miles said flatly as he stood there for a second, not sure of what to do. “I'm late for rehearsals.”
“Better get going then,” Ryan said. “And listen, I'll be in touch.”
Miles nodded as he hurriedly put his clothes back on and hurried out of the room, leaving Ryan standing there, watching him as he left.
Miles rushed into the theater, accidentally interrupting a scene as Monique and Chuck rehearsed it. Chase looked up at the commotion, looking angry.
“Miles!” Chase shouted. “I'm so glad that you could join us twenty minutes late. Hurry up and get to wardrobe and get changed. We already had to run through one of your scenes with your understudy, Tyler.”
Tyler looked at Miles and then looked back down. Miles nodded at Chase and headed back to the wardrobe room.
“Sorry for the interruption,” Chase said. “Chuck and Monique, please continue from where you left off.”
“Is it just me or does something seem wrong with Miles?” Jaxon asked.
“Don't worry about it,” Lana said as her phone began to vibrate.
As Chuck and Monique started running through their scene with Evan, Lana slid out the slide exit door and excused herself to answer her phone.
“Hello?” Lana asked as she got out into the hallway and put the phone to her ear. “Davies, slow down. What's going on? Oh, you need some advice. About what, Ana? Of course, it would be Ana. My advice? Don't follow your heart. Your heart is dictated by your head. Whatever your heart is telling you, do the opposite. Less heartbreak that way. Alright. Bye.”
“What's going on?” Jaxon asked as he eased out the door and shut it behind him.
“Oh, it's nothing,” Lana replied. “Davies just wanted some advice, but I handled it.”
“In a good way I hope,” Jaxon said. “Considering your meltdown on Ana yesterday.”
“Oh, you heard about that?” Lana asked, looking guilty.
“Word travels faster here than McKinley,” Jaxon replied. “Lana, you know I love you, but can I give you some advice? Stay out of this mess, please. I don't think you realize yet just how messy this can get, but you have three friends caught up in this and the more you get caught up in it, the more you are gonna hurt some of, if not all of them.”
“I know but Natasha has been moping around ever since the break-up and Natasha has been my friend since the early days of the Femme Fatales,” Lana argued.
“True, but Ana has been your friend for almost just as long,” Jaxon replied. “And Davies, you took her under your wing and befriended her when you were both at a very low point in your lives. You two have that connection. I just don't want to see you lose some of your closest friends, Lana. I care about you and I know that you would be pretty upset if you muddled things up so bad that none of those friendships survived.”
“You know, I hate it when you're right,” Lana said.
“Which I am,” Jaxon replied.
“Why is it you're always the voice of reason?” Lana asked.
“I guess because someone has to be,” Jaxon answered. “So, how about we get back in there for rehearsals before Mr. Atkins flips out on us?”
“Sounds like a plan,” Lana said as she opened the door and headed back inside the theater just in time to catch Chuck and Monique's rehearsal of their big number.
“I have to get into costume for my big scene,” Jaxon said as he kissed Lana on the cheek and headed back to the dressing rooms.
“This is the man that I plan to entangle, isn't he fine?” Monique sang. “My claim to fame was to maim and to mangle, vengeance was mine, But I’m out of the biz. The name I made I'll trade for his. The only trouble is...I’ll never tell.”
Slowly Monique stood up from the bed and walked toward the front of the stage.
“She is the one she's such wonderful fun, such passion and grace,” Chuck sang. “Warm in the night when I’m right in her tight embrace, tight embrace. I’ll never let her go. The love we've known can only grow. There's just one thing that...no, I’ll never tell.”
“Because there's nothing to tell,” they both sang as Chuck got out of bed and walked over to join Monique.
“He snores,” Monique sang.
“She wheezes,” Chuck sang.
“Say housework and he freezes,” Monique sang.
“She eats these skeezy cheeses that I can't describe,” Chuck sang.
“I talk, he breezes.”
“She doesn't know what please is.”
“His penis got diseases from a Chumash tribe.”
“The vibe gets kind of scary,” they both sang.
“Like she thinks I'm ordinary,” Chuck sang.
“Like it's all just temporary,” Monique sang.
“Like her toes are kind of hairy,” Chuck sang.
“But it's all very well because God knows I'll never tell,” they both sang.
“When things get rough, he just hides behind his Buffy,” Monique sang. “Now look, he's getting huffy because he knows that I know.”
“She clings, she's needy,” Chuck sang. “She's also really greedy. She never—”
“His eyes are beady,” Monique sang, interrupting Chuck.
“This is my verse, hello?” Chuck sang. “She—”
“Look at me!” Monique exclaimed as she broke out into a ragtime-inspired dance. “I'm dancing crazy!”
As the horns kicked in, Chuck and Monique began to dance together, across the entire stage. Chuck smiled big, loving the fact that he got to be a part of this production.
“You know,” they both sang.
“You're quite the charmer,” Chuck sang.
“My knight in armor,” Monique sang.
“You're the cutest of the Scoobies with your lips as red as rubies,” Chuck sang. “And your firm yet supple tight embrace.”
“He's swell,” Monique sang.
“She's sweller,” Chuck sang.
“He'll always be my feller.”
“That's why I’ll never tell her that I’m petrified.”
“I’ve read this tale, there's wedding then betrayal,” Monique sang. “I know there'll come the day I'll want to run and hide.”
“I lied,” Chuck and Monique sang. “I said it's easy. I’ve tried, but there's these fears I can't quell.”
“Is she looking for a pot of gold?” Chuck sang.
“Will I look good when I’ve gotten old?” Monique sang.
“Will our lives become too stressful if I’m never that successful?”
“When I get so worn and wrinkly that I look like David Brinkley?”
“Am I crazy?”
“Am I dreaming?”
“Am I marrying a demon?”
“We could really raise the beam in making marriage a hell,” Chuck and Monique sang. “So, thank God I'll never tell. I swear that I’ll never tell.”
“My lips are sealed,” Chuck sang.
“I take the fifth,” Monique sang.
“Nothing to see,” Chuck sang. “Move it along.”
“I’ll never tell,” they both sang.
Miles opened the door to the bathroom and walked over to the sink, splashing his face with cold water. He grabbed a wad of paper towels and dried his face as he looked for a second in the mirror at himself.
Get a grip on yourself, Miles, he thought.
Miles sighed as he tossed the used paper towel in the garbage can and pushed the door open, making his way out into the hallway. He composed himself and started toward the door back out into the theater, but stopped when he saw Jaxon naked in the dressing room. Miles stood there silently, watching Jaxon getting dressed. His butt was perfectly round and tight, the butt of a dancer and runner. As Jaxon turned slighlty, Miles could see Jaxon's manhood dangling in front of him. Miles couldn't look away, marveling at the sight of his size and perfection. Slowly, Jaxon pulled on his jockstrap (which he had to wear due to the tightness of the leather pants of his costume). As Jaxon turned back around, Miles noticed that the jockstrap still exposed his butt and made it even more shapely—if such a thing was possible. Finally, Miles shook his head and took off toward the door.
Miles, what the hell is wrong with you? Miles though to himself. Watching another guy change? Your best friend? What the hell has gotten into you? First you let that Ryan guy give you head and then you're creeping on Jaxon while he changes? You're not even gay? You don't enjoy these kind of things. I mean, you're not into guys at all. So why the hell are you doing this?
Miles closed his eyes tightly and grabbed his ears, trying to shut the voices out.
“Stop it!” Miles shouted. “Just shut up!”
“Miles?” Jaxon asked as he stepped out into the hallway, pulling his shirt down as he finished changing. “What's wrong.”
“Nothing,” Miles said as he didn't even turn around to face Jaxon. He couldn't face him after what he had done.
“Are you okay?” Jaxon asked. “You seem bothered.”
Jaxon tried to reach out and grab Miles' shoulder, but Miles flinched at his touch as if it burnt. Jaxon pulled his hand back as Miles jerked his shoulder away and pushed the door open, walking back into the theater. Jaxon stood there, both confused and worried about Miles.
“Miles, you can talk to me about anything,” Jaxon shouted through the closed door, hoping that Miles heard him.
Finally, the big night rolled around and it was time to put on the show. Backstage, Evan waited patiently for his big entrance as he watched Hallie get into position behind the curtain.
“Hiya, handsome,” Tyler said as he walked in, carrying a large bouquet of roses. “These are for you.”
“Thank you,” Evan said as he smiled warmly.
“I wish I could be out there taking the stage with you,” Tyler said. “But I know that I can't do as good of a job as Miles.”
“You did amazing when you filled in for him,” Evan said.
“You always believe in me more than I believe in myself,” Tyler said. “But I didn't have a lot to remember. Sometimes I feel so stupid because of my dyslexia and learning disabilities.”
“You are anything but stupid,” Evan said as he stood on his tiptoes and kissed Tyler's lips. “You're my beautiful, handsome, sexy knight in shining armor. You gave me purpose again, Tyler. And I will be forever grateful for that.”
“So, uh, I guess I should tell you to break a leg,” Tyler said, blushing. “But not literally because it's already bad enough that Rose fractured her ankle. Just, uh, good luck.”
“Thank you, sweetheart,” Evan said as he planted another kiss on Tyler.
From stage right, Lana watched as Evan and Tyler kissed passionately. Lana decided it was best just to pretend that she didn't see anything, turning around and walking back to the dressing rooms.
“Showtime, boys,” Chase said as he appeared backstage, after Evan and Tyler had already broken apart their kiss.
Hallie walked across the graveyard set, her hands in the pockets of her leather jacket.
“Every single night the same arrangement,” Hallie sang. “I go out and fight the fight. Still I always feel this strange estrangement. Nothing here is real, nothing here is right.”
As Hallie sang this, a vampire ran and out and charged her. She traded blows with him a few times before she flipped him onto his back and kept on her way.
“I've been making shows of trading blows, just hoping no one knows,” Hallie continued. “That I've been going through the motions, walking through the part. Nothing seems to penetrate my heart.”
Hallie pulled out a prop stake and pretended the stab the vampire in the chest as he fell onto a trap door and disappeared beneath the stage with a puff of smoke.
“I was always brave and kind of righteous,” Hallie sang as she spotted a gang of two vampires and a horned demon. “Now I find I'm wavering.”
The first vampire, Jason, charged her with an sword and swung it but Hallie dodged and knocked him down. The sword got stuck in a prop rock, looking like the sword in the stone.
“Crawl out of your grave you'll find this fight just doesn't mean a thing,” Hallie sang as she pretended to punch the second vampire, Krystal, who spun to face the audience.
“She ain't got that swing,” Krystal sang as she turned back around and knocked Hallie down.
“Thanks for noticing,” Hallie sang as laid on the stage floor as the vampires and demon danced behind her.
“She does pretty well with things from hell,” Jason, Krystal, and Todd sang. “But lately we can tell she's been going through the motions, faking it somehow.”
Hallie jumped up and pulled the sword from the rock, slicing her way through the vampires to get to the demon.
“She's not even half the girl she—ow,” Todd sang as Hallie pretended to impale him and he fell to the ground.
“Will I stay this way forever?” Hallie sang as she walked over to a tree and untied a handsome captive. “Sleep walk through my life's endeavor.”
“How can I repay you?” Mike sang, his shirt open and exposing his well-sculpted torso.
“Whatever,” Hallie sang as she looked disinterested, turning toward the audience. “I don't want to be going through the motions, loosing all my drive. I can't even see, if this is really me and i just want to be—”
As Hallie sang the last line, she staked another vampire, causing a huge dust cloud to erupt around her. She stretched out her arms, letting the dust slowly settle around her as she sang.
“Alive,” Hallie sang, the glittery dust slowly revealing her triumphant pose to the audience.
Camryn shut the door behind her as she made her way to the empty seat closest to the stage.
“Excuse me, excuse me,” Camryn whispered as she made her way down the aisle. “Sorry, late, worked over. Excuse me.”
Finally Camryn made it to her seat and sat down, sighing. She looked at the stage and made eye contact with Lana, who smiled.
“Do we have any books at all at home?” Lana asked Nicole, who was wearing a red wig in order to play Willow following the fracture ankle that unexpectedly sidelined Rose.
“Well, who wants to be cooped up on a day like this?” Nicole asked. “The sun is shining, there's songs going on...”
As they walked together and talked, a couple of guys walked by, turning back to look at Lana and Nicole.
“Those guys are checking you out,” Nicole said.
“What?” Lana asked as she turned to look. “Wh-what are they looking at?”
“The hotness of you, doofus,” Nicole said with a smile.
“Those boys really thought I was hot?” Lana asked as she looked back again.
“Entirely,” Nicole replied.
“Oh my god, I'm cured!” Lana joked. “I want the boys!”
Lana pretended like she was about to run after the boys, but Nicole grabbed her and pulled her back.
“Do I have to fight to keep you?” Nicole asked. “Because I'm not large with the butch.”
“I'm just...not used to that,” Lana replied as they stopped to stand underneath a tree, leaning on a wooden railing. “They—they were really looking at me?”
“And you can't imagine what they see in you,” Nicole said fondly.
“I know exactly what they see in me,” Lana replied. “You.”
As Lana said this the music started up and she and Nicole gazed into each other's eyes.
“I lived my life in shadow, never the sun on my face,” Lana sang. “It didn't seem so sad, though. I figured that was my place. Now I'm bathed in light, something just isn't right. I'm under your spell. How else could it be anyone would notice me? It's magic I can tell, how you set me free, brought me out so easily.”
Lana and Nicole walked hand in hand off a tiny bridge and onto a tiny path.
“I saw a world enchanted, spirits and charms in the air,” Lana sang. “I always took for granted. I was the only one there but your power's shown brighter than any of I've known. I'm under your spell, nothing I can do. You just took my soul with you. You worked your charms so well. Finally, I knew everything I dreamed was true. You make me believe.”
Three girls stood up from their picnic and began to dance gently behind Lana as they formed a chorus.
“Ahh,” the girls sang. “Ahh, ahh.”
As Lana and Nicole walked to the front of the stage, the set behind them rolled away and was replaced with their bedroom set.
“The moon to the tide, I can feel you inside,” Lana sang as she laid down on the bed, Nicole sitting at the foot, appearing as if Nicole was performing a certain sex act on Lana.
“I'm under your spell,” Lana sang as she slowly began to levitate over the bed. “Surging like the sea, wanting you so helplessly. I break with every swell, lost in ecstasy. Spread beneath my willow tree, you make me complete!You make me complete, you make me complete, you make me—”
Before Lana could finish, the curtain dropped, causing everyone to scramble to get ready for the next scene.
During intermission, Lana made her way over to Camryn. Camryn smiled warmly as her girlfriend took her into her arms for a warm, tight hug.
“I am so sorry I was late,” Camryn said. “We had that really difficult old lady in right a closing and it took thirty minutes just to please her and get her out of there.”
“It's okay,” Lana said. “You came and that's all that matters. I was so happy seeing you out there in the audience, but a part of me wishes that it was you playing Willow instead of Nicole.”
“Oh please, I can't compete with those tits,” Camryn joked. “But seriously, I think a redheaded half Hawaiian and half Latina Willow would be too much of a stretch. Besides, Nicole was perfect.”
Miles smiled at Camryn as he made his way past and to the dressing room to get ready for his big scene. He stopped in his tracks as he saw Ryan out in the audience. Slowly, Miles took a deep breath and ignored him as he made his way backstage.
Miles stepped out on the stage and began to tap dance down toward Honey as she looked up at him, acting frightened.
“Why'd you run away?” Miles sang. “Don't you like my style? Why don't you come and play? I guarantee a great big smile. I come from the imagination and I'm here strictly by your invocation. So what do you say? Why don't we dance a while? I'm the heart of swing. I'm the twist and shout. When you gotta sing, when you gotta let it out you call me and I come a-running. I turn the music on, I bring the fun in. Now where partying. That's what it's all about.”
Slowly, Honey stood up and began to dance with Miles, as if he had put a spell on her to make her dance.
“Cause I know what you feel, girl,” Miles sang. “I know just what you feel, girl.”
“So you're like a good demon?” Honey asked hopefully. “Bringing the fun in?”
“All these melodies, they go on too long,” Miles sang. “Then that energy starts to come on way too strong. All those hearts laid open, that must sting. Plus some customers just start combusting. That's the penalty when life is but a song. You brought me down and doomed this town. So when we blow this scene, back we will go to my kingdom below and you will be my queen.”
Four dancers surrounded Honey with giant screens and encased her in a makeshift box. When they pulled the screens away, she had changed into a lavender colored dress.
“Cause I know what you feel, girl,” Miles sang.
“No, you see you and me wouldn't be very regal,” Honey sang.
“And I make it real, girl,” Miles sang.
“What I mean, I'm fifteen so this queen thing's illegal,” Honey sang.
“I can bring whole cities to ruin and still have time to get a soft shoe in.”
“No, that's great but I'm late and I'd hate to delay her.”
“Something's cooking, I'm at the griddle,” Miles sang. “I bought Nero his very first fiddle.”
“She'll get pissed if I'm missed,” Honey sang. “See my sister's the slayer.”
“The Slayer?” Miles asked.
“Yeah-huh,” Honey said.
“Find her,” Miles said as he turned to the four dancers, who were also Sweet's henchmen. “Tell her...tell her everything. Just get her here. I wanna see the Slayer burn.”
“No,” Honey said in a whimper.
“Now were partying,” Miles sang gleefully. “That's what it's all about.”
As the audience applauded, Miles made his way back stage, trying to shake off the nerves that he had gotten from the moment he saw Ryan in the audience.
“Miles, can we talk for a second?” Chase asked. “We're worried about you. Well, mainly Jaxon and I are worried about you. He told me you we're upset and telling someone to shut up but no one was there? He told me because he was worried about you. And then you were late today and you were shaking through that whole performance...are you going to be able to continue with the show tonight?”
“I'm good,” Miles said. “Just been a rough day.”
“Miles, you know my door is always open, any time of the day, if you need to talk,” Chase said. “And if school is not in session, then you can call me at home. I'm always there for my students, no matter what they are going through.”
“I know,” Miles said, looking down.
“And no matter what it is, Miles, I will never judge you,” Chase added. “I just want to help you. Here's my home number and my cell phone number. If you ever feel like you need to, just call me, okay? Please.”
Miles nodded as he took the piece of paper from Chase and put it in the pocket of his costume. “Thanks, Mr. Atkins.”
“Now, you should get ready for the big finale,” Chase said with a smile.
Evan turned away from Hallie, a towel thrown over his shoulder, as he walked over to a board full of supernatural weapons.
“You're not ready for the world outside,” Evan sang as he threw the towel down and began taking small prop throwing knives off the wall. “You keep pretending but you just can't hide. I know I said that I'd be standing by your side, but I...”
Evan began throwing the prop knives one-by-one at Hallie, who blocked or kicked each one away successfully.
“Your path's unbeaten and it's all uphill,” Evan continued. “And you can meet it, but you never will. And I'm the reason that you're standing still, but I, I wish I could say the right words to lead you through this land. Wish I could play the father and take you by the hand Wish I could stay here but now I understand I'm standing in the way.”
Evan watched a Hallie began to cartwheel, training for the battle ahead.
“The cries around you, you don't hear at all 'cause you know I'm here to take that call,” Evan sang. “So you just lie there when you should be standing tall, but I, I wish I could lay your arms down and let you rest at last. Wish I could slay your demons but now that time has passed. Wish I could stay here, your stalwart, standing fast, but I'm standing in the way. I'm just standing in the way.”
Hallie stopped and looked up Evan. “Did you say something?”
Backstage, Miles sat, waiting for his cue as he listened to Evan and Lana performing their duet. He kept tapping his feet, anxious to get back out there. He thought about how much it better it would have been to have played Spike, Giles, or even Xander. Then he could have had much more time on stage, showing his skills and doing what he loved.
Back on stage, Lana and Evan finished their big duet and Lana looked out into the audience at Tyler, who was giving Evan a standing ovation. Evan smiled at him, his eyes lighting up.
That kiss, could it have been more than just a friendly kiss? Lana thought. Not that it was any of my business, but if it was, why hasn't Tyler told me? And why not Camryn?
Backstage, Miles slowly made his way to stand stage left, watching the play unfold. As Jaxon spoke his lines, Miles mouthed them to himself forlornly.
Soon, you're gonna be a Broadway star, Miles told himself. Don't worry, your time is coming.
“Look, forget them, Slayer,” Jaxon said to Hallie. “I've got your back.”
“I thought you wanted me to stay away from you,” Hallie replied. “Isn't that what you sang?”
“Spike sing a widdle song?” Chuck asked.
“Would you say it was a breakaway pop hit or more of a book number?” Monique asked.
“Let it go, sweetie,” Chuck said.
“Fine,” Jaxon said angrily. “I hope you dance till you burn. You and the little bit.”
As Jaxon said this, he exited, leaving Hallie seeming confused as she looked at Evan expectantly.
“You're really not coming?” Hallie asked.
“It's up to you, Buffy,” Evan said as he approached Hallie.
“What do you expect me to do?” Hallie asked, upset.
“Your best,” Evan replied as Hallie made her way to the other half of the stage, where the alleyway set was set up.
“I touch the fire and it freezes me,” Hallie sang. “I look into it and it's black. Why can't I feel? My skin should crack and peel. I want the fire back. Now, through the smoke she calls to me to make my way across the flame, to save the day or maybe melt away. I guess it's all the same. So, I will walk through the fire 'cause where else can I turn? I will walk through the fire and let it—”
“The torch I bear is scorching me,” Jaxon sang as he leaned against a fence. “And Buffy's laughing I've no doubt. I hope she fries. I'm free if that bitch dies! I better help her out.”
“'Cause she is drawn to the fire,” Miles sang as he walked onstage. “Some people never learn.”
“She will never learn,” Jaxon sang.
“And she will walk through the fire and let it,” Miles and Jaxon sang.
“Will this do a thing to change her?” Evan sang as he looked at the door. “Am I leaving Dawn in danger? Is my slayer too far gone to care?”
“What if Buffy can't defeat it?” Chuck sang.
“Beady Eyes is right, we're needed,” Monique sang. “Or we could just sit around and glare.”
“We'll see it through,” Chuck, Evan, Monique, Lana, and Nicole sang as they walked to join Hallie. “It's what we're always here to do so, we will walk through the fire.”
“So one by one, they turn from me,” Hallie sang. “I guess my friends can't face the cold.”
“What can't we face?” Lana sang.
“But why I froze, not one among them knows,” Hallie sang.
“If we're together,” Lana sang.
“And never can be told,” Hallie sang.
“She came from the grave much graver,” Monique sang.
“First, he'll kill her, then I'll save her,” Jaxon sang.
“Everything is turning out so dark,” Lana sang.
“No, I'll save her, then I'll kill her,” Jaxon sang.
“I think this line's mostly filler,” Nicole sang.
“What's it going to take to strike a spark?” Evan sang.
“These endless days are finally ending in a blaze,” Hallie sang.
“She will come to me,” Miles sang.
“And we are caught in the fire,” everyone except for Miles sang. “At the point of no return. So we will walk through the fire and let it burn. Let it burn. Let it burn. Let it burn!”
“Showtime,” Miles said.
Tyler made his way back to his seat and sat down beside Camryn, who smiled warmly.
“Okay, what did I miss during my break for a call of nature?” Tyler asked.
“Buffy karate kicked her way into the Bronze to confront the demon and now they're trying to talk it out, which never works on Buffy,” Camryn said.
“You're really into this,” Tyler mused.
“Shh!” Camryn ordered as she and Tyler turned their attention back to the play.
“Deal's this,”Hallie said. “I can't kill you? You take me to Hellsville in her place.
“What if I kill you?” Miles asked.
“Trust me,” Hallie said flatly. “Won't help.”
“Hm, that's gloomy!” Miles exclaimed.
“That's life,” Hallie said as Miles chuckled.
“Come now, is that really what you feel?” Miles asked. “Isn't life a miraculous thing?”
“I think you already know,” Hallie replied.
The music began and Hallie took a deep breath as Miles watched, tapping his fingers in character.
“Life's a show and we all play our parts,” Hallie sang. “And when the music starts, we open up our hearts. It's all right if some things come out wrong. We'll sing a happy song and you can sing along.”
No sooner than Hallie had ditched her leather jacket, she was attacked by Sweet's goons. She back to kick and punch, fighting them off.
“Where's there's life, there's hope,” Hallie sang. “Every day's a gift, wishes can come true. Whistle while you work so hard all day to be like other girls to fit in in this glittering world. Don't give me songs.”
“She needs backup,” Evan said. “Anya, Tara.”
Monique and Lana made their way over to stand behind Hallie, copying her movements as they danced.
“Don't give me songs,” Hallie sang. “Give me something to sing about.”
“Ahh,” Monique and Tara sang.
“I need something to sing about,” Hallie sang. “Life's a song you don't get to rehearse and every single verse can make it that much worse. Still, my friends don't know why I ignore the million things or more I should be dancing for. All the joy, life sends, family and friends. All the twists and bends, knowing that it ends. Well, that depends on if they let you go or if they know enough to know that when you've bowed, you leave the crowd. There was no pain. No fear, no doubt till they pulled me out of Heaven. So that's my refrain. I live in Hell 'cause I've been expelled from Heaven. I think I was in Heaven. So, give me something to sing about. Please, give me something.”
As everyone watched with horrified faces, Hallie began to dance, getting faster and faster until she spun out of control. Jaxon appeared almost out of nowhere, catching her and stopping her as he looked her directly in the eyes.
“Life's not a song,” Jaxon sang. “Life isn't bliss, life is just this: it's living. You'll get along. The pain that you feel, you only can heal by living. You have to go on living. So one of us is living.”
“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it,” Honey said.
Later, the play was almost at an end as Lana stood offstage with the others, watching the last scene, as Hallie and Jaxon reached their big moment: the kiss.
“You should go back inside,” Jaxon said as he turned to face Halle. “Finish the big group sing. Get your kumbayas out.”
“I don't want to,” Hallie said.
Jaxon sighed. “The day you suss out what you do want, there'll probably be a parade. Seventy-six bloody trombones.”
“Spike,” Hallie said.
“Look,” Jaxon said. “You don't have to say anything.”
“I touch the fire and freezes me,” Hallie sang.
Jaxon raised an eyebrow, acting surprised as slowly he and Hallie walked toward each other.
“I died,” Jaxon began to sing.
“I look into it and it's black,” Hallie sang.
“So many years ago,” Jaxon sang.
“This isn't real, but I just want to feel,” Hallie sang.
“But you can make me feel,” Jaxon sang at the same time.
Jaxon and Hallie walked even closer, until they were eye-to-eye. They gazed at each other a moment and then they kissed. They held the kiss for a few seconds as slowly the music began to play and the curtain dropped.
“That's some kiss, huh? Nicole asked
“Yeah,” Lana said. “A stage kiss between a gay guy and lesbian girl. Ironic, huh?”
“Former lesbian,” Nicole said as she pointed out into the audience at Christian, who looked quite jealous over Hallie and Jaxon's kiss. “Remember?”
“Honestly, you don't believe that, do you?” Lana asked. “Hallie has never shown any kind of attraction toward another guy. Chris, that was against her will.”
“He really seems to like her though,” Nicole said as she looked back at Christian. “He seems so jealous over that kiss.”
“You know, I'm not,” Lana said. “When I thought Miles and Camryn were going to kiss, I was so jealous but I didn't feel one bit of jealousy when Hallie kissed Jaxon.”
“And you know what that means?” Nicole asked.
“That I'm completely over Hallie,” Lana said, smiling. “It's like this freedom. I can finally move on and be free. I can be happy with Camryn without this storm hanging over me.”
“Atta girl,” Nicole said as she hugged Lana. “I'm proud of you. I know that you and Hallie were so close and deeply in love at one point, so it must be hard to move on. But, you have Camryn now and I really like her. I feel she's the one for you.”
“I do, too,” Lana said. “Just like I feel Adam's the one for you.”
“When Adam and I get married, years from now,” Nicole stressed. “It's going to be like we're sisters-in-law. You know, since Adam is like your little brother.”
“You're already a sister to me, Nicole,” Lana said. “All of New Directions and New Horizons are family.”
Nicole smiled. “We are, aren't we? Man, we've been through some crazy times together. Tough times, fun times—”
“But always together,” Lana added.
“Together,” Nicole agreed.
Nicole laced her arm through Lana's and lead her over to where all their friends where gathering, planning a celebration.
“How about pizza?” Tyler asked as everyone started agreeing. “You guys have to try Slice of Heaven. It's my and Camryn's favorite pizza parlor in the city.”
“Nicole?” Rose asked as she hobbled over to join her others, still on her crutches. “I just wanted to say that you were great. You were perfect as Willow and I am so proud of you.”
Honey smiled as Nicole pulled Rose into a hug. Honey reached over and hugged them both together in a small group hug.
“Best friends forever,” Honey said.
“Speaking of which,” Jaxon said. “Where's Miles?”
Miles proudly made his way backstage to the dressing room and began to take out his costume, throwing the coat aside. He heard footsteps and turned to see Ryan entering.
“Great show tonight,” Ryan said. “I know I made the right choice in asking you to be a part of my production.”
“So did I get the part?” Miles asked.
“You got a part, Miles,” Ryan said. “You'll be playing Morgan.”
“Morgan is only in the some of the first half of the play and he dies,” Miles replied. “I have about fifteen minutes onstage.”
“It's a start,” Ryan said. “Every Broadway great has to start somewhere.”
“I thought I was a serious contender for the lead role,” Miles said before he lowered his voice for the rest of what he was going to say. “And after what I did to get the part.”
“You did that for a role, which is what you got,” Ryan replied. “I never promised you a lead. I simply promised to make you a star. Do you know how many small roles most Tony winning actors have to take before they get their big starring role? You're an eighteen year-old newcomer with no experience. I couldn't just cast you as Kyle. But I got you the biggest and best role of your current caliber and if you continue to work with me, not only will your name be on a marquee soon, but you will be a star. Think about it, Miles. Tony awards, performing on the Today Show, interviewed by Barbara Walters—it can all be yours if you stick with me.”
As Miles thought it over, Ryan took out his card and handed it to Miles. Miles took it and studied it intently.
“I'm not just a director,” Ryan continued. “I'm also a talent agent. That was what I did in addition to teaching at NYADA, and why Carmen always had me help her recruit new students. Because I have been managing and scouting new talents since I left NYADA myself. This whole director thing, it's new to me. But making stars, that's what I know best. And Miles, you are a star.”
“You really think so?” Miles asked.
“I know so, Miles,” Ryan said. “Jaxon, yes he is a great singer and he's amazing, but he doesn't have that certain “it” factor that you have. He'll sell a few million records, score a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, score five Grammys in one night and maybe fade into obscurity within four years...but will he ever win a Tony? Star in a long-running Broadway show? Win an Oscar? Win Grammys for years to come? No, he won't. Miles, we both know that Broadway stars are the real stars. Broadway is where it's at. And that, my dear friend, is where you can be.”
As Ryan started to the door, he gave one last nod to Miles, who clutched Ryan's card tightly. He watched Ryan leave, thinking hard about everything Ryan had said.
After all, everything worth achieving comes at a sacrifice, Miles thought as he looked out and saw his other friends, Logan, Krystal, Madison, and Joelle. Miles looked back at his New Horizons friends and then again at his new friends and without a second thought, he joined Krystal and her crew as Logan put his arm around Miles.
“I'm thinking Chinese,” Logan said as they all walked toward the exit.
Jaxon and Lana turned to watch Miles walking through the exit door with his “bad kids” friends. Jaxon felt his heart sink a bit, but Lana didn't feel one bit of sadness. Logan looked back at Jaxon, winking as he blew him a kiss. The door shut behind Logan, cutting Miles off completely from his former friends.
“His loss,” Lana said. “If Miles wants to hang with those snobs, fine by me.”
“So,” Tyler said, trying to take their minds off the situation. “How about that pizza?”