Chapter 10- I’m Dreaming of a Ballerina
All right, let’s give it one final whirl…
Tommy then sat back down in his seat of the main computer and re-activated
the scanning system so it could do one final scan of the city before he turned it off and headed upstairs. Now granted, this
was actually going to be the twelfth time he did this today, but Tommy didn’t want to take any chances that Mesogog
might try to do a last-minute attack on the city just before he headed over to the civic center to see the Nutcracker show
tonight, even though it was only 3:31 in the afternoon and the show didn’t start until 5:30.
At first a CG map of Reefside along with the words “SCANNING…”
were the only things on the screen, but then after a few seconds an image of a section of the city appeared on the screen.
Then after a minute or two another one appeared, followed by another one and then another. Once there were eight images on
the screen the words “Scanning complete. No Dark energies detected.” appeared.
Well, since it’s already the twelfth time it’s been
saying this, should I really be surprised? Tommy thought sarcastically with a sigh.
He then de-activated the scanning system and shut off the mainframe (minus
the backup systems). After he was done Tommy then snuck a peak at his watch and saw that it was 3:47.
Well, may as well start getting ready now. He thought as he
got up and made his way up the stairs to his living room and to his bathroom to take a shower.
A while later, Tommy stepped out towel-drying his hair as he opened his
closet to find some clothes to wear to the show.
Well, it’s not like I’m going to a prom, but hey, just because
it isn’t doesn’t mean you can’t look cool and casual at the same time.
He towel-dried his hair one more time before putting it on a chair so it
could air out before he reached for a casual long-sleeve black T-shirt and khakis pants. Once he put them on he then combed
his hair and then grabbed his wallet and keys before heading out the door to his jeep. Once he got in he then checked his
pockets to make sure he had everything.
All right, locked door…check. Keys…check. Ticket…?
Though everything he had he could feel inside his pockets, Tommy couldn’t
feel his ticket inside them. Thinking that he wasn’t checking properly Tommy took out his wallet and keys to check his
pockets thoroughly to make sure he had the ticket Kat gave him. Much to his dismay, it wasn’t in any of them.
Great. Where the hell did I put that thing?
Sighing heavily to himself Tommy stepped out of his jeep and stomped back
to his house as he tried to retrace his steps.
Okay…I had put the ticket in my pocket right after Kat gave it
to me. And then…
No sooner did he try to re-trace his steps did he find himself stuck as
he tried to remember what happened after that.
…and then things get fuzzy after that.
He then put his left hand to his forehead as he racked his brain to figure
out where he had placed the ticket after he got home.
But come on, it’s just a small place of paper, how hard could
it be to lose one measly ticket?
Sighing once again, Tommy swallowed his pride as he then looked at his
watch again. Even more to his dismay, the time said 4:18.
Y’ know, at this rate, it’ll be 5:30 and I’ll still
be here looking for this thing.
That thought was pretty much swirling through Conner and his friend’s
minds as Conner maneuvered his Mustang through the surprisingly heavy traffic as they entered the parking lot of the civic
center and tried to find a spot to park. As they looked, they saw a lot of people head from their cars to the civic center’s
entrance. It wasn’t in droves necessarily, but it was still a lot of people.
“This is definitely one hell of a turnout.” Trent mused as
he looked outside.
“You can say that again.” Kira said in agreement.
“Conner, over there.” Ethan said as he pointed to an area of
grass that was to the right of the car.
Conner saw where Ethan was pointing to and turned the Mustang in that direction.
“Well, it looks like we got here not a second too soon.” Conner
“Are you guys sure we should park here?” Kira asked once they
parked and stepped out of the car.
“The other parking spaces are already taken.” Conner replied.
“Besides, this is probably about as good of a parking space as we’re going to get, so unless you guys see any
Kira, Trent, and Ethan looked around and saw that there really weren’t
any other spots to park, or at least spots that were close to the civic center. Plus, judging by the looks of things, they
probably wouldn’t get a better parking spot anyway if they were to go someplace else in the area.
“So, do we wait outside or…?”
Conner was about to answer Ethan’s question when the group heard
a nearby honk and saw what looked like an Eclipse heading towards the spot next to them, followed by a Lamborghini.
The four teens’ eyes narrowed questioningly and they looked at each
other blankly. Who would honk at them if it wasn’t their teacher?
Once the two cars parked right by the Mustang Conner and the others saw
the doors open and once the people stepped out of them the foursome recognized them immediately.
“What’s up, guys?” Jason asked as he, Emily, and the
others walked up to the group.
“Oh, nothing much.” Conner answered as he shook hands with
Jason, Emily, Adam, Tanya, and Rocky while his friends did likewise.
“Did you guys just get here?” Tanya asked.
“Yeah. Actually it was just a few seconds before you guys showed
up.” Kira replied.
“Wow, so all those people heading into the civic center are the ones
that also want to see this show?” Adam asked as he gestured towards the people heading in.
“Looks like it.” Trent replied. “And that’s probably
not even counting the people that are already inside.”
“No doubt about that.” Ethan said.
“Well then, come on! Let’s get inside before all the good seats
are taken.” Rocky said.
“Wait, hold on. We still have to wait for Dr. O to get here.”
“You mean Tommy’s not here yet?” Jason asked.
“No, actually we thought he was with you guys.” Ethan said.
“No. If anything I thought he would have already been here with all
of you.” Jason replied.
“What time is it?” Kira asked.
Tanya looked at her watch. “It’s five on the dot.”
Conner sighed. “All right, then let’s wait for him for five
more minutes, if he still doesn’t get here, well…then we’ll just have to go in without him.” He said.
As soon as the group heard the sound of a honking horn they turned around
and saw a jeep heading in their direction. As it got close the jeep then made a right turn and parked in the vacant space
next to Tanya’s Lamborghini. No sooner did Tommy park his jeep did he then literally jump out of his seat and head up
to where the others were.
“Tommy, are you all right, man?” Rocky asked.
“Oh, trust me, since I found this, I am now.” Tommy
replied as he reached into his pocket and held up his ticket in front of his friends.
“Good grief, you look like you’re all out of breath, what happened?”
Tommy took a few deep breaths before he replied. “I misplaced my
ticket, that’s what happened.”
“So while you were looking for it your bad memory chose to just kick
in, didn’t it?” Rocky joked.
Tommy sighed. “Well, I guess that’s one way of putting it.”
He replied. “But still, misplaced ticket or not, I wasn’t about to miss this.”
“Oh, of course, because Katherine’s involved in this.”
Rocky said slyly which made Conner and Ethan chuckle in agreement.
Tommy didn’t say anything, but a small blush spread up his face as
he glared at his friend.
“Rocky…you know what, just can it, man. Seriously, just can
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Rocky said
as he stopped joking around, though he still kept his grin on. “But hey, I’m just tellin’ it like it is.”
Tommy sighed as he tried not to grin and failed horribly. “All right,
now is everybody here?”
Everyone in the group nodded.
“All right then, let’s get inside.”
The inside of the civic center was packed, with people settling into seats
that were divided into three sets of fifteen chairs and into seven columns per set so there would hopefully be enough seating
for everyone. Some people were also accepting programs from a few girls (who were in the show, of course) that were up by
the front doors. Once it said 5:20 on the clock Linda and Jessica would then fill in for them for the last few minutes before
they closed the doors and the girls could then head backstage to prepare for the show.
The challenge for Tommy and his friends and protégés wasn’t really
in getting inside; it was in being able to find seats for everybody. So the group wasn’t able to find seats where they
could all sit together necessarily, but they were however, able to find seating where they would be comfortable and they would
still have a good enough view.
So in the end the group was able to find seating in the third set of chairs
which was to the right of the building facing the stage: Tommy sat in the last seat of the front row; Trent and Kira sat three
seats to the right of him; Conner, Ethan, and Rocky were in the second row behind them; Jason and Emily were behind in the
third row and four seats to the right, and Tanya and Adam were just two seats away from them.
“What ‘cha got there?” Kira asked Trent as she noticed
what looked like a brochure in his hand.
“Oh, it’s a program I got up front while we were heading in.”
“Cool. So are all the acts in there or…?”
“I’m not really sure.” Trent replied. “But if I’m
reading this right, and if I know my Nutcracker history a little bit I’d say we’re still going to be seeing the
major parts, but a few acts here and there…I don’t know, but I think Kat and the others might have cut some stuff
“Well, she did say that since she and the other teachers were pressed
for time they were going to rehearse the major acts first and then if there was still some extra time they would try to rehearse
some of the minor ones.” Kira said. “Oh yeah, what do you mean by, ‘If I know my nutcracker history’?”
Trent glanced around for a moment before he put his hand over his mouth
somewhat and whispered in her ear.
“I used to read the story at nauseam when I was a little kid. That,
plus the fact that I was in a small version of this play years ago in elementary school where I was one of the toy soldiers.”
Kira smiled and giggled lightly as she pictured Trent dancing in a toy
soldier’s outfit, which she couldn’t help but find slightly funny…and cute.
“Oh come on, it’s not that funny.”
“Oh, it’s not that at all.” Kira said good-naturedly.
“In fact, it’s actually kind of cute.”
Trent smiled. “Thanks.” He said with a light blush.
As the lights dimmed everyone began to quiet down as the show was about
Linda then stepped out from the curtain and with a headset on, she then
began to address the audience.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming.” Linda said.
“We have a wonderful show for all of you tonight that me and my teaching staff have been working on for the past couple
of weeks. It is our rendition of the well-known Christmas ballet, ‘The Nutcracker’. Doing this was indeed a labor
of love for me and my team, as well as our students despite the time constraints that we had. But all in all, I hope that
the performance tonight is something that all of you will like. Well, without further ado, I present to you ‘The Nutcracker’.
Enjoy the show, everyone.”
The audience clapped for a bit as Linda bowed curtly, turned around, and
then entered the curtain which signaled the start of the show.
A few seconds later the curtains opened up in all their entirety, revealing
a beautifully done makeshift living room with a big Christmas tree in the middle. Suddenly male and female dancers then appeared
and then Tchaikovsky’s all too familiar music kicked in, which the dancers then got into position as they had been shown
in the past few weeks. From then on, it was all “Ballet instinct”, as Kat had put it best to her students while
they had been training.
As the dancers danced Conner’s eyes went from dancer to dancer, hoping
that Krista was among those on stage. Sadly none of the female dancers on the stage were her, which surprised him.
I don’t get it. If Krista’s playing the lead character,
then shouldn’t she already be up there with everybody else?
But then once he saw a girl and a guy appear from the makeshift door of
the living room he then recognized Krista right away, and no sooner did she begin her dancing did Conner suddenly find himself
completely and utterly entranced.
The next few scenes were pretty much regular ballet dance routines, but
then once the show got to the Toy/Mice battle scene, that’s when things got very cool, or at least in Conner, Ethan,
Rocky, Jason, and Tommy’s point of view.
Then after the fight, the show then cut to where the Nutcracker turned
into a prince in front of “Marie’s” eyes. Conner felt a small twinge of jealousy for a brief moment as he
saw the young man take Krista’s right hand, but then it quickly passed.
When it got to Act II and to where Marie and the Nutcracker prince arrived
in the Land of Sweets and met the Sugar Plum Fairy Tommy’s eyes widened and a warm smile crossed his face, for the woman
playing the Sugar Plum Fairy was none other than Katherine herself.
The “Divertissement” then followed suit, with each of the dances
taking place one after the other respectively. However, the dances were shorter than the originals and the main reason why
had been that Linda had found during rehearsal that though they were nearing completion, they didn’t have enough time
to rehearse the “Divertissement” dances fully, so she told Kat, Jessica, and Victoria (as well as their dance
students) to do short versions of the “Chocolate”, “Coffee”, “Tea”, “Trepak”,
“Dance of the toy flutes”, and “The Clown” dances. So even though everyone was seeing shorter versions
of the dances, they were no less graceful and fluid as the fuller, uncut versions of the dances.
When the Final Waltz/Apotheosis had ended everyone just got up and clapped
and cheered loudly (Tommy and Conner cheering the loudest). Once Kat, Krista and the other dance students stepped out and
gave the audience a bow the applause got a little louder.
After Kat bowed she then looked at the audience hoping to see her friends…and
Tommy among the people there. As she looked at the sets of chairs that were to the right and to the middle she didn’t
recognize anyone there, but then when she looked to her left where the third set was the very first familiar face she saw
was none other than Tommy himself, who had a deep, warm smile across his face and his eyes were looking directly at her affectionately
as he clapped as vigorously as he could. Plus she also saw Trent and Kira; along with Rocky, Ethan, and Conner; Jason and
Emily; and Adam and Tanya; who were either clapping or whistling very loudly. Or just both.
Kat then felt her heart grow warm as she then smiled back at Tommy and
at all her friends as they clapped and cheered until they could clap and cheer no more.
Tommy was waiting out by the lobby when Kat came out of the makeshift auditorium,
having already changed back into her regular clothes and carrying her gym bag across her shoulder.
“Say, isn’t that the best ballet dancer on the face of the
earth?” Tommy asked in a grandiose voice.
Kat then turned to where the voice was and saw Tommy leaning comfortably
against the wall nearby. She smiled warmly as she slung back the strap on her gym bag and walked up to him, though she was
trying very hard not to want to run to him, put her arms around him and hold him tightly.
“Well, I wouldn’t say the best, but…”
“Are you kidding me? You were amazing back there.”
Kat blushed at the compliment. “Thanks Tommy.”
“You’re welcome.” Tommy replied with a smile.
“Y’ know, I admit, part of me was almost afraid you wouldn’t
“Kat, believe me, this is something I wouldn’t have missed
for the world.”
Kat blushed again and smiled at Tommy, who in turn smiled back at her.
“Come on. Everybody’s waiting outside.” Tommy said as
he and Katherine headed for the main front doors of the civic center, where Tanya, Adam, Trent, Kira, and the others were
“Now I don’t know about you guys, but that was an awesome show,
just…simply awesome.” Conner remarked to the group as they stood outside on the stair steps that led to the entrance
to the civic center.
“Was it awesome because you actually liked the dances themselves,
or was it because you saw Krista up there and you only wished you were the nutcracker prince instead of the dude that
was up there with her?” Ethan asked half-jokingly.
Conner didn’t answer, but as Ethan saw his friend look off into empty
space a bit and sigh he knew what the answer was.
As Conner tried to look off into the distance he then turned back in the
direction of the doors and saw Krista coming out of the doors with a gym bag across her shoulder.
“Hang on a second, guys, I’ll be right back.” Conner
said as he went in Krista’s direction.
“Where’s he going?” Tanya asked.
“Oh, just…over there.” Ethan said sarcastically as he
gestured towards Krista.
“Wait, isn’t that the same girl that we saw playing the lead
lady?” Rocky asked.
“Yeah.” Kira said.
“Well, what do you know?” Jason mused.
“Krista!” Conner called out.
“Oh, hi Conner.”
“So I take it you saw the whole thing?” Krista asked.
“Yeah, I did.” Conner replied. “Y’ know, I’m
not one to usually see these shows, but this one…it really delivered, it really did.” He said with a smile.
Krista blushed and smiled back. “Thanks Conner.” She said.
“By the way, who are those guys over there?” She asked as she motioned towards Jason, Adam and the others.
“Oh, they’re old friends of Miss Hillard and Dr. O.”
Conner replied. “When they heard that Miss Hillard was going to be in this show they asked her if maybe she could get
them some tickets so they could come see it.”
“Yeah, I’ve met them before, and I gotta tell you, they’re
really awesome people.” In more ways than one.
As soon as the group (including Conner and Krista) heard Kat’s voice
they all turned around and saw Kat and Tommy coming out of the doors and heading where they were. Conner then headed back
over to where the group was with Krista right behind him.
“And here’s our ballet dancer/teacher of the hour.” Tanya
said grandiosely which made Kat just shrug humbly.
“Y’ know Kat, I have to say, that was definitely one hell of
a show.” Emily said sincerely.
“That makes two of us.” Jason said.
“Actually, I think you might want to make that all of us.”
“So I take it all of you enjoyed it?” Kat asked.
“Oh, yeah.” Replied the four teens.
“Y’ know, I may not know anything about ballet, but from what
I saw tonight…that was one sweet show.” Ethan said.
“And also, the way it was done…even during the moments where
there wasn’t really much action going on, it was still pretty interesting.” Trent said.
“I’ll second that.” Conner said as he smiled at Krista.
“Well, I’m really glad you guys liked it.” Kat said.
“Well hey, the night’s still young, why don’t we all
go to Hayley’s for a bite?” Rocky suggested.
The group looked at each other, then they all nodded in agreement.
“Krista, you want to come along?” Conner asked.
“I have to…actually, you know what? Count me in.”
“All right, then let’s do it.” Tommy said.
“Good, because I am starving.” Rocky said as he patted his
“That makes two of us, Rocky.” Conner said as the group then
headed for their cars to Hayley’s Cyberspace.
“Well, I gotta say, this has definitely been one incredible night.”
Tommy said as he and Kat made their way up the steps to Kat’s apartment later that evening.
“I’m really glad you liked the show.” Kat said with a
“Hey, it’s like I said before, I wouldn’t have missed
this for anything.” Tommy replied as he smiled back at her.
For the next couple of moments there was a little bit of an awkward silence
between the two as they arrived in front of the door to Kat’s apartment.
“So I guess I’ll…see you tomorrow?” Kat asked nervously.
“Uh-yeah.” Tommy replied, wanting to say more but unconsciously
holding his tongue.
Come on man, ask her!
Kat had reached for her keys and was about to unlock her door when Tommy
“What is it Tommy?”
Come on, do it!
“Tommy, what is it?”
“Kat, there’s something that I want to ask you, and if I don’t
say it now I probably might not be able to later.”
Or at least not without probably stammering every two seconds.
“What is it?” Kat asked again. Is he…?
Just say it, you moron! Tommy’s head yelled.
“I was wondering…if maybe you would like to have dinner with
me sometime this week.”
“Really?” Kat asked, her smile widening.
Tommy nodded gently. “Yeah, I mean, if you don’t want to I
“I’d love to.” Kat answered, her blue eyes sparkling.
“Okay, great.” Tommy said, inwardly breathing out a sigh of
“When could we do it?”
“Well, I was thinking Christmas Eve but since Hayley decided to switch
the day of her Christmas party from the 21st to that day…how about the 23rd?”
“Yeah, that’d be great.” Kat replied.
“Okay, good.” Tommy said as he almost lost himself in Kat’s
eyes yet again. “Well, in that case I’ll…see you tomorrow.”
Kat blushed lightly as she slowly unlocked the door. Once she opened it
she then stepped in and looked back at Tommy who was smiling at her.
“Good night Tommy.”
“Good night Kat.”
After she closed the door Kat then leaned back against it as she tried
hard not to just scream in delight.
Tommy, meanwhile, kept looking back in the direction of Kat’s apartment
as he headed back to his jeep, all the while trying not to jump ten feet straight into the air and yell out “YES!”
at the top of his lungs.