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"Celebrate we will
Because life is short but sweet for certain
We're climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change..."

Two Step ~ Dave Matthews Band


Meant to Be

Part XIII - Renewed Laughter

	Kirsten was worried.  She’d gotten to the rink early that 
morning, hoping to find out what had happened with Emily and Mark, 
but although they’d been scheduled to be on the ice half an hour 
before her and Dave, they were nowhere to be seen.  She paced back 
and forth, wondering.
	Dave finally showed up and watched in amusement as his 
partner walked back and forth by the boards.
	“Hey!”  His greeting snapped her out of her daze.  “What in 
the world is up with you now?”  
	“They’re not here!” Kirsten exclaimed fretfully.
	“Who?”  Dave quickly figured out who she was talking about.  
“Oh, you mean the tortured young lovers of Verona?”
	His partner looked at him in exasperation.  “Dave, we all 
know you have a degree in English Lit - you don’t have to remind us 
every second of the day.”
	“Okay, so Em and Mark aren’t here,” he conceded.  “So what?”
	“They were supposed to be here half an hour ago!” she 
explained.  “And they’re not.  This could be very bad...”
	“Or very good,” Dave finished with a laugh.  “Knowing those 
two, I’d go for the second option.”
	Kirsten managed to smile at that.  “You think?”
	“From what you told me about yesterday... well...”  Dave 
thought about it for a minute.  “Maybe they finally figured things 
out.  I kept on saying that all they had to do was open their mouths 
and talk to each other...”
	“But just think of what could’ve happened!” his partner 
moaned.  “What if he went after her, and she wouldn’t listen to him?  
Or what if she did listen, but didn’t believe him?  What if 
they’re both at home crying right now?”
	“What if they’re together right now?” Dave countered.  
“Think of all the times last year when they were late to practice.  
What do you think they were doing?”
	Kirsten laughed.  “I don’t want to know.”  Then she frowned.  
“But that was then.  This is now...”
	“You’re really getting yourself worked up over them,” he 
pointed out.  “I think they’re old enough to take care of themselves, 
don’t you?”
	Kirsten shook her head.  “Dave, you don’t know them like I do 
quite yet.  When those two are messed up, they’re messed up.  
They need all the help they can get.”
	“Kirsten!  Dave!”  The two partners turned to see their 
coach, Lauren, waiting for them.  “Get on the ice!  No more 
chatting!  There’s work to be done!”
	The partners exchanged an amused glance and decided to obey.  
No use getting Lauren mad and having another problem to deal 
with.
	About an hour into their session, Dave looked up and noticed 
two people enter the rink.  He grinned widely and nudged his partner.
	“Kirsten, look!”  She followed his gaze to see Emily and Mark 
walking in together, his arm around her shoulders, her head 
resting against his shoulder.
	Kirsten gaped for a second.  “Yay!” she finally whispered 
happily to her partner, doing a little dance of joy.  They watched as 
Em said something to her partner and they laughed together.  
When Mark leaned over and kissed Em, Kirsten and Dave smiled at each 
other.
	“Romeo and Juliet are alive and well,” Dave concluded.  He 
turned to Kirsten.  “Good work, Cupid.”
	Kirsten rolled her eyes and dealt her partner a playful 
whack.  Then she noticed Marina, who’d been patiently waiting for her 
students for over an hour, watching Em and Mark as well, and smiling.
	“I think Marina’s noticed, too,” she told Dave.  “She looks 
relieved.”
	“Well, I would be, too,” he replied.  “I mean, if I 
had to coach those two when they were going through emotional trauma, 
I would pray for them to get back to normal.”
	“If I’d had to coach them over the past few weeks, I 
might’ve ended up in a mental institution!” his partner told him.
	“Romeo and Juliet will do that to you.”  Dave laughed.  Then 
he took a deep breath and looked at his partner seriously.  “Speaking 
of Romeo and Juliet...” he began tentatively.  “The Shakespeare 
Festival is coming to town, and they’re doing King Lear.  I’ve 
got tickets.  Would you... uh... would you like to go with me, maybe?”
	Kirsten smiled.  She knew why her partner was suddenly so 
awkward.  She’d been waiting for this for quite awhile now...
	“As a partner, or as a date?” she teased.
	“Well, um, sort of...”  Dave skated in a circle, then came 
back to her.  “As a date.”
	“Why?” she questioned, trying not to laugh.  “Do you want to 
find out the effects of Dance Team Romance Syndrome first hand?”
	“No,” he responded.  “I want to see if it’ll pass us by.  
Will you come?”
	She looked up at him and smiled.  “Oh, Dave... of course I 
will.”
	He let out a breath he’d obviously been holding in 
anticipation.  “Do you know how long I’ve wanted to ask you that?”
	This time, she had to laugh.  “Yes,” she answered amid 
laughter.  “You are such a chicken, Dave Follert.  You should’ve 
known I’d say yes anyways.  Don’t you know me well enough by now?”
	While Kirsten and Dave were taking the first steps into a new 
relationship, Emily and Mark were taking their first steps back into 
one they thought they’d lost forever.  For the first time in weeks, 
they came to the rink wanting to skate... to skate
together... to find the magic they thought they’d lost.
	“C’mon, Mark!” Em called, stepping onto the ice.  She held 
out her hand and her partner let her help him out.  They smiled at 
each other for the countless time and laughed for no reason.
	Their coach smiled over them from where she stood.  It was so 
nice to hear her kids’ laughter echo through the rink once 
again, and to see the smiles, not just on their faces, but in their 
eyes, as they chased each other across the ice.
	“I just realized something,” Mark told his partner as they 
circled the rink hand in hand.
	“What?” she asked, looking up at him.
	“I realized why this wasn’t working,” he explained.  “Skating 
together when we weren’t together.  It’s because this 
has become part of it now... when I’m skating, half the reason I love 
it is because I’m with you.”
	“Oh, Mark,” he responded, her eyes shining.  “I always knew 
we were meant to skate together, but I didn’t know what that meant 
until now.  This is the way things were meant to be.  Us, together, 
on ice, skating...”
	“And off the ice, together,” he finished for her.  “It all 
goes together now.”
	“The way things were meant to be,” she repeated softly.  “The 
way it’s always going to be.”
	“Always,” he promised, gazing down at her.
	“Now let’s go tell Marina we want to skate the slow section,” 
she said, laughing.  “Let’s show her what we can really do.”
	“Let’s go!” he agreed, and laughing, they went.

Onto the Epilogue...:OR
Back to the story...: