Summary: What do you get when you mix 1) a guy you know you can't fall for; but do, 2) a girl who's after everything you want, and 3) the complications of being a dancing teen? Renee learns the answer when she's accepted into the American Academy of Dance!

Note from the author: Okay, I took this story down for a while because I wasn't ready to - well - finish it. But now it is back up, and it is ready for public eyes! I didn't add Chantel into the summary because it wouldn't fit, but trust me, she's got a huge part in the story. After all, she does narrate a few of the chapters. :)

Last but not least, American Academy of Dance; I made it up. There are boarding school-type ballet schools out there, don't get me wrong. But I made this one up. Reviews are appreciated, as in please do, please do. Hahaha. :)

Disclaimer: All the ideas, characters, plot, etc., in this story belong to me unless otherwise noted. Infringement of anyone's copyright is unintentional.

Waltz of the Wasps
by Nickety

Chapter One: Letters and Flashlight Signals

"Oi, Renee! Mail's here!"

Those four simple words encouraged me to jump out of bed and dash down the stairs, looking like I was being chased by a rabid lion. My punishment for being so eager to get into the kitchen was me tripping and ending up with a face full of dirty, dirty carpet.


My brother was quietly eating a plate of scrambled eggs he fixed himself by the time I got the gunk out of my mouth.

"Where is it?" I asked, sitting down in a stool by the counter.

All of a sudden, there was a huge, "Phbb!" sound. Like a fart. Coming from me. My face turned red ... and then I noticed that my younger brother - twelve going on thirteen, and already way too smart for his own good - was laughing so hard that looked like he was about to cry.

I felt around my butt, and pulled out a whoopie cushion that was now deflated. The classic rubber balloon with the evil powers of humiliation.

He stopped laughing and tensed up, as if preparing for (1) getting his face pounded to the floor, and (2) being dragged around by his ears - but I'm not a violent or bad-tempered person. Just the ability to be passive and not react in large movements. Powerful stuff, seriously.

"Ha, ha," I said dully. "Very funny. And so original, too."

"Thought so."

I sighed, and then repeated, "Where is it?"

He went back to his eggs. "It's somewhere in that pile on the living room table."

[What is 'it', you ask? Ah, an age-old question such as this will be answered. Now. See, I was waiting for a certain letter from the American Academy of Dance, one of the finest ballet schools in America. Serious. If you've been in the dancing world for over a month, you've got to have heard of it, seriously. Its name is legendary all over the country, one of those elite boarding schools for only the best ballet dancers out there, you know?

Well, it was kind of my dream to get in. For the entire (okay, not entire) nine years I've been taking ballet, I've hoped to go to that school. And when I turned sixteen, the legible applicant age, I signed up for an audition.

I took it in May. Not too long ago. But it was damn nerve-wrecking, I'll tell you that. Those judges don't study you - they ATTACK you. Like, "Roar!" kind of. Oh no, they don't whack you with their clipboards. Nooooooo, siree. They just STARE at you without smiling and expected you to not cridge. Evil, I tell you, evil!


Damn my rambling.]


I got up, throwing the whoopie cushion onto the counter, and went over to the living room. There was a small mound of papers in envelopes - some were for my mother, some were for my father, but heck, as if I cared about those. The only one I did care about was the one at the very bottom.

It had the AAD seal of certification on it and everyone. Very spiffy.

Taking a deep, deep, breath, I ripped it open, unfolded the paper inside, and read it.

Dear Ms. McFarland,

Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that you have been chosen out of various applicants to attend the American Academy of Dance. Your two-year term will start September 1st. From then on, you will be living on the academy's grounds in a shared dorm excluding vacation periods, which include the summer and winter. Note that no extra fee is charged for accommodations as it is paid for by your tuition.
As you have already expressed your wishes of attending, a package containing your financial aid packet, schedule, and other informative documents will be arriving at your residence shortly. Another warm congratulations, and I look forward to seeing you this fall!

Grant Borghm

I can't really remember what happened after I read the letter. I think I passed out or something flimsy like that.

Those few hundred words caused an uproar in my house. Relatives were called. People came over to congratulate me. It was pretty bad. I didn't really know what to say to them besides thank you. I'm quote a, to quote Holden in The Catcher in the Rye, 'lousy converstionalist'. I just am. I was happy, though.

But then the news of the letter started to sink in.

AAD is like a boarding school for dancers. You dance there. You eat there. You sleep there. You live there. For two years. Two years without any of my old friends. Two years without seeing my family (okay, so I don't care much about this one). Two years ... that was a long time.

After dinner, I ran into my room and almost slammed the door - but caught it just in time. My brain was jammed with about a million things right then, and I did not need my mother's stupid lectures about keeping the noise level down, thank you very much. What I did need, however ...

I could use a bit of Daniel right then.

Locking the door, I put on a light jacket and stuffed a flashlight into one of its pockets. I then cranked open my window with mucho difficultio (some Renee-talk right there for you), and climbed out. It was a rather crappy night out - no stars, anyways. And it was cold. Stupid, stupid cold. If I didn't know the meaning of 'fire' and 'pain' and 'sizzling flesh', I would've thrown a couple of lit matches onto my bed covers.

My room's on the first floor, so I ended up in a bush. Ow.

I looked up and studied one of the second story windows of my next door neighbor's house - there weren't any lights on. Disappointed, I was about to go back into my room -

When I heard laughing. I whipped around and studied the window again.

Definitely male voices. Definitely not adults. Definitely belonging to sixteen-year old boys doing stupid things in the dark and talking SO loudly that a innocent bystander could hear their adventures from waaaay below. I took my trusty flashlight out of my pocket.

I turned it on, and shined it up into that window.

No, Daniel doesn't live next door to me. How much of a lame coincidence would that be? But his best friend Terrence does. And I knew for a fact (uh huh, a fact) that Daniel was sleeping over - just like every Saturday night.

I turned it off, and then turned it on again. Then off. Then on. On-off-on-off-on-off.

Flashlight signals. Nifty, huh?

Suddenly, the lights in that window turned on, the window was opened, and Terrence stuck his head out. He looked down, and then saw me standing by the bushes, holding the flashlight. I shined it in his face. Not accidentally.

"Yaaaaaawww!" he yelled (screeched, almost), blocking his eyes. "What was that for?"

I shrugged.

"Well, I certainly didn't deserve it - what do you want, anyways?" He was still yelling. Terrence is a very, VERY loud little boy. "We were doing something important and you start blinking that baby all over the place!"

"Dude, quiet down," I hissed. "My mom thinks I'm sitting on my bed and being morose. Is Daniel there?"

"Daniel? And not me? Come on, I may have a shirt on, but if you could check out the lower half - "

I rolled my eyes. Terrence was, with the ego he had, always saying perverted things like that. Man, I was going to miss him.

"Daniel," I repeated. "I want. To see. Daniel."

"Fine, fine ... but I was just offering." He went back into the room, and a moment later, Daniel had his uncombed but very happy head sticking out of the window. He grinned when he saw me, and I grinned back, half-heartedly.

Something tugged at my stomach. I felt like throwing up.

"Hey-lo, my fair lady."

I sighed and carried on with our usual fairly cheesy greeting. "Hey-lo, my handsome prince."

Daniel stroked his chin thoughtfully. "You know, this seems wrong. Shouldn't you be the damsel in distress locked up high in a tower?"

"You cheese monkey. Could you come down for a minute or two? I want to talk to you about something."

He got a concerned look on his face. I think it was because, "I want to talk to you about something," is one of male's top 10 most feared female phrases ... along with, "Do I look fat?" and "Who would you pick, a life's supply of hamburgers ... or me?"

"Sure. Lemme put on some pants first and I'll be right down."

I couldn't help but imagine him in his boxers. I smiled to myself - those dirty, dirty thoughts that run through a sixteen-year old's mind. Then, Terrence had his head back out of the window. And he was still talking really, REALLY loud.

"Yeah, Ren, we were playing strip poker. Getting really hot in here so we had to dim the lights. Thought your boyfriend and I were heterosexual, did ya?"

"You're disgusting, Terr, you know that?"

"Sweetums, you're just homophobic."

I tried to suppress a smile. "Hey I'm fine with homosexuals, but I'm NOT fine with the idea of Daniel, my boyfriend, and you, boyfriend of Claire, getting it on in there."

"What, Ren, jeeeealous? Of Daaaaanny?" he crooned. I was about to yell, "No!" when, at that moment, Daniel walked outside from the front door and went over to join me by the bushes. I made a face at Terrence (who returned it) and then hugged Daniel really quick, who muttered, "What's going on?"

"Eh - walk with me for a while, alright?"

He nodded. We started heading toward the park, one of our favorite spots. It was also, unfortunately, one of the favorite spots of just about every couple in the city. Yeah, it kind of sucks at the 'mushy hours' (around sunset) because you've got people making out all over the place (so called, "Watching the sunset," ha). But it was pretty nice in the evening.

"Hey!" Terrence yelled (darn it, can't that boy shut up?). "Ren, what do you think you're doing? Stealing my man? Come back!"

Daniel looked alarmed. " Stealing your what?"

"Don't ask," I muttered in his ear.

As we got farther away, Terrence gave a last closing call. "Yo, Danny? Don't get her all kissed out - save some for me, you got it? And come back soon!"

I was about to say, "How did you get from being gay to requesting a makeout session with your best friend's girl," but he disappeared from the window, and we were already pretty much out of earshot.

That night with Daniel was a worst I'd ever had. Basically, I told him that I was going to AAD, that I was going to be gone for two years (the rest of high school, basically) ... and that I wanted we had to do as much as we could over the summer because heck, we probably wouldn't see each other in college or anything like that. Unless luck was being generous.

I cried my tears. He cried his manly ones.

And so the summer went by, full of laughing and all that crap. Terrence, Daniel, Lauren, Jonas, Bella, Claire ... we went everywhere together. To the movies. To the mall. To our houses. Across the country to New York City. Everywhere.

On August 31st, right before I got onto the plane that would take me to AAD's campus, I made a pact with the six of them: they would never, ever forget me, and I would never, ever forget them. Email. Phone. Whatever. I gave each of them a kiss (Daniel got it on the lips, of course, and Terrence insisted that I do the same to him - so I did), a hug, a wave ...

And I was off.

Note from the author: I do not own Holden, or the Catcher in the Rye.