AUTHOR'S NOTES: Well ladies and gentlemen of all species, it has FINALLY arrived!! May I present to you the re-makes of the "Rhythm of the Night" fics! If you are unfamiliar with the story, go on and read. Even if you've seen it in it's original form, look at it anyway. I guarantee you will love it. Like before, this is set about 2 and a half weeks before Jake goes to Hollywood himself.

This point of view focuses on our leading lady.

"Rhythm Of The Night"

A story by 32


This is the rhythm of the night 
the night...oh yeah 
the rhythm of the night

This is the rhythm of my life 
my life...oh yeah 
the rhythm of my life

    Every now and then, I find myself remembering life as a regular secretary. I used to work in the Animal Actor Agency for Mr. Wink six days out of seven, often getting Sundays off. Often enough the workload would be unbearable, and I'd find myself wishing for an easier job. So now that I've got one, with more days off...well, I'm wondering what the heck I was thinking about back then. I'm so bored half the time I want to waltz back into the agency and do some work for free.

I'm Sawyer. Sawyer Jasmine McDermid, if you wished to know my entire name. I'm a feline, just a simple housecat of the Persian variety. Oh, and before you decide to ask, my current occupation is an actress.

That's right, an actress. I've been an actress for a week or so.

And right now you're probably assuming why I chose to be in such a dead-end job as a secretary to start off, when I could have made an immediate splash in acting? I know I'm good enough to do that, but....

Really, can you be this naive? I know you wanna say it.

Until just recently, animals were never believed to be good actors whatsoever, or whatever reason those big guys in the executive boards of all those studios put down to the public. You try getting into showbiz with all of that hanging against you, I dare you. According to the humans, all we were good for was making animal noises.

And humans are normally too stubborn to be convinced otherwise.

And don't get me started on Miss Dimple- she was the worst of them all. She hated all animals right from the spot, and since she was the resident star in Hollywood.... well, it was like trying to go through a brick wall. It seemed like all the movies she starred in enforced the fact.

Like her last film.... something about an ark angel.... it was full of stereotypes. All we had to do was make animal sounds.... she even sang about that during the film!

Alright, I'm getting a little too agitated by thinking about that. All I can do now is concentrate my train of thought somewhere else while drinking a cup of coffee I've created. You see, after you've gone through double and triple shifts as a secretary like I have, you'll begin to worship coffee as bad as I do.

I've tried cutting down, but it's very hard.

Geez, I'm bored...bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored...

You could put some joy upon my face
 oh sunshine in an empty place 
take me to turn to and babe I'll make you stay

Oh I can ease you of your pain 
feel you give me love again 
round and round we go, each time I hear you say....

    Well, if I'm gonna be bored, I might as well think about him. Like I have a choice, he always seems to invade my thoughts every chance he gets.... not that it's a really bad thing. Actually, it's rather pleasant when he enters my mind and I can drift off in peace.

His name is Danny, Daniel Scott Richardson. As expected, he is also a feline of the housecat variety, an orange tabby to be precise. His looks are not really that brilliant, although he looks rather modest. Put simply, he's a pleasant sight for sore eyes, with his thin frame and gentle face with those emerald green eyes that dare to strike right through your protected emotional walls like a spear. Without a doubt, there are plenty of cats in this world who are far more handsome than he is.

And yet, there's his emotional side to consider. The normal assumptions you could make for him are that he is shy, insecure, pure fodder for the stronger, more stable types in the world. If they only knew, this cat carried a sense of determination, even if misplaced half the time, that would drive others to envy. But he is caring, and more often than not, he's so optimistic it's just...well, just not natural.

I haven't even begun to scratch the surface yet. This simple farm cat has a sense of chivalry and charm that lets me wonder if he was born of noble descent and didn't know it. He seems like the perfect gentlecat, when he only strives to be friendly. It's like he doesn't need to try!

In short, he's the ideal friend.

In a way, the gentle smile he usually has on his face is a treat to see up close. All the troubles in the world and he is able to find happiness, taking every bad thing that happens in his life with a pinch of salt, or maybe a bucketful of it. It doesn't matter; he'll simply brush one problem aside and move on. What I'd give to be like that...

And his dancing...do not get me started on that, because I cannot figure that out. I will admit openly he is my apparent equal on the stage and off it, this I will not argue with. It absolutely confuses me. I have trained and practiced since I was old enough to understand the very concept of dancing. I've taken lessons, read every book, and sought advice from other professionals. In short, it became my passion, and I could be considered a master of the art. But Danny...from what I've understood, he's only practiced what he had seen on the silver screen, and yet he keeps up with me, never backing down, always striving to meet my challenges, mimic my moves, and one-up me on occasion. It's infuriating and pleasing at the same time!

He seems almost perfect for me, you know?

Sadly, it may not ever be...

This whole thing began on the "Fateful Friday", as many beings mistakenly call it, at the Chinese Theater. Many beings probably remember the comment I made about getting the girl, and then there was the almost-kiss.... if it weren't for that big-nosed director whose name I cannot remember, that little scene would have turned out more differently. Perhaps for the better. At times I think about what might have occurred while smiling and blushing ever so slightly.

But afterwards...

He was walking with me to my place out of pure courtesy, seemingly knowing I needed a companion more than protection. He saw I was more at ease with him around and willingly stayed with me...or at least that is my opinion.

Every now and then, my constant thought process is more of a curse than blessing. All through that walk, I began to wonder...well, was I rushing things? I certainly didn't know this being well enough to go this steady with him...one whole week is barely enough time to make a friend, let alone a romantic interest....

I recall that we had stopped on the porch leading to the front door of my place...and it was about here that I asked if I could talk to him about something. He hadn't even turned around to face me when he responded that I could say anything to him. But when he did, he seemed to freeze for a moment, as if realizing something.

So I explained my situation. What else could I do? I needed some advice, or some opinion, and at the very least, I believe he couldn't have clouded judgment. Although, I swear some part of me wanted him to try and push us forward, a rebellious side in contrast to the way I was raised, which was steady and careful.

Then, with one phrase, I felt crushed. "Well, I would be perfectly happy just being friends."

I soon found I wasn't just crushed, I was pulverized, utterly devastated, annihilated, torn to shreds... just plain beaten down. This whole entire week has been a never-ending torture, a constant reminder that I let something brilliant slip through my fingers. I could have felt happy.... and instead I feel rotten.

Why in the world couldn't I have just lashed out at him at that time, trying to push both of us forward? Was I too numb? Too scared? Too full of pride to say a single thing? I know it's usually the male who tries to push things forward, but for crying out loud, I'd be waiting forever!!!!!!!

I need to be careful. There are few things more dangerous than a severely agitated feline. Limbs will fly, heads will roll, furniture crashing into walls and windows...

Well, maybe not the last part.

Perhaps I should analyze my situation. I am far too depressed with what has happened. I am either too scared or proud to take these matters into my own hands.

I am terrified that he'll deny me a second time.

Daniel is about the closest being I have seen yet for an ideal companion, one higher than a normal friend. He is compassionate, caring, friendly, fair, charming,...hell, he's as close to perfect as I've ever seen anybody get.

But me? Don't get me started. I couldn't be like him in a million years.

I can imagine that he may have found someone else by now. Someone like him...it's just too easy. He could have found another feline, perhaps someone as ambitious as he is...it'd be a great couple.... but it makes me positively sick when I think of it! It's like a fate worse than death...goodness, why am I jealous over something that might not exist?

Because I'm afraid, my mind tells me.

But what can I do to stop it?

This is the rhythm of the night 
the night...oh yeah 
the rhythm of the night

This is the rhythm of my life 
my life...oh yeah 
the rhythm of my life-life-life-life-life-life......

    The interesting part about being waist deep in either misery or boredom is you jump at the slightest thing you need to do with a vigor not often seen. Either that or a deep reluctance. Perhaps I was feeling both because I seemed rather sluggish when approaching the door that was being knocked on.

This is certainly an interesting time for him to drop by. Judging from his choice in fashion, he seems dressed rather well for a house visit. I wonder why he even bothers to wear that boater of his.

I do manage to work up a smile. "Hello Danny." Is all I say, all I need to say. "Hello Sawyer. May I come in?" Odd, it seems like he's a bit troubled.

Who am I to decline some company? "Yes, please."

I then proceed back to the table, letting him do his usual customs when he pays me a visit. Another drink of coffee might help.... then again, it hasn't helped whatsoever so far. How's it gonna help me now?

"Hasn't been a good day at all, has it?" He asks. All I can do is look up at him, a look of deliberate sarcasm on my face, as I wonder just why in the heck did he have to be this naive at this exact moment. It's sometimes irritating.

But I will not retort. I cannot manage the energy, and even if I could, I cannot think of something witty I could say. My mind is a bit too dulled right now for that. Well if I'm going to say anything, I might as well be honest. "It has been a very boring day." I grab a nearby spoon and stir my cup, if only for something that I can do. "I had no idea there would be days like this as an actress."

"You mean days off that aren't Sundays." He says. He's getting a bit brighter. I nod in response. Once again my mind is a bit too dull to retort. I think he can see that too. He has a look of concern on his face...the kind of concern for a friend who is down in the dumps....

Friend. I didn't want that. I didn't want him worrying about me as a friend. I wanted more, so much more. The very idea of being only friends to him is met with my own feelings of scorn and outright denial. It's like I want everything or nothing. I want him far more then as a friend, or I will refuse to even acknowledge his existence. The latter will hurt very badly, I know. But not as bad as this right now. Being close to him and yet so far away.

Why do I feel so blasted intimate about all of this? Has he really stolen my heart without having to sneak up on me? It's like he just walked up to me and snatches it from my grasp!!

Music? Why is music playing? Oh wait, Danny must have turned on the radio.

I turn, even though it is unnecessary. The song is a nice and soft tune, and it suits a duet. My mind seems to have regained a sense of sharpness for I realize the implications behind all of this, smiling slightly. Interestingly enough, I knew what was going to happen before he even began his two-step towards me, offering me his hand.

"Would you like to dance?" He asks.

My sarcasm is back on full force. Anybody can see my pose; crossed legs, hand resting on a chin, rolled eyes, and thoughtful look is a complete mockery of someone that thinks a decision over. Neither of us seems to care because I'm notorious for it.

"I'd love to."

Won't you teach me how to love and learn 
there'll be nothing left for me to yearn 
think of me and burn and let me hold your hand

I don't wanna face the world in tears 
please think again I'm on my knees 
sing that song to me, no reason to repent

    There are times in my life that I find that my early mistake of buying a human-sized house was really a smart decision. One such time was finding the living room provided an excellent wide-open space for some dance routines. I have actually made use of this room with Danny on a few other occasions after work, when we felt we needed some more practice. We're professionals, it's what we're supposed to do.

Danny isn't disappointing me. He never does, and if he ever does one day, it'll be a very dark day for both of us. The only way that'll happen is if he is totally devastated. He keeps up with me, doing everything I do with the same energy and passion, if not the same execution and precision. Rivals or partners, I cannot tell what we should have become. Is this meant to be?

Somehow, a faint sound works its way into my ears, an unusual sound that normally isn't heard when doing this.... laughter? Am I laughing? Goodness, I am! I am really enjoying this occasion!!

How exhilarating! I know you wanna say it.

I begin to get daring enough to up the tempo with the music. He is eager to match me. No matter what I throw at him he matches me move for move, even with a super-fast beat like right now. Zooming across the floor, bouncing off the furniture, whatever furniture there was to get in the way, just two blurs. That's all we were, a couple of blurs.

And then, before I even notice it, he has placed me in a dip, and the music has stopped. Almost like instinct.

I hate the position I am in. I positively despise it, for it is a subtle reminder of what I lost a week ago. I can see so much of him form this perspective...his charming eyes, his gentle face, his lips...I wonder if I should just throw caution to the wind and get a taste of them, if just for a moment. I'd probably die a happy woman.

But I won't.

I don't even need to try, because I suddenly feel his lips upon mine.

He's *kissing* me!!!

For just a moment, it feels like I am at the threshold of some miraculous dream, soon to awaken, and I don't want that!! Desperately, I wrap my arms around him, as I feel his other hand on my head to keep me in place, not that he really needed to...but I enjoy his compassion nonetheless.

I feel as if the hold he has upon me is as firm as iron yet as soft as silk, leaving whatever unclothed part of my body that he actually touches burning into ashes. His emerald eyes carve right through mine with such a possessing gaze that I cannot look away from even if I wished to. And his lips...sweet, wonderful, almost sugary with all the gentleness and naivety that he possesses. A sure treat.

It feels like forever that we stay in this embrace; even though my mind is rational enough to know it has only been a few minutes. I didn't care.... I feel so complete right now. Like half my soul was given to me that I never knew I lost.

Then the connection is lost as our lips part company. I find myself still clutching him tightly for fear this is merely a dream that will vanish at any given moment and I will wake up in my bed with a heart full of sorrow and hating my own guts for the rest of my life...no, this cannot be, this will NOT be. He appears puzzled, why should he be puzzled? No dream person is puzzled...unless this is reality...

"I couldn't resist." He replies sheepishly. Those words rack my mind for all it is worth.

Before it ever enters my mind, my hand slowly reaches towards his face, a slight caress and a test to see if this is flesh, blood, and fur instead of an overactive imagination. He certainly seems real.

I whisper, "What on earth took you so long?"

And then there is mutual silence.

This is the rhythm of the night 
the night...oh yeah 
the rhythm of the night

This is the rhythm of my life 
my life...oh yeah 
the rhythm of my life

This is the rhythm of the night 
the night...oh yeah 
the rhythm of the night

This is the rhythm of my life 
my life...oh yeah 
the rhythm of my life-life-life-life-life-life......

That mutual silence has lasted for several minutes already. Meanwhile, we had broken out of our embrace, ever so regretfully, and settled down on the couch. His mind seems scrambled, although mine is only mixed up a bit.

My fear is certainly acting up a bit. I regard him with a sense of caution right now, perhaps wondering if he's going to do that again...part of me wants him to.... and the other part wants to use him literally for a scratching post if he even comes one inch towards me! I wished I could make up my mind about which to actually do.

He spoke first, to my relief. "Sawyer.... I really needed to talk to you about something." He sounds very scared from within. It cannot be from what I could physically do to him...

I must call upon my acting abilities to see my way through this, and thankfully, it doesn't abandon me. I look up to him easily, casually, like everything was all right in the world...which it certainly wasn't. "About our friendship?"

He nods. "How do you feel about that thing?" He asks, apparently choosing his words somewhat carefully. I know I cannot lie, even before tonight I probably couldn't lie to such a naive question...why must he be THIS naive? Can't he see??

"I'm sick of it." Perhaps those words sounded just a bit too sharp. I already frightened him. He looks like he's going to vomit...like he was disappointed...

I do succeed in holding any discomfort from showing in my face. "Must you think the worst, Danny?" I ask, hoping, pleading, begging that this isn't how it's going to end.... being torn apart even further with rejection...

"Right now it's all I can think about." He replies. I admit I'm surprised.... he was expecting the worst? What was he expecting...?

I have to say this now.... now before I lose all of my confidence and take this to my grave! I need to tell him.... at least let him know how I feel...anything...

One simple nod and I resume. "Danny, that Friday, that...." Get ahold of yourself, I mentally scold myself. "I was somewhat scared at the time. Think about it, I barely know you for a week and all this happens, and it all seemed to be going to fast...!"

Get ahold of yourself!!!!

"Sorry, I'm rambling." I finish pathetically, reaching for the trusty coffee cup, only to disdainfully find it has been empty for quite a while. This isn't how I wanted to do this....

"No, you're making perfect sense." He replies, and suddenly I am renewed with confidence. I find I am smiling a little bit.

"I probably wasn't thinking at my best that night either. I reasoned that with everything we wanted achieved that we could wait until we got close, let alone like what just happened a while ago...." I get a blush from both of us for this...he's cute when he blushes. "I will say part of me wanted to jump right into it without worry...it's just...." I hate it when I cannot right the right words....

"You were acting like a responsible adult." He says. What in the...? Is he defending my excuses? I can see he is very serious, and that is something I haven't seen yet from him...

"Sawyer, you come from a side of the social ladder that teaches patience and caution before taking steps. I come from a completely different side, where such reckless abandon is allowed and sometimes praised. You obviously had to have come to that sort of conclusion, while I would have blindingly charged ahead regardless." My goodness, he understood far more than I would have assumed. I can't even get over my surprise at this discovery!

He continues on relentlessly, making me somewhat envious and ashamed of what he is capable of doing.... it's like he personally made this his mission. "Believe me Sawyer, I wouldn't have hesitated one second had you chose to keep going, but after that night...." He looked frustrated. "I have to wonder why I even said what I said...."

"About being perfectly fine as just friends?" I ask, and he nods. I chose to pry further. "After a few days, how did you feel?"

His reply was rather sharp itself, but perfectly blunt. "I felt like I had lied through my teeth just to keep you comfortable, and it hurt rather badly if I'm not mistaken."

My god.... all the doubts and fears in my head and heart...all vanished by that one simple statement...he wanted.... I wanted...*we* wanted...

I think it's safe to say I could die right here and I'd go in absolute peace.

But I must shield myself. "Then you know how I felt." It never lasted long...a look of sadness penetrating my face. "I felt like I was protecting myself from harm.... three years I've spent here Danny, and I always seemed to find someone who wasn't.... well, who was a major pain in a certain area."

He couldn't even laugh. I couldn't blame him.

"It did hurt, very badly, after that night." I said, but anything I said or could have said would have been a tremendous understatement. It felt like I was stabbed right through the heart with a super sharp icicle, ice water filling my veins as my heart stopped pounding... "I just couldn't help but feel I made a mistake that I could never correct."

"Because of what I said?" He asks. I nod, still not able to come up with a retort this time, even though he seems to deserve a few shots directed at him... na´vetÚ isn't what I wanted to see from him right now.

More silence, but inside I was beaming, glowing, illuminating the goddamn universe. His voice breaks through my emotions. "So what do we do about this?"

Does he HAVE to ask?

No, I won't answer him.... I might as well give him a shocker. All I do is shrug.

Another brilliant quality my orange companion has is his ability to listen. In a world full of impatient beings who don't take the time to listen.... well, he's a breath of fresh air for someone like me. Many have told me I could possibly make someone's head explode after a while. Danny hasn't said that, and he seems to enjoy listening to me. He isn't silent the entire time, but he doesn't try to wrestle with me for control over the subjects and he's game for whatever I come up with to discuss. His mind isn't a blank slate; for he has his opinions too, and he expresses them in an inoffensive way...he's kind of the ideal conversational partner.

I feel so unusually relaxed, like I was half awake, and half dreaming. I cannot honestly remember just what I am talking about, but I do remember he was always attentive, and he seemed relaxed in his own right. For once tonight, everything was right in the world.

The really interesting part is that if he asked, I would've let him stay the night here...of course he'd sleep on the couch, but at least he wouldn't have to leave, and I could pick up the conversations at breakfast tomorrow before we had to go to work...but I do remember just who I am talking to...a walking etiquette book, farm cat edition. Right when the clock strikes ten, he must depart.

It's amazing how must restraint I managed to put upon myself as I guided him towards the front door. I strove for more patience as I grabbed his boater on the coat rack, handing it to him. Then he bowed in a gesture of humor. He enjoys humoring my side of society, all in good nature of course. "Good night, and thank you Sawyer." He's thanking me?

Dammit, I cannot wait any longer!!

I grin. "No Danny, thank you."

Immediately I am upon him, pushing him, SLAMMING him against the wall, throwing my hands around his shoulders, neck, head, and my lips meet his in a drugged desire, and I can tell he is returning the favor in full. I feel like I'm flying...if flying was ever so carefree...! If there was any hesitation on any of us last time, there wasn't now. He wanted this. I wanted this.... *we* wanted this, to the very core of our souls, we wanted this pure sensation, this.... heavenly embrace...

Pure bliss. This is pure bliss.

I do not know which one of us pulls away from the other, but I hope it wasn't pulling away.... maybe it was a lack of air. Yeah, that had to be it. I wanted more and he had to have too...but he had to leave.

He knows my answer to his last question now. Perhaps I can best explain it by giving a quote made by an Admiral once.

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!!

This is the rhythm of the night 
the night...oh yeah 
the rhythm of the night

This is the rhythm of my life 
my life...oh yeah 
the rhythm of my life

This is the rhythm of the night 
the night...oh yeah 
the rhythm of the night

This is the rhythm of my life 
my life...oh yeah 
the rhythm of my life-life-life-life-life-life.......

As I watch him leave from one of the front windows, I can see he is dancing a jig at several intervals.... I can't stop staring out the window, not even after he has faded from sight. I don't even think I'll wash my hands or face for quite a while...at least willingly.

This is the rhythm of the niiiiiiiiight........

Oooooooohhhhhh.......

I feel relieved of all my past mistakes, no more guilt, no more regrets, no more bad memories and nightmarish realities.... all appears golden now. Thank you Danny, thank you for giving me a splendid gift....

This is the rhythm of the niiiiiiiiiight........

Ooooooooohhhhhh.......

It's really a magical night out. A time when miracles can happen and dreams come true.... goodness, I'm sounding melodramatic.

Rhythm of the night..........

This is the rhythm of the night........

Then again, that's what the rhythm of the night was meant to be.

This is the rhythm of the night!!!!!

THE END

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