Word Count: 1459
Disclaimer: I don't own Make it or Break it unfortunately...wish I did though!
Summary: What if it was Payson who contacted Sasha to make him come coach at the Rock? and what if her back was already healed by the time Sasha becomes her new coach? Lauren is not a Rock girl in this story, she remains in Denver.
This is the chapter with the new corrections thanks to my new beta 'Virgo Writer'.
Payson was lying on her bed, looking thoughtfully at the ceiling. She couldn’t stop thinking about the picture she had seen that evening in the magazine Kaylie was reading before they went to Denver, the one where both Marty and Sasha Belov were standing atop the podium during the Sydney Olympics. Of course the trip to Denver had been a complete failure but they had to try. They had to know why their coach had left all of a sudden, without warning. So he thought they weren’t good enough eh? All three of them were better than any Denver Elite Gymnasts - definitely much better than Lauren. Even Emily, even if she had just got here, had beaten Lauren fair and square. That was proof enough who was better than whom. Emily just needed to have faith in herself and her abilities and she was going to be a great gymnast.
And what about her, uhm? She had come back to train against all odds, after a fall that should have been the end of her career. In spite of it, she was here, almost a year later, her back completely healed, her power and strength back, and she was better than ever. And Kaylie? She was the second best gymnast in the Country, the favorite to win this year’s Nationals. How could he think they weren’t good enough?
There had to be something else that had forced Marty to leave. Was it possible that somehow Lauren’s dad and Lauren were behind it all? It couldn’t be a coincidence that Lauren lost her spot in the top three one day and the next Marty and Lauren were both going to Denver. Was it possible that Steve Tanner blackmailed Marty somehow?
Still, whatever the reason was, they couldn’t do anything about it now. Marty had left and the problem remained: they needed a new coach, now. Nationals were just eight weeks away.
And that was why she couldn’t stop thinking about that photo. Coaches as good as Marty weren’t easy to find, but if there was one coach even better than Marty, it was Sasha Belov.
Problem was he had disappeared altogether from the gymnastic world five years ago, and no one knew why. If only there was a way to find out where he was and talk to him.
She looked at her laptop, resting on her desk. Maybe…
She sat up suddenly and moved from her bed to sitting on the chair in front of her desk. If there was even one chance to find him, she had to try. Even if actually finding him was merely a remote possibility and even if she DID find him, he might not be all that interested in getting back into gymnastics or coaching them. But still…
She tried searching on the net for recent news about Sasha Belov but she couldn’t find anything. Huffing, she begun searching for newspapers’ archives from five years previous but the only news she could find was about an accident in 2006: a Romanian gymnast had died after hitting her head after a fall from the Uneven Bars. Unfortunately, even if that explained in some way the reason why he had abandoned the team he used to train, it still didn’t help her in any way to find out where he was.
It was of course possible that he was still in Romania or in England, but something told her that there was a good possibility of him being in the States.
Now, how to find him? She tried entering his name in the search engine and wrote “residence” beside it.
After three pages of absolute rubbish she was ready to give up when she saw an article of an old newspaper. It said that Sasha Belov had been seen in the vicinity of Cambria, in California, and that there were rumors about a house he possessed there. Nothing specific, nobody knew exactly if that was true or not because nobody has ever seen it. Still, it was something.
She decided next to try on the phonebook of Cambria. No results with the name Sasha Belov. She swore slightly before trying with Alexandru Belov. Three results.
She tried the first number. A woman answered and told him that Alexandru Belov was not the Sasha Belov she was searching for. No results with the second name either.
There was only one possibility left. If that was not the right number, she was going to stop her research. She took a deep breath, before typing in the numbers.
The phone was ringing but nobody was answering. After six rings someone finally picked up.
“Hello?” the voice was definitely that of a male, his accent a British one.
‘Oh, my god. It’s him.’ For a few seconds she said nothing but after the second time the voice on the other end of the line said “Hello”, she finally answered.
“Are you Sasha Belov?” she asked just to be sure. “The three times Olympic Gold Medalist?”
“Listen, if you’re a reporter, let me tell you something: I don’t know how you got my number but I don’t have any intention to…”
“No, no… I’m not a reporter. I just had to be sure. I called two other numbers before finally finding yours. And anyway you’re listed in the phonebook.”
“May I know who you are?” From the tone of his voice it was obvious he was irritated.
“Yes, of course. My name’s Payson Keeler and I’m calling from Boulder, Colorado… I’m sure you don’t know who I am but…”
“I know who you are Payson Keeler.”
“You do?” asked Payson, a little bewildered.
“You’re the athlete who broke her back at Nationals last year and then came back to train after just a few months, overcoming an injury everyone thought would be career ending. So, why are you calling me?”
She shook her head, still surprised that a gymnastic legend like him knew who she was, then finally started talking again. “Uhm… I don’t really know how to say this… You see, our coach left us without a warning and went to train the Denver Elite Club, and took Lauren Tanner with him too and all the athlets from 4th to 6th.
“So, you see… Nationals are eight weeks away and the Rock has no coach and… well, I think you know why I’m calling you now…”
“I’m sorry Miss Keeler but I left the Gymnastic World many years ago and I have no intention of going back to coaching… I’m sorry if you wasted your time and energy in trying to find me.”
“No, no, wait. I don’t know exactly what happened in Romania that convinced you to stop coaching but I know one thing. You were a great gymnast, but you’re an even better coach, and you can’t just stop doing what you do best just because of an accident that happened years ago. I’m sure you feel responsible and guilty for whatever happened to that girl, but I’m sure it wasn’t you fault. Accidents happen all the time in gymnastics - it’s the risk of doing what we do. And I know that it’s probably none of my business, but hiding away from the world isn’t the solution and it won’t fix anything.
“I wouldn’t have called you if it wasn’t important. We really need you. We’re not going to be able to do it without you. Please just… call me if you change your mind, ok? Goodbye, Mr. Belov.”
“Goodbye, Miss Keeler.”
She hung up, a little defeated. It wasn’t exactly what she had hoped but on the other hand, she always knew it had been a long shot. She didn’t exactly expect him to accept just like that. Well, she had tried at least.
Still, what was going to happen now? Their situation seemed really hopeless.
As you can see this story is pretty AU. Payson broke her back the year before time-canon, at her first senior Nationals. Kaylie becomes the number 2 and Kelly Parker is still the National Champion.
What happened to Payson in the second part of season1, first when they said to her that there was no hope for her to return to do gymnastics again and then the surgery and then all the struggle to regain her strength and power again, already happened. She’s still a power gymnast though(for the moment at least). All the rest is still the same from the Pilot till the trip to Denver. Except for the fact that Kaylie placed first at the Nationals Trials and Payson second. Hope you liked the first chapter and that you’ll keep reading my story. And feel free to review, I really want to read your opinions. XOXO.