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Kesha sat beside the stereo in Vicki's dance room, watching the little three year olds dance students. This was her first and youngest class. They all stood lined up by the bar in their pink leotards and tutus. It was the cutest thing Kesha had ever seen. Vicki kept looking over her shoulder at Kesha and shooting her smiles. She also rubbed her shoulder every time she went over to change the music.

Time seemed to speed by for once. Kesha had never seen much ballet before, but here she found herself engrossed by it. So far she had seen two boys in the school, but Vicki had told her there were actually three in the school altogether. Kesha thought it was sad that more boys didn't go to the school, all the students were so good!

Another good thing about Vicki's busy schedule was that she didn't get a lunch break. She was too busy teaching to stop and eat, let alone stop and tell Kesha to. She didn't remember until it was late in the evening and she had her last class, the class with her oldest students.

They students all entered, laughing happily together. The older boy was there with five beautiful girls. They all greeted Vicki and began chatting together.

"Who's this, Vicki?" The boy, whose name was Mathew, asked and pointed at Kesha. Vicki turned to smile at Kesha.

"A friend of mine," she said. "She's staying with me for a while. Say hi, Kesha." Vicki encouraged.

"Hi," Kesha mumbled shyly. "I'm Kesha..."

"Hi, Kesha, I'm Mathew. This is Becky, Alice, Eleanor, Natasha and Katie. We're Vicki's Advanced Foundation Class," Mathew explained.

"They're my big kids," Vicki added teasingly. She put her arms proudly around the students nearest to her, Becky and Mathew. "Now, enough chatting. Let's get you dancing."

As soon as Vicki got them started, she went and sat beside Kesha. She grabbed her bag and pulled out some food, handing it to Kesha. Kesha silently pushed the food away and turned away. Vicki raised her eyebrows at Kesha.

"Eat," she whispered - not wanting to disturb her dancers. Kesha shook her head. "Why not? You have to eat!"

"I hate it," Kesha growled back. "I'll get fat!"

"You won't! I eat, am I fat?" Vicki shot back. Kesha shook her head slowly.

"No, but you do ballet. It doesn't count," she argued.

"It does!" Vicki said, frowning. She could see that arguing with Kesha wasn't going to get her anywhere, so she took a different approach. "If you eat three bites of the sandwich I'll let you work it off by doing ballet with my class."

Kesha was silent for a moment, her eyes falling on the beautiful ballerinas. She so wanted to look like them. They weren't all skinny, but they all still managed to look perfect.

"I'll never look like that," she thought miserably. She felt Vicki wrap an arm around her shoulders, hugging her gently.

"Please, just try..." Vicki begged softly. Kesha sighed and placed her head on Vicki's shoulder. Vicki rested her head on Kesha's in response.

"Okay," Kesha choked out. Vicki squealed and quickly grabbed the food before Kesha could change her mind.

It took Kesha a long time to eat three bites. Each time her jaw closed around the sandwich, she felt like throwing up. She was so concentrated on getting her food down, that she didn't notice that the dancers were no longer dancing. They were watching her struggle. Vicki was standing with them, also watching. Each and every one of the people in that room felt their hearts go out to the beautiful girl who couldn't.

"Hey," a voice interrupted suddenly. "I think that's three bites, hey Vick? Why not let the girl dance now, huh? She looks like she wants to." Kesha looked up and met Mathew's gaze. He winked at her and smiled before looking at Vicki again. Vicki looked at Kesha and nodded, gesturing for her to join the group.

She carried on her lesson, taking it a little slower for Kesha's benefit. She didn't need to help Kesha too much, the class were doing a great job of that all on their own. Mathew and Becky stayed on either side of Kesha, holding her up when she needed it and making sure she was in the right positions.

As Vicki watched Kesha dancing with the class, she suddenly knew what she wanted to do. Up until now, she hadn't known what to do this Kesha. She had been putting it off, wondering whether to look for the Demi person, report Kesha to social services, keep her illegally. Or one other option... Adoption.

Vicki felt a strong, overwhelming feeling of protection towards Kesha. She didn't know if it was her 'motherly instincts' kicking in or if she had just gotten too soft, but she liked the feeling either way. Plus, she couldn't bare the thought of something happening to Kesha. Panic set in whenever Kesha was out of her sight. Well placed panic as Kesha did seem to have a habbit of getting hurt.

As the lesson came to an end, she stopped the music and smiled proudly at her dancers. They had done amazingly, as usual. Vicki loved her older class, they all had great potential. One day they could be real dancers on stage, performing to millions of people.

"Alright, class, you did great today! I'll see you all again Tuesday evening, have a good weekend." She said, dismissing them. As they began filing out, Kesha stopped Becky and Mathew.

"How many calories does ballet burn?" She asked nervously. "You're all toned and slim, but I know you've been doing it for a while..." Becky and Mathew exchanged concerned glances at the question. They disliked Kesha's clear obsession with her weight.

"I don't know," Becky replied. "I don't really check. But it doesn't matter anyway, you're way too skinny to even be thinking about calories." Kesha shrugged and mumbled something incoherent about sandwiches.

"It will have burned off the sandwiches, I'm sure." Mathew signed, looking desperate. "But Becky's right, you need the calories!"

Vicki listened to the conversation silently. She felt relieved that Mathew and Becky weren't encouraging any calorie loss, but heartbroken that Kesha was obsessing about her weight. She decided to go over to take the pressure off of Becky and Mathew.

"Kesh? Maybe we should be going home now, you look tired. Mathew and Becky have to go too, you'll see them soon." She said, walking briskly over to the small group.

"Okay," Kesha nodded. "Bye, guys. Thanks for letting me join in."

"Our pleasure, squirt!" Mathew teased and ruffled the girls hair. Becky agreed and gave her a one-armed hug.

"Bye, Kesha!" She said cheerfully. The two left then, leaving Kesha and Vicki to clean up.

"Vicki?" Kesha said after a while. "How many-"

"Don't," Vicki interrupted. "You need to put on calories, not lose them. Okay? Stop trying to be something you already are!"

Kesha froze at Vicki's words and slowly looked at Vicki's face, a little wary. But all she saw was something she didn't recognize.

Something she would later distinguish as protection.

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