The Last Dance
A Shirley Holmes Fan Fiction
by Leigh Young
September 09, 2000         4,050 words

The dress flowed and sparkled in the low sunlight as she twirled in front of the mirror,

"I don’t know Alicia, I’m just not in the mood- "

"Nonsense, Shirley. You look wonderful! Hey Bart, hmm?"

"Oh uh yes, Shirley you look real nice".

But her face remained stony with sadness wallowing in her deep blue eyes, Alicia just sighed and shook her head in defeat. Bart came over and sat on the desk,

"Shirley, come on, relax, you can’t be miserable for the rest of your life!" His voice softened, "I know you miss Bo — we all do; a lot but you’re gonna have to accept he’s gone".

"I know," Shirley choked, "But I miss him… I know I should be happy for him going to the Ukraine but I just… miss him".

"Oh snap out of it Shirley" Alicia retorted, "He won’t be gone for long — just a few years! Come on, the disco will take your mind off him; lighten up! Anyway Bo wasn’t anything more than a friend was he?"

Shirley was startled, picking up her bag, she gulped back the tears, which were threatening to fall and walked out saying,

"Okay — let me just feed Watson".

As Shirley walked out, Alicia groaned,

"Got they have it so bad!"

Bart turned to Alicia, fury masking his face,

"Great one Alicia! You know how much Shirley misses Bo, and vice versa. You KNOW how they are in love, even though they don’t see it, I think that was pretty mean!"

"Shut up, Bart. What do you know about match-making?!"

"A great deal more than you it seems!"

Alicia just sent him a death stare. Bart dropped his temper and mused,

"Who would ever have thought that Bo’s leaving would have made such an impact on everyone — especially Shirley".

"Yeah well — I knew from the start that they were perfect for each other…"

"Yeah, yeah, that was why you ignored him completely to begin with??? But everything has gone quiet, there’s no one around to joke with or have a decent discussion, Stink has completely gone out of character, Ms Stratmann has completely gone off her trolley, even Molly has become more peaceful then there’s Shirley who’s constantly depressed".

"Yeah, the Quasar Café has gone quiet, it’s no fun and everyone leaves lousy tips".

"For the lousy service…" Bart muttered.

"Anyway hopefully everything will change tonight".

"They had better," Bart looked at the door, "Or Shirley’s gonna fail the year".

"Oh Bo… Bo what have you gone and done? God Bart, if Bo saw us just now he’d fall over laughing".

"Well we had better hurry up or he will see us and we’ll be late".

Shirley hurried up the stair,

"Shall we go?"


Shirley moped in the car, thinking about the past she felt a pang of utter sorrow settle in her stomach. How could she have told him how much he had come to mean to her. Bo had always been there and Shirley had come to depend on him. No! This is Bo’s chance, why should I spoil his chances? I wonder if he misses me as much as I miss him? Nobody’s there to help me, or save my butt anymore. There’s an absence of fun and humour, which only Bo had, Shirley sighed, I felt lonely back then, when my mother first disappeared but I had to learn to deal with it, I felt the need to become more independent and I shut myself off to the rest of the world. But Bo, he just got shoved into my life, on the case, where I met him he saved my life even though he didn’t know me well. His past had been bad, although waist deep in trouble he still helped me, and everyday since then. I suppose if I look back I learn that he taught me how to enjoy life again, live it to the full. Always there for me, watching my back and I took it all for granted. I was really enjoying life but the day he told me about the Ukraine, I don’t know… everything seemed to collapse. I miss him so much, Bo is part of me and I’m not letting it go.

But is that the whole truth? Shirley was startled by the question her own mind asked, what? Of course it’s the truth…well…maybe I did form a bond with him… Maybe that’s why his departure is so painful. I suppose I thought he would always be here beside me — working with me but…who am I trying to kid? I care for Bo as much as I care for my family and friends and maybe even more. Bo was always more than any brother could be. Alicia put the radio on; since her cousin was driving they had a few deliveries to make before going to the school for the Christmas disco.

It’s been seven months since the day he left; I wonder what he’s like? I mean we write but it’s not like knowing someone from sight and physical being. But does Bo like me as much as I like him? The most cutting part is that I never got the chance to say goodbye properly. He got a phone call saying that his flight was being cancelled and that the only flight available was the one that day. The last time I saw him was a week before he was due to leave…

Alicia turned the volume up and the soft, sad music reached into the depths of her mind.

Baby I know you’re hurting…

From the first day that I saw your smiling face,

Honey I knew that we would be together forever...

Shirley felt her eyes well up with tears, shakily she tried to wipe them away but Bart saw her out the corner of his eye.

I deserve a try honey, just a moment,

Give me a chance and I’ll prove this all wrong…

Of course Bo likes me, he was my best friend for four years… He must know how much I miss him! He must miss me too, he says he does and when he gave me that last hug on his last day of school… he didn’t have to look at me for me to know he was trying so hard not to cry.

I’ll never break your heart,

I’ll never make you cry,

I’d rather die than live without you…

Would you?

As time moves by for you to get to know me…

Are you still the same? Oh please let you be.

And I know your afraid, to let your feelings show,

And I understand but girl it’s time to let go…

Um… please let that thought be linked only with the song. Maybe I don’t understand what I feel for Bo. I don’t want to lose him over anything petty, I’m sure he would understand me — probably even help…But I don’t think, I, Shirley Holmes, could tell it to him eye to eye — or ear to ear over the phone.

But honey there’s nothing like me darling why can’t you see…

That’s true, there’s no one like, Francis, and Shirley choked on a sob, remembering the humour of Bo’s real name.

I’d rather die than live without you…

I’ll never break your heart,

I’ll never make you, make you cry,

I’d rather die than live without, can’t live without you…


I’d rather die than live without you —I’ll give you the world.

You gave me the world of mysteries.

I miss you, I want you, I need you…

The song stopped abruptly, Shirley jumped back into reality,

"Earth to Shirley? Hello? You’ve been in a world of your own all through the journey — come on we’re here".

Shirley looked out at the vibrant school ground. Although very cold, the disco was being held outside under some transparent tents because the school itself was under construction. To Shirley’s disproval the school had Molly to thank for hiring and setting up the disco, without her persuasive attitude it would be a dull Christmas for Sussex.

Taking a deep breath, Shirley got out the car to join the excited throng of pupils.

Everyone seems to have made a go of things tonight; even Mrs Stratmann seems to look nice. Lord I’m bored already; this is going to be a long night.

"So are you going to tell me where we’re going?" Bo asked.

"Nope, it’s a surprise".

"Come on man — do I have to wear a blindfold all the time?"

"Yes" Yans and Christie chorused.

"Fine" Bo sunk back in the comfy chair.

Well from what I can deduce I’m sitting in an aeroplane, roughly the middle portion as a kid was panicking about some flaps that open and close, they are on the wings. The sun is beaming on the left side of my face and the time is roughly noon so the sun should be in the south so that means I’m travelling… West?

Why are we travelling west? What lies West of the Ukraine? Um… maybe I should have paid attention in Geography, uh there’s Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, further is Britain, Ireland, then there’s South America. North America and… Canada — Redington.

God I sound just like Shirley, uh oh, Bo don’t start thinking about her, you’ll only get yourself in a mood. Out of everyone (except my parents) I miss Shirley the most, if anyone was in trouble Shirley would have all the facts straight in seconds, but she stuck her nose in where it shouldn’t have been too often. A battle formed between two parts of Bo’s brain. Yeah but that often saved your butt! Like the first time you met, you were being nailed for arson but she caught the guys and got you off the hook, there was the time when those people were using an impostor horse and you had a bet on — that was close and don’t forget the time where Shirley got you out of being charged for vandalising the local paper, she did not just because of the mystery but because she cared for you. You know you saw the look on her face when they caught you, Shirley wouldn’t let you take all the blame even though it had nothing to do with her.

Yeah but how many times has she got you into trouble and herself? How many times have you had to save her neck? Lost count. She stuck her nose in where it didn’t belong too many times! Stubborn, arrogant, annoying, nosey, persistent — friendly, clever, fun, intriguing, cool and I would be lying if I said she wasn’t pretty.

Hey Bo snap out of it! But I might as well admit it to myself if no one else, I miss her tremendously, we had a special bond that I’ll never forget. I don’t know about Shirley but I cared a lot for her, she was more than just a sister — wait what are you saying? No… no, no, no! Do not even think that, no matter how much sense it makes. She’s there every night in my head, when I wake up, during the day, every moment. I have to hide the diary under my bed or it’ll keep me awake all night. I miss Redington like hell, it’s home and I’m homesick, I even miss the Sussex Academy. Help me, I miss the mysteries Shirley and I would land us in.

I wonder if she thinks about me as much as I do her? I wonder if Shirley misses me at all? Of course she does you hear her choke up at the end of a phone call, we spend at least three hours on the phone at the odd weekend when we have time to ring each other, then find it all so hard to say goodbye — and it gets harder every time. The worst thing was I never got to say goodbye to her properly when I left. There was no time to say goodbye, all I wanted was to give her a hug and tell her that I would miss her but even that was taken away by the fate of aeroplane timetables.

But it would be a long time till I will be able to go back to Redington; I can’t afford to go back yet. I desperately want to see my parents and a lot of other people; maybe in while I will have saved enough money to visit them again but by then Shirley probably would have moved.

That reminds me I wonder where these guys are taking me?

Bo had woke up last weekend to find his friends talking excitedly; they had permission to go abroad for three weeks. They said that he was coming with them whether he liked it or not but they kept the location top-secret. To add to his utter confusion, yesterday when they all left they were very insistent that he wore a blindfold, so Bo had decided to humour them and didn’t hold up any fight.

With his headphones on loudly, Bo missed the landing announcement but felt the planes’ descent. Finally!

Shirley sat by herself on the vacant array of seats, everyone around her was having a great time but Shirley just felt utterly depressed, bored and rather stiff she decided to have a walk around. Her mind was clouded with memories of the good times in the past, her eyes were itchy and her throat sore from choking back the tears that threatened to engulf her.

Four hours later in Bo’s time:

"Okay Bo we’re here!" Someone took his blindfold off; the light hurt his eyes and squinting he made out some sights that seemed a little too familiar. Rubbing his eyes, disbelievingly he gasped,

"I’m home!"

Yans and his girlfriend (who were both pals of Bo’s) laughed as they watched him run around jumping in the air and squealing in delight, caught unawares they found themselves in a vice grip hug,

"Thank you ever so much, you don’t know how much I missed this place!"

"I think we do — otherwise we wouldn’t have brought you back" Yans grinned placing a hand on Bo’s shoulder while rejoicing in the utter content look on his friend’s face.

"I’ve missed this place so much, I never thought it was home…" Bo said quietly, "I yearned so much to see my parents again, Mutt, the school and Shirley…"

A puzzled frown creased Yans brow,

"How did you know about that?"

Bo turned to him with the cute inquisitive look,


"I can’t believe this!"

Yans smiled at Bo,

"Believe me, this is really happening".

"How can I repay you guys?"

Christie grinned while brushing her long blond hair,

"Just enjoy yourself — that’s the main thing".

"I wish I knew if my friends will be there, anyway how did you know about this disco?"

"That’s for us to know and you to find out, now come on, the disco’s been on for an hour already. If we don’t hurry up we’ll miss the whole thing".

I just can’t believe this is happening! I’m going to see my old school again. My old teachers, people I know, I’ll see Redington, my parents — oh wow! Someone pinch me, this is impossible. God someone must really like me up there! Thank you!

"Oh Shirley, lighten up, come and dance!"

"Sorry Alicia, I just don’t feel like it".


"No… please. I’ll be fine on my own here, you go and enjoy yourself".

"Fine, okay…"

Alicia hopped down off the table and joined a group of people dancing their hearts out.

Shirley shook her head, why can’t I be happy? Why can’t I just get over Bo and enjoy myself. Alicia’s right I should lighten up. Bo always encouraged us to get up and dance — it was real fun! That’s what I really miss…

Bo watched through the window in wonderment,

"Look there’s the old abbey! And the Quasar Café! There’s the park and over there is the docks".

Bo had been pointing out landmarks all through the journey, Yans and Christie sat back and listened to him in amusement.

He drew quiet as they reached the woods surrounding the school,

"Man have I missed this place…"

Slowly the school loomed up ahead,

"Bo we’ve arranged to meet some people around the back so we’ll park there —okay?"

Bo nodded still looking around in awe.

"Where are they?" Alicia shrieked, "It’s almost nine o’clock!"

"Calm down Alicia, they’ll be here — anyway isn’t that them coming now?"


The car came to a halt smoothly, as the doors opened the people got out and stretched,


Bo looked up in surprise, a huge grin spread over his face as a small black haired person launched herself into his arms,

"Hey Alicia! How you doing?"

"I’m doing very well, it’s great to see you. Everyone’s really missed you!"

"Hey man".

Bo stood up and patted the boy on his back,

"Bart, it’s great to see you!"

"It’s great to see you! You’re looking well".

"Yeah, being back here’s really great".

"Yo, man!"

"Stink! How you doing?’

"Great, got some great jokes to tell you!"

Alicia and Bart groaned in unison,

"Believe me Bo, they haven’t got any better! Anyway come let’s go and dance".

Something twigged in Bo’s mind,

"Hold it! You all seem very happy to see me yet you’re not surprised. Were you in on this?"

Alicia, Stink and Bart looked at each other for a moment then smirked,

"You caught us red handed".

Bo shook his head and smiled at the ground,

"Come on Bo, let’s go in".

With a feeling of walking on air Bo followed them under the beautifully decorated tents.

Alicia seemed to know where she was going.

Shirley was still sitting on the table alone, the first slow dance started and she watched virtually everyone grab a partner. Why can’t I just get up and dance with someone? This is not me! Feeling the tranquillity of everyone around her hit her face like tidal waves she opened her mind and let the words sink in.

The last dance, might be your last chance,

Over your shoulder you turn and glance,

They walk past still no one is there,

Feeling much older, the evening has crashed.

No one else is interested with me; Bo was the only one who understood me; now I’m lost and alone.

But don’t surrender, don’t you cry,

Another lonely night you’ve had enough,

Another lonely night is one too much,

Another lonely night you might just give up,

I wish I could fit in as easily as he could, but I find it hard to make friends. Matt was really nice but we just don’t have enough in common.

The last dance you hide empty hands,

No one comes near you,

The noise of the band,

You can’t talk so you get up and walk,

And all that you’ve been through,

It’s not like you thought.

Really, it’s just the song that makes me want to cry, isn’t it? Why do I feel like crying? I have hardly ever done it in my life so why now? Oh please let me feel content for a few minutes.

Don’t surrender, don’t you cry,

Another lonely night you’ve had enough,

Another lonely night, is one too much,

Another lonely night you might just give up,

Oh, oh, oooohhhh!

Oh what it wrong with me? No one has ever affected me like this apart from my mum.

The last dance.

The song was slowly drawing to a close,

"Hey Shirley" Shirley spun around in the direction of Alicia’s voice, Bo turned around too.

Everything seemed to move in slow motion,



They seemed to just stare at each other for eternity letting everything sink in, then before anyone blinked they threw themselves into a powerful hug.

Bo gripped Shirley tightly to him, reassuring himself that it was really she; Shirley touched him delicately in case this was a figment of her imagination.

He’s here! He’s home! This is Bo! He’s back with me! He’s all right!

Shirley let her guard down and her tears flowed freely down her rosy cheeks, Bo felt her shake slightly under him and pulled her back to discover in surprise the tears that masked her face.

"Oh, Shirley, what’s wrong?" Bo asked softly, running his fingers gently over her forehead,

"Not… nothing… I’ve just missed you so much!"

"You have?"

Shirley nodded and Bo smiled and pulled her back into a hug,

"I’ve missed you too so much".

Shirley smiled into his shoulder,

"What are you doing here anyway?"

Bo pulled back and gave her a sheepish look,

"I don’t really know, I was really homesick and somehow I managed to get back. But anyway we can talk about that later, let’s enjoy ourselves. You look like you need cheering up".


Another slow dance started up, everyone found a partner, even Alicia and Stink partnered together. Bo turned to Shirley,

"Seen as we’re here do you want to dance?"

Shirley grinned at his awkwardness,

"Sure, come on".

Taking her hand gently Bo pulled Shirley onto the dance floor, with both his hands on her waist and her arms around his neck they slowly moved to the music.

I said too much, went way too far

It’s only now, now we’re apart

That I can see I was wrong

And you’re where I belong

So please don’t make me cry

I know you believe it

But I really didn’t mean

When I said goodbye

Bo dipped down; they both rested their foreheads’ against the other and closed their eyes.

I was a fool, now I’m alone

Would you have stayed?

Stayed if you had known

That every thought is of you

Hurt is all I can do

Without you in my life

I know you don’t believe it

But I really didn’t mean it

When I said goodbye

Everything slipped from their consciousness’, the closeness between them was almost tangible as they drew closer together,

"I really missed you Shirley" Bo whispered mindlessly.

I can’t bear to watch you fly

I need you in my life

Don’t say goodbye, let’s give love another try

Used to be that you and I was all we needed to know

I can’t believe you’re leaving

And I can’t live my life alone

"And I missed you like hell, too. Don’t ever leave me alone like that again with out saying goodbye properly".

"I won’t… promise!"

We’ve changed so much

And still love remains

Let’s work it out

There’s no need to turn the page

Your love is everything

Don’t let go, we can win

If we would only try

I know you don’t believe it

But I really didn’t mean it

When I said goodbye (goodbye)

When I said goodbye.

In the heat of the moment Shirley reached up and pulled Bo’s head down placing a sweet and gentle kiss on his lips then…

Beep, beep, beep, beep, bee- Shirley hit the buzzer with a groan. Opening her eyes slowly the realisation sunk in, it had only been a dream. But at least I got to say goodbye this time. With that she got dressed and glided down to breakfast, her spirits soaring.

"Morning dad, morning mum, morning Gran!"

Mr Holmes looked up from his newspaper and watched his daughter skip to the fridge; he looked at his wife with a puzzled expression but she hushed him with a grin. Whatever brought Shirley out of her darkened mood was little short of a miracle and it should be let alone in peace.

Gran turned on the radio,

"Next up here’s a sad little number that’ll get you emotions up and running this fine morning. It’s Magnum and ‘The Last Dance’".

Bo and Shirley both now felt more alive and longed for the day that Bo would return but now they had the satisfaction that they hadn’t lost each other.

Shirley smiled as the song started and sang along and not realising at the time that the only time she had heard that song was in her dream and how can a song that you’ve never heard be in you dream?

Well they do say that God works in mysterious ways,

The Last Dance.