SUMMER NIGHTS

A Johnny/SNN fanfic
by Cheryl B

It was the summer of 1977. Victoria arrived on the set of "Grease" and looked around in awe at the school gym, which had been transformed into the colorful setting for the big Rydell High dance contest scene.

Vicki had been hired as an extra to fill space at the dance - needing only to be able to do a few basic moves without tripping over her feet, since she wasn't a principal dancer, and to pass within reason as a teenager. She was 21 and was a pretty good social dancer, so it wasn't too hard of a stretch for the attractive, petite blonde. But it was her first time on a big movie set, and she found herself a bit overwhelmed, but excited at the opportunity to work on such a major production.

The shoot was expected to take a few days, and a fifties revival band named Sha Na Na was going to portray Johnny Casino and the Gamblers, the band playing at the dance. Vicki had heard that they were quite good, and even had a new TV variety show that would debut in the fall.

After checking in with the director and getting a cold drink from the craft service table, she sat on the sidelines sipping her soda for nearly half an hour, trying to stay as cool as possible in the sweltering, non-air conditioned building before the cast was called to the floor for rehearsal.

Gulping down the last swallow, Vicki set the bottle down and took her place with Mark, the shy young sandy-haired man she was paired with. They were near the stage, and while she couldn't catch a glimpse of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, who were halfway across the room from them in the crowd, Vicki had a great vantage point to watch Sha Na Na.

It was a slow dance to a number called "Those Magic Changes," and she casually glanced over in time to see one of the band's singers take center stage as the pre-recorded music began to play. Suddenly, the most beautiful voice she had ever heard in her life filled her senses.

As Mark led her, they danced, and the vocalist's rich tenor forced her attention to the stage, just to get a better look at this man who was singing so sweetly. On closer view, Vicki could see that the singer's looks were as amazing as the voice. He had a glorious mane of soft, black curls, seductive brown eyes, and was so handsome in black jeans, black boots and a hunter green shirt. He didn't appear to be all that tall, but definitely commanded the stage.

This was going to be a very interesting shoot, indeed...

After rehearsing that number a few more times, and then moving on to "Hound Dog," the director called a break. Vicki couldn't help but laugh, as most of the girls in the room made their way none-too-subtly over to where John Travolta was, crowding around him. She looked over and smiled as John patiently and kindly spoke to each of them, flashing his trademark smile and obviously charming them all. But Vicki had other plans for her break.

Luckily, the craft service table was far from the crowd of Travolta fans, and the boys in the band were there getting refreshments. She watched as the cute young singer took a soda and a slice of cheese pizza, then sat down on one of the chairs set up along one side of the room. After quickly grabbing a bottle of water, Vicki hesitantly walked over to where he sat, praying he wouldn't be offended by her approaching him during his break.

"Hi," she said quietly, "I don't want to bother you, but I just wanted to say that I think you're amazing. You're very talented." She smiled shyly and turned to walk away when his soft voice stopped her in her tracks.

"Wait," he said. She turned and saw him smiling sweetly at her. "Would you like to join me?"

"Oh, no, I don't want to intrude," she protested, despite being highly tempted to take him up on his offer.

"I wouldn't have asked if it were an intrusion." he insisted kindly as she took a seat beside him. "And I appreciate the compliment. But I'm sure you must have me mixed up with the other Italian guy - the taller, richer, better looking one over there," he joked, glancing over at the throng of females buzzing around the star of the film.

"But before you realize your mistake, let me just tell you that my name is Johnny, and that I'll always treasure the brief moment we shared before you came to your senses and went running into Travolta's arms." He grinned, his brown eyes sparkling as he took a bite of his pizza.

Cute, talented, funny and a great big flirt to boot. Oh boy...

"Travolta who?" Vicki asked with a playful smile. "And I'm Vicki, the girl who'd rather stay here with you, if you don't mind." She shook his hand.

Johnny looked at her with gentle amusement. "It's nice to meet you, Vicki. But are you sure you wouldn't rather be over there where the action is?"

"I'm sure. If they want second-best, it's their loss." Vicki chuckled to herself, thinking how cute he was, struggling to be cool and come up with a witty reply, while so obviously flattered that she prefered his company to Travolta's, that words failed him. His sweetness was quickly winning her over as much as his talent and looks were.

"Aren't you nice?" was all Johnny could say, and she could tell he meant it. She smiled.

The director called everyone back to work. Vicki arose and smiled. "It was a pleasure meeting you, Johnny. Oh, and by the way," she added in a whisper, "Travolta may be taller, but he's definitely not better looking..."

And with that, she turned and walked away with a smile. Johnny grinned and watched her walk back to the dance floor, then strutted happily up to the stage to rehearse the "Blue Moon" segment.

After a while, it was time for lunch and, happy with the way the rehearsals had been going, the director told everyone to take an hour. More hot and thirsty than hungry, Vicki just got an icy soda to sip. She found that she was more tired than she realized, so she found a seat and quickly sat down to relax.

Closing her eyes for a moment, she took a breath and a long drink of her soda, smiling when she saw Johnny heading her way.

"Hey, still not hanging out with Trav..." His good-natured ribbing turned quickly to concern. "Vicki, are you alright?"

"Sure, why?" she asked quietly.

Johnny placed his hand gently on her forehead. "You're pale, and your skin is clammy." He looked at the bottle of soda in her hand and frowned. "Didn't you get any lunch?"

She shrugged. "No, I wasn't hungry. It's just too hot."

With a gentle look, Johnny took her hand. "I know, but trust me. As a performer, I know that you've got to eat something to keep up your strength, even when you may not feel like it." He smiled. "I'll go get you something."

"No, no, I'm fine, I'll go," Vicki protested. But as soon as she stood up, her knees buckled beneath her. She grasped at his shoulders as he instinctively scooped her up safely into his strong arms.

Looking up at him weakly, she managed a small smile. "You really do know how to sweep a girl off her feet, don't you?"

"I try," he said, trying to be lighthearted, but with concern coloring his voice. "Now, you lie down and I'll get the nurse."

Johnny laid her down on the floor, using his rolled-up satin jacket as a makeshift pillow under her head, making her comfortable before running over to get a nurse from the medical staff.

The nurse examined Vicki,and determined that it was nothing too serious, the combination of the heat and not eating had left her weak - nothing that food and rest wouldn't cure.

After scoping out the room and finding the coolest corner he could, Johnny took her in his arms again and carried her there, quickly heading back to the craft service table to get her some food. He returned with a chicken salad sandwch, an orange, an oatmeal cookie and a bottle of cold water.

"I hope that's for you," Vicki said, eyeing the food with a grimace.

"Nope, and I'm going to stay here and keep you company until you finish every bite. Doctor's orders." Johnny's voice was tender but firm.

Vicki looked at him, touched by his compassion. "I appreciate your taking care of me, but honestly, I feel so queasy I don't think I could eat a thing."

He smiled tenderly. "I know, but you need to eat. Just one little bite at a time, ok? No rush, I spoke to the director, and he can do without us for a few scenes, so you just take your time."

Nodding, Vicki gingerly took a small bite of the sandwich while Johnny peeled the orange for her, handing her a section as she began to slowly tackle her lunch. Nearly an hour passed before she finally finished the last bite of the cookie. "Well, I hate to admit it, but you were right, Johnny. I do feel better, thank you."

"Good," he said with a warm smile. "And now that you've finished your lunch, let's plan for your dinner. How about this great little Mexican place I know, I can pick you up at 7?"

Vicki grinned. "Well, I hate to break Travolta's heart, but how can I refuse such a fine doctor's invitation?" She wrote down her name, address and phone number on a scrap of paper and handed it to Johnny. The director came over and told her to go home for the day and rest up for tomorrow. Johnny and Vicki fought the giggles, not wanting to reveal that, instead of staying home resting, she'd be out with Johnny.

"See you at seven," she whispered. "Sssssh, don't let the teacher know!"

Johnny laughed. "OK, we don't want to get sent to the principal's office!" She waved and disappeared into the afternoon sun, back to her air-conditioned apartment to cool off and get ready for her big date.

After putting her feet up and relaxing for a while with a tall glass of lemonade, Vicki ran a bubble bath and put on some soft music, sinking into the softly scented water in preparation for her dinner date with Johnny.

After soaking for a long while, she scrubbed herself with a bath brush, leaving her pink and glowing all over. She emerged from the tub, rubbed herself dry with a thick, fluffy towel, and massaged a rich, softly- scented cream into her warm, damp skin. Vicki wrapped her blue terrycloth robe around herself, stepped into her fluffy slippers, and padded into the bedroom to assess her wardrobe choices for the evening.

She finally settled on a long black crushed velvet dress with a full skirt and lace trim at the collar, accessorized with black granny boots and a black lace shawl. Bought during her Stevie Nicks phase, it was still one of her favorite dresses - sophisticated yet feminine. Thankfully, it was finally cooling off enough that evening so the velvet wouldn't leave her sweltering.

After curling her blonde locks and applying a bit of foundation, blush, mascara and deep rose lipstick, she dressed and took a look in the mirror. Not bad, she thought, but she was still nervous. Johnny was a big rock star, and was probably used to dating models and actresses, or at least gorgeous girls far more worldly and beautiful than she was. She took a breath. He asked you out, she chided herself. He must like you, so calm down and enjoy yourself.

Just then, the doorbell rang. Vicki opened the door and smiled warmly. Johnny was a beautiful vision in a black wool suit with a pale lavender shirt and deep purple necktie. "Come in, please," she motioned after regaining her senses. "You look great."

Well, that was a stupid thing to say, she thought. Talk about an understatement...

Handing her a bouquet of colorful mixed flowers, he stepped inside. "And you are absolutely beautfiul..." He kissed her cheek, and she thanked him shyly as she took the flowers into the kitchen to put them in a vase full of water.

"Are you ready to go?" he asked when she returned, and with an affirmative nod, she grabbed her small black beaded handbag and they were off.

It was a short drive in Johnny's sleek silver sports car to the restaurant. It was a little out-of-the-way place, but the atmosphere was homey and warm, filled with the irresistitble aroma of authentic Mexican food. After being seated and ordering a couple of margaritas, Johnny and Vicki looked at the menu.

"What do you suggest?" she asked. "You said this was a favorite place of yours."

"Oh, everything's good here," Johnny replied. "I think I'm going to go with their combo platter."

"Mmmmm,' Vicki sighed, "that sounds good. I'll have the same."

The waiter arrived with their drinks, a basket of warm tortilla chips and bowls of mild and hot salsa, then took their order.

As the candlelight flickered across the table in the dim light of the restaurant, Johnny and Vicki talked and got to know each other as they sipped their margaritas and nibbled on chips.

"I hear your group has its own TV variety show, and that it's starting in the fall?" she said. "How exciting for you, that must be a lot of fun!"

"It is fun - an awful lot of work, but definitely fun." Johnny agreed. "Between touring, recording, the show, and now the movie, it's been a grind. But it's worth it. Our fans are great, and I think we'll be reaching a whole new audience once the show hits the air."

The waiter brought their food, and Johnny smiled and thanked him.

"I've heard of Sha Na Na, but I have to admit I hadn't heard your music before I got this job," Vicki confessed as she took a bite of her cheese enchilada. "You guys really are great. '50s music is so much fun, and you've got some really talented guys in the band."

Johnny grinned, tucking into his own meal with gusto. "Are you thinking of anyone in particular?"

Rolling her eyes, Vicki shook her head and giggled. "Ah yes, the rock star ego, a truly impressive thing..."

"Hey! Johnny protested with a laugh. "It's not ego, it's self- confidence. Or perhaps just wishful thinking that my beautiful date was thinking abuot me when she made such a nice comment about our group."

"Nice save," she smiled. They finished dinner and, since it turned out to be such a pleasant, cool evening, decided to go for a drive before he took her home.

After a while, Johnny found a quiet spot with a gorgeous view of the lights of the city. He parked, turned off the engine and slipped his arm around Vicki, who rested her head on his strong shoulder and looked at the lights with a small sigh.

"Are you alright, Vicki?" Johnny asked, still a bit concerned after the events of earlier in the day.

"Oh yes," she assured him. "It's just been quite a day - nearly fainting on the set, a handsome singer coming to my rescue, then going out to dinner with him and coming here to this beautiful spot." She snuggled closer, feeling safe and warm with his arm around her. "My first taste of show business was definitely a memorable one," she smiled.

He squeezed her gently. "You're right, it was quite a day. But it isn't quite complete yet, not without one more thing."

"What's that?"

Johnny smiled softly and looked into her eyes. "This..." he whispered. as he pressed his warm lips to hers. She held to him tightly, closing her eyes and letting herself be swept away in the moment as his kisses became more sweetly demanding.

After several beautiful minutes, he drew away and looked at her with kind affection. "I think I'd better see you home now," he said softly, reluctantly. Vicki sighed and nodded.

At her doorstep, Johnny kissed her once again, and when she was safely inside, he drove away into the night. After getting ready for bed, Vicki lay down and held her pillow tight. He was so wonderful, not just cute, not just a rock star, but a sweet, kind, funny person whose company she liked very, very much indeed, and for some reason, he seemed to like her too.

She felt like a fifteen year old with a huge crush on the cutest boy in school. And she was enjoying every moment of it.

The rest of the week's filming of the dance scene went by in a flash. Johnny and Vicki continued to see each other after their work on the film was done. One morning, he called her with information on the cast wrap party that was to take place in a couple of weeks.

"They're doing a talent show, just for fun, where the cast can sing, dance, whatever. Make fools of ourselves, basically. Anyway, I have an idea..."

She listened and couldn't believe her ears. "Are you serious? I'm barely a dancer, and I hardly even sing in the shower... and besides, you *don't* want to see me in that outfit!"

"Oh indeed, I absolutely, positively do," Johnny said softly. "C'mon, it'll be fun!" he persisted. "I'll be over in an hour and we can rehearse."

Vicki grinned and sighed. "Do you always get your way?"

"You'd better believe it," he replied with a chuckle. "See you then."

Yes, she thought with a wistful smile, I just bet you do...

The night of the cast party was magic. Everyone from John, Olivia and all the supporting cast, to the smallest bit players and the crew were there. A band - not bad, but nowhere as good as Sha Na Na - was playing a mixture of fifties oldies and the current disco hits of the day. People were eating from the impressive gourmet buffet, dancing, and having a great time at their one last party together. Friendships had been formed during the filming of the movie, and it felt like the last day of high school, with all the joy and tears you'd expect.

And then, the highlight of the evening, the talent show. Olivia had everyone in stitches doing a dead-on impression of Rizzo singing "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee," the total antethesis of her sweet character Sandy. And in turn, Stockard Channing got a standing ovation as Sandy singing "Hopelessly Devoted To You." John Travolta sang some doo-wop with a couple of the Sha Na Na guys, and several other cast members performed as well.

And then, every eye in the room was on Johnny as he emerged as Danny Zuko, with black jeans, muscle shirt and T-Birds leather jacket. He stared for a long, glorious moment himself when Vicki joined him, mercilessly looking her up and down with an intense gaze that made her blush. She was decked out in skintight black vinyl, red slides, teased hair and heavy makeup as the made-over Sandy. Neither had seen the other after their transformations by the hair, makeup and wardrobe crew, and she returned a very approving glance his way.

The audience cheered wildly as he began to sing. "I've got chills, they'e multiplyin'. And I'm losin' control, 'cause the power you're supplyin'... it's electrifyin'!"

Johnny's perfect performance wowed the crowd, absolutely capturing the cocky but lovestruck greaser Danny, his hot, skillful dance moves and angelic voice causing all the girls to squeal with delight. Vicki held her own quite nicely, and couldn't help but love every moment of being the object of Johnny's... errr, Danny's... desire, at least on stage for just this one night.

"You better shape up, ' cause I need a man, and my heart is set on you.."

Wasn't that the truth?

She threw herself totally into the moment, imagining what it would be like to have the sweet, sexy, gorgeous, talented man singing with her for her very own love. But it was too much to hope for. She'd been merely a convenient date, as he was stuck on the movie set, and when tonight was over, he'd be gone. So she determined to enjoy this last moment to the fullest, and let tomorrow worry about itself.

"You're the one that I want, whoo hoo hoo, honey, the one that I want, whoo hoo hoo. The one I need, oh yes indeed..."

Everyone stood and cheered wildly for the performance. As they took their bows and headed backstage, her emotions overwhelmed her and she made an excuse, quickly rushing out to the food tables for a cup of punch, then outside to clear her head.

I'm so stupid, Vicki chided herself. Why did I let myself fall for him? I promised myself I was just going to enjoy this evening, but no, I had to go and spoil it by wanting more. As if someone like him would want someone like me.

Johnny appeared, looking relieved to find her. "Vicki, are you alright? I was so worried when you ran off like that. Did I do something wrong?"

She smiled softly. "Oh no, of course not. It's just me, don't worry about it. You were great up there, by the way."

He took her hand and looked into her eyes. "Thank you, so were you. But what's wrong? You can tell me." Returning his gaze, she suddenly felt as if she could, as if she could trust him with her feelings, as embarrassing as they were.

"It's just that... well, I guess I just let myself get caught up in the moment and how I feel about you, and dreaming about more than I could ever hope for from you. It's just silly..."

He smiled and squeezed her hand. "It's not silly. You're a very beautiful, special girl that I really enjoy being with. So I guess I'm silly too."

"That's very sweet, Johnny, but..."

"No, Vicki" he said, kindly but firmly, taking her face into his gentle hands, "I'm not just being kind or saying what you want to hear. I like you a lot, Vicki, and I hope I can keep on seeing you, if you don't mind."

"Oh Johnny... yes, yes of course..." she sighed as he looked at her with tenderness and kissed her sweetly and deeply, embracing her tightly in the cool evening breeze.

As they walked out to his car, Vicki turned to him. "You know, when I was getting a drink, I overheard Travolta telling someone that after seeing your performance tonight, he was glad you didn't audition for the part." She grinned. "I guess you missed your chance."

"No, baby," he protested sweetly," you are the best chance I could ever have, and I definitely came out the winner," Johnny said with a soft smile, kissing her again. "But now, let me get you home before you get arrested for wearing that outfit...not that I mind, of course," he added with a grin.

He drove her home with her head resting on his shoulder, both of them dreaming of what the future might hold. But for now, they were content just to be there together underneath the moon, with the stars in their eyes, and all beautifully right with the world.

THE END

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