Short, sweet, and fluffy. I hope you enjoy! Please review if you do - I have a few more to add - and hopefully more if inspiration continues to strike.
Story One – Hollywood Arts, Take 2
Violet was so excited, she was practically humming with energy. Lily was more on the terrified side of things. Violet skipped to the front door of Hollywood Arts, far in front of her parents. Lily held Tori's hand and when they got within a few feet, grabbed for Freddie's as well. It was Lane who met them in the front hallway. He welcomed them with a hug for Tori, a wary look for Jade, and a bright smile for each girl. There were kids and parents lining the hall in front of the theater, waiting to audition.
"So, this is the new and improved Ms. West?" A familiar voice asked, walking excitedly over to them, a coconut in his hand. Violet smiled excitedly.
"You're lucky she's improved," Jade told him. "She received some of her father's personality."
Beck shook his head. "She's mostly like Jade."
"So, you're both evil and talented?" Sykowitz asked, then laughed maniacally. Jade shook her head and introduced their old acting teacher to Violet, Lily, and Freddie. When he approached to look at Lily, the small girl hid behind her mother and he laughed again. "You can't charm them all."
Lane gave them a tour of the school, along with three other families. Violet stopped in front of the library and peered at a large picture. "That's mom and dad and Aunt Kitty and - everyone!" Lily stepped out from behind Tori long enough to join Violet and look over the picture - it was a picture taken during rehearsals for Guys and Dolls. Jade and Tori had been costumed - no one else had been.
"I think you'll find pictures of your parents in regular intervals around the school," Lane promised. They continued the tour - this time Lily grasped Violet's hand instead of her mother's.
Once they reached the main hallway once more, the line for auditions had withered. Lane looked at his watch. "We are about five minutes out from Violet's audition - shall we go in?" Violet ran excitedly into the blackbox theater and Jade tried to follow.
"No parents," Lane said, holding up an arm to block her.
"Excuse me?" Jade asked, frightening the other parents with her tone. Beck tried to pull her away but Lane smiled and whispered in her ear. "You know where the lighting booth is." Jade turned on her heel and Beck followed her. Tori knelt next to Lily, who was standing uncertainly in the doorway.
"You don't have to do this unless you want to," Tori told her softly.
"I don't think I can," Lily answered.
"That's okay," Tori promised, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear. "We can wait outside - "
"Actually," Lane interrupted, from his place standing above Tori, "Lily - would you like to watch Violet? I said no parents - cousins are welcome." He had been informed of the familial status to which the girls adhered. Lily looked at her mother and then looked up at Lane and nodded. She followed him into the blackbox theater and he closed the door.
"She worked so hard," Tori told Freddie. "I don't care if she wants to go to another school - but I just don't want her to regret this."
"She can only do what she's ready for," Freddie reminded her, taking her hand and squeezing it.
"If she's in there, we might as well sneak upstairs and watch Violet." When they arrived on the catwalk, Jade and Beck already had their seats, their legs dangling from the scaffolding. Tori sat between her high school frenemy and her husband. It only took a few moments before Lane invited Violet onto the stage. The little girl ran up the few stairs to the stage and handed her music to the piano player.
"You can start whenever you're ready, Miss Oliver," Lane said, after he had introduced the three other teachers and the school's principal. Violet thanked him and nodded to the piano player. Within seconds, she was dancing and belting "That's How You Know" from Enchanted. It was quickly followed by a rousing - and completely comical - rendition of "My Philosophy" from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She didn't skip a beat, didn't miss a note, and held more power in her voice than the teachers had heard in years. Jade and Beck were bursting with pride. Neither of them could speak. Jade did a poor job of hiding the tears that kept creeping into her eyes.
Lane thanked Violet and she curtsied with what Tori could only describe as a devilish grin - and left the stage. Shuffling their papers, one of the teachers they didn't know called Lily's name. Lane tried to explain that she wasn't auditioning, but before he could - she was at the bottom step to the stage. Jade could just make out Violet motioning to her from across the room and quickly pointed it out to the rest.
"I should go down there -" Tori said, starting to stand. Jade grabbed her wrist.
"Give her a minute."
She had no music with her, and when the pianist asked for it, she looked startled. Violet ran from the side and shoved a folder at him quickly, then disappeared again from sight. Lily walked over to the man and said something to him quietly. He nodded and stood, leaving the piano. She climbed onto the piano bench and tentatively reached her feet for the pedals. Finding them, she kicked off her shoes. Tori almost laughed; it was something she had been doing since Jade had taught her to use the pedals while playing.
She sang softly at first, but quickly picked up volume. Her first chosen song was "Someone's Waiting for You," from the Rescuers. Not a dry eye remained in the house, but Tori knew she had made a few mistakes. It was her nerves, not her ability, but it was still something she needed to make up for. But she was supposed to play her second song - and she clearly wasn't planning on that.
"Shit," Jade said softly. "She can't finish there." Lily was standing from the piano. While all four adults cringed, knowing that it was beautiful, and lovely - and not quite enough - the pianist came back and sat down - and began to play a second song. It was "Notice Me Horton" from Seussical: The Musical.
"She never practiced that," Tori said in horror. It didn't matter - it was flawless - and adorable - and might have topped Violet's comedy with "My Philosophy". Lane thanked Lily and she was off like a shot, across the room and out of view - to where Violet had gone.
"We have to get down there," Jade said quickly. They scrambled for the stairs and reached the entrance to the Blackbox Theater just in time to be the last parents to congratulate their children.
"Where did you go?" Violet demanded.
"We'll tell you later," Jade said quickly. The next batch of parents were waiting in the hallway - she didn't want to give away the catwalk location - some things were better kept among alumni. Tori was hugging Lily.
"I did it," Lily said softly.
"I know," Tori answered with a bright smile. "You were amazing." She hugged her daughter tightly, ignoring Lily's brief squeak of discomfort.
"Come on," Beck said finally. "I think we have reservations for lunch or something, right?" He started walking backwards, motioning for his family to follow him. "Let's move it!"
"Wait one minute, Beckett." It was Sikowitz.
"My name's not Beckett," he said.
"Are you sure?"
"Well, I got you to stop, didn't I?" He waved an envelope in front of them excitedly and Jade tried to shake her head; she did not want admittance news that day - she told Lane they would wait for the letters like everyone else - especially because she feared that both girls wouldn't get in. They had to find their own way to break the news if that happened.
"I just couldn't wait to give you these," he said, splaying what was in his hand to show them two envelopes. "Welcome, my lovely ladies, to Hollywood Arts." He handed an envelope - one to each child. Violet laughed happily and hugged Lily, who was still processing the information with a look of complete bewilderment.