Title: Small Things
Author: themastress but you may call me Alli
Rating: Uh…K+, I guess
Disclaimer: Ugly Betty is not mine in any way, shape or form, but I have been a good girl this year. Do you think Santa will bring it for me if I ask nicely?
AN: Disappointment was how Daniel fell in love with Betty. This fic is how Betty fell for Daniel. By the way, any and all tomatoes should be thrown at neuriel over t LJ because she's the one who put the darn idea in my head in the first place. Tell me what you think, good or bad.
Betty Suarez had always been a dreamer.
When Betty was in the fourth grade, her teacher Miss Hanson called a parent-teacher conference with Betty's parents. The teacher told them that though Betty was an excellent student, she spent a little too much time staring out the window. She was afraid that Betty would get too caught up in her dreaming and forget about the real world. The Suarez's had simply said that they liked Betty the way she was and thanked Miss Hanson for her time.
The Suarez's walked out of the classroom and each took one of Betty's hands, temporarily sheltering their dreamer from the world. Betty looked up at both her parents' faces and asked, "So, what did she say?"
After a moment, her father looked down at her. "She said she thinks your head is in the clouds. Is it?"
Betty looked down at her feet in the snow. Her right shoelace was coming untied. "Sometimes, I guess."
"Good." Betty looked up in surprise at her father. Her mother stopped them and knelt down in front of Betty, even though it was December and there were at least a couple of inches of snow on the ground. She took Betty's small hands in her much larger ones and said, "Dreaming is not a sin. It's just that most of us stop dreaming when we're small. Something stops us."
"It's different for everyone, Betty. We just forget our dreams are possible. But I never want that for you. The world needs dreamers, mija. The world needs people like you to keep the rest of us honest. Promise me that no matter what, you'll never stop dreaming."
"I promise." Betty smiled at her mother.
And Betty never had. She had kept dreaming through the taunts of schoolmates and the warnings of teachers, though she made more of an effort to focus in class. She kept dreaming when her mother died and she kept dreaming when her father got sick. Nothing had stopped her dreaming, and her dreaming had led her to a job at Mode magazine.
Then her dreams had threatened to die altogether.
Apparently, her dreams would not fit in a world that had decided at first superficial glance that she, Betty, simply didn't fit. And her new boss Daniel Meade had done everything he could to get her to quit. He sent her on useless errands and made her do meaningless things. He made her wait outside his apartment building to help him with his "girl problem", even though Betty was pretty sure he knew he was making her miss her father's birthday party. But Betty wasn't going to let anyone deter her. She had dreams, and she wanted to fulfill them.
Then Daniel had asked her to "stand in" for a late model.
And they had laughed at her. All of them.
Betty had simply wanted to curl up and die. She wanted to forget her dreams.
But Betty could not forget her mother's words, so when Daniel begged her to come back, promising to be a good boy, she relented. Betty's dreams may have burned down to an ember, but they were still there.
They became a team; Betty with her dreams and Daniel with something to prove. And Betty found that Daniel was much nicer than he had seemed at first and Daniel found that Betty was more than the best person for the job.
They trusted one another.
And as time went by, she found it hard to imagine her life without Daniel in it. He was, she had to admit, her best friend.
Every time she doubted herself, which was far more than she cared to think about, Daniel somehow knew.
And he wouldn't let her get away with it.
Betty was good at putting on a mask of indifference, but no matter what, Daniel always seemed to see through it. Daniel had promised to look out for her, to protect her.
And he had.
Just last week Evilmina had stopped Betty in the hallway and made no mystery of her opinion that Betty was fortunate to have any man at all looking at her. Betty had simply kept her brave face on until Wilhelmina was out of sight and then rushed to her desk to gather her things. Betty had hoped to leave the Meade Publications building before Daniel saw her face and made her tell him what was wrong, but apparently that wasn't going to fly with Daniel. He got to the elevator just as the doors were closing.
And he did all the right things. He said all the right things. He was the Daniel few others ever got to see, and Betty was grateful for him. He made her smile. He made her laugh.
He was Daniel.
"Justin, do you know where-"
Justin waved his hand around in the air rapidly. "Shh! This is the best part." He had a dreamy smile on his face as he watched the TV with his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands. Betty turned to look at the screen. Sleepless in Seattle, one of Justin's favorites. And one of hers too.
How long is your program? Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together... and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home... only to no home I'd ever known... I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like... magic.
Justin sighed and reached for the remote to mute the TV. He tried to grab his aunt's attention, but she wasn't responding. Betty was still staring at the screen when Justin grabbed her arm and shook her lightly. He raised his eyebrows and asked, "Betty? Were you looking for something?"
"Mom put it on the kitchen table, I think."
As Betty walked into the kitchen, the doorbell rang and Justin got up from his spot on the couch to answer the door. "Mr. Meade!"
"Daniel, Justin. Just Daniel. How are you?"
"Good. She's in the kitchen."
Betty turned around from the table just as Daniel walked into the kitchen, hands in his pants pockets and an ease in his walk.
"You ready?" Daniel smiled at her.
There was something about Daniel at this moment, wearing a suit that made him look so, Daniel, and smiling that perfect smile that made Betty's heart jump out of her body.
And God help her, she knew.
They were small things. That's all they were.
And Betty had missed them.
Betty had missed them because she was a dreamer. And dreamers look for the big things.
The way he smiled at her. The way he always stood up for her. The way he helped her out of the town car. How he always knew what she ordered for lunch. That he inquired after her family at least three times a week. These were small things, but when you added them all up, they made Daniel. Daniel, who had protected her from Evilmina. Daniel, who always took her ideas into consideration. Daniel, who kept her dreams alive.
Daniel, whom she loved.
Betty was determined never to miss the small things again.