A Song for Sweetness
By Amber M.
The sounds of a rustled, disturbed city seemed to never end outside as the flow of Baltimore continued to keep him awake. He paced back and forth in his small, stifling bedroom, unable to keep still. The sound of brisk ticking of his bedside clock kept him in time, like a compass keeping him in the right direction. Rhythm was the only thing that made since any more. But despite the fact that his pacing was orderly and predictable, his line of thinking was exactly the opposite.
A thousand thoughts raced through his head, and it took everything Link Larkin had to not fling himself out of the door and run down to Tracy's place this instant. He could not believe what he had said. He had hurt her. And the worst of it was that he had never intended to. How could she have thought that that was what he meant? He would never…
Link kept up his pacing, despite the fact that a headache that was sure to be splitting soon had started to creep into his head.
On that long walk home from the Record store that afternoon, as an extreme bout of guilt plagued his mind, he had been too confused and upset to perhaps really understand the situation. Really the only thing he had been able focus on was what Tracy must have thought of him now, especially since he had refused to be a part of the protest.
Even while standing amongst those about to march on WYZT this afternoon, Link had thought about the decision he was making to not join the protest. It wasn't like he didn't want equality and all that, but he knew, he just knew, what would happen in he were to walk beside Tracy, Seaweed and the others. He could see the look on Mrs. Van Tussel's face, and with it all the opportunities simply vanishing before him. He hated that it was this way, but he did see another alternative. He couldn't protest. Tracy was… well, Tracy was asking for him to go down a road, he simply could not follow her down.
But it had all come out wrong. He had said all of it the wrong way. Now not only did she think him a coward, but also a sort of Amber type of person who would resort to cruel comments about Tracy's appearance just to get a witty joke out of it all. Link suddenly felt a little disgusted with himself.
Although logic had returned to him that night, that the realization of why Tracy had just jumped to conclusions was apparent now, it was still hard for him to know she assumed the worst of him. It was obvious that Tracy had received hurtful remarks in the past, and the fact that she had to automatically believe those types of comments was truly heart breaking.
Although the ticking of the clock continued, Link stopped his pacing. And as he stood still for the first time in what was probably hours, he found himself staring dead on into the middle of the floor length mirror in his room. This, at any other time, had usually been a comfort to him. Link had always prized his looks, knowing full and well that he was attractive. (How could he not? With the many girls who constantly reminded him of it.) But today, today it was as if he were a stranger to himself. It was almost too pitiful. His hair had become disheveled from a constant hand running through it, and his face was flushed with anger and confusion. He simply stared at himself for a long while, trying to get his brain around the fact that this was what he looked like right now. Not confident and sure, but intimidated, and perhaps, a little afraid.
This was not him. This is not how Link normally acted. And this was certainly not how Link usually thought. He should be out on the town tonight with Amber, taking her places and wooing her into perhaps a little late night romance. He should have been trying to learn the latest new dance move or practicing the new tune for the show. These were things Link Larkin did. Worrying about Tracy Turnblad was not one of the usual things.
Tracy entering his life had been the largest change he could care to fathom. She was just a girl after all, a girl he had gone to the same high school with for quite some time. But when she had joined the Corny Collins show and caused such a commotion at the studio, he had noticed. But it wasn't in a negative light that he had viewed Tracy like many of the others. In his mind, Tracy was perhaps everything he wanted to be. Brave, bold and not afraid to speak his mind.
Link hastily sat down on his bed, ignoring the creak on the old wood. He began to swiftly undo the buttons of his sweater, the burning feeling of the June heat finally getting to him. Pulling it off and leaving the polo on, he lied down on his bead, and tried to resort to staring up at the ceiling for comfort.
A car rumbled off in the distance, and the fleeting thought crossed his mind that perhaps explained why he was so worried for Tracy Turnblad, and why all of this was bothering him so. But before he could truly comprehend it, his thoughts came to a close as the dreariness that only the early hours of morning can bring closed around him, taking him off to what would sure to be a fitful, unsettling sleep.
AN: Okay, so this is a little mini project to see what I could do if I tried to write a Hairspray fiction. I love Link and Tracy's story- so I thought I'd contribute my own two cents. Right now (obviously) it's from Links POV, I might switch it up, we'll see. Anyway I hope you enjoy.