Kelsey Rose: If you didn't notice, I made this into a threeshot story. Why? Well… let's just say that I'm having a little too much fun with these two. Hehehe.
Disclaimer: Hairspray still isn't mine. Go figure.
For once in her life, almost everything was where it needed to be. Sure, there were a few kinks that needed to be pinched out of the mix, but, for the most part, she was incredibly content at where she was currently. Her best friend was thriving with her longtime-crush-turned-beau by her side, while she herself had one of the most affectionate and caring boyfriends that she could have ever dreamed of. Even now, with every look that he gave her, whether of masked seduction or of silent encouragement, she still felt those cliché butterflies fluttering violently in the pit of her stomach; and she was stuck on every last minute of it.
Seaweed had been more than just a friend, or a boyfriend. He had been an enormous amount of support for her, a shoulder to cry on, a shelter to seek out, and, as Penny had found come to find out after one maddening night with her mother, a passionate lover, as well. All in all, he knew precisely how to treat a girl—a woman—like she was his own, personal princess. There was absolutely no diagnosis for the condition of how far gone she was.
So, it was really no surprise that she would visit Tracy, Seaweed, and Link at the studio whenever she could. She had been a good number of times, but, as one may have suspected, going to see them every day just did not happen. When her mother wasn't punishing her, or her excuse to be let out of school early fell through the roof, she was forced to sit back and take the grief that came with her absence at the TV station. It wasn't easy sometimes, particularly when Prudy was involved, when all she wanted was to feel that exquisite rush of emotions that came with Seaweed's arms being draped snugly around her, that being her own special piece of heaven.
It was like clockwork now, as unfortunate as that was. She would have a verbal or, on worse days, physical brawl with her mother, and then she would go to Seaweed, her poise and self-control through the floor. He would hold her, tell her that everything was fine, and, for that single moment with him, she could accept that answer. It was just that simple. Something about the energy that he supplied her, and the sensations that filled her from the top of her head to the tips of her toes just would not allow her to be too down for absurd ranges of time when she was around him. He inspired a kind of ecstasy within her heart and soul that she couldn't place her finger on.
In spite of everything, luck had graced her on this day. Considering that it was summer vacation now, sneaking out of the house had become an increasingly simple task, what with her mother always engrossed in her reading, out in the yard, or out shopping for groceries, or doing who knows what. Tracy and the others could very easily get Penny in and out of the house with as much grace as any professionally trained spy troupe. And, regardless of how many scrapes and bruises that Penny had acquired on their several adventures to get there, she had found that this was the highlight of her week (minus the times she spent with Seaweed, or when she—rarely—slept over at Tracy's). It had become a pleasant escape from the sheltering, suffocating, on-and-off place she called home.
Similar to every time she had come here, she had said her hello's to both offhand and friendly Council Kids, regarded Mr. Collins and Ms. Maybelle (who now hosted the show alongside Corny), and hung out in the background, waiting for the commercials. Amazingly, she hadn't felt too uncomfortable there, standing by herself. The awkward feeling only set in when the stagehands or cameramen yelled, "cut!" or "…and we're off!" when she was still alone, waiting for her friends to come over and rejoin her. She was typically met with contemptuous stares or even subtle laughter, and that only intended more abuse for the bubblegum that was always in her mouth.
That dreadful sentiment of wanting to stick her head beneath the sand loitered in the depths of her heart, reminding her on many an occasion that she was only as good as she let herself be, and not what others regarded her as. Reassurance was only gifted when the promising sight of her friends caught her attention. Then, all of those ill-intended glares and scornful whispers were only flies on the wall, still there, but virtually out of sight and out of mind.
"You guys were great!" Penny clasped her hands together happily, while her face revealed a distinct look of bliss. Tracy, Link, and Seaweed smiled in each of their signature ways, and then joined the lone teenager appreciatively. Seaweed, however, immediately went to stand behind her, his arms wrapping tenderly around her waist.
"Only 'cause we got such'a good audience," He grinned while Penny fashioned a coy smile on her face. Tracy could only giggle as she leaned into Link, his arm resting comfortably around her shoulders.
"You know you don't have to stand up the whole time, right, Penny?" Tracy tossed the idea out randomly, causing the redhead to squint curiously as if to signify a playful, 'Yeah, and what's your point?' Her bigger friend instantly relented with a pair of tossed-up, joking hands. "Just saying."
"I like to be as close to you guys as I can," She responded matter-of-factly, as she cunningly tilted her head up to peer at a still-grinning Seaweed, who then tactfully stole a kiss from her lips. Although, before she could even begin to enjoy the affections tossed her way, something most unlike her usual way of things rendered her concentration hostage: Penny had actually taken a profound notice to the feeling of eyes on her. After forcing a shrewd giggle, she set her gaze straight. Tracy had begun to talk about something or another, but she could not get herself to focus. It was when Seaweed's arms drew back, and when Tracy called her by name that she fell off of her almost numbing high of confusion.
"We'd better go speak to Motormouth about that number," Tracy had told Link and Seaweed, both of whom nodded in agreement. "Penny, we'll see you in a few minutes, after the wrap-up." She smiled and reached out to squeeze her friend's hand. Penny took a deep breath and smiled. "Same place?" Tracy spoke vaguely of where Penny would always wait for them near the stage door, and Penny, like each time before, nodded.
"Good!" She said at last, nodding to Link, as the couple began to hurry along to where Corny and Maybelle were talking cozily. Seaweed stayed behind for one, quick, extra moment just to place a bittersweet goodbye kiss on Penny's lips.
"See ya soon, baby girl." He winked at her, and she automatically found that her cheeks began to ache from the smile she was producing.
"I'll be waiting," She replied simply, as he began to walk away to where Tracy and Link had gone, a very small taste of harmless seduction in her voice. Once he had left, she instantly began her desperate search for those prying eyes, the ones that seemed to stare straight through her, even though she knew not of the owner.
It was a deafening feeling, really, especially when someone such as Penny Pingleton suddenly found herself locking eyes with the iciest queen of them all, Amber Von Tussle. The skin on her face burned on impulse, and she was instantaneously lost. For the longest five seconds of her life, she let two foreign eyes stare into the pits of her soul, uncertain of how or why she was abruptly feeling what she was now.
In that one look, that quickly melted into unannounced embarrassment, she had noticed something so startling about Amber, about someone whom she held little to no regard for. It wasn't even a 'something' that came with an exact being. It just was exactly what it… was, Penny had decided, once the feeling in her legs returned.
For someone so unkind, she had the most alluring and poisonously soft eyes. They were almost aching, wary of something, and Penny felt herself quiver slightly at the mere fact that she could even notice a quality like that about someone—about another girl, of all people. She felt completely unethical (or was it unclean?), and yet, naturally intrigued, all the same.
Tracing her hand alongside one of her arms, she dug her fingernails into her skin, her eyelids threatening to clamp shut as she reminded herself just who she was dealing with here. This was Amber, the blonde who had striven to make hers and, more notably, Tracy's life miserable for the longest time. Her and her demonic friends had done and said nothing but slander against them, and even more so now that Amber had had Link ripped from her lethal claws.
In the face of what others may have thought or said, Penny Pingleton was never one to hold a grudge (in most circumstances). As a result, it wasn't really a shock to know that she had no interest in this acidic barrier between Amber and she. As chilly as she was on an every day basis, Penny had some major difficulties believing that that was the entirety of her character. No one could be that cold, conniving, unforgiving, whiny, self-indulgent, controlling, and close-minded—could they?
Penny began to chew on the inside of her mouth absentmindedly. On many an occasion, she had wanted to saunter over to Amber and attempt to strike up conversation; however, self-doubt and the obvious breach in the 'social ladder' had kept her ten steps backwards for most of her junior high and now high school occupation. She had to swallow her comments from a day to day standpoint, considering how brutal Amber got when surrounded by those other flaky girls of the Council. They were like dogs to her, a bunch of springtime poodles in heat with their tongues lolling out of their mouths for the latest scandal. The mental image of that had always brought a real smile to Penny's face as she cautiously suppressed a giggle. The very last thing she needed, or wanted, was more eyes on her. Unless, of course…
She promptly felt that prickling feeling in her cheeks, and then a flipping sensation in her abdomen, as she carelessly scuttled further away from the soundstage, where they were just wrapping everything up. Penny knew that she had to get away, that these thoughts she was having were probably just her mind jumbling about the letters and images, or her hormones playing tricks on her. Whatever it was, though, it definitely had her hot and bothered, for as she stood nearest the stage door, she began to gnaw almost painfully on her right hand's index finger's knuckle. A game with herself had begun as she would watch it turn white, then fade, and then turn white again whenever she would chomp on it too hard for too long.
It went without saying that Penny didn't like the way she was feeling, nor the visions that littered every last physical perception of her body. They were as confusing as they were almost disgusting, if only for the simple fact that it was something to do with Amber, who, of all people, scarcely deserved anything she got, or—
Penny conceded and muffled an exasperated sigh with one of her hands.
She needed Seaweed. Her self-assurance was skidding to a nasty halt, and she needed him so badly that she had to, as nonchalantly as she could manage, lightly drape her arms around herself. He would know just what to do, how to make her better, how to rid her of whatever these fussy sensations were. They made her feel like the problem child that her mother had always told her she was, and she didn't like that at all.
No, wait… Penny carried her expression in a sudden, lopsided manner. Why was she getting so frantically involved in something that was nothing? Heck, she thought about Tracy all the time! So, this was honestly just a huge load of trivial mess. Her shoulders fell in unspoken relief. She could settle down; she would have to.
But, even when she tried to, even when she challenged herself to close her eyes and block out everything to try and relax, a chilling image of piercing, blue eyes, velvety, blonde hair, and various pastels of rushing waves of soft material harassed and toyed with her consciousness, and she could only submit to the wrongs she assumed she was supposedly letting herself commit.