Author's Notes: Originally written for diva_off; based off the prompt "Pull back the hair from your eyes, let everyone see your pretty face. Try not to say anything weird."
"Relax, Tina! Calm down. Don't run everywhere. Pull your hair back already and let everyone see your face; you're pretty, show it. Try not to say anything weird. Well, too weird. Endearing quirkiness is okay; encouraging, even. Emphasizes our small town underdog status. But we can't take it over the top; that will just alienate the audience and stop them sympathizing with–"
"Rachel!" Tina has to interject. "You're really not helping me relax."
Rachel pouts and takes the seat next to her. "I'm still insisting on the hair thing," she says, reaching for an elastic. Tina lets her tie the hair back.
"Remind me again why I'm going on screen with you? Because I'm pretty sure I'm acquiring a heart condition from this," Tina says. Rachel pauses.
"Tina. This whole fundraising thing was your idea. You were right; we need to bring more attention to the minorities we hold, especially the difficulties encountered by our friends in Glee club."
Tina thinks of Artie and how proud he was of her for this whole thing, and smiles. Then she goes back to panicking.
"But why am I doing it? Why aren't we bringing in one of us who's a bit more of a minority than me?"
Rachel rolls her eyes. "Again, Tina – it was your idea. Hence, you have the best ability to answer most of the questions – especially those about what this means; where we were coming from. I'm mostly here to smooth things over with my years of training for speaking to the media."
Tina inhales. "Okay."
"Besides – you really do deserve the spotlight," Rachel says, sounding a little wistful. "You could be a fabulous star, if only you'd let yourself. I know I've tried to take that limelight away from you before, but..."
Tina can't help but blush. "Really? I'm a star?"
"Of course," says Rachel. She pauses. "Well, maybe not in the way you'd initially think. You'll never be a diva with a heart of gold type like me – you're too sweet. However, you're soft and gentle and the kind of girl no-one can help but like; that does a lot. You soothe people. And one day, if you just let the world see you long enough, you'll wake up and see yourself – Tina Cohen-Chang, America's sweetheart."
Tina's touched. "Thanks, Rachel. Although I hate to bring it up, but those 'America's Sweetheart' types are usually white. Plus, they have this tendency of getting murdered, so it may not be such a good thing."
Rachel shrugs it off. "Oh, people get murdered at fairly even rates. It's just the mass media over-focus on the cases involving pretty young white women as a foundation of sensationalist journalism, and don't start me on that rant because we have to go on stage soon."
Tina represses a laugh. "Okay," she says. There's a pause. "So... you're not nervous about this, then?"
Rachel shakes her head. "Of course not. We'll kill it."
Tina narrows her eyes.
"Well, of course I'm lying," says Rachel. "That's one of the defining traits of being a star; telling everyone you're calm and confident whenever you're secretly shitting yourself, and vice versa. You get used to it in time."
Tina nods. "Okay. So. Hair back from face."
"Don't say anything too weird."
The girls smile at each other.
"We're ready," says Rachel.