Author's Note: This is the first fanfiction that I've posted here at FF. However, I've been around FF for about three and a half years. It's been about six months since I've had time to write, and I just sort of whipped this together in about an hour, so I guess it's really just a drabble. I love Britt/Artie! KUH-YOOT.
Anyway, reviews = love! And let me know if I should continue or not, because I'm sorta torn.
This was really important to her. It wasn't often that things were really important to Brittany. When they were, though, she tended to set her heart on it. Artie claimed that it was endearing.
She didn't really understand why caring made her road kill, but she had been ensured that this was a good thing.
Brittany saw the way that people looked at Artie when she pushed him down the hall at McKinley. Maybe she wasn't the brightest bulb in the box, but she wasn't completely oblivious. And Artie's wheelchair made him different. In Lima, Ohio, different was the last thing you wanted to be. So she had asked Santa to heal her boyfriend, had practically cried from joy when the robot skeleton had been delivered underneath her Christmas tree.
Artie still had to be different sometimes, but that was why Brittany liked him so much.
Usually, anyway. Suffice it to say that today was not a usually kind of day. Today was one of those days that came with dating a boy who had never danced a day in his life.
"I just don't understand why not," she prodded, poking Artie in the shoulder until he winced. "I don't. Santa gave you the skeleton thing, but you won't use it." She could feel her face crumpling, her lip quivering as it jutted out in a pout. "Santa gave it to you."
Artie sighed audibly, a hand running down his face. His fingers pushed his glasses down over his nose. Maybe if he couldn't see Brittany clearly, it would be easier to explain why he just couldn't take her to the Winter Formal. "I can't dance," he explained quietly, his voice hitching in his throat. "I've never danced before and besides, I don't even know if I could. I only just learned how to walk on those things."
"You don't love me enough to try." That was the thing about Brittany. She didn't mean anything by this simple sentence; it was only a declaration, a fact. It wasn't meant to be vindictive. But it hurt just the same because he did. She made him a better person. She calmed him down, made him smile. Maybe it wasn't love, but it was appreciation.
Sighing, Artie ignored the ache produced by her words. He reached out to where Brittany sat next to him, his hand tilting her chin to look him in the eye. "It's not that." She glanced away. "I just don't think I can, Brittany." He had to be calm. She wasn't trying to kill him, she honestly just wanted to dance with her boyfriend at their first Winter Formal.
She reached out to touch his arm and smiled warmly. Artie felt his hurt melt at the touch. "But I believe in you," she whispered, looking him hard in the eye. "I believe in you." She paused for a moment before launching herself into a proposition. "I can help you. Every day, we can practice just like we did when you were figuring out how to walk. Just for a little while every day. You can do it, Artie. Let me help you." She could feel his protests as they rose in his chest. "I want to help you. Please."
He probably didn't deserve her.
"I really want to dance with you," he whispered, his voice low as he looked into her eyes. "I want to sweep you off your feet."
Brittany brightened, and her smile lit up the room. "Good!" She exclaimed, clapping her hands together. Artie couldn't help but guffaw. "Excellent! When can we start? Now? Can we start now?" He couldn't say no to her. Between sectionals, and Santa, and all the taunts she put up with just to be with him, Artie just knew that he couldn't say no.
Reaching out his hands to clasp both of hers, he smiled. "Sure, right now. But we have to go slow, okay?" She nodded fervently. "We can't all be you when it comes to this stuff."
Hooking up his ReWalk required a lot of effort. The machine surrounded his entire body. Brittany had to help him lift and strap his thighs in, bandage up his ankles, and slide the back-plate over his torso. Artie had discovered, through weeks of practice, that standing up was the hardest part. If he leaned on the crutches in each arm, he could shift himself up until he was standing. Slighting taller than Brittany, he was proud to admit.
As he steadied himself, he smiled proudly at his girlfriend. His hand reached out to clasp around her wrist, pulling her gently closer. "I don't know if this will work," he told her solemnly. "But we can try. I want to dance with you, Brittany. It's really important to me, too." They both had their hearts set on this. As if, by dancing together at the Winter Formal, they could solidify this thing between them. As if maybe it would make people understand that Brittany wasn't the girl she used to be.
She was Artie's now, and he was hers.
The first movements were awkward. He wanted to reach out and place his hands around her hips, to pull her close. But that was impossible; it was all that he could do to shift his weight in a swaying motion and clasp her wrists with his forefingers.
"Hold on," she stopped him, frowning. Artie felt his face fell. He knew that this wouldn't work. It wasn't the dance that she wanted, the one that he wanted her to remember. But she stepped closer to him, gently prying her wrists from his fingers. Instead, they encircled his waste. Artie leaned forward, positioning his crutches on either side of her. "Like this," Brittany insisted. "Sway your weight from your left foot to the right."
He followed her instructions, and she beamed. "Good! Really good, Artie." She offered him an encouraging smile, looking up at him from beneath hooded lashes. "Now I'm going to step backwards with my left foot, and you should step forward on the same side." She demonstrated. Slowly, he pulled his foot forward so that the distance between them stayed consistent. "Now you step back, and I'll go forward." If there was one thing Brittany understood, it was dancing.
He shifted again, dragging his foot behind him. "Yes!" She screamed in delight, her grip around his waist tightening. Brittany positioned herself so that they were pressed closely together. Her cheek rested on his shoulder, her arms still encircling him. "Now with the other foot."
It was slow, and there was no rhythm. There was no beat or tune. Only the back and forth motions of each of their pairs of feet, moving slowly painstakingly slow. Only the shifting of their weight, and the whirring of the ReWalk as Artie learned to move back and forth, shift, back and forth. There was just Brittany, holding him close.
Maybe it wasn't love, but it could be. There were a lot of maybes concerning the pair. But Artie was sure of one thing: he was going to dance with his girlfriend at the Winter Formal.