Started my daily ficlets to make the hiatus pass, then decided to keep going with a 2nd cycle, and then a 3rd, 4th, etc through 21st cycle. Now cycle 22!

ALPHABET 2.0 - So nearly a year ago (HA!) I had done a set of stories taking inspiration by words, three for each letter of the alphabet (started with Acapella, Audition Arts in mid-February and every other day to April). Well now I wanted to do something like that, but using the alphabet another way. Instead of random words, I made sentences, all with those same letters (you'll see). There'll be 13 here in cycle 22, and the other half in cycle 24!
TODAY: (1 of 26) A is for...

A/N: Sorry for the delay. Came home and my dad had injured his toe, etc... *thud*


"Artie Assumes Adultery"
Artie, Artie/Brittany

Maybe it was foolish, but he thought for sure it had meant something to her… more than this. Sure, he went to that school, too, he heard people talk; Brittany herself had admitted to some of it while overloaded on her cold meds. But it didn't feel like she was lying to him all this time. He may have made assumptions like everyone else back in the day, but that was before…

After the duet assignment, he'd let Santana's words get to him… He'd been so sure that what happened between him and Brittany had meant something to the both of them… but then maybe not. So they had split up.

But then the problem with letting someone make up his mind for him was that after a while his own thoughts would come back to the surface. A couple of weeks had gone by and the more he saw her, around school, at Glee Club… All he could think about was what a mistake he'd made. He'd never given her a real chance and he owed it to her and to himself to make up his own mind, instead of letting Santana do it.

It hadn't taken long to get her back, and he saw this as her still being in it… He had been the one to break it off, not her… He knew what that felt like. And maybe some of it was Brittany being Brittany, but that didn't have to be a bad thing, did it?

There was Brittany-with-the-checklist, but there was someone else under that… sweet, and fun, full of life and, well… with a very specific view of the world. He liked being around her. Back before Glee Club he never would have believed that he would ever get her talking to him, much less kissing, or…

And even at the beginning of Glee Club, she didn't seem to see him most times, so how could he expect to end up where he did?

After they'd mended, they'd spent the next few weeks moving from a one-off fling to a full-on item, and everything just… bloomed. They were boyfriend and girlfriend, and he got to see her for so much more than he'd known… He was finally happy again…

And then… more thoughts put in his mind… When Tina told him she believed Mike was cheating on her with Brittany, he wouldn't let it get to him at first. He'd already done that, and he'd almost missed out on so much. So he was putting his trust in Brittany, in his girlfriend. But then…

He'd never seen her so evasive, and it was jarring… enough to make him think maybe this time he wouldn't be so paranoid to think Brittany was hiding something from him, spending 'quality time' with one Mike Chang…

It was nearly impossible to not see how much the possibility of Mike and Brittany made sense. They were popular, he was a jock, she was a cheerleader… But even more than that, they were dynamite when they danced on their own, and then when together… well, they ignited.

More and more, it seemed, they would get called on to put those talents to New Directions' use, which then meant they would be spending more and more time together. So if two friends with chemistry off the charts on the dance floor kept being thrown together, what did people expect?

Well, he expected that he would have meant enough to her – and Tina to Mike – that none of it would matter, that she would remain faithful… And for that reason he had decided he needed to flat out confront her about it. He still had a glimmer of hope that signals had been mixed, that he really had blown it out of proportion… crazier things had happened, and this was Brittany, so it could be…

Hearing her reply, her admission (as far as he knew at the time), it put an end to that tiny glimmer, sucked all the light out of it. It was like he'd wanted to believe her so much, and the further he pulled that belief like an elastic band, the harder the hit came when the band was released.

Over and over he was being betrayed… It certainly felt that way. With Tina, it was different… She'd broken up with him, and then… Mike. With Brittany though… She had gone behind his back, choosing to get with… Mike. He really wanted not to feel hateful toward the guy, but he was starting to see a pattern emerge…

Part of him couldn't help but wonder if it was him, the reason that he kept losing them, if it was because of… what he lacked. He was fine with who he was, but what if they just preferred someone more mobile, with dancing feet rather than dancing wheels? He didn't want to consider that being the case, but with where he was, there and then, he couldn't help but think it. He felt some anger which, under the circumstances, felt absolutely justified… He couldn't even really focus on Sectionals.

So perhaps to help clear his mind, to know the things he needed to know, he'd gone to Brittany, before they went on. And there he found… hope could be relit and grow, grow, from a glimmer to a shining beacon…

It had been a misunderstanding, a 'Brittany thing…' His feelings for her only solidified there… It felt like he'd nearly fallen in that same trap again, the one he'd been telling himself wouldn't get him again… But then, Brittany had never been something quite as expected. She was magical, a fairy to reignite hope.

THE END


A/N: This is a one-shot ficlet, which means that signing up for story alert will not bring you any alerts.
In the event of a sequel, the story will be separate from this one. And as chapter stories go, they are
always clearly indicated as such [ex: "Days 204-210" in the summary] Thank you!