Disclaimer: Skins isn't mine. Surprise, surprise.

He can't hear anything.

He's completely fucked up his eardrums, and now he can't go see Napalm Death. There would be no point. He can't even fucking hear. So he's not sure exactly what makes him do it, but when he rummages through his pocket and sees that flyer that Grace gave him earlier, he goes. He figures that he was kind of a dick to her, and maybe he can go apologise or some shit. He's not very good with conversing, or words really, but she didn't deserve to be shut down like that. He'd just been pissed.

Music, or metal more specifically, is the only thing that he truly understands. It's pretty fucking universal. And he really doesn't even know why the hell he's going to see ballet (because what the fuck?), but something pulls at him, drawing him in that direction, and he knows that this is so fucking stupid, but he forces his was part those doors anyway. He figures he'll stay until the end just so he can see Grace and apologise for being such a douche.

He doesn't really know what to expect. He's obviously never gone to see ballet before, and he's pretty sure that it's all a bunch of dicks prancing around or whatever, but when Grace comes out, something about her isn't Grace anymore. He doesn't know what she's supposed to be, a swan, a princess, it doesn't fucking matter. He just knows that it's something alien to him, like a flash of her dressed in her metal gear. Being an actress. Something like that. She's Grace, but she's not.

He almost wants to shut his eyes for a few seconds, shake this new feeling off, but he can't. There's something entirely entrancing about the ballerina, the way she twirls and leaps so effortlessly. So perfectly. So fucking gracefully, he loses himself in her performance. Just watching, no sound. He's almost sure he can hear the classical music playing, feel the music through the vibration surrounding him, all of it caught in the air, the atmosphere, everywhere.

She's so light on her feet, pointed toes and all. He can't look away. And all he can think, all he can see and hear is that she's so fucking beautiful. So flawless in this moment of dance. She's not being so fucking sweet and nice, she's just being Grace, no one's doormat. This is her in her element, and he sort of understands her now. Ballet is her thing. That one thing that she understands, the same way metal is his.

She's everything he's supposed to hate. The actress, being Mini's friend, it all seems like this huge fucking fa├žade when he watches her dance like that. What the fuck is this all to him anyway? Ballet? She's everything that he stands against. She's this huge fake.

But she's not. He kind of feels like she's the only truly genuine person he's met in a long time. She's too fucking nice, but it's a nice kind of nice. It's not put on. She pretended to be a metalhead to help him for fuck's sake. No one's ever done anything like that for him before.

And what kind of person is he supposed to like? The Angel of Death? Yeah, because that went over so fucking well. Her judging him the way he had judged Grace was like some huge fucking wake up call. If she was supposed to be his soulmate, then there was something seriously wrong with the world. Here he was, hating shallowness and superficiality, when he was just being a hypocrite. He wasn't seeing past Grace, past the ballet, the nice, the fucking pink, he wasn't seeing her in the same way that she was seeing him. He was the Angel of Death.

He was living in his own little world, and he'd been totally content with that. Wallowing in his music, minding his own goddamn business, but now watching her, all of that just seems to melt away. And he feels small. Everything seems so much bigger now. The world is so much bigger now when it doesn't revolve around purely music. When dancing is a part of it, and Grace is a part of it. He'd thought she'd been edging her way little by little into his own world, when now he realised it'd been the other way around. That she'd just been broadening his horizons. She was pulling him into her own world. This huge one where other people existed, other people mattered, and it wasn't just about him and his metal. And it's so fucking clear now as he watches her dance that he's not the only person a part of the world. He doesn't live in his own little bubble anymore. She's come and burst it.

It's in this brief dance that he's able to forget about music, forget the fact that he can't hear. Music has always been his escape, but now he's escaping in a whole new fashion. Because he's captivated by her dancing, which is so otherworldly, so different from anything that he's ever experienced before, he's just completely caught up in it. Then there's this yearning within him that's asking 'what else has he been missing?' What has being so isolated from everyone else, so alone, made him miss out on? The dancing is different to metal. One isn't better than the other. It's just incomparable. Indescribable. And he'd never given anything different a chance before now.

When she finally stops dancing (he can't tell whether it's been the longest or shortest moment of his life), the spell is broken, and he's just Rich again. Rich the metal head watching Grace dance ballet. It's not his scene, but it's the only place he feels like he fits. It takes him a couple more seconds to realise that his face is wet, that he's been crying, because he's feeling too much, even if he doesn't know exactly what he's feeling.

He's a confused mess because everything he knows, everything that he's believed just seems to be condensed into this small, ignorant portion of him. And Grace is like that potential, that knowledge that there is so much more to the world than he'd thought.

So when he waits for her to come out, there's so much more he wants to say to her. So much he wants to tell her, about her dancing, about his epiphany, but he doesn't know how to say any of it. It's still this jumbled clutter of words and ideas in his head. He doesn't know how to sort it out, let alone say, so he keeps it basic. He keeps to the things that he knows.

It's still hard, and he almost can't get the words out, but then he feels her fingers on his chin, lifting his head up to face her own, and she's so light and perfect. She's dressed in pink, like a fucking princess for crying out, but he knows that Alo was right. She's really kind of beautiful.

"I thought your dance was beautiful."

She looks happy, and he nods, because he really doesn't know what else to say. He wishes that it would all just make sense and come pouring out of his brain, but he knows that he's never going to be able to have an actual conversation with her. Not until his deafness (hopefully) goes away. But somehow even that ceases to matter at the moment.

She takes a moment to type something into her phone.


"I tore up the ticket."

Her reminder makes him realise the stupidity of his rash decision. He could still have gone. Now that he knew that he didn't need the music just the atmosphere for his escape. He looks away, not really sure what else to do. He's still Rich, and she's still Grace. If there was anything he learned today, it's that they're still, and always have been, two very different people. He's just learnt to see her in a different light. And he's kind of glad that he came here in the first place. He regrets tearing up the tickets, but it led him here, and he would never have been exposed to Grace's world if he hadn't have come.

But then she pulls something out of her coat. Tickets. And he doesn't know when she got them, but he can't keep the smile of his face. Here was Grace, so unafraid of being pulled into his world metal and all, while he had been too afraid to be pulled into hers. She gave him another smile, and he knew that this was his chance to look at his favourite band, his world, with a new perspective. To see it, hear it, without sound.

And since she'd introduced him to her world; it was his turn to introduce her to his.

A/N: Yeah, so I love Rich&Grace an insane amount. I swore a lot in this :P but then again it's Skins.