Title: The Latte Girl
Rating: PG-13 for now, subsequent to change
Summary: Life throws curve balls at us every day... Heather just looked at this as another barrier in her journey that she had to leap over. What if Heather was never casted on Glee? A Heya RPF.
Pairings: Naya/Heather, Other: Heather/OC, Naya/Mark
Disclaimer: This fic is RPF! I do not own anything, this is a complete work of fiction. I DO NOT know either of these women nor am I affiliated with Glee or its creators. I also do not own the song "Taylor, The Latte Boy," by Kristin Chenoweth which this fic is loosely based on. These two are not a couple… unfortunately.
Spoilers: Season 1 so far
All grammatical and spelling errors are my own. I apologize in advance for any.
A/N: One day, I was listening to my iPod and suddenly Kristin Chenoweth's "Taylor, the Latte Boy," came up on my shuffle. The storyline just hit me after I closely listened to the lyrics... The story was also inspired by many other concepts as well as some lines... I have to give credit to the amazing musicals of A Chorus Line and Singin' In The Rain. I feel like those two shows are the best tribute to dancers out there. Enjoy the story.
The Latte Girl
It's been three years. It's been three years since she's moved to L.A. Now is her chance. She's been waiting for this moment to come for what feels like forever. She's been dancing since she could walk and now, finally, she felt like she was going to catch her big break.
Heather Morris fidgeted nervously on her bar stool chair at the counter of her home. She cradled a mug of freshly brewed coffee in her hands as she pointlessly turned over the pages of some ancient magazine that was lying in her kitchen. You can tell it was out dated when you're reading an article about the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes surprise engagement. With the ear buds of her iPod stuck in her ears, she didn't hear her groggy roommate shuffle into the kitchen to pour herself her own cup of caffeine. Ashley looked over to Heather who was bobbing and swaying to whatever she was listening to. Even that she did perfectly… She smiled and shook her head at her friend.
"Someone looks excited!" she all but shouted at Heather, who plucked her headphones out as she realized the second body in the room.
"It's not a big deal…" Heather tried to shrug off, but her feet continued to tap against the wooden bar stool, unable to contain her energy.
"Yeah… sure it isn't," Ashley replied sarcastically.
"I told you. I'm not getting my hopes up on this one… I need to get serious with this stuff. If I don't get it then—"
"Yah, yah… you're gonna settle down… blah, blah, blah… I know Heather. You told me a million times," Ashley said, looking to her knowingly over her cup of coffee.
"Well, then why do I have to keep reminding you?" Heather said. Her lips quirked as she leered through her eyelashes at the stout brunette.
Ashley shrugs, "Because. You're my best friend. I know you'll never give up."
Heather simply smiled sadly to herself as she absentmindedly fiddled with the corner of one of the pages of her magazine. She had promised herself that this would be her last dance audition. It's been three years… She wasn't getting any younger. Sure she has had her fair share of experience. Heather had danced on tour with Beyoncé, even featured in a few movies and TV shows… but still. She was always in the background. She didn't mind, in fact, most of the time she actually liked it. She enjoyed being the behind the scenes person, knowing that she was contributing to something much greater. Even though the pay could be better, at least she was getting paid nonetheless and for something she was passionate about. But for some reason, she had this constant burning sensation in the pit of her stomach that was roaring out at her. She knew she was meant for something more. It didn't matter how much she wanted it though if she couldn't book a job. Nothing about this job was stable. She was constantly waiting on chance for a call or an opportunity to dance for someone.
A dancer's life is a hard one to live. There were the injuries, the rejection, the traveling, the constant unemployment, and the age factor… Dancers always put themselves on timelines, dreading every birthday. It was really the most unrealistic profession out there. But she couldn't help herself. She was going try her damn hardest to kick her legs for as long as she could… Heather loved to dance. It was the one thing in her life that was constant; that she could always rely to fall back on. She realized it was something she could never fathom to sacrifice once she got into college. She couldn't even last a year without it and quickly decided to drop out and move out to L.A. to pursue her one love in life.
Although her mother was weary of the idea, Ms. Morris was the most supportive mom Heather could have ever asked for. It wasn't till late that her biggest fan really started to have major concerns over her situation… Heather would never forget that phone call.
"Honey, I'm just worried about you. It's not the most ideal conditions you're living in."
"Mom, I told you… I'm fine. I'm still taking care of the bills and I still have a roof over my head."
"Well, the last time I saw you, you looked so thin! I know you haven't been eating well. It really isn't healthy."
"I have to make some cuts somewhere. But it's okay. I think I'm gonna catch a big break soon. Zach called me last week and—"
"Heather, I know that you're working hard and Zach always does his best to find you work, but… you can't rely on these little jobs forever, hon. Maybe it's time you reconsidered your career for the future?"
"Mom? Are you telling me you think I should give up on dance?"
"Of course not, honey. I think you are the most beautiful and most talented dancer in Los Angeles. I'm just suggesting that maybe you should take a little break for a while. We're in a recession you know, and it seems like the business isn't doing so well with all that Writer's Strike nonsense…"
"Mom that was last year. I think you've been watching too much TV lately…"
"Just think about it. I'm worried about you. Your sisters are too… Times are tough and it's not going to get easier any time soon. This may be for the best, if only for a little while. Just do it for me so I know you're making some source of income."
"Will you do that for me?"
"Yeah… sure Mom."
The faint memory made Heather frown. She knew her mother believed in, she would never stop… but it still hurt to hear her say what Heather knew she needed to hear. She was just trying to be a good mother.
Heather took a slow sip from her steaming cup of coffee and inhaled deeply, attempting to relax herself. The soothing scent of smooth coffee grounds and sweet hazelnut cream normally washed over her and swept her worries away. Today was different though…
When Zach had described a bit of the show to her, she was instantly intrigued with the idea. A high school show choir… she definitely hadn't seen anything like that on TV. Even though she wasn't sure how the concept would take off, she knew that being a part of a show like this was perfect for her. It was every performers dream to be a part of something like this… Sing, dance, act… even if Heather wasn't too confident in the last department. Zach, knowing her background with the Beyoncé Experience Tour, asked her to step in to teach some of the kids the Single Ladies dance. He hinted that there was a job opening for a small role in the cast. If her cards were dealt right, she would get the part. That's what Zach told her… Easy, she thought. Heather hated herself for being so hopeful, but the job really was perfect.
"Hey…" Ashley had come up beside Heather. The blonde looked over to her shorter, brunette roommate. "No matter what happens, it's going to be amazing. Life will go on either way."
Heather smiled appreciatively, "I know, but I told you… Not getting my hopes up."
"If you say so… I guess I'll just have to hope for you then," Ashley rubbed her shoulder. "If worst comes to worst, you can just become a writer and make fabulous shorts with me."
Heather rolled her eyes.
"Yes… because becoming a writer is a much more stable career than a dancer… Smart idea," Heather joked.
"Of course. Everything I say is ingenious."
"Oh God…" Heather said getting up out of her chair and over to the sink to rinse her cup, "Let me just get out of your way here. I feel like I'm crowding your abnormally large ego that's taking up the room."
"You know it sister…"
Heather shook her head at her Ashley as she grabbed her bag to leave. She popped in one ear bud and turned to the still disheveled girl before her.
"I should get going… I'll tell you what happens tonight," with that Heather made her way out the door.
"Good luck! Go booty shake the shit out of 'em!" Ashley shouted as Heather walked outside, stopping to wag her bottom at Ashley briefly before closing the door behind her. Ashley chuckled to herself knowingly, sipping at the amazing coffee Heather always brewed.
Heather stood small under the large archways of the Paramount lot entrance. She shifted her shoulder bag nervously and tugged down at her zip-up hoodie. She thought back to one of her favorite childhood musicals. She couldn't fathom where Julie Andrews managed to muster all that confidence from when she stood outside the Von Trapp family's house. She inhaled deeply and took a firm step forward.
"I'm Heather Morris. I'm a dancer. And I'm going to get this job."
After getting lost a couple times, a friendly crew member finally directed her to Zach. When her old friend saw her, he immediately engulfed her in a big hug.
"Heather!" he exclaimed happily in her ear, she smiled brightly. "It's always great to see you…"
"Same to you… it's been a while."
"Yes, too long," Zach agreed tapping her nose and she scrunched her face at him. "Thank you again for doing this for me… I owe you one for all these little favors you do for me whenever I have a project. It always means a lot. But I've got to warn you… These kids need as much help as they can get. They really don't have much dance experience at all, and I know how patient you are with people."
Heather followed Zach as he directed her around set to where she was assuming she was going to be teaching a couple actors the Single Ladies dance.
"It's no problem at all. I'll do my best… If anything, I should be thanking you. Work has been hard to come by," Heather commented solemnly and Zach nodded in agreement.
"It has been particularly difficult finding jobs lately. I've been trying to help out as much of you kids as I can. But I know it's hard… just keep on trying and something will come up eventually," he winked at her knowingly. Heather smiled brightly in anxiousness. She hoped he was right.
The two walked between two trailers to a short Asian girl with a large smile and a young boy with neatly combed hair. He looked fresh out of high school. They both looked to Heather and measured her up. She tucked her bangs behind her ears nervously as she smiled to the two. When they smiled back kindly, Heather felt more at ease.
"Hey, guys! Heather here is going to teach you the Single Ladies dance. I wanted her to stop by here early and give you an introduction before we steal her away so she can teach the boys," Zach told the two actors.
The rosy cheeked boy extended his hand out first, "I'm Chris, it's nice to me you."
Heather shook his hand and smiled shyly, "Hi…"
"And I'm Jenna," the girl said politely and Heather shook her hand as well.
"Awesome. Well, Heather here really knows her stuff. She just got done with being a backup dancer on the Beyoncé Experience Tour, so treat her nicely…" Zach told the two pointedly.
Both Jenna and Chris raised their eyebrows in surprise at the tall blonde dancer in front of them.
"Wow, so you're legit…" Chris commented in awe and Heather giggled shyly in response.
"Alright, have fun you three. Try not to goof off too much. I'll be back in a few."
Zach then prodded off to attend to some of his other early morning business, leaving Heather to her teaching. Heather took a deep breath in and regained her professional composure. She loved teaching people so her instincts from small lessons she's taught before kicked in.
"So, you guys ready?" Heather asked brightly.
"As ready as we'll ever be, honey… With us, it's gonna be a long day…" Chris commented and Jenna giggled with a nod.
"Don't worry, by the time I'm done with you two you'll be experts," Heather told them confidently with smile. With that she began with the basics.
When Zach had told her they had little dance experience, he was not exaggerating… Jenna wasn't all too bad at all; she actually picked it up fairly well. It was Chris that took some extra back tracking and repeating of certain moves. But she couldn't help herself as she got captured in her task. It was her two favorite things combined… dancing and helping people. She was having the best time with the two actors who were surprisingly very laid back. She learned that this was both of their big breaks. Chris told her that he was fresh out of high school… literally. He told them all humorous stories of his not so glorious years of his "teenage delinquent classmates", he so appropriately put. While Jenna, on the other hand, had some experience. She had done little bits of stage work, but overall this was her first big production.
Heather found herself getting along quickly with them both, finding out their quirks and silly tendencies. Her and Jenna were always in a constant fit of giggles whenever Chris would say some sort of blunt offhand comment about a suggestive dance move. She fell in love with Chris's witty sense of humor and Jenna's caring kindness and infectious laughter. If this was only two members of the cast, she couldn't imagine how wonderful the rest were. She had no idea how accurate her thought were…
Heather laughed loudly.
"No, no… Chris it's turn, turn, hair, slide down, then smack the butt…" Heather explained with a giggle. Chris tried again, this time turning back to Heather with an exaggerated sexy face as he smacked his ass. Jenna and Heather burst into chuckles.
"Sure… just go with it…" Heather responded. "Okay next. You wanna dip, come up, turn away, then turn back, hands, then hip…"
She showed both Jenna and Chris what it should look like before breaking it down slowly for them. Both of them looked at her in disbelief.
"Oh come on guys, you can do this. It really isn't that hard."
"Okay, darling. You say that because you're a professional dancer. Jenna and I… not professional dancers…" Chris told her jokingly. "I don't understand how you women do this in heels…"
Heather laughed, she felt like she had been laughing all morning.
"It's okay we'll take it slow. From the beginning now."
She went through the moves slowly for Jenna and Chris, bending down slowly before moving into the next position. When she came back up her eyes landed on sun-kissed skin and luscious dark hair… A petite Latina strolled closer to them; her eyes covered by bug-eyed sunglasses and hands occupied with a thick script and bright pink highlighter. With the rather captivating Latina was a chubbier man with silly shades, mismatching socks, and a neon blue fanny pack. Distracted, Heather's foot caught momentarily behind her other heel and she faltered slightly.
"We're not supposed to do that are we?" Chris asked sarcastically. Jenna swatted his shoulder.
"Sorry… my bad…" Heather apologized with a blush.
The couple approached the three of them and the goofy looking man smiled to Heather.
"Hi! Are you Heather… Morris?" he asked with a friendly voice.
"Yeah, that's me," Heather replied softly. She couldn't help but peer over his shoulder at the tiny girl standing behind him. She wasn't paying attention as she chewed lightly on the cap of her highlighter while she ruffled through the many pages of her script.
"Mhm… thought so… Zach told me the tall blonde girl with legs for days. He could have made it a little more challenging."
Heather laughed brightly at the man's humor, her chuckles singing out lightly from her voice box. The small brunette looked up from her reading, captured by the sound. Her eyes rested easily on the tall, blonde named Heather Morris who smiled politely at their PA.
She lowered her sunglasses slightly on her nose to examine Zach's protégé. A smirk instantly graced her pouty lips. The brunette eyed the blonde, intrigued with her casual demeanor and gentle smile. Most of all she was captured by those eyes. They were a shockingly, pure crystal blue. She felt like she could swim for ages in those clear, hopeful pools of turquoise. Heather's eyes darted to the mysterious looking Latina distractedly. She felt weary of her unabashed staring.
"Did… Did you need something?" Heather finally said, directing herself back to the man named Telly. As she did so, the Latina raised her glasses up to rest on top of her head, revealing dark mocha orbs that glowed almost red in the morning sun. Heather swallowed thickly.
"Oh yes. Zach wanted you in the tinshed in five… boys will be in there soon for you to teach them the dance," he told her.
"Oh… we weren't quite finished yet," Heather commented, referring back to the two behind her who were sipping their water bottles.
Telly chuckled and looked to Jenna and Chris, "How's the dancing going?"
"You mean how's the workout going, right?" Chis corrected.
Heather blushed, "Sorry, I was probably going too fast."
She heard some type of heavenly laughter and Heather turned her head quickly to the sound. The Latina was watching her, amusement written on her face.
"Don't worry… it's probably not your fault. We all kinda suck at dancing right now," she said in a low husk that sent an unfamiliar shiver down Heather's spine.
"Yah, they never said dancing would be in the agenda," Jenna commented lightly.
"Or weird corsets…" Chris added.
"Not to mention the slushies…" Jenna shivered.
"Slushies?" Heather inquired.
"Oh yes… people like Naya here throw them in our faces," Chris told her bluntly, gesturing to the Latina who chuckled lowly.
Naya… Heather repeated to herself mentally. She stared incredulously at the laughing brunette.
"Wait, are you serious?"
The question just brought the girl into a deeper fit of giggles. No one else was laughing at her, just the brunette. The other three simply raised their eyebrows, shaking their heads with amused looks. Heather was confused. She didn't think she was being funny.
Telly saw her worried expression.
"Don't worry honey, he's not being serious," he told her, then looked at Naya and rolled his eyes, "And ignore her… she has a weird sense of humor."
She hit his shoulder with her script in response and he coward slightly. Her lips still played that same smile.
"Whatever. You love it," she told him confidently.
Naya looked to Heather and their eyes locked for a moment. She smiled widely at her.
"You'll see what we're talking about eventually…" Telly told her. Then he added, "Hopefully before we air too. Hear you're rumored to be our third cheerleader."
Naya raised an inquisitive eyebrow. Again, the brunette's fiery, chestnut eyes traced the figure of Heather's body, soaking up every detail of her. She smiled approvingly, while Heather simply blushed under her gaze. She didn't know why, but Heather thought this girl was something else. She got this odd appealing vibe that attracted her to her… she was aching to know more. She blinked hard twice. She had to snap out of it. If she wanted this to go right, she had to be professional.
"Yeah… trying not to get my hopes up…" Heather replied modestly.
"Oh stop it. You've got a good word with Zach. That's definitely a plus," Jenna told her. Heather grinned at her appreciatively.
"Not to mention you're a freaking amazing dancer," Chris added. "You even managed to make me look slightly good. That's an accomplishment in its self."
Heather shrugged, even though her heart was hammering in anticipation. The more time she spent with these people the more she felt like she could easily fit in with them.
"You two were doing all the work. I just gave you the steps. I think you both will be great."
"You're too modest…" Naya said softly. The compliment came out of nowhere causing Heather to blush deeply. Jenna and Chris looked to each other knowingly, while Telly simply gaped at Naya never seeing his friend like this.
"Well, hopefully I'll get to stick around for a little while. But I'm just the help for the day," Heather told all of them, even though she looking at Naya. "I suppose I should go find Zach. Where did you say I needed to go?"
"Tinshed," Telly told her again. Heather furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.
"You guys do your choreography in a garage? I didn't think this show was that low budget…" Heather asked aloud. Naya laughed out again.
Heather really didn't know what she was saying that was so funny, but she must have been doing something right. Because the Latina's laughter sang out to her ears and it was certainly a lovely song to hear… Heather couldn't help, but smile widely. Just when Heather thought Naya couldn't surprise her any further she spoke out lowly to her.
"I like you…" Naya stated matter-of-factly as if they were elementary school kids who just met each other on the playground. It was like she had an innocent, young mind that didn't give a care in the world who her friends were, but just cared about the immediate appeal.
Heather couldn't help, but reply automatically as her heart did a weird fluttering in her chest, "I like you too…"
The Latina's smile grew ever wider at Heather's response, content with her reply.
As if wishfully hoping to herself, she says aloud, "Yeah, I really like this girl, Telly. I hope we get to see her around."
Tapping her chin, she eyed Heather up and down one last time before she hides those captivating eyes behind her glasses. She and Telly both walked away, their message delivered. Heather blushes furiously as she watches them go. Telly reaches out and tickles Naya's ear playfully. She swats his hand away and laughs loudly, the infectious vibrations reaching Heather's ears. Heather unknowingly smiles, a smile she hasn't shown in a really long time these days. Suddenly she can't help, but desperately hope that she will get to stay around if only to hear the Latina laugh again.
Chris and Jenna simply watch Heather, both with raised eyebrows.
"Ahem…" Chris cleared his voice capturing Heather's attention. She still had that ridiculous smile on her lips.
"You may wanna save that pretty smile for later. You've got tougher people to impress than her…" he told her knowingly. Heather simply looked back at him blankly, not really pinpointing exactly what he was referring to. She shook her head to get out of her stupid daze. She had to get serious.
Chris was right. She had bigger, more important people to see to. She inhaled sharply. After meeting Naya, Heather felt more determined than ever to take this role and run away with it.
Heather had never worked so hard for anything in her entire life. To be accurate, she was literally working her ass off. Never could she remember of anything else that she wanted so badly. After her encounter with the luring Latina, she felt an empowering new vigor and purpose. It wasn't simply to get the job… yes that was important, but she wanted to push herself and be better than she ever was before. It was weird that the girl had such a strong effect on her… but she was appreciative of it, because she's never danced and taught better in her life.
Sweat dripped from every pore of her body. When they said tinshed, they meant it literally. The room was like her dad's old toolshed. It was dank and small, not to mention steaming… The place really had no circulation at all; she wouldn't have been surprised if the facility broke several safety codes. However, Heather ignored the unbearable heat and focused on her task. She directed the group of very burley, masculine men. It was amusing to say the least to watch them do such a feminine dance. Apparently they were supposed to be on the football team and they were going to perform the Single Ladies dance at a game for some reason that was left unexplained to Heather. Most of them were easy to work with, majority being trained dancers. However, there were a couple that were difficult to work with… One particularly tall boy, with a puzzled looking brow basically had two left feet. She didn't think it was possible, but this kid proved her wrong…
Whenever she danced she always exuded a sense of confidence, but inside was very much the opposite. Her nerves had bubbled up considerably when she spotted a balding man, another with glasses, and a short pointed nose lady lurking by within the hour or so that Heather had to teach the dance. She presumed it was the people in charge… the people that would determine her future. Zach would occasionally shoot her a confident wink or a supportive smile, and it would calm her ever so slightly.
As Heather finished going step-by-step with about three quarters of the routine, Zach called a break.
"Everybody take five and we'll bring it back to finish the rest! And when I say five, I mean only five Cory…" Zach lectured to the abnormally tall actor who Heather had been having the most trouble with.
Zach walked over to Heather who took a generous swig of water from her bottle.
"You're doing great," he leaned and whispered in her ear. She screwed the cap back on and looked over her shoulder at the three colleagues discussing in the corner. Heather looked back at Zach.
"I can't tell. I'm not getting any signs from them…" she muttered nervously.
"Hey, trust me. Your dancing is impeccable, not to mention your teaching is by far exceeding mine…" Zach joked. "Don't worry about it too much. Those dogs are trained to remain emotionless…"
Heather smiled appreciatively to Zach before excusing herself to the ladies room. She winded her way around crew members and hallways and managed to get herself lost… yet again. Figuring it would be best to retrace her steps back and start again, she headed back towards the tinshed. Just before she got to the entrance she spotted Zach talking to the three people who were watching her. Quickly she hid behind a corner, still in hearing distance to be able to make out the words the four were conversing. She listened quietly.
"You only watched her for like five minutes… just give her a chance…" she heard Zach say pleadingly. She felt her heart immediately plummet to the ground at the tone of his voice.
"We told you Zach. We simply cannot hire her. We're on a strict budget, we can't afford to keep her throughout the episodes," the bald man said.
"I'm sure she wouldn't mind anything. She'll be an extra for all she cares. Just let her dance."
God, thank the lord for Zach… Heather thought to herself. She would take anything at this point. She would go and run stupid errands for the cast and do all the dirty work for all she cared. All she wanted was a chance.
"We know you obviously care about her, Zach… that is evident. But we were already interested in another girl," the man with the black framed glasses told him pointedly. Zach slumped and so did Heather. If she had any hope before it was instantly smashed in that moment.
"What? Who? Why didn't you tell me earlier before I told her that there was an opening?" Zach hissed in frustration and Heather winced at the unfamiliar tone.
"Calm down, Zach… It was decided this morning."
"And I spoke with you this morning…"
"Listen here," the woman finally spoke up crossly. Heather assumed it was the casting director or something, "We needed a third girl that would bring more diversity to the three cheerleaders. We already have Dianna and Naya. To be frank, Zach, she just looks too much like Dianna."
"She doesn't look a thing like, Dianna!" he defended. Go, Zach, go! Heather cheered mentally.
"Obviously… we know that. It's not what we meant. Her features are too similar to Dianna's. The blonde hair, fair skin… it won't do well on screen. The viewers may get them confused," the lady further explained.
"The viewer's aren't that stupid…" Zach mumbled with defeat.
"Well, we can't assume that. We just don't want anyone to get mixed up," the bald man tried to console. "Look. I like her. I think she is an impeccable dancer and she has a lovely personality… obviously she's talented. She fits the description of the technique and skills we were looking for Zach, but unfortunately we can't take the long term commitment."
Heather wanted to run in. She wanted to tell them she would take anything. She couldn't care less. She just wanted the job… any job that could keep her in the business, just to give her a little hope that she could make a living out of what she loved. But then the short lady spoke up again.
"Besides that, again… her looks aren't T.V. appropriate."
Heather furrowed her eyebrows.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Zach read her thoughts.
"This is the entertainment industry, Zach. I'm going to be honest with you. Did you see the nose on that face?"
Heather's hand instinctively went to cover her nose. Her nose wasn't that big was it? She knew it had always been slightly larger in proportion to the rest of her face, but still…
"Not to mention those bangs…"
Heather ruffled at her hair, and blew up at her fringe in disappointment.
"And I'm sorry but her ass… well to put it nicely, it's pretty big for a girl her size."
Heather cringed. That one was particularly harsh. Zach looked at the lady in disbelief.
"Zach, we're not trying to offend you," the bald man said as he leered at the lady for speaking her mind so freely. "But we all have to make sacrifices somewhere. She's a gifted kid. She'll find work elsewhere."
With that, the bald man patted his shoulder and the three departed from the tinshed back to more important things than silly, ugly blonde dancers… Heather sighed as that little fire in her was muffled out. She leaned her head against the side of the tinshed momentarily, feeling completely drained of all self-confidence.
Fuck… pull yourself together, Morris. Remember? You promised you wouldn't be disappointed. It could have been worse. They could have said it to your face…
She nodded to herself. Three critical, creators weren't going to get to her head. She knew better than that. Sure it was harsh, but hey… being a dancer she's gone through much worse criticism. After all, Heather knew what she was getting in to. She shook it off, standing up straighter. She was going to prove them wrong. Hell, she wasn't going to get the job, but she was sure to leave with a fucking bang.
"Life will go on either way…"
Ashley was right. Heather hated admitting that, but what her friend had told her this morning was true. Life will go on. A temporary bump in the road is never permanent. With that she headed back into the tinshed. When she entered, she swore she had never seen Zach so mad in her entire life. It was intimidating, but she knew she was on the better end of it.
"Hey…" she said softly.
Zach turned to her and his eyes saddened. He sighed deeply.
"Hey…" he said hesitantly. Heather could tell he was having difficulty breaking the news, so she saved him the trouble.
"It's okay…" she told him knowingly. Zach looked up to her apologetically.
"I'm sorry, Hemo," he told her, using her nickname.
"Don't worry about it. Hey, that's show business right?" she tried to joke weakly. His shoulders further slumped, reading her easily. Heather wasn't a hard one to figure out.
"Yeah, well I guess my goodies were just too much for them to handle," she said shaking her hips. Zach chuckled lightly.
"I tried my best…"
"I know you did and I thank you for that. You've done more than I can ever ask for, Zach. Please don't be hard on yourself. I've had worse rejection before," she told him, giving him her award winning smile. He smiled back and slung an arm around her shoulder.
"Right… well you better promise me you will prove 'em wrong. After this I want you to keep dancing your little booty off and score the next job offered to you," Zach told her teasingly and Heather giggled, even though she knew wouldn't. She knew what she promised herself…
Heather finishes teaching the Single Ladies dance, head held high and ass shaking like she's never shook it before. She wanted to give those fucking assholes a run for their money. They were missing out on an amazing opportunity. She managed to teach every single one of her pupils how to do the dance, including that oaf of a man with the two left feet.
Feeling accomplished she gathered her things to leave when Zach called it a day. He turned to her one last time.
"Don't forget what I told you, Hemo. Never give up."
Heather smiled appreciatively to him. He always looked out for when she needed him most. He was a good guy and she knew he would always mean well. She was thankful for the opportunity. He promised her if he heard of anything else that came up, she would be the first one to know. She took his word for it. But Heather knew otherwise… she knew nothing more would come up. Zach was consumed in this new project. All the openings Heather knew of were probably filled. She had already come to terms with what she knew she had to do… she had to settle.
Heather embraced Zach in a final hug and waved him goodbye. She draped her hoodie jacket over her sweaty shoulders, her thin tank top clinging to her torso and midsection. As Heather walked out and looked up, her eyes fell on that familiar caramel skin, and dark raven hair. She couldn't help, but smile weakly.
Naya was walking cheerily in the direction of the tinshed and beamed brightly when she saw the beautiful, blonde from earlier. Heather spotted the sultry smile on the Latina's lips and if she hadn't completely melted before, she did just then. Naya eyed her up and down, her tongue darting out quickly to lick her lips. Heather swallowed uneasily.
"You would make one hot workout partner," she said openly. Heather was taken aback by her forwardness. She tried to keep up with the Latina the best she could.
"Yeah… too bad I don't need the gym to look this good," she joked light-heartedly. Naya laughed sweetly and it made Heather smile wider, nearly forgetting what had happened earlier.
"Leaving so soon? I was kinda hoping you were here to help our routine too," Naya asked. Heather noticed other female dancers and extras heading into the tinshed… She was immediately jealous of them and their roles.
"Yeah… Zach just needed me for the Single Ladies dance. Although I'm sure you would be perfectly fine without me," she had reassured without filtering a word she just said. She mentally slapped herself. Naya grinned, almost shyly.
"Hm… well, maybe next time?" she asked, looking up into her clear blue eyes hopefully. Heather couldn't help but get lost in those dark, espresso brown orbs… This girl was messing with her senses and better judgment.
"Naya!" a blonde haired girl with dazzling hazel eyes yelled out to her. "Stop flirting and come on!"
Heather couldn't help, but blush at the comment. Naya on the other head simply shook her head and smiled widely at Heather.
"I gotta go," she tells her regretfully.
"Yah, of course… It was lovely meeting you, Naya," her name rolled so easily off of Heather's tongue.
"Yeah… ditto," the Latina replied, slightly mesmerized by the blonde dancer. "I'll see you around!"
Naya runs off before Heather could say anything. She sighed deeply.
She whispered sadly to herself, "Yeah… if only…"
As Heather slung her bag over her shoulder and sulked off the lot she couldn't help, but feel a little down in the dumps. It never feels good to get rejected. She felt like this one was it for sure… Yeah, she may have slightly swayed by a certain brown-eyes beauty, but still. She couldn't help, but feel like this was the one that just slipped from her fingers. She had it… she had never danced better and she never so instantly clicked with coworkers like that so quickly.
The most important factor of not getting hired meant something so much more disheartening… She needed to find a job and she needed to settle down.
Fuck… she thought. I'm not getting any younger.
She had to take life a little more seriously. She couldn't be the reckless youth she was always taught to be; to pursue her dreams no matter the cost. This by far didn't mean it was the end, but she had to take a step back and grow up a little. Life throws curve balls at us every day… Heather just looked at this as another barrier in her journey that she had to leap over. On the other side, she'll eventually get to where she wants to be; whatever that was.
As she turns the corner down the street to make her way to the bus stop, she looks up to her right at small, place secretly squeezed in between two other more franchised shops. She didn't spot it before when she made her way to the studio… she must have been too nervous to realize. She cocked her head to the side as she peered up at the sign written in old carved out letters.
Black Horse Café…
The place looked old and vintage, like it had many stories to tell. A small smile spread to Heather's lips. Her eyes curiously wandered down the chipped black painting and the old wooden framed exterior that was trimmed in gold, mahogany read, and forest green. For some reason Heather felt drawn to the warmth exuding from it, although it may have been from the lovely scent of brewed coffee wafting through some of the open windows. As she looked to the door she saw a "WE ARE NOW HIRING" sign. Maybe it was there for reason… Without thinking, she decided to take this first opportunity as a welcoming beacon. It looked cozy and safe… most importantly it looked safe.
And safe is what Heather needed.
Heather opened the door and the bell overhead jingled warmly.
"Hi, you're hiring?"
The story begins.