terri/spinner, terri/rickbased slightly around the episode Eye of the Beholder, but with a different outcome and a different story. AU.
lyrics at the beginning and end are from not like the movies by katy perry. if you can, listen to it while you read this - it really helps set the mood. :)
i didn't feel the fairytale feeling,the warmth in my heart
in all the story books, the princess is beautiful and the prince always loves her and, at the end, there's a happily ever after.
terri is no princess, spinner is no prince, and there's no happily ever after here.
she's dancing - spinning around and around in the rain. her hair is tangled, her skin is wet, and her shoes are sloshing and squeaking, and it's slightly uncomfortable, but she doesn't dare stop now, because even though she knows it's just an illusion, a trick of the light, she feels beautiful.
she feels carefree.
but then a car drives by, music blasting loudly, interrupting her dance and sending muddy water all over her and her clothes.
suddenly, she feels more dirty and late for school than she does carefree.
(because girls like her; they don't get to be carefree for very long).
spinner mason isn't the sweetest guy, or the smartest, but there's something about him, she decides, as she watches him play basket ball with jimmy brooks. something she wants nothing more than to ignore, but knows deep down she can't.
beside her, ashley goes on about her school work, paige is talking about her new lip gloss; neither realize how distracted terri is, for which terri is glad, because if they did, they'd laugh at her.
spinner mason is too cool for terri, but she doesn't care.
not like they would.
he asks for her notes one day, and she smiles and gives them to him, and then he brings up the dance, and part of her wants to tell him she's not going, but he's there and he's practically asking her, so she says, "yeah, i'm going."
"me too," he smiles. "want to... you know, go together?" he asks, and terri grins.
"sure," she mumbles, just as jimmy is whisking him away and ashley and paige are walking over to her.
"did he just ask you out?" ash doesn't sound shocked, only happy for her friend, and this gives terri some confidence.
"yes," she giggles, biting her bottom lip.
paige rolls her eyes. "we should get to class," she mutters bitterly, and it dawns on terri that maybe she wasn't the only one watching spinner.
they go to the dance together, and they have fun, but then the clock strikes midnight and suddenly, paige has taken spinner away and ash is dancing with jimmy, and once again, terri is alone.
until the new boy, ricky walks up to her.
"want to dance?" he asks, his cheeks pink, and he's not the cutest boy, or the funniest boy, but he's sweet, she can tell, so she nods.
rick likes science, she finds out, as he twirls her around the dance floor. and he's not funny, but he makes her laugh, and when she starts to feel about ditching spinner for so long, she realizes he's with paige.
of course, she thinks. but then she shrugs it off, because there's an incredible guy in front of her, and he's dancing with her and talking to her, and she feels wanted; she feels happy.
so when he tries to kiss her at the end of the night, she lets him.
they start dating.
on the outside, everything is perfect - they're the dream couple. and that's how they start off, too. but nothing is perfect, certainly not terri and rick, and soon he's leaving bruises on her arms and calling her names that make her sob herself to sleep.
abuse, her mind whispers to her as he slaps her, but she shakes the thought away, because rick is apologizing and kissing her, and oh, look an "i love you, terri."
you don't. she wants to say, but he's charming in his own way, and she wants this to work. it's her fault, she tells herself. it's your fault.
"i love you, too."
spinner sees the bruise on her wrist shaped like someone's hand and he asks her about it. she wants to scream, because he's the one who ditched her at the dance all those months ago. he's the reason she's with rick in the first place.
she doesn't scream. she shrugs it off, pulling her sleeve back into place.
her cheeks are hot as she says, "you're seeing things, spin."
but both of them know he isn't.
later, ash and jimmy catch rick slap her. she falls back onto her butt and there's a girl screaming and a boy threatening another boy, and then silence, after rick has ran and ash has stopped screaming, and she's being stared at.
"it was nothing," she says, getting to her feet. but there's blood on the corner of her mouth and it wasn't nothing - it was something and they all know it.
"okay," ash whispers, her eyes betraying her. 'we're going to talk about this,' they say. or maybe they say 'i'm planning an intervention as we speak.'
paige and spinner find out, but say nothing to terri.
instead they glare at rick, moving away when he sits down with them; refusing to talk to him; ignoring his existence completely.
she eats lunch alone with rick. the silence is only broken once, when he asks about her lip.
"it's fine," she murmurs.
across from them, at another table, paige, ash, jimmy, and spinner whisper amung themselves, glancing at terri and rick several times.
she waits for them to say something. they don't - not to her.
"break up with him," spinner pleads later that day.
"i deserved it, spin." she says, shrugging her shoulders as she pulls out her english book and closes her locker. she turns to walk away, but spinner grabs her unharmed wrist and pulls her to him.
her chest hits his, and he doesn't let go of her arm. there's something in his eyes, some kind of fire, but it's not like the flame in rick's eyes, when he's hitting her. it's softer, like maybe he actually cares.
"break up with him, ter." he murmurs, and she can see all the colors in his eyes, can see the way his eyebrows furrow when he's worried; she can see the freckles on his nose and can count every lash on his eyes.
before she can respond or move, rick clears his throat, and spinner lets go. rick glares at her and she knows she's in for it later.
spinner moves towards rick, shoving him up against the locker before terri can blink or realize what's just happened, his hand on the collar of his shirt. "if you ever touch her again like that, i will murder you. do you hear me?"
he slams him against the lockers once, and is gone.
terri doesn't know whether she should stay or follow spinner, so she just stands there.
she realizes later, as rick is kicking her in the stomach and punching her in the fact, calling her a slut for "cheating on him with that imbecile," that spinner did more harm that good.
he slams her head down once, either not seeing the rock below, or doing it on purpose.
before terri blacks out, she thinks of spinner, with his greengreen eyes and sweet smile, and his good intentions.
she doesn't wake up, not for another two years.
by then, she's fifteen. she wakes up alone, scared, confused. she panics, doctors rush in. she's alive, they're all thinking, she's alive.
they're shocked. she's shocked.
her dad is happy, when he gets the call, rushing there from work.
her friends are happy, when they get the call, running out of class to see her.
she's not happy, when she finds out rick is dead. that he shot up the school.
this started with her - with the insecure girl who was flattered by the boy with the bad intention. this started with her.
and yet she got to be the lucky one. she's the one who got the "miracle," as the doctors say.
she doesn't feel lucky, once she sees paige and spinner's intertwined hands.
but she smiles, because that's what she's good at. she's good at smiling, even when the smile is fake.
she believes in miracles now, but she's grown up, and she doesn't believe in fairytales the way she used to.
(seems you have to look like cinderella to get a princess-worthy ending).
stupid girl for even dreaming that i could
a/n: i don't even remember what happened to terri after she was put into the coma on the show, so i went in my own direction with it.
remember, this was an Alternate Universe one shot, so don't yell at me for the fact that it's not canon-compliant, please.
hope you enjoyed! :')