You're disappointed in a way you can't describe when your album is released and the world doesn't change. You're upset that all you receive is congratulations, it bothers you that nobody has noticed. You're relieved beyond belief one moment, then pissed off the next. You want them to question it, to wonder what the song about the blue eyes is about, but they don't. Beyond the tweets and the tumblr posts, nothing changes.
She doesn't call you either, and that hurts a little more. You're sure she's heard it, and you're sure that she knows what it means, who it's about. But she doesn't call.
You just have Matt beside you, both of you listening to it again as you clutch the cover in your hands. You've had it for a few days now, but you wanted to wait to listen to the actual disk on the release day, when everybody else does. He's smiling and telling you how amazing it is, placing a proud kiss to your cheek, but you can see it in his eyes. When that song comes on, and you fall into silence, you can feel it in the air. He knows, and he clasps his hands together as he rests his elbows on his knees, just staring into space and listening.
He knew about the two of you, he knows about your past, but you figure he kinda thought you were over it. You did too, sometimes.
You watch him stare into space and you listen to the lyrics, see her face every time you close your eyes for a moment as it plays.
But nothing changes.
You mom calls you later on, telling you how proud she is and holding up the phone closer to the stereo, letting you hear it playing through. You laugh, thanking her and listening as your family all congratulate you, one by one.
You're happy, but you're still waiting for it to change.
He takes you out for dinner that night. You have been kind of hiding the two of you, not wanting people to know that you're together, wanting to just have him when you need him and not when everybody else could be watching.
But he's adamant, so you agree. Today has been a good day, all in all, and you guess that you deserve a celebration. There's no paparazzi when you turn up, and for that you're thankful. He orders champagne, the expensive kind, and smiles at you across the table.
He's sincere in his words when he tells you that you're amazing, that the album is amazing. You can see on his face that he means every word he says, but it doesn't sit right. Your stomach twists and you nod, thanking him and busying yourself with the menu. You want to be happy when you lower the menu and see him watching you adoringly, when he places his hand on yours and squeezes, but you just feel off.
You think maybe you're waiting for that change still, slowly resigning to the fact that it's not coming.
The paparazzi is there when you leave, snapping picture after picture and asking you about Matt. You wish they would ask about your album or something important like that, but they don't. You wait for one of them to ask about the song, but they don't. You just get the same questions, the same intrusive questions about you and Matt.
You know that this was kind of dumb, and you know that your manager will kill you tomorrow when there's pictures of you online, talking about you dating a writer.
You think there will probably be more on every website about that, rather than your album or your voice or blue eyes.
You smile regardless, keeping your head low and allowing Matt's hand to find yours, pulling you towards his car. That only makes the flashes increase, and you quickly pull your hand from his, smiling apologetically when he turns for a second to look back at you. His eyes are questioning, but you just not to the cameras and the people surrounding you and he nods, accepting the silent explanation.
"I haven't stopped listening to it all day," Dianna says a little later on, talking your ear off about how amazing the album is and how proud she is. You smile then, genuinely smile, because this is the one thing that you're thankful doesn't change. She talks for a while longer, but as midnight approaches and your paused episode of Jersey Shore begs to be played before it's too late, you make your excuses.
"Goodnight, honey," Dianna says softly, congratulating you yet again. You smile, thanking her, and are about to put down the phone when something stops you.
"Naya," she says quickly, rushed but still soft. You bring the phone back to your ear, asking what's wrong. "That song..." she breathes out, and your heart speeds up inexplicably. Something lodges in your throat, your hands instantly clam up. Of course Dianna noticed. You wait as a short silence develops between you, Dianna just breathing down the line for a moment. "It was beautiful, Naya. So, sobeautiful."
There is another silence, and you know what she means by that. You know by the tone of voice what she means. She means that the song was beautiful, that she would think that it was beautiful, that she would listen to it and be as moved by it as Dianna had been. She is telling you that she will notice, that everything has changed, even though it doesn't feel like it yet.
You swallow hard, nodding gently. "I hope so."
When it's three days later and nothing has changed, you resign yourself to the fact that it won't.
You thought that this would be it, the thing that needed to be done. It's kind of stupid, and you blame the four years spent playing a character that sings away her problems. You thought this was a step, the first step, the step that you needed to take and that would make a difference, make something change, but it's not. It wasn't.
You were waiting for the domino effect. You was waiting for somebody to notice, somebody important, somebody that could tell the whole world. You were waiting for questions, you were waiting for accusation. You were waiting for it, anticipating it and dreading it. You were waiting to be able to explain, to say that you aren't ashamed, that it happened and you're not embarrassed.
You wanted that, to show her that you had changed, that you were okay now. That you could sing songs about her and tell the world that they were written only for her, nobody else. You felt ready but terrified, not sure what you would even do if you were asked, not sure if your mouth would hang open in silence or if you would tell them all, brag about the fact that she had been yours once.
But you don't have to think about it too much, because nothing changes.
It's four days later when your manager calls, setting up an interview with some magazine about your album. You had done a few, though none since it had been released, and you are quick to accept.
You feel that excitement bubble within you, but you know that it's fruitless. They're not going to ask the question that your mind instantly jumps to, they'll just ask what they always do. They'll ask about Matt after the pictures of you at dinner, about Glee, about Santana. They'll ask what it was like to work with the artists that you did, who your inspirations are, your muse.
You have a muse, but you can't tell them that. Not when the first step was never taken.
Matt offers to drive you to the hotel where the interview is taking place, but you decline, not wanting more pictures of the two of you making their way onto the internet. There was a direct correlation between you being seen with him and both you and Matt being sent hateful tweets and being shit on by the media. You understood why, in a weird way, and in your mind you kind of feel the same. The more time you spend with him, the more you wish it wasn't him at all.
He's nice, and he's good to you, and he is easy. He is proud when he introduces people to you as his girlfriend, more proud that you can even comprehend, like having you on his arm makes him feel a thousand times bigger. You're glad of that, and it makes you feel better for a moment, too. You know that it could have been that way with her though, you know that you've never had anyone be as proud and in awe of you than she was. Not even Matt, when he pulls you along with a hand behind your back and a huge smile on his face.
She didn't look that way because you were hers and people would look at her differently. She looked at you that way because she couldn't believe that you were hers, that she could be with you, even if nobody could know. She knew that they didn't, that they didn't know that she had taken you entirely and completely and without leaving any of you behind. She didn't need them to know, although you know that she would have liked them to, because you were you and she loved that. She just loved everything you were, and she would look at you like you were some sort of angel every time you did anything; laughed, sang, cried, breathed.
You miss it. You wish that hadn't changed.
The interview was just as you expected, and you quickly stop off at Starbucks on your way home, ordering a coffee and finally turning your cell back on. You have a missed call off Dianna, and a text off her too. You open the text first, your brow quirking when you read it over.
Call me. Something's happened.
You take your coffee with a thanks and a smile, handing the your money and telling them to keep the change as a tip. Their eyes bug and it's only then that you realise you just gave the kid almost $30 dollars tip, but you just smile anyway, your teeth shining brightly when he thanks you like you just gave him a million bucks.
It makes you feel a little better.
You pull your phone into view again, tapping Dianna's number and making your way out to your car. There's only one camera guy hanging around, and he quickly snaps a few pictures of you. He seems only half interested, like you're not really the person he's looking for, and it makes you feel kinda good in a weird way. You think you should be offended, but he smiles at you when he pulls the camera back to his chest, and you smile back sincerely.
You feel like something changed without you knowing what, like something has made you feel a thousand times better. Made you want to give money to strangers and smile at the same guys that surround you on a regular basis and sell unflattering pictures of you for money. You like it, so you don't question it, saying a quick hello to Dianna when she finally answers her phone and you quickly climb into your car.
"Where have you been?" she asks, and there's something different about her voice. You're not really sure what it is, but she sounds a little more on edge, less soft and breathy than usual.
"I had an interview," your reply simply, placing your cup into the cup holder and sitting back. "What's up?"
"Heather and Taylor broke up."
She says it quickly, like she's taking the 'ripping off a band-aid' approach, and you almost choke on the air around you. You sit up instantly, eyes slightly wider and your hand clutching the phone to your ear tightly. You want to ask her to repeat what she said, you want to question her and ask if you heard her right, but then she repeats it and you let out a shaky breath that you hadn't realised you were holding.
You blink once, twice, three times. Quickly, attempting to clear your thoughts, closing your eyes for a moment to try to figure this out.
"When?" you ask, though you're not sure why you're whispering, or why you couldn't do anything other than that when you spoke.
She pauses for a moment, as if thinking it through. "Apparently it was yesterday night. She's pretty cut up about it."
You nod, finally accepting the information and allowing your back to fall back into the seat again. "Wow," you breath out, and she lets out a sound of acknowledgement before you go on. "Do you know why?"
It's stupid to hope, you know that. It won't be because you sang her a song, this isn't TV, you're not Santana and she's not Brittany. It doesn't stop you from thinking that maybe. "I haven't spoken to her," she says simply. "Apparently it was something about them just not working. I think it was a mutual thing."
You nod again, and realise that you hadn't really stopped nodding since the last time. Your head is just jerking in fast motions, as if shaking itself clear, before you consciously slow it down.
"Are you going to call her?" she asks after a short silence, and you think it over. You should; despite everything, she's your friend. Her having problems with Taylor was always something that she came to you about, although things were different then, and it would usually end with you kissing down her body and her hands tangled in your hair. It's not like that any more. They were serious, talking about marriage and children, and you had Matt. Things had changed despite you pushing against it.
"I don't know," you sigh, closing your eyes again. "I have no idea."
You do call her. It's later that night, almost 10pm when you decide to do it. Matt is staying at his place, going out with some friends and then crashing, and you're kind of glad. Not because you don't like having him around, but because you aren't sure if you can keep making excuses for how spaced out you've been since you got home. You think he kind of realises that it's something to do with her, because he looks almost sad when you pull away from a kiss and tell him you're going to the bathroom.
He's always been kind of jealous, but not in a way that he ever voices or makes known. But you notice, and you can't really blame him. It's hard to lay out a rule of 'I'm always going to have feelings for this other person, and I'll probably never feel the same way about you', so you do it almost silently. He understands, though you know it saddens him, and it doesn't help when that person is still in your life so prominently.
It takes a few rings for her to pick up, and you can tell by the silence that follows that she was hesitant to do so.
"Hi..." she lets out slowly, and you close your eyes at the sound.
You don't know why you let it get to the point where you hadn't seen her since you stopped shooting season three. You're back to start season four next week, and you haven't seen her once, haven't even spoken to her. You feel your heart beat increase instantly, beating rapidly, as if to say 'finally'. You feel like it was waiting for her, waiting for you to stop being so ridiculous and allow it to start beating in a way that didn't hurt and didn't feel hopeless.
"Hey," you finally reply, not bothering to clear your throat when it comes out rough and scratchy, not really there at all. You hear her sigh. "I heard..." you say simply, trailing off and not wanting to say it. You don't want your first conversation with her in weeks to be about this, but you know it has to be. You have to have a reason to call her now, you can't just be on the line with her talking about nothing and just breathing for hours, it's not two years ago any more.
She's silent for a second, and you wait. "Yeah..." she lets out finally, and you can tell that she doesn't know what to say.
"Are you okay?" you ask, though you feel like you know the answer.
You didn't expect what she says. You expect a 'no', an 'of course not'. "I don't know," she says, and her voice sounds as confused as you feel. You nod regardless, because you kind of understand.
"Do you..." you pause for a moment, scrunching up your face at what you know you're going to say. "Do you want to talk about it?"
She sighs again, and you close your eyes, leaning your head back against the couch. "Not really," she says honestly, in a voice that doesn't sound like her at all. It sounds sad and emotionless at the same time, like she has given up. It makes your heart clench in your chest.
"Okay," you say, and you sit like that for a while. Listening to her breathe, her listening to you breathe, neither of you saying a word. You want to ask her if she heard it, and you can feel it hanging over you, can feel her wanting to bring it up too. You don't know how, and you doubt she does. So you sit there, not saying anything at all, eyes closed and hand holding your cell limply against your ear.
"Your album's really good," she says finally, making you jump a little. You don't reply, you just sit there and wait, see if she mentions the song. You don't know why it makes you stop breathing, why it makes your heart jump into your throat. "I'm proud of you, Nay."
She doesn't mention the song, but you think that's just as good. Maybe even better. She's proud of you, and ever since fighting to have that song on the album you've been kinda proud of yourself, too. You know what she means, you know why she's proud, and it settles you more than you thought it would.
There's a few stories about Heather and Taylor breaking up in the media, though not too many. You're happy about that, though you know that she wouldn't be paying attention to it regardless.
You scoff at the claims of Heather 'outgrowing' Taylor as her fame grew, wanting to 'trade him in for a better model'. They couldn't be more wrong, but you know there's nothing you can do. You don't know why you read them, why you have that morbid curiosity to seek the thing that you know will hurt you, but you do. You find paparazzi pictures of Heather, taken yesterday, the day of the call. She looks tired, like she hasn't slept much, and also kinda looks like the wants to punch the people taking the pictures.
You understand that. You know that Taylor was a good guy, you had met him quite a few times. He knew about the two of you too, so it was always a little awkward. You were civil, but you never really knew how to coexist, not when you were both in love with the same girl. It was kind of like her and Matt, how they would skirt around each other and avoid one another if they could.
They were both good guys, and you feel a little guilty that they got caught in the crossfire. You feel especially guilty when it comes to Taylor, knowing that he's had her longer that you've even known her.
You reason that it might have nothing to do with you, the breakup, but you know that the two of you being on set and in character has bothered him in the past, has made him jealous. You wish you weren't hurting people by being happy, but you know that you were. You know that you are.
Dianna calls you the next day, asking if you've spoken to Heather, and you tell her that you have. She sighs when you tell her that you didn't really talk much, and you can feel her roll her eyes through the phone.
"She's single," she says after a moment, and it feels like a slap across the face. Like you've been asleep and somebody has woken you up, hit you with a truth that you hadn't really realised, despite knowing.
She's single. She's never been single, not really, not while you've known her. She has always been half-his, unattainable, her being yours and only yours unfathomable. But she's single.
You think back, to when she was willing to give him up if you would just be okay with being hers, and you regret walking away more than anything. You had resigned yourself to the fact that it would never happen after that, that she would never not be his. She is a free spirit in a way that you could never comprehend being yourself, but admired more than anything. She didn't care who or what she was, she was just her. Crazy, beautiful, loving, kind, caring her. She never had an issue with you and her, and you know that you were at fault, that it was your own hesitance and uncertainty.
But she's single. What you thought was impossible has happened, and it strikes a hope in you that you can't put out.
"She's single..." you say back, and Dianna laughs on the other end, like she knew that it was what you needed to hear.
You're having one of those welcome back parties. Fox organise it, so it has a red carpet and photographers and interviewers waiting. You kinda wish it didn't, but you're also a little excited to be back, so it's okay.
Kevin almost jumps on you when he sees you, despite the fact that he saw you three weeks ago, before taking off on holiday with his family. You have Skyped, and called, and texted, but you smile when he wraps you up in a hug. "Your album!" he almost yells. He called you the day it was released, but you can see the excitement on his face now, and you feel yourself smiling and blushing a little. As much as you can blush, anyway. "Nay, it's insane."
You laugh, shaking your head and pecking him gently on the cheek. "Thanks, Bee."
He holds you by your shoulders at arms length when you pull back, smiling at you until something seems to click in his head. "Did she hear it?" he asks, a little hushed. You nod, a smile that you think it somewhere between sad and satisfied overcoming your face. He smiles back, though he seems unsure. "And...?"
You don't know what to say. You don't really know. You could tell him that nothing changed, but you know that it has. You can feel that it has, even if you don't exactly know how yet, things have changed. They are changing. It's exciting and entirely terrifying, but it's what you needed. You could tell him that she doesn't care, but you know that she does. You know that she's proud. You could tell him that she broke up with Taylor, but that would make it sound like it was because of the song, because of you, and you don't think that it is. Not entirely.
So you shrug and he just rolls his eyes, hugging you again quickly.
You put on your best smile on the red carpet, or the blue carpet as it seems to be. Your PR push you along, past the people that they don't want you talking to, though you're not too sure why. You speak to a few magazines, a few well known blog sites and websites. They ask you all the same things, compliment your outfit, ask what's coming up in season four as if you know anything, and then shake your hand.
It's the third interview when it happens. It's somebody that seems to genuinely know what they're talking about, and not just about the show, but about her album also. Somebody that seems to actually care, and she notices that straight away. She' grateful when his questions are a little more varied, when he asks about her personal project rather than the show, but then he mentions the song, telling her that it's tipped to be the first single success from the album, and your heart almost stops.
You smile, thanking him when he compliments the song, and then he asks the questions that you've been waiting for. Dreading and anticipating.
"It all feels very Adele-esque, writing about heartache," he laughs, and you just nod, a smile that feels kind of awkward on your face. You swallow hard, trying to maintain eye-contact but finding it increasingly difficult. The microphone is held below you, the camera on you, and you try to focus on him. Only him. Maybe that will help quell the fear a little. "Is that something that you find easier, to pull from those real feelings and emotions?"
You breath out, happy that the question wasn't too direct. "Definitely," you nod, game face back on. "I think, you know, when you know something then it's much easier to relate to. If you write about what you know and what you feel, it creates something much more real and meaningful. I think maybe that's why people have taken to it, because it's sort of the one that means the most, you know?"
He nods as you talk, and you try to keep your voice even, the way you always do in interviews. You have done enough of these things to know the rules; smile, make eye-contact and don't be short with your replies. Keep it flowing like a conversation.
"Of course. So it was written about a pretty special somebody then, huh?" he laughs again, and you know that he's sort of digging, that's his job. He's asking, hoping that you'll reveal something that nobody else knows. You already did that with the song, but he doesn't know that, nobody does.
You nod, a sad smile overcoming your face. You try to make it look like a genuine smile, but then it's an embarrassed smirk and you're blushing and looking down. The silence makes you think that maybe you've made him uncomfortable, so you quickly raise your eyes to his again, shrugging a little. "The special-est," you chuckle, though you can feel your eyes start to water and you hate it.
He seems to see that he's hit a nerve, wrapping it up quickly.
Then you realise that you missed your chance, again, and you hate yourself for that more. You let your PR know that you're feeling a little off, avoiding the rest of the carpet walk and interviews.
You catch Heather watching you curiously as you make your escape, and you just smile quickly over at her before vanishing behind the black curtain.
You laugh when you check twitter and see that there are reports of you fainting after being excused from the red carpet.
'Still upright ;-)' you tweet quickly, hoping to shut them all up.
You'll never understand why tweets like that reach the '50+ retweets' mark in seconds, but it makes you smile.
It's an hour in when you run into her. You're washing your hands after using the bathroom, and she walks in, hair a little messy from dancing around and her face sweaty. She smiles at you through the mirror, and you smile back before averting your eyes to your hands.
"So you're not being rushed off to hospital somewhere then?" she says teasingly, leaning against the counter behind you and to your left.
You roll your eyes, laughing a little. "I thought you didn't look at stuff like that..."
"Dianna told me," she explains simply, and you nod. You're silent for a moment again, you turning off the water after a second and grabbing a paper towel. "I like your song," she says softly, and you pause your movements for a second.
You turn, somehow managing a smile. "Which one? There were a few..." you laugh, and you hate that it sounds so nervous, so unsure.
She just smiles back, a little sadly, and you feel like you've done something wrong. Disappointed her again.
"I like your song," she says again, so simply and staring you right in the eye, and then she walks away.
It's a moment of stupidity that you wish you could slap him repeatedly for, but Kevin is on the stage and talking about your album and slurring his words before you can stop him. Everyone claps when he pauses to let them, their eyes all on you as you just smile, mouthing a thank you and shrinking into yourself.
He announces that they're going to play your album, Dianna whooping from the crowd and the rest of the cast following. You close your eyes, shaking your head. You know it's a bad idea, because whenever anybody mentions your 'album', only one song comes to mind. You look up, half-pleading with Kevin to stop but still unable to remove the smile from your face.
Then your album's playing.
Matt snakes his arm around you when he takes the seat next to you, pulling you into him and placing a kiss to your temple. You smile, leaning into him as he rubs your arm a little. You can't but feel that he's only come over here because he knows that everyone's attention is on you now; putting his arm around you, making sure that they know that you're his.
You're not his, and you're pretty sure that at least half of the people in this room know that. It makes it all feel a little awkward, but you just let him hold you, keeping your eyes on the ground.
The noise starts up after a few moments, people talking and laughing again, going back to their own business.
You risk looking up then, and it's like some sort of cruel fate that you find bright blue staring back at you before anything else. She's watching you both, her eyes trying to figure it out and understand, but you can see that she doesn't. She's looking right at you now, right into your eyes, and you're sure that she can see that you don't understand either. You don't know how it got to this; how it got to him being beside you, with you while you celebrate this first huge moment in your life, this milestone. It should never have been him, and you don't know how it got to this point, her single and you taken.
You always felt like you would be the one waiting, just waiting for her, and you still are.
You shrug gently, almost unnoticeable, but she sees it. She turns and walks towards the others.
It feels like everything's changed again, in the worst way.
You don't drink as much as you had planned to, and you're not really sure why. You had planned to just drink away the worries and the shitty feelings, but knowing that she's here kind of puts a damper on it. There's only one thing you want to do when you're drunk and in a room with her, and it's not forget. It's everything but forget. It's remember everything.
Matt is gone when the song comes on, and you just watch the back of her head as she takes a break and sits at the bar. She's sat with Dianna, and you see her place a hand on her arm when it stars to play, looking at her side-on, worry written all over her face. She must remember you then, because she quickly turns, keeping her hand in place as she searches for you. She finds you, sat in the same place as earlier, and smiles a sad smile.
You just smile back, taking a sip from your drink and returning your eyes to the back of her head. You see Dianna lean towards her, whispering something in her ear and pretty much burying her nose in her hair as she does so. She seems to be saying something and trying to calm her, placing a gentle kiss to her temple, and it's then that you see her shoulders shaking. They're jolting up and down, and the look of concern on Dianna's face confirms it; she's crying.
She's crying as the song plays, sat at the almost abandoned corner of the bar with Dianna holding onto her, rubbing a hand over her arm and whispering into her ear, as if trying to drown out the music as softly as she can.
You feel a tear trace your cheek before you notice the stinging of your eyes, and you lift a hand to wipe it away quickly, watching her fall apart and knowing that it's your fault. You feel selfish; selfish for writing the song, for making them put it on the album, for wanting it to change things. For wanting her to be single, wanting to feel like it's possible, for hoping. You feel selfish for giving up on her and then expecting her to come back.
You feel selfish for allowing people to think the worst of her and the best of you, for allowing her to take the flak. You feel selfish for allowing her to let people think whatever they needed to, allowing her to tell you that it doesn't matter, because 'I don't have the future that you do. I don't read that stuff anyway.'
You feel selfish.
"What happened with you and Taylor?"
You think that you and Heather are probably the only sober people here, or at least the most sober. Dianna isn't far behind, though she seems to have picked up over the last hour, which is weird considering it's 2am. You don't know why you followed her outside, or why you decided it was the right thing to do to approach her as she leaned against the wall, looking down at the ground and sighing heavily. You don't know why she's here, considering everyone around you is smoking as quickly as they can to get out of the cold.
She looks shocked to see you, quickly pushing herself off the wall, her blue eyes wide. "What?" she replies, and you shock yourself when you repeat your words without hesitance. Her face scrunches then, and she looks at you confused, as if you've just asked the most unusual question in the world. She looks at you like she doesn't have to explain herself for a moment, like she's going to tell you as much and walk away, but she doesn't. She just stares at you, her eyes saying a million things, one after the other. "We broke up," she settles on, and you just keep staring at her.
"Don't play dumb," you say simply, your voice snappy but not raising.
She shrugs, looking up at the sky and letting out a groan. You try not to watch her neck, try not to lick your lips when you see her jaw tighten and her muscles tense. You're glad she can't see you before you avert your eyes to the space behind her, trying to focus. "Why are you asking?" she finally says through a sigh, lowering her head and her eyes to you.
You don't really have an answer, and when you move your eyes back to hers you have even less of an answer. You don't know. You have no idea why you want to know, because back inside that building you have a Matt, and a career, and an ideal. You have what you need, but not what you want, and you've learned to settle for that. But you can't, not when she's here and her eyes are so blue and her everything is so Heather. "Please..." you breathe out simply, not trusting yourself with more.
She studies your face for a moment longer before she starts, as if deciding on something. "We weren't working out," she begins, and it's simple. "We were always good when we were far apart, and we were free to do whatever we wanted with other people. We were good before we were serious, and it just didn't work. He didn't like living here, didn't feel like he fit in, and..." she trails off, shrugging. "I don't know, the more time we spent together, the less we liked each other."
You can relate to that entirely. You think about Matt again, wondering what would happen if you allowed yourself to get to that point. He already stays over almost every night, and you cherish the time you have to yourself. You feel like you should want him there more, you should want to be alone less, want to roll away from him at night less. You don't like sleeping with his arms around you, not the way you did with her.
"Then..." she starts again, and your eyes snap back to hers. The way she pauses makes it sound important, and she's watching you again, as if she needs another moment to decide. Then she does. "Then he heard your song. He found it on my laptop, I left it up when I went to cry," she laughs bitterly, and you swallow the huge lump in your throat. She's looking away now, down at the ground by your own feet. "When I came out he looked upset, and then he saw my face and got angry. He asked if I was still in love with you, and then that was it."
You feel that your mouth is open, hanging there. You try to close it but you can't, you try to form words but nothing comes. You watch her for a moment, her eyes still looking down, and try to figure it out. He left because of your song, partly because of your song. It was you. It was your fault.
"I'm sorry," you croak out finally, and it's kinda the last thing you expected to say. You think it takes her by surprise too, because she looks up at you with watery blue eyes, brows furrowed. You can see that she doesn't blame you, and that hurts more than anything. "What..." you pause, knowing that you're crossing a line. Completely obliterating the line. "What did you say?"
She looks just as confused as she shakes her head, a tear nearly escaping the corner of her right eye. "What do you mean?" she asks, her voice deep.
"When he asked, what did you say?"
She doesn't say anything. She just looks at you, her brows smoothing out, the confused crease of her forehead vanishing. She just stares at you with that same blue, the one single tear falling from her eye and tracing her cheek agonisingly slowly. It falls to the ground, out of view as your eyes stay fixed on hers, waiting for an answer. You get it, at some point. You get your answer. You're not sure when, or how, or at what point in the silence she answered you. But she does, and you know, and you whimper audibly when you realise.
She hears you, nodding and smiling sadly, and then she's walking away again.
You don't move for what feels like hours.
She's in love with you.
You try to find her when you go back into the club, but Dianna tells you that she left. You ask why, but she just looks at you pointedly, like you've just asked a ridiculous question and you know perfectly well why.
And you do, but you still don't understand.
You feel like everything's changing really fast, and you kind of wish for a few days ago, when it felt like nothing was changing. When it felt okay to just be as you were, when you didn't know any better.
But now you do, you know, and you can't stop knowing. You can't stop thinking and knowing and wanting, and it's all happening so fast. It's all happening so fast but not fast enough. It's been two years since that day when it officially ended, since you let her down and you watched her walk away. You don't count the times after, when she was upset or you were upset and you would just climb into bed together and make the other feel better.
Your relationship fell apart slowly, agonisingly slowly, and the speed in which this is all happening makes you feel like it's all being thrown back together too fast.
You wish you could just slow it all down and take time to figure it out, but then Matt is there and he's holding you close and kissing your lips sloppily, drunkenly, pulling you into a cab that drives you to his place because it's closer than your own.
You want to tell him to stop, that your mind needs to catch up and you need to figure out what you feel, need to not be here and not be in his bad and not be below him. But you don't.
You don't really know how.
You feel like crap when you wake up next to him, naked and with his arm around you. You don't know why you ended up here, and your head it pounding, despite knowing that you didn't drink nearly enough last night.
It all rushes back to you faster than you wished it would, hits you and winds you, making your eyes widen and your body to shuffle from under his arm and out of his bed.
You get a drink of water, wanting it to calm you, but it doesn't. You take two pills to soothe your head, wanting them to calm you, but they don't.
You check your phone, looking at the time. There's two hours before you have to be on set, everyone having a late start because of the party last night, and you quickly slip on the rest of your clothes and make a swift exit.
You go home and shower, washing it all off you, though it doesn't make you feel much better. Not like you had hoped.
It's silly, but it only dawns on you that you will see her when you're on your way to work. Your heart races with nerves and excitement, now knowing what you'll say, but knowing that you'll be seeing her for the first time with the knowledge that she loves you. That she's in love with you.
She's in love with you.
Matt's co-written the first episode, and he's there on set when you come out of make-up. It's a little awkward when he sees you and smiles. You smile back, and you're pretty sure that you tell him with your body language that you don't want him to come over to you, because he just stays where he is.
You feel bad, but you know it's for the best.
It's a scene with the two of you. There's no dialogue, not really. It's for a montage that is going to be at the beginning of the episode, showing where everybody has been over the summer, where they are now. Summing up the weeks in a two minute song.
You're on the set of Santana's bedroom, taking a long drink from your bottle of water as you wait for her to arrive. Then she does, and she's silent, and you don't know what to say or what to do. She smiles though, timid and a little unsure, and you smile back. It's like one of those silent conversations, although instead of holding your eyes she looks away, over at the bed. She walks over, climbs on, and then waits for you.
You place your water down, walking over and pulling yourself onto the bed also, sitting awkwardly beside her. You're waiting for everybody to be ready, for them to tell you to get into position and move you around however they like. Your legs are out in front of you, one of Santana's many short dresses riding up high on your thighs. She's beside you with jeans on, her legs pulled up and bent with her feet pressed into the bed.
You have an overwhelming urge to touch her, as if you still have the right to do that. You wait for them to give you the Santana mask, give you permission to push your lips to hers.
"I'm sorry about last night," she says softly, whispering. You know why she's whispering. Matt is a few feet away, stood with Brad as they talk, pointing at the script in his hands. You don't take your eyes off them, you just nod, letting her know that it's okay. "I don't know what to do now."
Your heart tightens in your chest, and you know that you don't either. You don't have a clue.
You lower your hand onto the bed, flipping it over and laying it there, palm up.
You feel her eyes watching you as you do it, lowering to your hand as it moves, focused. You keep your eyes staring off into nothing, not wanting anyone to notice, not wanting to give you away. You also don't want to see her face, don't want to see if it's pained or confused or rejecting.
But then she shuffles her own hand along, placing it gently on top of yours. You curl your hands together, brushing her knuckles with your thumb as your heart thuds, and she sighs.
She's listening to music when you find her later on, sat on the steps of her trailer and reading a book. You smile, watching her from afar, leaning against the table where the coffee and bagels are laid out. You don't know why they have bagels out at all times during the day, but you don't question it. It's not like you're complaining.
Vanessa skips over to her, slowing as she approaches before quickly grabbing her leg and making her jump. You smile, laughing a little when she places a hand over her chest and against her heart, closing her eyes. She slaps Vanessa on the arm playfully, though her wrist is caught and she's being pulled away. You're pretty sure that they're going on set for a scene, and you see that she's left her book and iPod behind, her trailer door wide open.
You roll your eyes, putting down your coffee and heading over.
You pick up her book and her iPod, opening the door and heading inside. It's a mess, and you smile as you kick a pair of jeans aside, rolling your eyes at the amount of crap that is laying around. You're glad that some things never change, and you remember your days of sharing a trailer, how you would always be the one to tidy up and she would always be the one to mess it up again.
You place the book down on one of the only empty spaces on the table, her iPod on top. It's then that you realise what she was listening to. It's still playing and it's on repeat.
You smile before placing it down, locking the door on your way out.
You think maybe Matt sees it coming. Actually, you know he does.
He pulls you into him as he climbs into your trailer, his hands around your waist and his lips on yours. You push his shoulders gently, smiling apologetically when you pull away. He looks confused, but you know he won't question it. He never does. You think it's because he knows he won't like the answer.
"I can't do this," you say softly, knowing that you'll have to be the one to do it. You wish you didn't, but it's about time you were honest. It's about time you stopped sitting around and letting things happen to you. You look up and his eyes are on you, though when he catches your own they drop to the ground. "I'm sorry..." you whisper, and you are. You're sorry that you ever let him believe he could mean more to you than her.
"Is it because of...?" he trails off, not wanting to say it. You're not surprised that he knows, you're not surprised at all, and you just nod. He looks down again, his jaw clenching. "That song, right?" he asks, lifting his eyes to yours once more.
All you can do is nod. He doesn't say anything else, he just shakes his head and laughs bitterly, as if realising that he never really stood a chance. It makes you feel bad, but you guess that you deserve that. You apologise one last time as he reaches the door and pulls it open, but he doesn't say anything. He doesn't even stop. He just pulls it open and leaves.
It's an odd feeling of relief and sadness that you feel, although you know which one will win out in the end. You've done the right thing, finally.
You've made things change.
You know that you take her by surprise when you turn up at her apartment for the first time in over a year. Blue eyes are wide, questioning, and all you can do is shrug.
She nods, as if she understands words that you don't, and moves aside to let you in. You look around, taking in the things that are different now, since Ashley left and he moved in. You wonder if anything has changed since he moved out, and you kind of hate the fact that you don't know.
"Did you...want a coffee?" she offers, watching you cautiously. The television is playing, some old lifetime movie, and there is ice-cream open on the coffee table.
You look at them, arching an amused brow as you turn to her. "Girls night in?" you ask, and you see her blush.
She shrugs, moving over to the coffee table and removing the spoon from the tub, placing the lid on top. She licks the rest of it from the spoon, looking over at you guiltily. "Sorry that the place is such a mess. This is what happens when I live alone..." she laughs, but you hear a hint of sadness in what she says.
You shrug, nodding your head and moving over to the couch. She watches you sit down, removing the spoon from her mouth and placing it on the coffee table before letting herself fall next to you.
You don't want to sit in silence, you don't want this to get awkward, so you just say what you need to. "I broke up with Matt."
She quickly snaps her head to you, her eyes as wide as they were when she opened the door. "Oh," she lets out, nodding slowly. "I'm sorry..."
"Don't be," you smile, and you feel kinda bad that you're so happy. She seems kinda confused by it too, looking at you like you've lost your mind. You shake your head, sucking your bottom lip into your mouth. "It's...I needed to," you try to explain, though you're not sure how. It feels like a big moment but, at the same time, it doesn't. You're sat in her apartment, she's wearing pyjamas and the TV is playing in the background and your hair is a mess. It's not a big moment, it's a simple moment. A moment that should have happened a long time ago. It's overdue, all semblance of a dramatic confession gone. Maybe it would have been dramatic a year ago, or two, or maybe even last month. Maybe it would have been dramatic before it was already basically set in stone.
"What happened?" she asks, and you feel yourself smile wider.
Every time your smile grows you see her become more confused, and you only smile further. "He asked about the song, asked if it was about you..." you trail off, and she holds her breath then. You don't know why, because she knows. She knows that it's about her, it's always been about her.
"What did you say?" she asks cautiously, her body subconsciously turning towards you on the couch.
You nod, and then she smiles. Wide and bright and white and brilliant. She laughs a little, and you understand why. It's not because it's funny, it's because it's crazy and predictable all at once. It's because it's what you've been waiting for, and it's here. It's tangible and possible.
"I like your song," she says simply, the same way she did that day, and you just laugh a little more.
You fall into a half silence, full of giggles and smiles, before she shuffles over to you. Your breath hitches as she raises her hand and she pauses, unsure, but you just nod again. You're still smiling, you're not really sure you can stop, and then she's placing her soft fingertips on your cheek. It's like she's checking that you're real, and you watch her blue eyes roam your face as she touches it. You watch them watch you, every part of you, and you feel a warmth spread through your chest.
"I want you to say it."
She laughs, her hand gentle as it traces the skin behind your ear, moving slowly to your jaw. "Say what?"
You close your eyes, feeling stupid but still wanting to hear it more than anything. You don't want to kiss her before you know that it's different now, before you know that things have definitely changed. You don't want to kiss her while there's still a chance that this isn't real. "Why you and Taylor broke up. Say why."
She goes silent then, her fingers stilling on your jaw, and you think you've done something wrong. She doesn't even breathe, and you don't either, the dead silence making your ears feel funny. But then she's letting out that breath, and it's almost like a laugh, and when you open your eyes she's smiling at you. "Because I'm in love with you."
You're pretty sure that your eyes well up and tears stream down your face in seconds, and you're not exactly sure how. You choke out a sob, a laugh at the same time, and you're smiling too.
It's everything that you never thought you'd get back and a thousand times more, everything that you thought you'd lost for good and had given up hoping for. It's what you never dared dream for, never dared need because you knew you couldn't have. It's everything that you wished you could have every night for the past two years; everything you feared and everything you yearned for, and it's right here. It's right here, telling you that she's in love with you, tracing the skin on your face lightly as if she can't believe that this is real, as if she feels exactly the same way that you do.
She leans in, pausing with her lips not fully pressed to your own, her top lip hovering over your bottom. You're just breathing together, hot breath mixing. You're still watching her eyes, those blue eyes that you don't think you could ever forget if you tried, and she's still watching yours. Her eyes are hooded, and yours feel the same, and then they're fluttering shut and she's taking your bottom lip between her own.
She doesn't taste the same; she tastes better, real. You never thought that it would be so different just because of three words. You never knew they meant so much until she had said them, really meant them.
But she's in love with you, and she's kissing you, and she's pulling you closer with a hand around your neck and whimpering into your mouth, and you know that everything's different now.
You're still waiting for it to all fall apart, and you know that it's wrong. You're waiting for the same thing to happen; for you to be afraid and for her to give up waiting.
But you know that it's not the same now. You're not scared in the same way. You still have the same fear, but now you know what it's like to be without her, you know that nothing is worth having when you don't have her. You fear what may happen to your career, to the only thing that you have worked towards for years, but you know that you won't choose your career over her again.
You can't believe you did it the first time.
You would never give her up, not now that you have somehow come together again, that you have somehow become lucky enough to be given a second chance.
You could have a dead-end job, or work at some crappy little supermarket, and be completely content if you got to go home to her every night. The past week of being with her has proven that. She has been staying with you every night, wrapping her arms around you as you fall asleep together, tightening her grip on you in the morning when she realises that you're really there. It's hard to wrap your head around.
You have a girlfriend now. You're official. Heather is your girlfriend.
You're not just a thing any more. You're not just sleeping together when you've been drinking, or making out when you're bored, or pretending that those things don't mean pretty much everything. You're together, and she's in love with you, and you're in love with her. And it's different. It's changed.
You feel her grip on your hand tighten, her arm around you hold tighter as she wakes up. You smile, tightening your own hand in hers and squeezing quickly. She lifts herself gently, nuzzling her nose into your hair and mumbling a sleepy 'morning', kissing behind your ear softly.
"I love you," you say in reply, and she just laughs, pressing every part of her body against yours and holding you tightly.
You don't know if it's because you spent so long being apart at events or because you just seem different together now, but the media notice. Then they question it. Then they make rumours.
And for once the rumours are right.
You're at the Season Four premier party, on the red carpet, and she's scheduled to walk it just after you. You're stood, having your picture taken when you look to your right. She's off on the side, watching you with a smile and waiting for her turn. You smile back before jerking your head in a 'come here' motion. She looks shocked, but it only takes a moment of hesitation before she is walking towards you, her heels not quite as big as yours and your height difference eliminated a little.
Cameras flash as you keep smiling at her, pulling her into a hug. "What are you doing?" she asks through a chuckle, her arms softly around you.
You laugh a little too and, knowing that your head is on the side away from the cameras, you place a soft kiss to her cheek. "Showing off my girlfriend."
She smiles at that, really smiles, and you pull back, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her towards you. You both stand, pose for pictures. You're proud. You never thought you would feel anything other than terrified, but you do. You feel proud to be here, with her, your arm around her and hers around you. You figure that they probably don't have a clue, but you do, and Heather does. You feel her squeeze your hip, and you're not sure if it's a show of support or a thank you, but you hold her tighter regardless.
But they do figure it out. Sort of. You watch the next day as a few websites speculate, piecing together the song that is now in the billboard top ten and the new pictures of you with her. They piece together the separation that has existed for so long between you, the separation that is now non-existent. They piece together the blue eyes, the smiles, the glances.
They do all of that, and then they do something that you never thought they would have the balls to do; they speculate.
Your manager calls you instantly, your PR warning you and telling you what needs to happen. They talk about publicity, guys, where they know the paparazzi will be and what needs to be done. You listen, Heather sunbathing around the pool as you stand at the door leading out from your kitchen and watch her. You listen to him talk about how you need to be more careful, you need to act natural.
You want to tell him that you were acting natural, that taking photographs with your girlfriend on the red carpet is one of the most natural things in the world, but you don't.
"No," you say eventually, and they pause, not understanding what you're saying. "I don't need any of that," you say defiantly. You watch Heather pull her sunglasses from her face, yawning, huge and unbridled, pushing herself up and into a sitting position. You smile, following every curve of her body as she sits around your pool. She places her sunglasses onto her head, blinking away the wetness that her yawn had caused to form in her eyes, before looking over at you. She sees you watching her and smiles, her eyes still wide and damp. It all seems too good to be true, but it is true. It's there, in your house, and it's happening.
You don't need fake, you don't need to be protected from this. You just need her, you need you, and you need to just be. You need to let people think what they will, just as she does. You need to be okay with whatever people say or think about you, just as she is. You need to be carefree and happy, just as she is. She is everything that you wish you could be, and you return that same smile as she continues to watch you, just taking you in, much the same way you are doing with her.
A/N: It's 4am and I'm tired, so please excuse any mistakes and take pity on my horribly non-existent sleeping pattern.