A/N: So I know the LAST thing I should be doing is starting another fic, but my mind wouldn't let this one go. Lol, well if I'm being honest, this and two other new ideas. If people like it, I'll continue with it, but my focus will still be on my other two fics :)
Onward and up!
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee :(
Brittany stretched in the wings of the stage as she listened to her fellow students filing into the huge auditorium. The hum of conversation washed over her as she honed her focus on the performance she was about to give.
She glanced up and smiled at Will Schuester, the director of the William McKinley Music and Performing Arts Academy.
"Good morning, Will." For some reason, he insisted on being called by his first name. Brittany thought it was a little weird, but he did wear vests every single day.
"I know this is only your first performance of the year, but your senior showcase is probably the most highly anticipated one that we've ever had in the six years we've been operational," Will said with a grin.
"Thanks, but I haven't even started thinking about the winter showcase, never mind the final showcase yet. Classes only started this week and I'm just trying to find my feet again."
"Still recovering from your summer on Broadway?"
Brittany grinned widely. "It was exhilarating. I really can't thank you and Mike enough for your recommendations. I absolutely know that I want to be on a stage for as long as my body will allow me to be."
"Trust me, Brittany, the pleasure was definitely ours. Your talent is so big and you're so eager to share it with the world that far be it from us to deny you and the world that amazing opportunity. Besides, you were headhunted. Mike and I had very little to do with your selection."
This tidbit simply widened Brittany's smile. She knew she was good and she knew she was incredibly lucky to have been afforded the opportunities that she had. Her parents had supported her desire to dance from an extremely young age, sending her to whichever class she wanted to go to. When the rumour mill hit that millionaire Will Schuester was going to open a performing arts school in Lima, Brittany knew that she had to go there. She was only twelve at that stage so high school was still a few years off, but she'd already looked at applying to other PA schools across the country. She wanted to be a dancer. That was all that mattered.
Brittany was brought back to reality by Will's excited voice.
"Once again, I cannot express how happy I am that you agreed to come here," Will gushed.
Wow, this new student must be an August Rush type or something, Brittany mused, continuing with her stretches.
Will definitely had an eye for talent, but he rarely went out of his way to recruit people. The school had garnered enough prestige over the years to be a top contender amongst the best performing arts schools in America. So this Santana must be pretty special.
"Brittany, I'd like for you to meet someone."
She had been over the bar stretching her hamstrings and looked up at the request. She lost her footing, but managed to quickly set herself upright. With the help of someone gripping her arm.
She swallowed the sudden lump in her throat as her eyes met deep, dark ones. Her heart started racing. There was something about those eyes…
"Oh my word, are you all right, Brittany?" Will asked in alarm.
She couldn't tear her gaze away from the captivating brown orbs in front of her. "Um, fine," she mumbled, almost inaudibly.
"Brittany, this is Santana Lopez. She's joining us as a junior this year from Colorado."
"H-h-hi," she stammered.
This is embarrassing.
She stood up straight and Santana let go of her arm. It had been a gentle grip, but Brittany had felt like she was almost holding her up.
What the hell?
"Hi," she said more confidently, a small smile crossing her face. She held out her hand. "Brittany Pierce."
Santana just shook the outstretched hand and smiled awkwardly, not saying anything. Her dark hair swished around as Santana turned to look at Will uncertainly.
"Oh, of course, how utterly rude of me," Will said, stepping forward. "Miss Lopez here is unab-"
He was cut off by Sue Sylvester's voice echoing across the auditorium. She was using her megaphone again.
Will frowned. "I told her to stop using that damn thing."
Brittany's eyes stayed on Santana and she realised that she'd been holding her hand the whole time. She dropped it quickly. "Oh, uh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…" She kicked herself as her voice trailed off. What the hell was wrong with her? She was always confident because she always knew what she wanted. It was no secret that Brittany enjoyed the company of both men and women, but no one, not even the director of the Broadway show she'd been in, had ever rendered her this awestruck before.
Santana was looking down shyly, her feet fidgeting slightly on the floor. She was small, but then again, she was only sixteen. She looked up suddenly and Brittany felt that lump in her throat again, complete with the rapid heartbeat.
This girl was completely beautiful. Not necessarily sexy or hot or gorgeous or smokin', but beautiful. In every classic sense of the word. Brittany felt like she defined the word. Nothing in the world was more beautiful than the girl in front of her. And those eyes…
They seemed like they held the secrets to the world, the good, the bad, the romantic, the heartbreaking. Brittany was utterly captivated.
"You're beautiful," she finally breathed.
Santana's shy smile intensified and her head dropped again. She spun a little on her heel and went to stand next to the side curtain. Brittany didn't miss how her hands gripped the material tightly and how she all but hid her face behind the black drapes as she watched Will and Sue have it out on stage.
On stage. Shit! She was about to do a performance and she suddenly couldn't think of anything other than the girl in front of her. Brittany took a step back and put her hands on the bar, closing her eyes and taking deep breaths.
Ok, concentrate. It's the piano and you. An expression of ballet and interpretive. You worked on this all week, Britt. Come on. The school knows you. They know what you're capable of. Don't disappoint.
She opened her eyes and felt that familiar focus. This was her domain. This was where she excelled.
She smiled and nodded to herself.
Brittany flinched suddenly as Sue Sylvester came storming off stage.
"Hi, Ms. S," she said, forcing a smile onto her face. She really didn't like Sue. It kinda sucked that she was the best conductor in the Midwest. She'd sourced talented musicians from all over the country to build up the most amazing orchestra. They were actually famous. They'd been invited to perform at Madison Square Gardens, for the President and they'd been on TV numerous times.
Not surprising, really. Sue demanded only the best and she got it. She had a knack for drawing out everything each musician had to offer, regardless of her somewhat unorthodox methods. Brittany's mind briefly flashed to Jimmy Jenkins (yes, that was really his name – his parents must've been high or something when they named him) being strung up in a thong on the flagpole at the front of the school. All because he'd forgotten to properly tune the G-string of his violin. Sue had felt that his punishment would forever remind him the importance of a G-string.
"The moron on stage who somehow managed to convince sweater monkeys to throw up in his hair has informed me that you're doing a piece to The Heart Asks Pleasure First?"
"Yes, I am. It's a combination ballet and interpretive piece," Brittany replied.
"Well, firstly, Michael Nyman is a dear friend of mine, so I expect nothing less than perfection from your tribute to him. Secondly, clearly the copious amounts of elephant sperm that he puts on his head has created some kind of brain defect because Harriet is not at school today. Something about man flu, I don't care. I was looking for a reason to kick her out. She was holding the rest of the orchestra back. Her piano skills are mundane at best."
Brittany's eyes widened. "Wait, what? We rehearsed this last week. I don't have any music prepared for the AV crew."
"Blame ye old idiot over there," Sue replied, walking backstage.
"Fuck!" Brittany hissed, closing her eyes in exasperation.
Ok, this isn't a disaster. You've danced without music before. It's all about the emotion. You can sell that without music. Yes. That's what will have to happen. You got this, Britt. Just dance. Yeah. Just dance.
"Settle down, please!" she heard Will call out.
Immediately silence engulfed the auditorium. Brittany smiled. Performers knew that silence was a sign of respect. Respect given is respect earned. It was Will's life motto and a mantra that he had impressed on the school body from day one.
"We have two very exciting things on the agenda this morning," Will continued. "As I'm sure you're aware, Brittany Pierce has returned to us for her senior year after a very successful summer on Broadway."
The audience erupted into enthusiastic applause and Brittany grinned. She loved that feeling of adoration, but never let it get to her head. Her parents would slap her silly if she ever did.
"In a bit, she will be performing a short piece that she's been working on in preparation for her highly anticipated winter showcase. But first, I have the utmost pleasure in introducing an amazing new talent to this school. Santana Lopez is, without mincing any words, a prodigy. She's been playing the piano since age four and has been composing her own music since age nine."
Wow. Double wow.
Brittany kinda loved that Santana was awesome inside and out. She found herself incredibly excited to hear one of her compositions.
"Santana has a photographic memory and can play any piece of music after one simple glance. Now, I know that many of us wish that we had that luxury, but what makes Santana truly remarkable is that she composed an entire symphony, at the age of thirteen, in two simple weeks."
Brittany's mouth dropped. She spent most of her time in the dancing wing and didn't really know much about music and composition and all of that, but hearing Kurt and Quinn talk about it gave her enough know how to realise that writing a complete symphony in two weeks was incredible. And pretty much unheard of.
"She prefers the piano above all instruments, but is an expert on violin, cello, flute, clarinet and…" he paused dramatically, "…the triangle."
The audience laughed and Brittany smiled, her gaze fixing on Santana, who had all but buried herself behind the side curtain.
It's too adorable how shy she is.
"Now, I know you're all wondering why I'm the one out here praising Santana's musical genius, and she's given me permission to divulge this bit of personal information." He paused and glanced to where Brittany was standing and Santana was still hidden. "Santana is mute."
Brittany's mouth dropped open. No way. How cruel could the world be? Someone with that amount of musical ability would surely have an amazing voice, completely melodic and musical and lovely and sweet and-
Easy on the love there.
Brittany frowned and shook her head. It just didn't seem fair. And she was entirely disappointed that she wasn't going to hear Santana. Ever. She just looked like she would have a gorgeous voice. Maybe not even that melodic. Maybe it would be a little rougher, a little more raw. Like Amy Winehouse or something. Brittany smiled at that. Nah, she looked too sweet and innocent for someone like Amy Winehouse. Maybe more Katy Perry.
Hardly less innocent.
"Students, please give a warm McKinley welcome to Santana Lopez!" Will announced, gesturing to where Santana was suddenly not hiding anymore and walking across the stage confidently.
"Like chalk and cheese," Brittany muttered in amazement.
"Santana, I wonder if we might entice you to play something of your creation?" Will asked.
Brittany moved right to the edge of the curtain so that she could get as close as possible without being seen by the audience. She was dying to hear anything that Santana had created.
The audience cheered as Santana smiled and moved to the grand piano that was always on the stage. Brittany held her breath as soft notes started to stream from the open lid. She watched Santana's face as she played and she didn't think she'd ever seen anyone look so utterly at peace. The composition was beyond amazing. The tempo picked up, but the notes were still so soft and delicate. Brittany didn't how Santana was able to do that, but she simply became more and more impressed with the mysterious new student.
Something stirred in her soul. It felt like something was awakening inside her. She had the sudden urge to fly onto stage and simply dance. But she held back. Sure, she had a connection to music. She was a dancer, after all, and sometimes her dancing was an expression for her love for music. More than anything, it was an expression of herself, though.
But this music, Santana's music, was…it felt right. It felt like it matched her.
This is crazy.
She'd only met Santana like five minutes before and not even really met because Santana couldn't reciprocate her greeting.
Shit, that sounded mean. Sure, she was disappointed that Santana couldn't speak, but that didn't mean that Brittany wasn't intrigued to get to know her better. It didn't matter that they were in completely different programmes and on opposite ends of the campus, Brittany was determined to get to know Santana Lopez.
The music suddenly stopped and Brittany's eyes focused back on the brunette behind the piano. She smiled brightly at the audience who had absolutely erupted into applause. Brittany had to join in, but she felt like it deserved so much more than simple applause. It needed to be lauded and framed in gold and played in space so that the entire universe could hear how amazing Santana Lopez was.
"Well, Santana, I'm pretty sure we can expect great things from you at McKinley," Will said proudly. "And now, as I mentioned, Brittany's waiting back stage to give us her first performance of the new school year. Brittany Pierce!"
Brittany suddenly felt nervous. How in the hell was she supposed to follow that? And without any music, no less? She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for two seconds, running through her routine in her head at super speed before she gracefully danced onto the stage.
She immediately registered the familiar opening notes of The Heart Asks Pleasure First and blinked in surprise. She didn't look at the piano, though. She knew that Santana was playing. And it had never sounded better. Harriet was good, but Santana seemed to add a magical quality to the already beautiful piece of music.
Brittany spun around, her eyes resting on Santana briefly as she did so. Their eyes met and a connection unlike any other that Brittany had ever experienced lodged itself in her chest. There was no way in hell that she couldn't know Santana Lopez.
As Brittany moved effortlessly through her routine to Santana's playing, she felt that her dancing had never felt so free before. Sure, she practised enough times to do routines in her sleep, but what she was doing now…it felt like she was on another level, almost like she was simply in her body and Santana's music was moving her. It was scary as hell for the control freak dancer and, at the same time, the most incredibly freeing feeling she'd ever experienced.
Santana played the final notes as Brittany completed her routine, ending in a vertical leg split, her left leg slowly coming down with complete control and grace until she had both feet on the ground. The last note echoed around the auditorium just as Brittany's bare toe touched the ground.
She was breathing heavily, and she was almost sure it wasn't even from the physical dancing, but the emotion that had gone into every movement. She glanced at Santana, who was looking at her curiously. Those deep orbs threatened to engulf Brittany again until thunderous applause shook her from her gaze.
She stepped forward, curtsied a few times, blew kisses and exited the stage. She sat on the floor next to the bar and rested her back against the cold metal.
Her emotions were all over the place. She wasn't even entirely sure of what she was feeling, but whatever it was, it was incredibly intense and it was all because of Santana Lopez.
Brittany had to know this girl. She felt like her sanity depended on it.
A/N: So there we go. This is only an intro, like a prologue, so it's much shorter than what I plan for the actual chapters to be.
Would love to hear what you guys think? This will be from Brittany's point of view most of time, but as we get to know Santana, I may switch things up :)
Also, I did music way back in high school so forgive me if my knowledge is a little rusty. I am checking my facts though ;p
Oh, the piece of music that Britt dances to and Santana plays is The Heart Asks Pleasure First, composed by Michael Nyman and featured in the film The Piano. Truly one of the best pieces of music in a film, in my opinion. So emotional…
Cover art? PM me ;)