A/N: I've actually had this idea since Episode One Season Four premiered. I've been thinking for ages how Shelby and Cassandra would either get along, or absolutely hate each other. Then I thought, you know, they'd make awesome friends, the kind that insult each other and are in constant rivalry, but are seriously good friends. I'm thinking of making this a series about life in NYC, building a friendship with Cass and a relationship with Shelby. Just some random stuff. I had to get this written down and... Yeah...

There's a lot of Cassandra, and it's mostly focused on the friendship with Shelby, but there is also a lot of Rachel. And some Brody. Because quite frankly I love the idea of Brody and Rachel together, and it's not just because I'm Australian, and Dean Geyer is Aussie, but also because I hate Finn.

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee. More Idina if I did.

Hope you like it. Enjoy.

I Love You, I Do… But Back Off…

The clicking of heels on her wood panel floor distracted her from her stretches. Standing straight, Cassie turned, ready to growl at some freshman who had yet to learn not to interrupt her when she was dancing alone in the studio. Her growl died on her lips.

"Shelby?"

Shelby Corcoran. She was a sight for sore eyes. Cassie had met Shelby in a workshop years ago. The two of them were just getting in to the business, and despite their clashing personalities, (The amount of times Cassie called her a Small Town Wannabe and Shelby called her a Big City Waste), the two quickly became the best of friends.

Cassie was the only one to know about the baby girl Shelby had in order to get to New York. Cassie was the only one to know how much giving up that baby had hurt her.

Cassie made it as the lead in an off-broadway musical, originating a character. Shelby had been offered a role to, but declined the offer. Her head and her heart just wasn't in it, and Cassie was the only one to know where it was. She'd told her friend to go, to find it and come back when she was ready for the Great White Way.

"Hey Cass."

She shook her head, a grin stretching across her face as she stepped forward, enveloping her in a hug, something she'd deny should any student happen to see.

"What are you doing here? Not that I'm not happy to see you or anything, but I did not expect to see you in NYC for a long time."

Shelby laughed, shrugging her shoulders.

"I moved back last month. Looked you up and, what do you know, Cassandra July as a dance teacher at NYADA. I just had to see it for myself."

Cassie glared, a smirk playing off her face.

"Least I'm someone Small Town."

Shelby rolled her eyes, smiling softly.

"Oh, I am someone Cass." She looked around the studio as she followed Cassandra to her bag, Cassie picking up the water bottle. "I'm a mom."

Cassie grinned, the bottle leaving her lips as she shook her head.

"That's great Shel. You found her then?"

Cassie looked over her friend, narrowing her eyes slightly as she looked at her from head to toe. There was something familiar, in a way she wasn't expecting, about Shelby.

"Oh, well… Yeah, yeah I did but… It didn't quite go the way I planned."

Cassie looked up, frowning.

"What do you mean? Come on, you're Shelby Corcoran! You were more ruthless than I was. I find it hard to believe that when you wanted something you didn't get it."

Shelby shook her head, taking a deep breath as she folded her arms around her front, hugging her stomach.

"I hurt her. Pretty badly. I found her, and then I just walked away. Twice! She doesn't need me."

Cassie frowned, cocking her head as she studied Shelby. She'd seen that stance recently.

"But no, that's not what I'm talking about… I adopted a baby girl. Her name's Beth."

Cassie shook her head, ignoring the weird feeling in the pit of her stomach and choosing to smile at Shelby.

"That's great Small Town. You've got to introduce us. With you as her mother, the kid's got to have a fun, crazy Aunt to corrupt her, yeah?"

Shelby rolled her eyes, opening her mouth to speak when the doors opened. Shelby turned around, Cassie looked over her friend's shoulder. Brody walked in walking backwards and dragging someone behind him.

"Come on! You promised you'd be my partner, and we have to rehearse!" He whined.

"I didn't think you meant right this second!"

Shelby froze, her eyes wide and her heart racing as a boy (That is definitely not Finn) pulled her daughter in to the studio.

Brody turned, a grin on his face that fell when he saw his teacher and a woman standing in the room.

"Whoops. Sorry, didn't realize anyone was in here."

Rachel came to stand by his side, their hands still linked as she grimaced, catching sight of Cassandra.

"Sorry Ms July. Come on Brody, we can rehearse at mine."

She turned to pull him when her eyes scanned the rest of the room. It had become a routine to seek out the blonde teacher the moment she set foot in to the studio, a sort of survival instinct. So she had completely missed her mother standing directly beside her teacher.

"Shelby?"

The older brunette, to her credit, managed not to stutter as she smiled awkwardly at Rachel.

"Rachel."

Cassie, who normally would have insulted the petite dancer standing beside one of her best male performers, chose instead to study her friend. She was tense, her eyes slightly wide and an almost longing look in her eyes as she looked at the girl in front of her. Glancing from Shelby to Rachel and back, Cass's eyes widened.

No! No way, it cannot be that coincidental. I knew she looked familiar when I first saw her… Oh crap. Shelby is going to go ballistic when she finds out I've been so tough on her… daughter? Crap!

"What… What are you doing here?"

Shelby stared at Rachel, her arms tightening around her stomach.

"I uh… I came to visit Cass. She's an old friend."

Rachel looked from Shelby to her dance teacher. She rolled her eyes, muttering under her breath.

"Of course the two of you know each other."

Shelby frowned, glancing back at Cass before turning back to Rachel.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Rachel glared, gripping Brody's hand as she stepped back.

"Nothing. I should have known the two of you were friends. What, meet at Heartless Bitches Anonymous?"

Shelby gaped at her daughter, confused. The last time she'd bet with Rachel, they had ended on relatively okay terms. Of course, she knew that she'd hurt her daughter greatly, but still. And what was with the insult to Cass? Once again, she glanced back at her friend, who actually had the decency to look a little guilty, something Brody was surprised to see. A tugging on his hand brought his attention to his dance partner slash crush.

"Let's go back to mine. Rehearse there. Clearly this room's taken."

He nodded, raising his eyebrow at Cass before following Rachel out. As the door shut, Shelby and Cass could hear Rachel mutter 'Ice Queen' under her breath, and neither was sure who it was aimed at.

Shelby turned to Cass, opening her arms in a 'What-the-Hell' gesture.

"She's your daughter isn't she?"

Cass was quiet, biting her lip. There was no one, absolutely no one, that she cared about enough to care what they thought of her… Except for Shelby.

"Yeah. I knew she went here, I just didn't expect her to be in your class." They stared at each other, Cass sipping at her water and Shelby biting her lip. "What was that all about?"

Cass grimaced, shrugging.

"I… May or may not be giving her a hard time in class."

Shelby's eyes seemed to appear just a tad bit darker, and the other woman huffed, much like Rachel had done the other day in class.

"Define 'hard time'."

Cass didn't respond, choosing to ignore the question. Of course, that was all Shelby needed.

"Look, I get it okay. You're a major hard ass because they need to deal with criticism, but I'm telling you now, Rachel is not one of them. She's been dealing with criticism, bullying, insults and degrading all her life."

Cass frowned, looking up at Shelby who sighed.

"She was raised by two gay dads in a small, old fashioned town. She's head strong and ambitious, and the kids at her school didn't like that. She doesn't need your put downs. She needs your help."

Cass sighed, looking at her friend who stared at her pleadingly.

"I love you Cass, I really do… But back off. She's my daughter, and though I didn't raise her, she got a lot more from me than just her appearance."

Cass smirked, raising her eyebrow.

"Really? And what did she get exactly?"

Shelby grinned, a smile that could be seen as evil or scary.

"She sent another girl to a crack house because she felt threatened in their singing ability. Cass… She got my ruthlessness."

Cass choked back a laugh, silently applauding Rachel in her head. Sounds like something I'd do. Not too bad Schwimmer.

Shelby stepped forward, hugging Cass and whispering to her.

"I want to get to know her. Properly. And you being a complete bitch to her isn't going to help me earn points. Please?"

As she stepped back, walking backwards to the door, Cass rolled her eyes, waving her off and grinning.

"Okay, okay. Only because I don't want a repeat of the last time I didn't do what you asked. Pretty sure I still have the mark you know."

Shelby laughed, waving at her and walking to the door. Her hand on the handle, she stopped as Cass spoke.

"I'll go easier on her, but not completely. And… Maybe I'll try and help you get… 'to know her' or whatever. I could tell stories."

Shelby turned, flipping Cass off but grinning at her.

"Thank you… And if you do. I have a few stories of my own Blondie."

The following day, Rachel sat at the side of the room, the class having been odd numbered and she was left without a partner… again. Cass approached, looking down at her with an expressionless face.

"Up."

Slowly, Rachel stood, taking Cass's outstretched hand and awkwardly moving in to position, moving around the room with her teacher as students watched from the corner of their eyes. Ms July had rarely participated in lessons with another student… Especially one they knew she held contempt feeling towards.

"You're being nice to me."

Cass raised her eyebrow, choosing not to answer the smaller brunette.

"It's because of Shelby isn't it?"

Cass sighed, nodding swiftly once.

"I don't see why. It's not like Shelby has some reason to be upset that you treat me like scratch post."

Cass narrowed her eyes.

"Did you just call me a cat?"

Rachel's eyes widened, and she shook her head while Cass dipped.

"No. No that's not…"

"And she does have a reason. She's your mom."

Rachel snorted as she was brought back up, rolling her eyes.

"She's my mother."

Cass frowned, confused.

"There's a difference?"

"According to Shelby."

They were silent as the class followed their movement. Cass turned her head, barking at one of the boys because he was one step behind.

"There is no difference." She said, turning her attention back to the dancer holding her hands. "And readjust your feet. Are you trying to break my leg?"

Rachel readjusted, keeping silent.

"Look. She asked me to be nice, because apparently you've dealt with enough crap that criticism in the future won't affect you. But here's the thing. She's your mom, and she made mistakes. And as much fun as it's going to be to rub those mistakes in her face, I am not going to spend however long she's living here answering questions about whether or not you wore your hair up that day."

Rachel frowned, mouthing the end of her sentence in confusion as Cass continued.

"She wants to try again, and she thinks if I'm a bitch to you, you won't want to. Which, by the way, I think is ridiculous because you are so much like her that you won't like being told what to do, and if you want to do something, you'll do it. Take that as a compliment if you want, but it probably wasn't one."

Rachel opened her mouth to speak, but the ringing interrupted her.

"It looks like that's it, and so far I have seen no improvement. Work on it, or don't bother coming back tomorrow." Cass called out, dropping Rachel's hands and walking to her bag in the corner of room.

Rachel watched her walk, shaking her head and muttering to herself as she went to her own things. As the class left, Rachel stood walking to the door. Brody appeared, grinning at her and waiting to take her to lunch. Taking a deep breath, Rachel turned to Cassandra.

"I can deal with criticism and insults. I work better when I have to. So don't be nice, it doesn't suit you. And… If Shelby wants to try again, she should just come to me. I… wouldn't exactly be opposed."

Cass watched as Rachel left, Brody's arm swinging around her shoulders and the door closing behind them. Smirking, Cass pulled out her phone, starting a text to Shelby.

Like mother like daughter. Always has to have the last word.

She stopped mid-text, frowning as a thought struck.

Crap! There's two of them.

A/N: So, i hope you liked it. This will be the first in my... Uhm... NYC, Rivalry, Dances and Second Chances Series... Should I call it that? ... Yeah, may as well... Reviews would be awesome... I'm gonna go work on My Little Girl and Little White Lion. Laters.