[A/N: WAI HALLO THERE, just getting this one out before the feels consume me. ‘Tis been a long-term idea of mine to write a full-blown fanfiction for American Idol S10, so before I get consumed by feels that will follow me through the night, here’s a preview! Hope you guys enjoy it, will probably post a summary later on.
By the way, this fic was written under the assumption that Scotty and Gabi aren’t together, since I’m not sure about the true nature of their relationship. Still needs confirmation, methinks.]
The sky’s so blue that there ain’t a speck of cloud anywhere in it, with just that yellow disk of sun and them M-shaped silhouettes of birds flyin’ out on the horizon.
Ain’t so packed on the bleachers, but the crowd’s good enough to start a ruckus when things got exciting, but not too big that they go into that frenzied riot that don’t do any good for your concentration. I released some of that breath that seemed to squeeze in my innards. Need to focus on the pitcher, I did. It’s the championships.
That pitcher, he’s been lookin’ kinda new, but there’s somethin’ in his eyes that tells me he’s mighty trained. Kinda intimidating, if you ask me. But the game ain’t over ‘til you let that intimidation get to ya, and that’s somethin’ I ain’t gonna do. This guy, he seems pretty nice, but that don’t mean I’ll hand them championship cup anytime soon.
There’s that routine pitch ditty that they blare over the speakers, which makes me hold my breath ‘cause I know it’s almost time. The pitcher’s about to throw it, so I gotta be still and see where it goes. Before that, though, I take some time to look at mom, but for some reason I focus more on the empty space beside her.
The screen’s got my face in full view, which is kinda distracting, but I try to ignore it anyway. Weirdly though, it catches my eye for a while. This ain’t the first time I’ve been looking at some large screen, I realize. It’s real strange, especially considering how long it’s been since I’ve done that.
The crowd’s roaring seems to soften up a bit, and I feel a little lost. I haven’t heard from her in the longest time, that girl, and I don’t really know what to feel about it. Kinda like a complete shut-off - no congrats about that new album, no “how-have-you-been’s”, no “good luck” for every game I get into and win. Lord, I don’t even think she knows I’m playing the finals today, even though the others greeted me days beforehand.
I could begin to make out all them yells and cheers, just a little. Ain’t the first time I’ve been in front of a roaring crowd.
But still it’s like some ghost got a hold of me, like my arms suddenly got all shaky and my grip goes tighter than ever. Her. Somehow, just thinking about her makes me a little mad - and it’s weird ‘cause I wan’t even thinkin’ about her in the first place, nor wasn’t supposed to. She cut me off, didn’t she? I don’t even know what’s goin’ on with her anymore.
Lauren tells me she’s been around Asia for a while, but aside from that I got no dice. And it’s kinda frustrating, how she could talk to the others but never to me. Didn’t even try to promote my album on Twitter… not that she’d been obligated to, but Lord, she could’ve helped a brother out!
Suddenly I’m back on the field, with them pitcher making the pitch, and I try to focus some more. It’s like some weird split-second action where everything seems to happen at once, and before I knew it, the ball’s flying out of the field.
I can’t hear nothin’ but the sound of my coach yelling “HOME RUN!”
What else did I have to do? I pulled up my pants legs and ran as fast as they could take me, tryin’ to make sure I didn’t hit any of the other players. I’ve done this for a while, but this time around it’s kinda weird: I’m breathless, but none of it seems to come from anything physical.
It takes me a while to realize most of it’s heavin’ on my chest, though it ain’t fatigue. I think thinkin’ about her gave a little damper to my system, and I curse myself for ever lettin’ that happen.
Then again, I didn’t need to think about her anyway, but I continued. Could’ve just seen that empty space beside my mom as nothin’, could’ve just ignored the screen, could’ve just payed no attention at all. But I did think of her, and I don’t know why. Thinkin’ about her was about the most random thing I’ve done today, and coming from me, that was sayin’ a lot. And there was no reason to think about her, anyway - not like I’ve seen her on the TV screen or anything.
Then again, maybe it was the fact that I didn’t see her at all, ever.
Or the fact that it’s like I’ve never met her in the first place.
And maybe I was a little concerned at how it’s been goin’ on for months.
Before I knew it, it’s like clods of dirt’s been sprayed on my face, with the crowd goin’ on full blast.
“SAFE!” the announcer says, all flamboyant and stuff like announcers do. “McCreery wins it for the Trojans!”
I blinked a little, kinda confused at first. But when it came to “win,” everything clicked into place.
The guys then suddenly rush to me, tryin’ to see who could get to me first, and I’m hoisted up by them like I was some floating twig. Coach comes near and tells me about what a good job I’ve done, and I can’t help but laugh and smile at it all. We won the championships, and the thrill of the win was pretty much one of the best things in the world. Kinda like pure bliss.
Well, not entirely. There were still them thoughts about her, which until then I couldn’t really shake off. On one hand, I feel a little angry at her, which makes me a little guilty considering how sweet she was during the tour and stuff. But that’s the thing - after the show and the tour and those singing gigs, there ain’t nothin’ left. Like nothin’ ain’t happened during the show. Like nothin’ ain’t happened between us, as friends.
Mom’s wavin’ at me from the bleachers, and I could tell she’s real proud of me. But, almost guiltily, all I could see is that empty seat beside her.
[A/N: Sorry for the angst! But yeah, be warned: this shall be an extremely angsty fic. I dunno, after all the fluff and stuff (and going over how probable angst!Scothia would be, considering she hasn’t been mentioning him anywhere), I decided to try a more in-depth approach to how they could be tackled in the future. But I’m pretty sure it’s get lighter soon!
Hope you guys enjoyed the preview! And BAUGH, I suck at writing baseball scenes. Feel free to correct (drop some notes in my ask!) me for any errors and inconsistencies!]
[Summary: If there was one thing he was certain about Thia Megia, it was her cute button nose.]
She walks out after another interview, somewhat giddy, but being the shy girl she was it was ascertained that the giddiness was out of trying to let out all the nervousness. She immediately goes to the girls and laughs along with them, all excited about the outcome of yet another funny segment to be shown on the live show.
They aren’t quite quiet about it either, so naturally, he overhears some of their conversation.
“Did you see the sample clips?” Lauren says, bouncing towards her in a large bear hug. Thia laughs as she leans into it, with Pia moving closer to the youngsters.
“I did,” Pia says, with the same amount of enthusiasm. “You guys were sooo cute! And Thi-Thi, you’ve got such a cute button nose!” She articulates this by tweaking Thia’s nose a little, which makes the younger girl laugh again.
“Aww, you really think so?” she asks, demurely, while Lauren still holds on to her. She then jokingly checks Thia’s face for herself, intentionally exaggerating her facial expressions to make her smile.
“Y’know, Pia’s got a point there,” Lauren says, with a hint of discovery. “You do have cute nose!”
For some reason, he perks up and glances over at the ladies, who at that moment had gathered around the petite girl in eager curiosity.
It’s her smile that first gets to him. Been since the first time he saw her. But with the new clamor in the air, he does pay extra attention to her nose, which he hadn’t quite noticed before.
She turns her head a little to the side, projecting her profile as she cuddles with Lauren. By the heavens, she did have a cute button nose - slightly upturned, but rounded, like a baby’s. It had that tantalizing cuteness that just made you want to pluck it from her face like a cherry on a black forest cake.
After their turn of cheers and jokes were over, the girls eventually part ways to ready themselves with their songs, leaving her still smiling and ready to rehearse on her own. She waves at them and begins to retreat to her corner, right after she gets her copy of her lyrics to discuss with Jimmy. Everyone’s in a bustle, as it’s almost elimination night and it was time to step up their game. He knows that he should do the same, with that spark of inner competitiveness that would never leave him.
Her nose was cutely perked, like a smooth lump on cookie dough.
This wasn’t doing any good. He finds himself looking at her every now and then, even without the clamor, just to get a good look at that darling nose of hers that made him come up with a plethora of weird adjectives to describe it.
It was like a smooth pebble on a concrete pathway.
Or a fresh sharksfin dumpling in a Chinese restaurant.
Or the snout of a baby panda.
He shook his head. He was getting weird again, and that was the last thing he wanted the week before elimination.
He took a quick glance at the girl again, with an idea forming wildly into the deepest trenches of his imagination. He admitted that it wasn’t the most orthodox thing he’s ever thought about, and was probably one of the craziest, but it wouldn’t leave his head. Somehow, as inappropriate as he knew it was, it seemed to make perfect sense at the same time.
Thia smiles at him when he moves towards her, clutching the lyrics between her hands. “Hey.”
He doesn’t smile, but gives her a little salute back, which makes her giggle a little. That cute, cuddly giggle that made her cute little nose wrinkle in glee. “What’s up?” she asks, in that sweet, casual way she always talked to people. He tries to compose himself, trying to conceal the fact that he’s been staring at her nose this whole time.
“Been doin’ good, if I do say so myself,” he says, equally casually, then stops in front of her. This makes her a little skeptical, but it passes just as quickly.
“Alrighty,” she says with finality, giving him one last smile before turning back to her notes, cute button nose in perfect profile. He wrinkles his own in veiled frustration, unconsciously taking note of how pointy his is. Under normal circumstances, he’d find her reserved ways quite cute, but this time it was just plain un-cooperation.
That doesn’t mean he’d give up so easily, though.
“Hey, Thia?” he asks, and she immediately perks up again, ready to entertain his questions. He freezes for a millisecond at how quick her response is, then composes himself just as quickly. “D’you have a sec? Just thought to try somethin’.”
“Sure thing,” she says, perkily. “What is it?”
“You just stand real still,” he says, with a smile unconsciously reaching out through the corners of his mouth. She smiles at that, since she finds it amusing, and the infectiousness of her own smile making his grow bigger. They both try to stifle laughter as he tries to keep track of his intentions, and she tries to follow instruction, as absurd as it seemed.
“Alright, that’s good,” he says, still fending off laughter. It was stupid, it was downright ridiculous, but by hell or high water he was going to push through with the plan. Somehow, he knew his was as a point of no return.
Thia composes herself as well by the time he gets himself to calm down, but the smile still peeks out every now and then as he leans in closer to her. At first, she seems baffled, confusion evident in those brown eyes. He takes a deep, inaudible inhalation every now and then to prevent himself from chickening out, trying to not mind her confusion.
By the time they touch noses, however, her expression shifts from that of bafflement to a bashful smile, especially as he begins to rub his nose against hers. She chuckles in that cute way she does rather shyly, and by the time he pulls away, the chuckles transmit from her to him and they’re both laughing from the experience. Then, for good measure, he finally tweaks her nose, bringing that golden smile into full view.
“Now, don’t you bash that in any time soon, alright?” he says, and she just laughs again before she nods in response.
“Won’t be a problem,” she responds, and before she knows it, she’s being called into the recording studio for her next song. She gives him a friendly wave of her fingers before she says goodbye, escorted by one of the prod managers into the studio room.
For the moment that he’s left there, he’s first hit by a brief sense of detachment. But then as he continued to stand there by himself, he catches himself smiling like an idiot and feeling all giddy inside. Somehow, it’s like he could still feel the ghost of her by his side, like the fresh smell of newly-washed clothes that didn’t go away for a while. Somehow, he could still sense the smile on her face and that intimate distance he managed to get with her; the feel of her cute button nose on his tingling like a current.
“Hittin’ on my best friend now, aren’t ya, Scott Cooke?” says Lauren, whose voice breaks into his train of thought and tranced stupor. He jolts up slightly in shock as he turns to her, right behind him, and tries to keep a composed stance.
“Ain’t,” he replies curtly, praying that she doesn’t notice the bluff. “Was just playin’ around with her, y’know.”
Lauren’s smile, which was unnervingly knowing, didn’t help any. She nods and spins around, about to return to her station. “Mm-hmm,” she hums, walking intentionally with a jig towards the others. “Sure you were.”
[Summary: Thia doesn’t get upset all the time, but when she does, it’s for an entirely different reason.]
She wasn’t the type of person that got upset easily, or had an attitude problem, or was ever known to be moody. Of course, there were those off days that tore a smile off of anyone’s face and made them slightly complain, but even during then she’d return to her own demure duress at the slightest conversation. That’s what she was always known for - the sweet, shy girl who always had a smile to offer and a sweet word to give.
So it came as a surprise to him one day to see her the total opposite of her nature. Although she still kept her normal elements of poise - she didn’t bark at anyone, didn’t intentionally start a ruckus - she seemed a little damp and moody, keeping to herself more than usual and the ghost of a smile on her face replaced with a more dour expression.
Out of curiosity, he decided to get to the bottom of the problem. Well, that and the fact that her own mood seemed to put a damper on that of his other fellow contestants. It was funny how much impact she had on them, he muses, how her cheery personality had a hold on them all.
However, he was as reserved as she was, so solving the issue took a little maneuvering. So, as the day progressed, he waited for the moment that she was alone and he wasn’t busy interacting with the other idols or rehearsing.
“What’s up with the frownin’, Thia?” he asked, casually brushing past towards her.
She looks up limply and smiles at him weakly. “Hey, Scotty.”
She was leaning on a portion of the wall near the doorway, waiting for her turn in the studio. He leaned next to her.
“‘Been puttin’ everyone in a jumpy mood when you ain’t smilin’, you know.”
She laughs. “Haha, oh, gosh, sorry about that,” she says, apologetically. “I didn’t mean to worry you guys.”
“Nothin’ to it,” he replies, smiling. “Just concerned, is all. What’s goin’ on?”
She bites her lip, eyes darting downward, and sighs. “It’s about Lauren.”
He feels himself constrict. Oh boy. If he’d gotten himself into a friendship conflict, may God have mercy on his soul, it’d be virtually impossible to get himself out of it. He decided to tread the path cautiously.
“What about her?” he says, trying to mask his nervousness. Lord, please don’t let this turn into girly talk, don’t let this turn into girly talk…
She tightens her folded-arm stance, looking hard at the ground. “I know I shouldn’t be affected, but it’s so mean, Scotty! They make her out into some obnoxious brat when she’s not like that.”
He exhales inaudibly in surprise. That was definitely a reason he did not expect.
She exhaled deeply, as if pouring out her bad feelings out of the breath. She looked at him. “I’ve read some articles criticizing Lala though I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I couldn’t help it. They’ve been demeaning her and saying how she’s got a big personality and no voice, but that’s not true. Lauren’s the sweetest, most honest and one of the most talented people ever. And, well…” she trails off, looking at her feet again. “I dunno. I got really upset when I read that.”
Somehow, a sprig of laughter seems to rise up in his throat, though he conceals it for the situation at hand. It was beginning to make sense now. Thia was never someone to get upset so easily, except when it involved the people she loved. All her feelings, all her attentions had flowed outward in heartbreaking humility; it seemed that she cared more about their sake than hers.
Finally he laughed, for he couldn’t hold it in any longer. She looked at him in surprise.
“What’s wrong, Scotty?” she asked, her voice immediately turning into concern. Just another example of how humble she was, not minding that she’d been in a downer just a moment ago for him. Smiling, he put his hand on her head and ruffled her raven locks.
[A/N: Kudos to those who spotted that very teeny reference!]