dancnwithmyself: (Artie and Tina cute)
[personal profile] dancnwithmyself
Title: Evolution
Author: [livejournal.com profile] dancnwithmyself
Claim: Emotions
Table: Table is here
Prompt: Yearning
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The evolution of Artie and Tina's friendship, set through the latter half of Season 2
Word Count: 2089
Warnings: This chapter, spoilers for 2x18, Born this Way
Notes: This hopefully will turn out to be a 10 chapter fic, following the evolution of Artie and Tina's rekindled friendship through latter half of Season 2. The first six chapters will be set against episodes, and will pretty much follow canon fitting in with my view. After that, completely AU, unless of course, RIB sees sense and rekindles Artina. Glee is owned by Fox, and Ryan Murphy Productions. No copyright infringement is intended, this is just for my playtimes. Unbetaed, and many thanks and internet cookies to [livejournal.com profile] morbidbubbles for her help and support.

The flash mob had dispersed quickly after the performance, most of them coming up to Rachel, telling her how amazing she was... and trying to encourage her not to have a nose job. It didn't take long for only the New Directions members to be left standing in a loose circle around Rachel.

"That was fun!" Brittany bounced on the spot, before hugging Rachel. "We should do this more often."

"Yeah," Mercedes said, tucking her arm through Kurt's, looking at the others. "And better because we're all here. It's so good to have you back, Kurt. We missed you."

Puck put his fist out for a fist bump from the countertenor, to which Kurt just raised an eyebrow and ignored it. "C'mom, Hummel. You've gotta admit it, this was a success today."

Kurt looked at Puck through narrowed eyes, before smiling slightly. "Okay, you might have a point. It did go rather well, didn't it?"

"Stop gloating," Rachel said, hugging Puck then tucking her arm into Kurt's free one. "Since we are all here, should we go get something to eat?"

"Pizza!" Finn said excitedly, leading to groans from some of the other kids.

"This is a food mall. The chances of getting vegan pizza in a food mall are minimal at best, most likely non-existant," Rachel said. "I was thinking more of going to Breadstix."

"Really? Like that's better?" Lauren said, scoffing at Rachel. "Because they are so vegan there."

"Enough arguing," Kurt said, holding his hands up. "This is supposed to be a happy occasion, not a bitchy one. We can grab something to drink here, then head out to Breadstix for this evening. How about that?"

Everyone nodded in agreement, gathering up their belongings and beginning to move towards the food court, well, everyone except for Brittany, who was looking around. Tina walked up to her, a look of concern crossing her face. "What's up, Brittany?" she asked.

"I've lost Artie," Brittany replied, looking around forlornly, trying to find her missing boyfriend.

Tina glanced around, trying to remember when she'd last seen her friend. He'd definitely been there for the flash mob, but she couldn't remember seeing him afterwards, when they'd gathered together. It was like he'd just... vanished. "Did he say anything to you?" she asked, glancing around, seeing if she could spot the familiar figure.

"He said he had to go and do something, that he wouldn't go far," she said, glancing at Kurt and the others as they headed to the food court, then back at Tina. "He wouldn't tell me what."

Then, suddenly it struck her. The mall. The time of year. Tina put on a smile and faced Brittany. "I've got an idea. Tell you what, why don't you go and catch up with the others, and I'll bring Artie to you. I think I know where he is."

Brittany flashed a brilliant smile at Tina. "You will? That would be super awesome if you did find him." Brittany moved close, hugging Tina, then turning to skip towards the rest of the group, pinky linking with Santana. Tina watched them leave for a moment, then shook her head, trying to focus on what she was doing. She had a feeling she knew exactly where Artie was.

She was right. She ran past a few shops, and found him sitting outside a shop they had visited together a little over a year ago. He was opposite the main window, in a relatively quiet part of the mall, staring at the display. She slowed down, creeping up to him as she walked closer to him. "Hey," she said eventually in a quiet voice, not wanting to scare him.

He jumped as she spoke. He'd been so lost in thought that he wasn't aware of anything going on around about him. He blinked, focusing back on the present before giving Tina a guilty look. "Sorry," he said, before studying his hands which were folded in his lap.

Tina frowned, moving round in front of him. "For what?" she said, kneeling down and peering at him, before she was suddenly struck by a memory of doing something similar to this in the school corridor last year, right before she asked Mike Chang to be her dance partner, with Artie singing the song. She knew it had been hard for him to accept, however much he pretended that he was okay with her choice, but equally she had been so worried about him at the time that she hadn’t truly enjoyed the performance, even though it led to her and Mike talking more, and eventually going to Asian camp together and everything that happened after that. She looked up into Artie’s face. He was obviously trying to hide his emotions, but she could see them clearly if she looked in his eyes. This was an intensely personal moment for him, and one she couldn’t help feeling she was intruding on it. “Don’t be,” she said quietly. “I thought I might find you here.”

Artie dipped his head, embarrassed. “Yeah, sorry, couldn’t help myself. I guess I was kind of berating myself for not taking the shoes back. They were a bit of a waste of money since they are just gathering dust at the back of my closet.”

“You don’t have to apologize to me,” Tina said firmly, before putting both hands on the arms of his wheelchair, and looking up into his face. “I’m the last person you should be apologizing to for this. As I recall, I encouraged you. A lot."

"It's okay," Artie said, giving her a small smile, reassuring her for the first time since the start of this conversation. "It was a stupid dream anyway. I should have known not to dream the impossible."

"Stop it," Tina said, sharper than she intended, but it achieved what she had been aiming for - Artie to stop self-flagellating. "You are far, far better than this." He didn't answer, but he gave her a curious look. "You, Artie Abrams, are one of the best dancers in Glee, however much you try to deny it. Look at what you did when you went through that weird Bieber phase with the other guys? Okay, so in retrospect, it was incredibly cheesy for you to sing Bieber like that, and for truly terrible reasons, but that song you did? It was awesome the way it turned out. Who choreographed it?"

"Mike mainly, though he and I tried to figure out the best way I could 'dance' with them," Artie said shrugging slightly.

"Okay, buster," Tina said, pursing her lips together and staring at him. "Why do you doubt what you can do like this? Trust me, what you and Mike put together? That was dancing. There is no other way to describe it."

"Because it doesn't feel like it," Artie said, sighing. "Dancing for me is standing up, in front of a group of people, and moving my legs." His expression was pained, and he glanced briefly at Tina before turning away again. She was still the only person who'd ever known about his dream, and he felt vulnerable right now.

"Artie," Tina said softly, waiting until he turned and looked at her. "You are a good dancer. Sure, you might not be able to move your legs, you know what I've learned since then? I've watched you, and I've seen just how well you move. If you weren't in a wheelchair, you would be a good dancer, but in your wheelchair... you're great." When she caught Artie's eyes, she was stunned to see moisture in his eyes, and she could feel herself tearing up as well in response. She had really wanted him to dance with her a year ago... and she had that same feeling right here and now. It didn't matter if he was in a wheelchair or not, they could do it, she knew. She had a glimmer of an idea, and smiled at him.

"What?" Artie said, suspiciously.

"Wait and see," Tina replied, still smiling at him.

"Tina... you really think I'm a good dancer?" Artie asked suddenly. She could hear the weight behind the question.

"Yeah. You are. You can keep up with all the choreography we do, and it looks really good. Sure, you can't tap, but who needs to be able to?" she answered, carefully.

"You tap. Very well, as I recall,” he pointed out, pouting slightly.

“Artie. You’re hardly tap dancer material. You’re kinda more... hip hop than Fred Astaire,” she replied, grinning at him, watching as his pout changed into a shy smile. Artie looked at her for a moment longer, then nodded, as if in agreement. “Come on. Brittany is waiting on you. She asked me to come and find you. We're going to grab coffee, then go to Breadstix later on as a celebratory meal, or really just any excuse, and Brittany was all upset when she couldn't find you. Santana was comforting her when I remembered where you might be."

"Then it's time to find my girlfriend and reassure her," Artie grinned back at Tina, as he unlocked his wheels. Tina moved to the familiar position behind his wheelchair, pushing him through the crowds as they went to meet up with their friends.

The weekend had passed when Tina skipped alongside him at the lockers. He'd been emptying his bag, ready for the Glee rehearsal that was to follow, pulling out the t-shirt he'd had made for the Lady Gaga assignment, when he looked up to see his friend standing beside him, smirking. He raised an eyebrow at her. She was far too chirpy for a Monday.

"Have you got a few minutes?" she asked, bouncing on the spot. He looked closely at her. She was suppressing amusement, and had something hidden behind her back. He nodded at her. "Somewhere quiet?" Artie looked around, suggesting the choir room. They had a few minutes before everyone else was due to arrive. Tina agreed, pushing Artie's wheelchair into the choir room. She parked it next to a chair, and sat down beside him, handing over a DVD to him.

"What's this?" Artie asked, turning the disk over in his hand, frowning slightly.

"It's some research I did online," Tina said, pulling her laptop out of her backpack, waking it up, and taking the disc from him. She put it in the drive, and when it spun up, opened her media player, passing the laptop back to Artie, letting him see the scenes of wheelchair dancing she had found on Youtube. Artie stared at the screen, watching as two dancers, one in a wheelchair, one able bodied, danced. "They’re called the AXIS Dance Company," she explained, as he watched, fascinated. "I saw it, and thought of you. One of the guys in a chair... his front casters light up like yours do." Artie looked up at her at that, looking at the shy smile she had as she waited for him to react.

"Really?" He glanced at her, but quickly his eyes back focusing on the screen, taking in the fluid motion of the dancers. "Why did you do this for me?" he asked suddenly, pausing the video to focus on her.

Tina sighed, twisting in her chair slightly to face him. "You needed to see that you can still be a dancer if you want. Not quite in the way you thought, but it's still dancing, you can't deny that."

Artie look at her, giving her a familiar smile, one that she actually hadn't seen for quite some time. A smile she used to see a lot while they were dating. "Thanks, Tina," he said quietly. He didn't actually know how to say anything else to that.

"Oh, I got you something else," Tina said suddenly, reaching into her bag once more, and pulling out something small. "Hold out your hand and close your eyes." Artie did so, holding out his right hand, palm up. Tina paused for a moment, before tying something round his wrist. "Okay, you can open them now."

Artie did, glancing down at his wrist. On it was a bright purple friendship bracelet. The year before, Tina and he had shared friendship bracelets regularly, but since Tina had started dating Mike, the exchange had stopped. This was the first time that she had made one for him it in nearly a year. He smiled up at Tina. "Thank you. For everything."

Tina nudged his shoulder with her, smiling back at him. "Anytime."


dancnwithmyself: (Default)
Artie Abrams

March 2015

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