Hello HSM/Rylsie fans. I'm still working on my current fic 'So this is New York' but I've had these oneshots going round my head for a while. I hope you enjoy. Please review and let me know what you think!
Ryan looked up in alarm, startled by the booming sound that had issued from such a tiny person. He was sat cross-legged on the stage floor and for once the small composer towered over him, her silhouette blocking the stage lights and throwing darkness over the script that lay on his lap. He blinked at her in confusion for a few seconds. He had barely spoken two words to Kelsi Nielson in his life and he was sure the longest sentence he'd ever heard from her lips was, "From the top."She usually sat behind the piano, half in the wings. Invisible. At lunch she sat with Ryan and his sister at their 'drama club' table in the cafeteria but even then she mostly sat hunched over her notebook, her face hidden by whatever hat she had donned that day.
As Kelsi's eyes glared at him accusingly he considered how little he even knew her face. He could probably list her hat collection but he couldn't recall having ever really looked her in the eyes. Had she always had glasses? Had her eyes always been that blue? Or that intense…
"Anybody home?" she barked, causing Ryan to snap out of his daydream.
"What?" he snapped, looking up at her with a mixture of irritation and confusion. What gave her the right to storm in and shout at him and call him 'Evans'?
With an annoyed huff, the small girl in front of him threw a handful of paper onto his lap. Ryan shot her an affronted look before snatching up one of the pages to take a closer look at whatever had the mouse's tail in a twist. His expression soon turned abashed as he saw the scores of music.
"Oh." he said nervously.
"Oh." Kelsi agreed through gritted teeth, still staring at him angrily.
"I can explain…" Ryan began.
"You had no right." Kelsi cut over him, her voice soft and shaking. Ryan saw the vulnerability in her eyes expose itself and he nodded anxiously.
Of course she was right. He should have known better. He wrote music himself after all. Ryan considered the idea of someone finding the notebook with all his songs. All the senseless scribblings that had been thrown down on paper on a whim in the middle of a sleepless night. All the ridiculous ramblings that had served as an outlet of emotion more than anything else. It was a therapeutic, peaceful and terribly private activity. Ryan would be the first to admit that he lived to be in the spotlight, but as far as he was concerned, his songs were the exception and for his eyes only. Yes he understood what she was feeling. However, he knew all this before he'd handed the song over to Ms Darbus and he would do it again in a heartbeat.
"The songs are too good." Ryan said firmly, holding Kelsi's gaze. "You shouldn't keep them hidden…"
"It is MY decision what happens to MY songs." Kelsi hissed, her voice rising marginally. Ryan saw the anger begin to seep back into her features and he got up from the floor slowly and tentatively, as if confronted by a wild animal.
"Ok… Yes. But would it hurt to take the compliment?" Ryan suggested, trying to keep his tone light. "I mean, I only gave it to her because I thought it was exceptional."
Kelsi was silent. She simply stared at him, narrowing her eyes in a scrutinizing manner, as if trying to figure out his angle. It was unnerving and made Ryan feel somewhat exposed. As if her glasses were x-raying him. Ryan eventually opted to break the silence. He had to make her see that he hadn't meant any ill-will.
"You're a great writer. It's… Well it's beautiful." he murmured, sincerely hoping that she would at least drop the glare that was making him more nervous by the minute. The the strangest thing happened. She blushed. It was small at first, just a slight rosiness of the cheeks. Then it spread until her whole face was shining. Ryan couldn't help but let out a short, abrupt laugh of disbelief. Kelsi gave him a confused look.
"What is it?" she asked nervously. She even checked behind her which just made Ryan laugh again.
"That's some blush Kelsi!" Ryan exclaimed, while trying to stifle a snigger. Kelsi looked puzzled but touched her cheek. Evidently feeling the temperature, her eyes widened in surprise before she recoiled in embarrassment. The whole thing was so ridiculously adorable that Ryan had to let himself laugh full out. This only served to antagonize Kelsi further and the next thing he knew she was storming out of the auditorium, her brown curls bouncing down her back.
"Oh c'mon Kelsi, you're over-reacting!" Ryan called after her playfully.
As she reached the end of the aisle, she turned to face him with a blazing look.
"Maybe this would be over-reacting if you were say… a friend, just trying to help. But you're not Evans you're really not." Kelsi retorted fiercely, her eyes flashing. "You and your sister treat me like some sort of servant and you just expect me to be ok with you taking something personal to me and exposing it without my permission? In fact, I'm supposed to consider it a favour?!" Kelsi exclaimed incredulously. She shook her head, a look of disdain crossing her features.
"A favour from the great Ryan Evans. Lucky me." she said bitterly before throwing the door to the auditorium open, marching through it and slamming it behind her.
The next day in homeroom, Ms Darbus announced that Kelsi had agreed to piece her compositions together into a musical for the drama club to perform as their winter musical. Ryan looked across the room to catch her eye but she stared stubbornly ahead. To Ryan's delight however, her cheeks tinged pink.