fanfic for one of my favorite "unknown musicals", Curtains The Musical. This is my story of how the writing team of Fox and Hendricks had their first meeting.
"I'll Be The One Playing The Piano"
Written Sept 2010 - Originally August 2009 with Megan
Georgia Hendricks wasn't new to the stage; she had been performing in school and community theatre since she was a child. She wasn't new to professional theatre either; the local theatre had cast her in several shows since she had graduated from high school. This wasn't even her first show in New York since she had come two years ago. But the first day of rehearsal was always intimidating.
And this wasn't just any show; this was a show with music by the latest rising star in Broadway. Aaron Fox was the youngest composer on Broadway to date, and his music was golden. Every show that he touched was a success, and Georgia had been cast in the newest one.
Georgia headed up to the stage. A young man was seated at the edge of the stage, feet dangling into the orchestra pit. He was sorting through a large pile of papers. When she got closer, she could see that he was sorting through music.
Feeling eyes upon him, he looked up and smiled at Georgia.
She realized she was staring and turned bright pink, looking away. "I-I'm sorry... I didn't mean to..." she mumbled, hurrying off to where she was supposed to be.
He blinked after her and then chuckled softly.
Rehearsals had been progressing nicely, and Georgia had made fast friends with some of her cast-mates.
Today though, she was a bit nervous again, as were some of the other cast. They were going to do a run through of all the music on the stage, and rumor had it that Aaron Fox would be listening. Rumor also had it that if he disliked anyone, he had the right to call for a cast change.
"Miss Hendricks," the director called, "Your number next."
She stepped forward and took a deep breath. She wasn't the lead, but she did have a substantial role, and a good song of her own.
After she finished, there was a scattered burst of applause from her fellow cast-mates and some people sitting in the audience. She turned pink and murmured some "thank yous" before fading back into the reset of the cast, script in hand.
After the run-through, the director decided to let them all break for lunch, and the group scattered.
The young man that Georgia had seen before was exiting the pit. He gave her a wink. "Well done." He hesitated, "Georgia... right?"
She turned pink and nodded, "Yes... Georgia Hendricks."
"My name is Aaron," he said, offering her his hand, "I was down in the orchestra pit, playing the piano, so I could hear you pretty well." He grinned, "And you were fantastic."
"I don't know about that," Georgia said.
"Why not?" Aaron blinked, "You sounded great"
"I don't think I could do work like this justice..." she said, "I mean... this is Mr. Fox's work."
He chuckled lightly.
Georgia blinked, "What's so funny about that?"
"Oh, just that I think you've got a good enough voice to make anything sound good," he replied, "Fox work or not."
Georgia turned a shade pinker, and Aaron couldn't help but think that made her look even prettier.
"I can only hope the composer approves," she continued, "The fact that he's going to be watching rehearsals is making me nervous... I've never done a Fox musical before."
"Well there's a first time for everything," Aaron replied cheerfully.
"I suppose so," she yielded and then sighed, "I just wish ... I wish if he was watching me, that he'd tell me what he thought of me."
"What, that you sound wonderful?" he asked.
Georgia laughed humorlessly, "Or that he can't understand why they cast me in this role."
"Nonsense," he replied firmly, "I think that you're a perfect fit for the part."
"Thanks but..." she hesitated, "No offense, but you're just the pianist..."
"True," he yielded, "but I can have an opinion too, can't I?"
That earned a proper laugh out of her. "Yes," she yielded, "You can."
"And it is my opinion that you sounded wonderful," Aaron said firmly. He grinned cutely at her, a sparkle in his eyes, "And I have another opinion as well."
"Oh?" Georgia tilted her head, "And what is that?"
"I think that it would be good to take you out to dinner."
Her eyes grew wide and she looked at him properly. He was a handsome young man, neatly dressed and he had beautiful eyes. Sure she had friends in the city, but no one had asked her out in quite awhile. And now this handsome young musician had appeared seemingly out of nowhere.
"I would like that," she whispered.
"After rehearsal then," Aaron said. When she nodded, he grinned, "Then it's a date." He considered, "It won't be anything too formal though, so don't worry about that."
Georgia just nodded mutely as she agreed to meet him outside the theatre once she was ready after practice.
After practice, Aaron lurked around, waiting for Georgia. She got herself cleaned up and then collected her purse and coat, heading out to meet him. He took her arm and led her along down the street, telling her about the place they were going to. They reached the not-too-fancy restaurant and were seated near a window, overlooking the street. Aaron gave a nod of thanks to the host, who smiled knowingly.
"Do you come here often?" Georgia asked.
"Fairly often," he said, "That's how I know it's good."
"I'll trust you then," she teased.
"Well you have known me for all of a day," Aaron nodded seriously, earning another giggle from Georgia.
Once the business of ordering food and drinks was settled, Georgia (who was still impressed with the prompt service) looked around the restaurant.
Aaron played with his water glass. "So, are you from New York?"
"Not originally," she replied.
"Yeah? Where are you from then?"
"Kansas," she admitted softly.
"That's pretty far," Aaron said sympathetically, "I've lived in New York all my life."
"There are times I wish that was my case," she admitted, Maybe I might have had an earlier start on the stage that way."
Aaron gave a shrug, "Well, I don't think you have to worry about that. " He leaned a bit closer, "I wasn't just flattering you when I said you were fantastic. You really are."
"I've been told that I have talent," she said slowly, "I've just... never been one to believe it."
"That can be a good thing," Aaron said, "It certainly makes you easier to work with."
"You think so?" Georgia tilted her head.
"A lot of actresses that start working young develop a sense of entitlement," Aaron said, "They think that the sun wouldn't rise if they weren't there to stand in the spotlight."
"You sound like you've dealt with your fair share of divas then," Georgia said.
"Oh don't get me started," Aaron said with a grin, "Occupational hazard."
She nodded and leaned back in her seat, half closing her eyes. "You know sometimes I have a hard time believing that this is really happening to me."
"Being an actress?" he asked.
"Being in a Fox musical," she corrected, "I've admired them ever since I heard the first one. And now... with this role... it feels like I'm dreaming."
"As long as it's a good dream," Aaron replied
Their dinner arrived and Georgia praised it. As the two of them ate, they talked about nearly everything under the sun, discovering they had a lot in common. Aaron was amazed at how well he and Georgia seemed to fit together. He couldn't believe it, but he wasn't going to waste this opportunity.
"Can I confess something?" he asked her, "It's... difficult for me to meet someone..."
"Really?" Georgia had a hard time believing that, "You seem like such a gentleman."
He gave a shrug. "Well, I've met people who have been interested in me, but I've never hit it off so instantly with anyone like this before."
"I don't think I've ever met anyone like you either," Georgia replied.
"So, does that mean you'd like to go out again?" Aaron asked hopefully.
"I would love to!"
Aaron paid for their meal, and then, since it was a nice night, they decided to go for a walk. Even though Georgia had been in New York for two years, Aaron still showed her new things about the city. He had a story about almost everything that they saw, and he assured her that at least a third of his stories were actually true. They stopped for ice cream at his "favorite ice cream place on this street" and shared a sundae.
Well after the stars had come out, Aaron finally walked her back to her apartment.
"I hope that you had a good evening," Aaron said, "And... I hope we can do this again soon."
"I'm free every evening after practice," Georgia teased
Aaron grinned, but there was a serious look in his eyes that she hadn't noticed before. "There's one other thing..."
Georgia blinked uncertainly, "Would you like to come in?"
"Thank you, I would," Aaron agreed readily enough.
Once they were seated on her couch, he turned to her with a smile, "I feel like I've told you almost my whole life story tonight."
"That tends to happen when you're comfortable around someone," she agreed.
"I like you a lot Georgia," he said suddenly.
She turned a deep pink color at that, and murmured that she liked him as well.
"But there's something I should tell you."
She tilted her head questioningly.
"I hope to take you out again," he said. He looked to her, "I didn't lie to you, not exactly, I didn't mean to anyway. I hope you won't pitch me out the door, but I'll understand if you do." He took out his wallet and handed her a card. "This is my phone number."
She took the card with a smile, but when she read it, her smile faded. The card was neat and professional, with his name and phone number.
"I'm not... just the pianist..." he said slowly.
Georgia was doing her best impression of a fish as she gaped at him. "I... you..."
"Yes," Aaron replied, "Fox is sorta a common last name, but... yes." He took her hands, "I meant to tell you, really I did... but..." he looked down, "I'm pretty sure if you would have known who I was, you would have run away." When she still didn't say anything, he continued to babble on, his words tumbling out in a rush, "And then, when you were talking about how nervous you were about singing before him... well... I couldn't tell you then. And then... when you told me that it was your dream to be in a Fox musical... that wasn't a good time either."
He tried to look into her eyes, "I may not have been honest about my name, but everything else that I've said to you tonight was true."
Georgia pulled her hands free. "I thank you for the lovely evening, Mr. Fox," she said expressionlessly, "I'm sure I won't ever forget it."
Aaron sighed softly and rose to his feet, "I am glad you enjoyed yourself."
"However, I don't think we should see one another again..."
"I understand." He shoved his hands in his pockets, "If... you want me to pretend this evening never happened..."
"No," she interrupted quickly, "I don't want to forget this happened. One can't forget things like this, Mr. Fox." She hesitated, "But... if anyone found out..."
Aaron lit up just slightly. This wasn't an outright rejection after all.
"They'll think I got the role just because of you," Georgia finished.
"You didn't," Aaron said quickly, then hesitated, "Well... maybe partially you did, but not like that! I was on the casting committee, yes..." he said, "But... that was before I met you. Honest."
Georgia studied him. "If the others should find out..." she started again.
"I wouldn't've cast you as the lead anyway," he said with a shrug, "You don't have the right look." He smiled, "you're too pretty."
That made Georgia blush and look down.
"But Georgia, after the show is done... can I take you out again?" he asked.
"If you still wish to, Mr. Fox," she murmured.
"It's Aaron," he corrected gently, "Otherwise I fear I would have to call you Miss Hendricks." He shrugged, "Besides, everyone at the theatre calls me Aaron."
"Aaron then," she agreed.
"You're not the only one at the theatre who didn't know who I was," he added, "And I'd sort of like to keep it that way."
"I see," Georgia agreed, "Then... I suppose..." She resisted the urge to smile at the happy expression on his face, "I suppose we could give it a try."
"I would like that very much," Aaron said seriously.
"Of course, nothing that might get the others talking... but yes... we can go out again."
"I am so glad you didn't just throw me out," Aaron told her with a smile.
That made Georgia giggle, which made him relax more, "Well honestly... I was on the verge," she admitted.
"I would have left peacefully," he told her, "Sadly, mind you, but peacefully."
"I have a feeling you would have," she said softly with a slight smile.
"But I can wait," Aaron said with a nod, taking her hand and brushing a light kiss across the back of it, "And I promise that I will be completely professional tomorrow."
"Cross my heart," he replied, doing just that.
She giggled again, "Well then, Mr. Fox, I can accept that."
"I thank you, Miss Hendricks," he replied with a smile, bowing elaborately. He rose out of the bow, "Of course, if you do change your mind, I would be perfectly willing to take you out again before the end of the show."
"I'll keep that in mind," she replied as she walked him to the door, "So... I'll see you tomorrow?"
"I'll be the one playing the piano," he said with a grin.
The two said their good nights, and then Aaron was gone, vanished into the night. She stood at her window, watching him until she couldn't see him anymore. Her heart was pounding. This couldn't be real, this had to be a dream. Not only was a charming and handsome man interested in her, but he was Aaron Fox. The Great Aaron Fox, composer. He was interested in her.
And she couldn't tell anyone.
Georgia made her way to her bedroom and flopped down on her bed. Silly as it sounded, this was just like a musical.
And she loved it.