so here’s this story, i’m not going to put a “read more” option, because the last two times i’ve done that, it’s derped really hard, so you’re just going to have to scroll, sorry. also sorry for mistakes, i’ve been writing this for like 5 hours straight i’m pretty out of it
Prompt: “I don’t want to do this, not without her”
Pairing: Lin Manuel Miranda x reader
Warnings: A little bit sad at one point, terrible cliches
Word Count: 3,260 (hahaha sorry)
Three years before opening night
The usually quiet coffee shop was incredibly crowded, and you sighed before getting in line, reluctant to trade the comfort of familiarity for a shorter wait somewhere else might offer. So you waited and paid for the drink, pocketing your change while your eyes skimmed the tables and rested on a small, empty one in the corner. Once you were settled and had your laptop in front of you, you began to relax.
New York was very different than where you were from. The soaring buildings and chaotic streets made you nervous at first, but after a few months, they were oddly comforting, and you often found yourself smiling for no particular reason as you would weave your way through the crowded sidewalks on the way to school and work. You were a secretary for a large company, and although the job was simple and enjoyable enough, it was only to help you finish your degree in music. You’d been searching for a more practical career your entire life, but it had been last year when it hit you that everything you did led back to music anyways, so why not pursue it? So here you were in New York–lost and confused with very few friends and not a lot of money, but for what felt like the first time since graduating high school, you were living.
You looked up from your laptop as someone cleared their throat. A dark-haired man was standing in front of you, a coffee in his hands and a smile on his face. “Do you mind if I sit here? I promise I won’t be much bother.”
“No problem. It’s pretty crowded today.” You pulled your bag onto your side of the table and out of the stranger’s way.
As he settled, he pulled a laptop from his bag and placed it on the table across from yours. “My name’s Lin.”
“I’m (Y/N),” you offered, a smile slipping onto your face as you bit your tongue and turned back to you work. If there was one thing you’d learned about New Yorkers, it was that they were usually in some sort of rush, and rarely in the mood to talk while in public.
You continued to work in silence until your coffee was gone, and even then you stayed. For some reason, you couldn’t make yourself get up and walk away from this man. So you kept stealing glances any chance you got. Whenever you almost worked up the willpower to leave, his eyes would squint in concentration, or he would chuckle to himself, or bite his lip, and you’d be glued to the seat once again.
It had been almost an hour of watching him and pretending to work when he finally spoke. “Sorry, don’t want to interrupt, but can you think of anything that rhymes with ‘satisfied’?”
His question caught you off guard. “Uh… Cyanide?”
Lin’s eyes shot up to meet yours and a laugh escaped his lips. “That’s great, but I don’t think it quite fits with the story.”
“So what is the story?” you challenged, determined to help him find a word that fit.
He looked back down at his screen. “You really don’t want me to get started.”
“I have all day,” you lied, thinking of the things you needed to do.
His expression was hesitant and a little bit defensive as he began to talk. “Well, I’m writing a musical about Alexander Hamilton.”
You blinked. “Like, the founding father?”
“That’s the one.”
A silent sort of determination burned in his eyes. “I’m not, actually.” He withdrew into himself and started typing again.
“I want to hear this.” Once again, his eyes were on yours and you smiled. “C’mon, I’m getting a degree in music. I want to see how you’ve done this.”
“Well, it’s not finished yet…”
“Oh, that’s fine, just let me listen.” You pulled your chair up next to his, and one demo and a few explanations later, you knew this was going to be incredible.
You stayed in that coffee shop for three hours that day, talking and rhyming and learning more about Alexander Hamilton. Lin was like no one you’d ever met before. He was so passionate about this project, all hurried words and wild hand gestures, and he carried with him a steadfast will to see this project come to fruition. You fell in love with the lyrics he so carefully wrote, with the blueprint of this concept he so eagerly showed you. Hamilton took root in your heart then, and you knew you’d never be able to pull it out.
Eventually though, you had to pay attention to the clock you’d been shamefully ignoring. “Lin, I really need to leave now. But I want to hear more about this! I want to be there the night it opens on Broadway.”
He smiled, thankful for your support. “I’ll save you a seat. Front row.”
“Promise?” you asked as you finished typing your number into his phone.
“As long as you promise to come once you realize how ridiculous the whole idea is.”
You smirked, pulling your bag onto your shoulder and pushing your chair back under the table. “It’s a deal.”
One year before opening night
“Come on, Lin. You need to finish this!” You snatched his phone from his hands as he yelled indignantly.
“Hey! I need to respond to that!”
“No, you need to work, I’ve got it.” Of course he was on Twitter. So you typed a tweet for him, informing everyone that he would be taking a break to actually get some work done… for once. You spent a few minutes scrolling through his feed, laughing softly every now and then, until you felt Lin’s looking at you, a ridiculous pout on his face.
“Why do you get to have fun while I’m over here slaving away?”
“Shh, I’m trying to read.” When he kept his gaze locked on you, you sighed. “Pick up your pen, and start writing.”
Lin groaned and put his head on his dining room table. “It’s too cold in here to work!”
“Then turn down the AC.”
“But I’m trying to write. I think you should do it.”
You rolled your eyes and pushed your seat back from his table as Lin seemed to be struck with an idea he quickly wrote down. After grabbing a blanket out of his room and adjusting the temperature, you came back to find that Lin had migrated to the couch where he sat with his feet up on the coffee table, writing something in a notebook.
Before you had a chance to sit down, he said, “Oh, and I think I’ll need some hot chocolate, too.”
“It’s summer, Lin.”
“Do you want me to finish this musical or not? I need hot chocolate!”
You threw the blanket at him, but one warm drink later, you found yourself dozing off by his side while he hummed softly. You weren’t concerned–you’d fallen asleep on his couch and vice versa plenty of times. Right before you slipped out of consciousness, he looked at his notebook and sang a line so quietly you almost missed it. “Pick up a pen, start writing.”
Your eyes opened a tiny crack, the faintest hint of a smile on your face before you fell asleep.
Lin watched you for a few moments until your breathing became steady and slow. “You know, (Y/N), I think I love you.”
He kissed your forehead and tucked in the blanket around you, smiling as he turned off the light. What did he ever do to deserve you?
Six months before opening night
“Why don’t you find an actual date instead?”
Lin groaned. “Not this again. C’mon, (Y/N), I just really want to see this movie!”
“That’s what you said about the last one.” You didn’t move out of your doorway, not yet willing to let Lin inside.
“But this one is going to be really good! Please! I’ve been looking forward to it since last year!”
“Yet you still couldn’t manage to find a date.” You pulled the door open the rest of the way and allowed him to walk inside. You weren’t ever actually going to turn him away, but he wasn’t off the hook yet. “Why don’t you ever date? Plenty of girls are interested in you.”
He followed you to your bathroom and sat on the edge of the tub as you started getting ready. “I don’t want to date any of those girls. Besides, I…” He hesitated, and your hand stilled, the mascara halfway to your eyelashes. “I’m practically dating Hamilton by this point. Why don’t you ever date?”
“Shh, you ask too many questions. I’ve only got one shot at this eyeliner, so don’t distract me!”
When you finished your makeup, Lin was waiting by the door, holding out your shoes to you and practically bouncing up and down with excitement.
You smiled. “Let’s go.”
He kissed your cheek. “You’re the best!”
A chuckle. “I know.”
One month before opening night
Lin walked with you to the theater, rambling on about how excited he was for you to see what his coffee shop writings were turning into. You finally had the day off work, and your degree in music could wait for a few more hours while Lin showed you what his entire world had become.
He introduced you to the guard at the door, to an orchestra member practicing backstage, to someone on a ladder that was fixing the lights. A smile stayed glued to his face as he led you through the building, talking to everyone and making sure they knew who you were. You’d met so many people by the time you reached the dressing rooms that you lost any hope of remembering names.
Lin knocked on the open door of a dressing room, catching the attention of the people inside. “Pippa, Jas, Renée, this is (Y/N).”
They smiled and hugged you while Lin launched into a conversation about their roles in the play, and the costume changes, and the character development. Their laughs were infectious, and you quickly found you enjoyed talking to them. Twenty minutes later, the five of you were sitting on various pieces of furniture, lost in conversation, when the man you recognized as Chris knocked on the door frame.
“Lin, we need you for a minute.” He turned to the girls. “And then we’re running Helpless and Satisfied at 10. You’re welcome to watch, (Y/N).”
Once Lin was gone, the girls turned back to you. “He never stops talking about you,” Phillipa said. “It’s a little bit scary, honestly.”
A laugh bubbled out of your mouth. “Probably because he never sees anyone else. He’s been working on this for so long that I think he’s forgotten what life is like without it. I’m just so glad that it’s finally happening, and that you’re the one playing Eliza. Before he met you, he spent a good month trying to convince me to do it.”
“And why didn’t you?” Renée asked.
“He heard me sing.” That brought a round of laughter before you continued. “No, I’ve just always wanted to compose a film score, and it would probably be best to not get caught up in acting right before I get my degree.”
“But you’re at least coming opening night, right?” Jasmine questioned.
The memory of your promise from years ago hit you hard, and pride swelled up inside you. “I’ll be right in the front row. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”
One week before opening night
You stood in your living room and stared at the letter in your hands, already starting to feel nauseous.
Please inform us immediately if you will be present in Los Angeles on August 6 to begin working. We are sorry again for the short notice.
This was it, this was your chance. You had been offered a job to work with some incredible composers on a score for a new movie. You’d fought for your entire life to get to this point. But you still felt sick and your ears were ringing.
The sixth of August.
That was opening night.
You couldn’t stop looking at the paper, everything else around it having gone blurry.
A hand on your shoulder caused you to jump and spin around only to come face to face with Lin.
“Sorry,” he started. “I didn’t knock but… Oh, are you okay?’
You didn’t realize you were crying until his hand reached up to brush away a tear. Stepping backwards, you shook your head, a sob forcing its way up your throat. Lin tried to reach for your hand, but you pulled it back and held out the letter to him instead. He carefully took the paper and started to read, not saying a word until he finished the entire thing.
“(Y/N), you know you have to go.”
You fell onto your couch, and Lin was beside you in an instant, pulling you into a tight hug.
“It’s opening night,” you whimpered.
He ran his hand up and down your back. “I know, it’s okay. It’s okay.”
“I promised, Lin,” you mumbled into his shoulder. “I want to be there!” You looked up into his eyes to find him tearing up.
“I know you do, and I want you to be there, too. But… You can’t miss this opportunity, (Y/N) this is what you want. Go. I’ll help you pack if you need it.”
So you started packing, and when Lin finally left for rehearsals, you broke down on the bathroom floor and cried another ocean.
Part of you was thankful that Lin was supportive and helping you make the right decision. The other part wanted him to beg you to stay, so you could see him opening night, so you wouldn’t have to leave him.
You would have to leave him.
The thought froze you completely. Lin had been such a huge part of your life for the last three years. You didn’t even know who you were without him. He was the best friend you’d ever had, and even though he had to put up with all of your crap, he stuck around.
What did you ever do to deserve him?
Two days before opening night
You clung to Lin, trying not to cry again but ultimately failing. He was practically crushing you with his hug, buried in your shoulder and sniffling quietly. When he finally released you, he grabbed your hands, his eyes red. “Good luck,” he whispered, his words somehow louder than all of the airport.
“Thank you.” You squeezed his hands one last time before finally letting him go and grabbing your suitcase. It was heavier than it should have been. You were maybe fifteen steps away when you heard him shout.
You turned and met his eyes.
Ask me to stay. Please, Lin, I can’t leave you, I don’t know how to live without you. Ask me to stay!
“Do not throw away your shot!”
A nod. A smile. And then you left him.
Lin was trying to button up his shirt, but his hands were shaking too much, and he jumped when he heard Renée’s voice behind him.
“I… yeah, these buttons just–”
She crossed the room and buttoned them quickly, pulling him into a quick hug. “Relax,” she said. “Everything will go fine. We’ve practiced this, remember?”
“I know, I’m just nervous, I guess. And I… “ he stopped himself, but quickly decided it wouldn’t hurt to express his feelings to Renée. “I wish (Y/N) was here,” he confided.
“Me too.” Renée led him towards the stage as they got their five-minute call. “You have no idea how proud she is of you, Lin.”
He shook his head. “This isn’t right. I don’t want to do this, not without her.”
“I know you don’t. But I don’t think she’d want you to throw away your shot, so get out there and perform, and then let her know how you feel.”
Renée was right. He’d perform for you tonight, even though you weren’t there. Still, he checked one final time to see if the seat on the front row was still empty.
Lin took a deep breath. This is for (Y/N), he thought.
You realized you loved him halfway through the plane ride back to New York, and you just hoped he felt the same way about you, because you were going to tell him the first chance you got. When you stepped off the plane, you hit the ground running. You didn’t stop until you were in a taxi headed for the theater. Pulling your phone out, you opened your messages with him to let him know you’d be there, fingers hovering the keyboard. No. You weren’t going to tell him. It would be a surprise.
You payed the taxi driver and thanked him profusely while you dragged your suitcase out of the car. When you arrived at the theater door, you realized the guard there was the same one you met on your first day at the theater, and many times since.
He smiled at you and reached into his pocket. “Lin told me to give you this if you showed up,” he told you, holding a slip of paper towards you and opening the door. “I can take care of your suitcase, too.”
You laughed, trading the ticket for your luggage. “Thank you!”
Instead of looking at the ticket, you headed straight for the front row and plopped down in the only empty seat left just as the music started.
You’d seen the show in rehearsals, but this was just unreal. The energy and emotion everyone put into the acting was incredible. The opening number was going smoothly, and you leaned back into your seat, bursting with pride.
Lin didn’t see you until halfway through My Shot. But when his eyes skimmed over the audience, he did a double take, focusing back in on you. The whole process took less than half a second, but afterwards, Lin stood a little taller and sang a little louder.
You loved him.
When the play was over, a security guard came to find you and escort you backstage. You made your way towards his dressing room, but before you could get anywhere close, Lin was flying around the corner and running towards you.
He kissed you without giving either of you a chance to talk. He hadn’t slowed down from his run, so he backed you into the wall and held you there, clutching your waist desperately and pressing his lips to yours like you were keeping him alive. He pulled away with a gasp.
“I love you,” you said in unison, and you melted in his fierce hug.
“(Y/N), you are so, so stupid!” he said. “Why would you come back?”
Tears were in your eyes as you laughed. “It was a typo, Lin.” You smiled up at him. “The letter. It was supposed to say August sixteenth, not August sixth.”
His jaw dropped. “You’re kidding.”
“I’m not, actually. Besides, there’s no way I could live on the other side of the country without you knowing that I love you.”
By this time, the rest of the cast was swarming the room, and they cheered when you kissed again, neither of you acknowledging the need to breathe for a long time.
(Thanks for your support of whatever this turned into lol)
Twelve Things They Won’t Tell You After Your First Heartbreak:
1. it will hurt the worst the morning after it happens. you will wake up, and have forgotten, and then you will remember. it will feel like you’ve experienced it all over again. it’s okay to cry as soon as you wake up in the morning.
2. the nights will be the hardest part. you may realize it when you wait for a call thats not coming or reach for him in your sleep, but the nights are when you will most evidently notice his absence. it’s okay to cry before you go to bed at night.
3. there will be days that you ache for him from the deepest part of yourself. you will call out his name in empty rooms and his voice will be stuck in your head for hours, no matter how much music you make yourself listen to. the important thing about these days is getting through them. you must learn to survive the ache so that when it leaves, you will not feel empty. when it leaves, you must be prepared to fill yourself up again.
4. it will not be like in the movies. you will not wake up someday and suddenly forget that you miss him. you will not realize that your “true love” actually lived next door the whole time. the hurting and the missing will not disappear overnight. your healing will be a slow, steady process.
5. the day that you accept the fact that he’s not going to take it all back is the day that you will start to feel free. you must be honest with yourself, and know that he’s not going to show up on your doorstep in the pouring rain, begging to have you back. even if there is hope for the two of you in the future, you cannot let that hope consume you. you cannot count on him to come back. if it is meant to be, it will be, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait on him.
6. it’s perfectly okay to miss him. in fact, you’re supposed to miss him. that’s how you know that you truly loved him. rather than letting your missing him make you upset, decide to use it as an opportunity to be thankful for the love that you got to experience. you are lucky to have gotten to experience something that is worth missing so much. acknowledge it.
7. if you loved him, and he loved you, you both were a part of something beautiful. regardless of the hurt that you are feeling now, remember that you both were lucky to love and be loved in the way that you were. be grateful for the beautiful, genuine love that you had. be excited about the next one.
8. your heartbreak will be unlike anyone else’s. don’t think that I’m telling you to ignore all of the advice that your friends give you. write all of it down; look over it every now and then. however, do not expect to experience this in the same way that any of your friends have. in the same way that your relationship was different from anyone else’s, your hurting, grieving, and healing process will be unique to you and you alone. let yourself learn how to get through this in the best way that you can, so you’ll be prepared for next time.
9. it will help you immensely to write everything down. prayers, song lyrics, poetry, letters to him, any tiny bits of progress that you make along the way. there will be words that swim inside your head for hours on end, and it is better to put them on paper than to let them crowd your mind for so long.
10. you don’t have to hate him. if you force yourself to hate him, knowing that deep down you still love him, all that will leave you with is bitterness. it would be unfair to the love that you once gave him to replace every happy memory with bitterness and regret. love is never something that you regret.
11. the hurt that you will feel will seem as big as the love that you had for him. this is not true. the hurt cannot compare to the love. do not forget this.
12. you will learn just as much from your first heartbreak as you do from your first love.and you will grow, as much as you let yourself. don’t lose sight of the beauty that comes with the love that you hold in your heart, and the hurt that you can’t help but feel. feel all of it as deeply as possible, and use the experience to flourish. you will get through this, and you will be stronger,