Good Enough | ten
Genre: artschool!AU | angst??? fluff i guess, loads of sarcasm and anxiety and some swearing because i have a foul mouth
member: ten / reader (3rd person perspective !!)
word count: fukin who knows- loads???
Note: there will be a part 2 !!
summary: the one where ten stresses her out but also calms her down.
part: one | two
It’s been two years since she’s known him, but she still finds herself in awe at the way he dances when he thinks nobody’s watching. During class he does what the teacher tells him, doesn’t bring attention to himself other than when he talks too much and never shows off. He jokes around and laughs with friends he makes in, literally, five seconds and he loves to annoy her.
He tells her that her posture’s off, or she’s doing a move wrong- does she need help? He points out the state of her hair and doesn’t tell her when she really is doing a move wrong. He watches her a little more than the others because she’s the only one he’s actually interested in. the other’s show their best moves in an attempt to make friends- she doesn’t. She shows what she can do when she’s asked, and even then he’s pretty sure she holds back because she doesn’t want the attention.
It’s not until a late tuesday evening when he’s dragging his feet down the corridor in the Dance wing of the school that he hears music slithering through the cracks of one of the practice rooms. The door is firmly shut so he crouches slightly, looking through the hazy glass to see a figure spinning through the dim light. She’s on the tip of her toe, her body straining to stay upright and the tenseness in her leg muscles make it look like they’re screaming. He pushes the door open slightly to get a better look but doesn’t notice her eyes falling in him.
“What are you staring at?” Her voice cuts through the melody and he catches her eyes in the mirror.
He shrugs and cocks his head, “Nothing.” But there’s a tone to his voice that bugs her.
She wrinkles her nose when he doesn’t make any move to leave, “Can I help you?” she asks sarcastically, lowing her leg and turning to face him.
He narrows his eyes, “How’s your arabesque?” He asks curiously.
She frowns, “Just as good as yours, Why?”
He coughs and wrinkles his nose, “Do you know how to do an attitude devant while being carried?” He continues.
She sighs, placing her hands on her hips, “Seriously what do you want?” she demands hotly.
He wrinkles his nose, “I need a partner for the showcase.” He blurts unceremoniously- god he was trying to be subtle.
She frowns, pausing the music and then places her hands on her hips as pants make their way out of her lips, “And this concerns me how?” She asks tiredly.
He rolls his eyes, “Let me rephrase. I want you to be my partner for the showcase.”
She swallows, well aware of the red that flares up her cheeks, hidden by the make up on her face. She pushes her hair away from her eyes, dragging the sweat from her forehead and ignoring her heartbeat that has suddenly become more prominent. “Suddenly my dancing is good enough for you?” She cocks her head.
He titters a laugh and shakes his head, “Think of it as me helping you get better.”
She scoffs, “Thanks but no thanks, I already have a partner.”
He narrows his eyes, “What Johnny? He can barely pirouette. “
She stands back at the bar in the middle of the room, “Isn’t he your friend?” She asks curiously.
He waves her off, “Not important, I’d be a way better partner than that green giant.”
She glares at him in the mirror, “Why don’t you ask all those girls who are dying to dance with you, they’re practically begging you to be their partner.”
He smirks, “None are as good as you.” but he’s got a mocking tone to his voice.
She scoffs, “Flattery will get you nowhere.”
Ten’s sitting in the student lounge area on the top floor of the school, buried into a couch with his legs up on the arm and headphones in her ear. He flickers through a fashion magazine of some kind and circles something with a pen that he then traps between his teeth.
“What did you say to Johnny?”
He looks up to find her looming over with with pursed lips and hard eyes. He sighs loudly and pulls out his headphones, “What?” he asks.
“What did you say?” She snaps angrily, sitting on the coffee table before him.
“I’ve said a lot of things princess.” He reminds sarcastically, flicking the page over of the magazine.
“To Johnny.” she deadpans “He’s not my partner anymore and you said something to him.” She assures, pointing a finger in his direction.
He shrugs, “I asked to switch.” He circles something in the magazine again, “Johnny has a crush on my partner so I offered for them to be in close quarters.”
she grunts angrily, snatching the magazine away from his hands, “I’m not an object you can trade and I don’t want to be your partner.”
He sits up, narrowing his eyes, “Why not?” He asks curiously.
She glares at him, “Because…” she trails off, “Just because okay?” She snaps quickly to cover up the flander.
He scoffs, “Well, everyone else is partnered up so you’ll have to talk to Mr Kim about doing it alone.”
Mr Kim says no.
She slams the door on her way out.
3 MONTHS UNTIL THE SHOWCASE
“I’m thinking we should do a jack frost, ice queen, narnia thing. We could dress up in a kind of blue theme have an incredible set on stage-”
She looks up from the rolls of blue ribbon she has in between her fingers and narrows her eyes, “Excuse me?”
He shrugs, crossing his legs and pulling the beanie off his head. His hair is a mess, like it’s been through a violent wind and he tries to tame the strands that stand upright. “It’s a dumb idea.” He adds, “It’s such an overused theme and I already have a better one.” He assures, reaching into his backpack for a magazine.
“You didn’t even listen to all of it!” She cries and then purses her lips and takes a deep breath, closing her eyes to calm herself down.
“Okay look,” he starts “I was thinking a chic theme, something like Michael Jackson thriller meets women in dope suits and and a mafia of some kind.” He opens the magazine that she now realises is vogue and opens it to a page.
She rolls her eyes, “a mafia?”
He starts pointing to pictures he circled and waving his arms around, he says something about ties and tap dancing and his eyes shimmer with excitement as he tells the tale of what he thinks they should perform. She watches him talk, watches the wonder and excitement grow in his eyes and she smiles, a slow grin forming across her lips
“Are you even listening to anything I’m saying?”
She blinks and realises he’s stopped talking and is now staring at her. She quickly wrinkles her nose and flattens her lips, “No because I already know it’s a dumb idea.” she blurts.
He glares at her, “You’re only saying that because I rejected yours.”
She shrugs, “So what, we both have veto, I veto no.”
He sighs loudly, falling back onto the floor and hitting himself on the forehead with the vogue magazine- he’s definitely going to bruise. “You’re impossible.”
2 AND A HALF MONTHS UNTIL SHOWCASE
Its three o'clock in the morning when they stop practising, both their bodies crash to the floor in haphazard manners because they’re exhausted and neither can move. His head is on her calf and her back is on the floor with her arms wide open so she can cool down.
“You did better than last week.” he points out.
Her chest is heaving for all the exercise they both just did but she manages to scoff a disbelieving laugh, “You should learn when not to say things.”
“What would be the fun in that?” He deadpans.
She sits up in her elbows and jerks her leg so his head shuffles a little, just to piss him off, “No fun, just kindness.”
He shrugs, “There’s kindness in honesty.” He points out.
She smiles softly, “Not in yours.”
While she’s probably right, he doesn’t say anything. Only purses his lips and slowly sits up, running his fingers through his hair. “Alright, let’s go home.
She groans, “Oh fuck I forgot.”
He frowns, “What?”
“I promised my roommate I’d go to this party with her tonight.” She reaches into her bag and groans when she looks at her phones screen. 5 missed calls, 4 messages.
Hey, where are you?
Babe I need ur help to pick out a dress !
I’m assuming you’re not coming ://
You better have a good reason I swear to god I can’t believe you made me go alone !
“Were you hit by a car?” Jia asks, crossing her arms
The other woman shakes her head, “No-
“Were you abducted by aliens? Offered an audition at some kind of talent company? Did a direct member of your family die?” She adds, her lips pursed.
The other woman rolls her eyes, “No, no, and god no Jesus.
“You promised!” Jia cries, pouting- and while she knows she’s already forgiven she must tread carefully.
“I know I’m sorry.” She blurts quickly, “I got caught up with practice and then it got to midnight and Ten said we should try a-”
“What?” Jia interrupts, wide eyes slowly shimmering with excitement. “There’s a boy?” She adds excitedly.
“There’s no boy.” She deadpans rapidly before Jia goes too far.
She narrows her eyes, “Ten? The dancer? The one with the jawline?”
She other girl widens hers, “Jia…” she warns carefully, “He’s just my partner for the showcase.”
Jia smirks, “I thought you didn’t like him.”
The other cocks her head from left to right and shrugs, “He’s okay sometimes.” she falls dramatically into the sofa, “You know, when he’s not talking.” she adds.
Jia wags a finger, “You’re a shitty liar.”
She scoffs, “You like to reach.
This is when Jia jumps for joy, “Oh, you like him I can tell!”
“I do not.” She cries adamantly, burying her face in a sofa cushion with a loud groan.
“Oh my god are you blushing?” Jia smirks, trying to pry the cushion away from her fingers.
2 MONTHS UNTIL SHOWCASE
There’s a knock at her front door that doesn’t stop even when she groans loudly. “Go away.” She huffs, pulling the covers over her shoulders until the sound is muffled in her ears. The banging stops and she hears voices talking, oh good, jia’s dealing with it.
But then footsteps approach her door and there’s a soft knock, “Can I come in?”
She frowns, “What do you want?” She asks through her sore throat.
He steps in, letting in too much light that her sensitive eyes can handle and then shuts the door quickly behind him when he notices her sneering. “Are you okay?” He asks, dropping his bag on the floor and walking over to her
She groans, “I have the plague.”
He stops walking, “What?”
She laughs slightly and then groans again, but this time at the pain in her head, “Not the actual plague.”
He breathes, “Oh.”
She nearly laughs again, but the warning pain prevents her, “I’m ill.” she states, like it isn’t obvious.
He nods sarcastically and wide eyed like he’s speaking to a child, “I can tell.
She let’s her eyes flutter closed and squeezes herself deeper into the covers, “Why are you here?” She mumbles.
He wrinkles his nose, “I didn’t believe you.” He states honestly.
She rolls her eyes but doesn’t open them- he gets the message anyway, “Okay goodbye.” She mumbles.
“What do you mean goodbye, friends starts in ten minutes.” He states, reaching for the duvet above her shoulders and peeling it away from her, “So you’re going to get out of bed and watch friends while I make you something to eat.”
She frowns, shivering at the sudden cold she experiences on her exposed limbs and rubs her eyes, “What? You’re staying?” She asks, confused
He nods, “Yep, Jia has lectures and asked that I keep an eye on you.” He assures
She rolls her eyes, “Jia doesn’t have any lectures today.” She mutters under her breath.
He laughs slightly and her heart skips a beat, “Well, I’m here now and if you don’t get any better then I won’t have a partner.” He reminds
She sits up, painfully slow and then shakes her head, “So you’re doing this for you, not for my health?” She rectifies.
He pauses with a frown. He smiles and then nods, “Yep.”
While ten thought that dragging her out of her bed would force her to move around, she seems to have simply migrated onto the sofa and cuddled up in a blanket. She is however watching friends and he knows this because every few minutes he hears her breathe a laugh. She may be Ill but ten still thinks she looks beautiful when she laughs- not that he’d tell her.
He sits behind the kitchen counter with textbooks laid out on the table and a pen between his teeth. His eyebrows are pinched in the middle of his forehead and his eyes are narrowed- she’s watching and he notices. “You’re staring.” He points out, not looking up.
She huffs, “You said you’d make me food.” She mutters bitterly, obviously not letting on that she was staring for another reason.
He chuckles, “I did.” He reminds.
She huffs again, “I’m still hungry.”
He looks up with a grin but she just pouts, “You said you were going to throw up if you kept eating.” He points out, twisting the pen in his fingers.
She wrinkles her nose and looks back at the TV, “That was before.” She mumbles, “Now I’m hungry.”
He scoffs, “Your stomach is a void.”
She flicks her finger in his direction and glares, “You’re mean.”
He laughs- fuck don’t stare again- and shakes his head, “Alright I’ll order a pizza or something.”
“What are you working on?” She asks, desperate for a distraction.
He glances at her between his lashes and then goes back to writing, “I’m choreographing.” He states, “I’ve come up with new moves for our performance.”
She holds her hands out, “Show me.” She asks softly with a kind look in her eyes.
He shakes his head nonetheless, “Not yet.”
She frowns, “Why not?”
He shrugs, the pen scratching into the paper, “They’re not ready.”
She shrugs, “So what, I want to see them.”
He looks up, “Why?”
She cocks her head, “It’s like watching an artist paint. The final piece doesn’t affect you as much unless you were there for the process.”
He smiles, like he’s never been complimented in his life and her heart skips again at the bashfulness in his grin, “You’re something else princess.”
She rolls her eyes, “Yeah an invalid, you think I’m gonna walk over there to look at them? You have legs.”
Jia comes home from her fake lectures at about ten in the evening and finds them curled up on the couch, closer than either of them will admit
She smiles but doesn’t wake them up.
ONE AND A HALF MONTHS UNTIL SHOWCASE
“Can you stop that?” Ten asks, glancing up before going back to his work.
She stares, “What?”
“Your leg.” He states, reaching underneath to table to tap her knee with a pen, “You keep bouncing it.”
She narrows her eyes, “It’s a nervous tick.” she says and then pretty violently flips the page of her textbook.
“Well it’s ticking me off.” He replies just as quickly.
“I’m nervous.” She reiterates.
He rolls his eyes, “There’s no point.”
“Wow, thanks for that reassurance, I feel much better.” She sneers impatiently.
“We did our best.” He states, his pen halting on the paper and he looks up at her, “There’s nothing we can do now so stop worrying and eat your bagel.”
She huffs, reluctantly taking a bite and taps her fingers on the table, again, and again, and again. He stops writing and looks up at her, “What?” She asks.
He sighs loudly and drops his pen, “Your anxiety isn’t going to change anything.”
She glares at him, “I can’t help it.”
He shrugs, “I know that, I was trying to reassure you.”
She narrows her yes, “How did you know?”
He glances at her, “What? That you have anxiety?” She nods and he takes a breath, leaning back in his seat, “I don’t know, I kind of just added things up. Little things- like panicking over our progress result or having to fix everything all the time or that time when I saw you reciting what you were going to say to Mr Kim before you went into his office.” He states nonchalantly, the pen twisting between his fingers.
She wrinkles her nose, “Have you been stalking me?” She asks, cocking her head.
He grins and shakes his, “Just caring.”
She smiles carefully, looking away and eating her bagel, “I thought you didn’t like me.”
He frowns, “Why would you ever think that?” He practically demands but not angrily, more confused.
She shrugs, “I don’t know, you just take the piss all the time.”
He titters a laugh, “And you thought that meant I didn’t like you?”
She shrugs, “Yeah.”
He just shakes his head, “Of course - Oh wait, Mr Kim emailed me.”
She sits upright, her eyes wide and she bites her lip, “What does it say?”
They get an 92 for their progress and both of them jump up with huge grins etched across their face as then pull each other in for a hug.
They hold on for a little bit too long and when they pull apart their lips are close enough that neither can pretend nothing is happening- but neither is quite ready to go there yet.
“I should… go.” She breathes.
He nods slowly, his hands on the exposed skin of her hips, “Yeah.”
part: one | two