Pairing/characters: Bike (Brittany and Mike Chang)
Word count: 2,188
Summary: It’s the first time Mike identifies that flutter in his chest when Brittany speaks.
The most scared Mike Chang has ever been comes the summer right before high school. He has spent the entire afternoon chasing after Brittany on his brother’s brand new 10 speed bicycle and he can’t remember a time when the future seemed more incredible. Brittany’s giggles assault his ears and leave him with a tingling feeling around his head. What their parents say hasn’t mattered in a long time, which is why they’ve blown off every meeting of their Thursday night dance classes in favor of the refuge of Mike’s basement. They dance until their legs ache, which takes a while, but when they’re done and they lock eyes and the only breath left in their chest is reserved to whisper the others name in their ears as their bodies crash back in to each other in crushing hugs, it feels like they’ve conquered the world. They’re 20 feet tall and bullet proof. They’re 14 years old.
As rain drops begin to filter steadily from the sky, Mike slams hard on the handle brakes of his brother’s bicycle, the tires on the street making a horrendous screeching noise as he skids to a stop next to his father’s truck. Brittany’s hanging over the edge, her nose sufficiently sun burnt from long afternoons screwing around with him in their yards and on the street. He’s pretty sure she’s worn that same blue and green striped tank top every day this week. He likes the way it looks when she’s twirling around his basement and it’s probably the only reason he notices.
“Ugh…WHY GOD?” Mike shouts indignantly as he shakes his fists at the sky, collapsing dramatically next to his brother’s bicycle, the knees of his jeans immediately blackening on the wet street. Once, during the summer before, Mike had been playing street ball with Finn and Puck when they had been caught up in a thunderstorm that had knocked the power out for hours. He had been stuck at Finn’s with no way of contacting his mother, who now swore if he didn’t find a way home at the first sign of rain would be forced to go to tutoring until she saw he was fit to return to a normal life. He believed her, in fact, he was already walking his brothers’ bike back up to the garage, Brittany hopping out of the back of his father’s truck.
“Oh, why god nothing!” she shouted back to him, grabbing her bike where it lay in Mike’s front lawn. It was bright pink and had glittery streamers exploding off the handlebars. Mike and Santana were the only ones who didn’t tease her about it. Mike smiled.
“Come on, Brit. I’ll make us some spaghetti-o’s before dance…”
“Mike, please! One more time around the block! It’ll be fun,” Brittany promised. The rain had steadily picked up and was now soaking through their clothes. He wasn’t sure how anyone could resist Brittany. Especially how she looked now, wet bangs hanging in her eyes, her chuck clad feet already positioning on the pedals of her bike. She waved her hand at him. “Please, please, please!” Mike laughed.
“But Brittany, my mom…”
“She’s at work! How will she ever know unless you tell her?”
A grin broke out across Mike’s face as he quickly re-straddled his brother’s bicycle, combing his fingers through drenched hair before racing down the driveway. It didn’t take much to convince him to go on an adventure with his best friend. Especially one that would likely piss off his mother.
He tore off down the street, reaching his comfortable speed before letting go of the handlebars and pumping his fists in to the air.
“Hey! Wait for me!” Brittany’s giggle laced hollers trailed behind him. A clap of thunder seemed to shake the entire neighborhood, blinding flashes of lightning tearing up their vision.
20 feet tall and bullet proof.
The next sound Mike hears is a sickening squeal of tires on pavement, much different from the playful ones he had showed off moments before, as he watches in horror as Brittany’s front tire looses traction for a split second and the bike wobbles out of control underneath her. It looks and sounds a lot more dramatic then it really is, which he only realizes after he’s launched off his bicycle and hurled himself towards his fallen friend. Brittany is laughing hysterically, sitting in huge puddle of gushing rainwater, her hands torn up with road rash, a huge smile plastered on her face. Her legs are twisted around her fallen bicycle.
“What’s wrong with you?!” Mike cries, his voice shrill as adrenaline still rushes frantically through his veins. As he grabs Brittany and drags her towards the safety of the sidewalk she’s still choking on giggles. Mike’s afraid she’s hit her head and done herself in for good this time.
“Did you see me?” she asks anxiously. “That was the worst wipe-out so far!”
Mike sits with his face in his hands, Brittany and her bicycle still a joint mangled mess next to him, the rain pummeling their backs. He digests her words and starts to laugh. He laughs until his sides ache and until Brittany has untangled herself from her bicycle and nudged herself underneath his arms.
“What?” she whispers against his neck. Her breath is warm and it’s real.
“I’ve never been more scared, Britt.”
“Ever?” she asks in wonder, her eyes huge. A clap of thunder has her shivering next to him. He grips her tightly.
“Ever,” he promises. The hammering of his heart still doesn’t stop even when Brittany tilts her head forward and nudges his chin lovingly. “Mike, will you push my bike home?”
“Who’s going to push my bike home?” he asks her. She giggles and shrugs then her eyes light up in brilliance all in the same mili-second.
“I can push your bike home!”
It’s the first time Mike identifies that flutter in his chest when Brittany speaks. It isn’t the precursor to early heart disease as his mother had tried explaining to him during their failed talk about the birds and the bees. It’s just…excitement. It’s just wonderment and happiness and appreciation for everything his best friend is.
But they’re still 14 and he refuses to identify his feelings as anything other then that. Appreciation.
He sure is glad Brittany’s okay, though.
The proudest Brittany S. Pierce has ever felt comes when she’s 16 years old.
School’s been out for a few hours now, vibrant colors of orange and pink tearing up the sky as the beginning of summer sun begins to sink. The grass of Mike’s lawn tickles the back of her neck and knees as she stares up at the sky. Mike’s hand is tucked protectively in to hers and every so often he’ll lift her hand up in his and examine it before lazily swinging it between them. Brittany turns to him and grins. He counts the freckles bridging her nose and lets out a breath.
“You’re pretty, Britt.”
She blushes almost immediately and rolls over on to her stomach.
Mike gets in to a sitting position and takes a swig of the iced tea they’ve been sharing.
“Okay,” a giddiness rises in his chest at the instant antagonism that overtakes him. “You’re not very pretty, Britt.”
“Oh, Mike Chang! That’s so evil of you,” Brittany growls playfully, punching him in the gut. A dramatic ‘ooof’ leaves his lips before he doubles over in fake pain. Brittany lays her head atop her arms, closing her eyes as Mike begins to gently stroke over the loose braid that hangs down her back. She peeks open an eye in order to wiggle a finger through one of his belt loops.
“Are we going to have fun this summer? You and me?” Brittany asks softly, timidly. Her nose is itchy.
“Yes,” Mike answers back, reassuring. It’s been a hard year. For Brittany, for Santana, for him, and for the Glee club. They need to have fun this summer. They’re both quiet, beginning to wind down from the stimulation of the day, the soft dusk settling in around them. Crickets chirp from Mike’s mothers flower bed. Brittany pokes her head up.
“What’s that noise?”
It sounds like tiny toe nails clacking against concrete and when Mike turns around he sees a group of 3 teenagers, the boys who live in the corner house, giving chase to a tiny black and white pug dog that darts around the tallest boy, tail wagging furiously.
“PHILLIP, WE ARE NOT PLAYING WITH YOU!” one of them shouts. Brittany’s crawled to her knees now, watching with her eyebrows furrowed. Mike looks between her and his neighbors. The boys seemingly have the dog cornered but just as the youngest dives for him he is able to wiggle away and take off in the other direction. Brittany moans and tugs at Mike’s arm.
“We should help them, Mike!”
He groans. Of course we should. Of course. It’s Brittany. She’s never been more attractive to him than she is right now, bottom lip jutting out just slightly as she gives him an expectant stare.
“Babe,” Mike says, climbing to his feet and taking a final swig of iced tea. Brittany can hardly contain the happiness the swells within her, grinning excitedly, still seated comfortably on Mike’s lawn.
“I’ve got this.”
With that, Mike Chang in all his glory, marches over to the group of boys who only give him the minimalist of acknowledgements before trying to form a circle around their increasingly tired pet.
“We’ve tried everything, man,” one boy says, his hair tousled and clothes a mess. “He probably won’t go to you.”
The dog is still bounding around anxiously and Mike quirks a challenging eyebrow at it before bringing his fingers to his lips and whistling long and loud in the dogs direction. The boys clamp their hands over their ears in surprise. Mike can hear Brittany laughing. She’s witnessed him doing this with his own dog enough times to know what’s coming next.
The tiny pug perks up his ears, snorting and slobbering everywhere as he stares off in Mike’s direction. The boys part on either side of Mike to give him room but, instead of hurling himself towards the dog like they had been doing, his eyes widen and he takes a few tentative steps backwards. Instantly intrigued the pug takes a few steps forward.
“OH MY GOD!” Mike yells, shocking the brothers next to him. He barrels down the street, running in the direction of the corner house, pumping his arms dramatically out in front of him. The dog instantly begins giving chase, his hearty yelps bouncing off the houses around them. He can hear the teenagers finally run after their dog who continues to run after Mike. It’s like some outtake from a bad cartoon and Mike makes the split second decision to push open the front door and fall in to the blissful, air conditioned front foyer. The dog skids in after him, followed by the three brothers who are now sufficiently out of breath.
The front door slams behind them and Mike realizes he’s still clutching him and Brittany’s iced tea, taking a quick sip. It feels wildly appropriate to tip an imaginary hat at the brothers, so he does, before walking wordlessly past them and out the front door. Brittany’s waiting at the edge of the driveway, her hands shoved in to her pockets, the night finally upon them.
She shakes her head as Mike draws nearer but her face is magnificently playful and when he grins a nonchalant ‘what?’ at her she grips the back of his neck and pulls him in to an unexpected kiss. Their first kiss. The kiss he’s wanted to give her since they were sitting mangled between bikes when they were 14 years old. He doesn’t know why he’s compelled to stand on his toes but his body is in the midst of doing things he’s never felt before and tiny shocks jolt through his finger tips as he grabs Brittany’s waist.
“You are like…the very best at everything Mike,” Brittany grins proudly at him, her hand still at the back of his neck, her fingers now doing amazing things to the tips of his hair. Mike nuzzles Brittany’s face, his cheeks beginning to hurt from the massive smile that’s overtaken him.
“I’m not the very best at everything,” he says softly. He knows what he’s about to say next is the very cheesiest of the cheesy things that have ever filtered through his mind but at that moment, clutching Brittany underneath his neighbors garage lights, he doesn’t care. “But I want to be the very best at you.”
She quirks her head sideways at him and giggles brightly, tugging him back in to the street in the direction of his house. He shoves her.
The two of them sprint back to his house, Brittany quick to catch up and grab Mike’s hand as they take their last few strides together.