a/n: okay. shut up. i know i write too many one shots. i just love them so much, okay?! sheesh. and anyway, at least this time i KNOW what i'm writing about. i've been playing piano for nine years. so don't tell me i got something wrong because i know everything! grrr. alsdkjfa;lsdkjf.

(i apologize for the severe adhd-ness of this author's note. it's late. i'm tired. and i had ice cream earlier.)


disclaimer: i don't own any of these songs. but hey, if you want to listen to them (which you should - classical music is DA BOMB) then visit these handy links. (you may want to take the spaces out though. yes.)

eine kleine nachtmusik: http: // www .you tube. com/ watch?v= TBsakv RBXG0
moonlight sonata: http: // www .you tube. com/watch?v =vQVea IHWWck &feature = related
can you feel the love tonight: http: // www .you tube. com/watch?v = 9QG6vY2 dYQE& playnext_from=TL&videos=FIl EcSKshd8
clocks: http: // www .you tube. com/watch?v =JOlNic Elqpg
chopin's nocturne: http: // www .you tube. com/watch?v =YGRO0 5WcNDk&pl aynext_from=TL&videos=f7Uj2J6_22A


The sound of Mozart's classic piece "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" filled Cameron Kennelly's ears as she made her way through the halls of the empty church. The student before her was just finishing up their piece as she entered the rehearsal room. Giving the younger girl a nod and a smile as she walked past, Cameron made her way towards the piano and her teacher.

Recital was coming up. It was only a week away, and Cameron was beyond anxious. This year she would be playing last, an honor she'd been waiting nine years to receive, and she was excited. Nervous, yes - but mostly excited. For years, she'd been second to last in the lineup, only in front of one other girl who had been taking lessons just as long as she had. But this year, the girl wasn't playing in the recital because she went off to college, which left Cameron to fill the most prestigious performance spot of the night.

She took a seat at the bench, pulling it closer to the piano as she did so. Her teacher, an energetic older woman around 40 years or so, was always chastising her for sitting so close, but she couldn't help it – it was the only way she could play comfortably. Nobody else understood how she could move her arms across the keys with ease when she didn't have much room to move at all, but it didn't matter what other people thought. Cameron preferred to be close.

"So by now you know the drill," her piano teacher, Mrs. Wilkie, began. "When I start your introduction, stay in your seat in the pew until I call your name, and then you can come up. Begin whenever you're ready."

Cameron was used to the procedure. She'd been taking piano lessons with the same woman for almost nine years to the day, ever since she was in the third grade.

"Curtsy or bow to the audience before you leave the stage, and go down the stairs, don't jump off like some of the younger kids," the teacher said with a laugh. "Go ahead and play your pieces a few times for me, so you can get used to the piano."

Cameron smiled and nodded. She was quite confident this year with her two pieces – Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven and Can You Feel the Love Tonight from her favorite movie, The Lion King. She began with her Beethoven piece, her fingers automatically getting back into the groove of playing the song, as her teacher eyed her with extol. After that piece she ran through the Lion King song a few times.

Before she knew it, ten minutes had passed, and her rehearsal time was nearly over. The next person to rehearse was her little sister, who had just arrived via their mother and was waiting patiently in the pew for her turn.

"Great job Cam, I can't wait to see you play next weekend. You'll do great!" Mrs. Wilkie praised.

"Thanks, I sure hope so," Cameron said with a nervous laugh.

"Oh, and one more thing before I let Elisabeth have her turn," Mrs. Wilkie began. "You'll be sitting right around the end of the fourth row, between Nikki and Shilo. Second to last as usual, so you know where to go."

Cameron's smile immediately diminished. "Um…" she mumbled. Second to last?! What?! "I…thought I was going last this year," she said. She hoped her voice didn't convey how upset she was.

"Oh yes, that's right, you originally were last. But on a whim a student of a different teacher decided to play at our recital. He started taking lessons with me a few weeks ago because he moved, and so it was a last minute thing, but don't worry about it. He's a really nice boy, and very talented, as well. I think you'll really like him, Cameron," Mrs. Wilkie explained.

Cameron couldn't believe it. After all her hard work, and all her excitement, she was going to be second to last again. For the third year in a row. And not even to Kira, the nice girl she was used to being second to, but to some boy who had the nerve to transfer to their recital at the last possible second and steal her spot. And her teacher had the nerve to think that she would 'really like him'?!

Angry, but not wanting to show it, Cameron nodded vigorously and then made her way to the back of the room to wait for her little sister's rehearsal to be over with so she could leave and break down in her room.

The opening notes of Clocks by Coldplay were familiar by now (since she'd heard Elisabeth practice the song a thousand times a day) and so Cam was able to tune them out easily while she fumed in her corner.

When recital time came, that boy (whoever he was) was going to regret ever switching teachers.

Nobody takes Cameron Kennelly's spot and gets away with it.

---

"And now it is time to announce the awards for the piano composition subject. Second place goes to…Shilo Huang!"

A young Chinese boy who had previously been radiating confidence went up to claim his silver prize with a look of disbelief on his face. By the looks of it, he'd been expecting to win. The nine year old pouted while the audience applauded, and he had to fight with every fiber of being in his body not to cry in front of everyone.

"And first place goes to Miss Cameron Kennelly," the announcer finished up.

Nine year old Cam was ecstatic. She skipped up to the stage and hugged the announcer as she took her medal. She couldn't believe she'd just beat Shilo Huang at piano composition. He was ten thousand times better than her at playing. She was only a beginner, and he'd been taking lessons since he was born, practically.

After the awards, Cameron approached Shilo, her rival/friend/neighbor, to congratulate him on second place. "Good job, Shilo, I knew you'd get a medal," she said.

He returned her smile with a bitter glare. "Duh, we're the only two who entered for piano composition, which means I got LAST. Ugh, I can't believe I lost to a girl!" he shouted angrily. Shilo stomped off to go be with his parents, who, in truth, were just as pissed as he was.

Shrugging, Cameron hugged her medal tight to her chest and bounded off to find her other friends.

---

Cameron was flabbergasted.

Yes, that's a good word for it – flabbergasted. She was completely and utterly shocked; stunned; as in she couldn't believe her eyes. The boy who had stolen her spot in the recital had just taken his seat next to her, and he looked familiar.

Turning to face him, Cameron's jaw dropped. "Shilo Huang?!" she exclaimed a little too loudly. The recital hadn't actually started yet, but yelling in a Church full of people was never a good thing to take part in.

The boy (who wasn't so much of a boy anymore, Cam noticed) turned his head and looked straight into Cameron's brown eyes. For a second he seemed confused, as if he didn't have a clue who she was, but then recognition slipped onto his features and he let out a laugh.

"Cameron Kennelly. Long time no see," he said.

"Don't 'long time no see' me!" Cameron said. "I can't believe you're the one who took my spot."

As the girl next to him pouted, Shilo tried to figure out why she was upset. "…Took your spot?" he asked. He was more than a little confused, and not only because Cameron was spouting nonsense, but because he couldn't believe he was really sitting next to his childhood friend who'd beaten him in a piano competition in the fourth grade.

…Yes, he was still bitter about that.

…Yes, he had cried when he'd lost.

"I was going to finally be last to play, but noooooo, you had to come and be better than me. Now I have to deal with being second best yet again. Ugh!"

"Who said I'm better than you? You don't know that," he said.

"Hello!" Cam made flapping motions with her arms. "That's how it works, dummy. Performances go in order from worst to best."

"I think the correct terms would be from 'least experienced' to 'most experienced', actually."

"Whatever! They mean the same thing."

"Not necessarily," Shilo said.

"Yes necessarily! Now shut up, I don't want to talk to you right now. And Wilkie's starting the introductions," Cameron spat.

Amused but slightly annoyed, Shilo "shut up" and gave his full attention to Mrs. Wilkie, who had taken the stage and was trying to get everyone to listen up.

"Hello everyone, and welcome to the 2010 Piano Recital," she began. "Thank you all for coming, I know you will enjoy the line-up we've got. I believe that all of the students here have exceptional talent and you are very lucky to be hearing them play today."

"So you're still playing, eh? I thought you would've quit by now," Shilo whispered to Cameron.

Her brown eyes narrowed. Keeping her head forward and her eyes trained on the stage ahead of her, she whispered back, "Ditto."

"Starting for us today is a young lady who just recently began playing piano…she is only five years old but I can already see the potential she possesses…" Mrs. Wilkie drawled on.

"I thought you weren't talking to me?"

Cameron didn't answer. Instead, she listened to the five year old little girl wearing a pink dress as she began to play Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music.

The pair didn't speak again until after the fourth person had finished playing.

"So, what pieces are you playing?" Shilo whispered in Cam's ear as the crowd clapped for the performer. Cameron tried to ignore the fact that his breath on her ear was making her shiver by convincing herself that she was just cold. She was in a dress, after all.

"Why don't you look at the program?" she spat back.

Honestly, Shilo had no idea why he was even still talking to her; he was supposed to be mad at her for beating him when they were little. The small fact that she was currently very mad at him should've been reason enough to leave her alone, as well. But for some reason, he couldn't stop leaning over and saying things to her. Maybe it was because every time he did so, she'd go stiff and then tell him off. Maybe it was because he was bored. Or maybe it was because he used to have a crush on her when they were younger. Whatever it was, he didn't care, and he just kept on talking and talking and talking.

"I didn't get one," he replied as the next student was introduced. "Did you?"

Cameron took her eyes off the stage for a moment to search around her seat. It was obvious that she didn't get a program, so she had no idea why she was looking around for one as if she did.

"No," she said. "That's weird. There's usually one at each seat."

Shilo shrugged. He was going to say more, and possibly ask her what she was playing again, but the next student had begun and he didn't want to be rude. (He knew exactly how distracting the audience could be, especially if you were nervous.) He'd just have to wait.

Pretty soon Elisabeth, Cameron's sister, was up. As she began to play the song that now drove Cam insane every time she heard it (when your sister practices the same song five thousand times a day for a month, you begin to get tired of hearing it), Cameron noticed that Shilo was drumming his fingers against his legs.

At first she thought that it was just a way to deal with his nerves. Then she noticed that his hands were playing invisible notes – the same ones that her little sister was up on stage playing at that very moment. At this realization, she rolled her eyes.

"Show off," she whispered.

Shilo smirked and took a moment away from his air-piano-playing to put his pointer finger up to his lip, a signal for Cameron to be quiet. Embarrassed for diverting the attention of a few people in the audience, Cam shut up immediately.

Before they knew it, nearly three hours had passed, and it was Cameron's turn to play. She was nervous, but also determined. She wanted to show Shilo that she had skill. She wanted to show Mrs. Wilkie that she deserved the last spot. She wanted to show everyone that she was the best, not him.

Shilo still didn't know what she was playing.

"Our next student," Mrs. Wilkie began, "has been taking lessons with me for over half of her life. She has learned so much throughout the years and I am very proud of her. She gives 100% in everything that she does, be it piano, soccer, or school - and I hope you all realize how very lucky you are to hear her play tonight. Cameron Kennelly, everyone."

The crowd clapped and Cameron situated herself. Shilo noticed that she pulled the bench in close, just like he did. With a raised brow, he watched her as she pulled out her music.

When she began playing, he recognized the piece immediately. Moonlight Sonata. It was one of his favorites, but to be honest, it wasn't really that difficult to play. He had played it a few years back for fun. He did admit, though, that it was a beautiful piece when played right.

And boy was she playing it right. Shilo had to fight to keep his mouth off the ground when he heard the amount of emotion she was putting into it. The crescendos, the ritards, the expression – it was all so breathtaking. He had never heard anyone play a piece with so much depth. She made the music sound alive. She made him want to pee his pants from anxiety, because there was no way he felt confident now that he had heard her play.

Her next piece was just as good. It made him want to cry. It was fourth grade all over again. Why had Mrs. Wilkie put him after her?

When she was finished, the crowd erupted; Cameron curtsied, and then there she was, right beside him again.

"Beat that," she said, just as Mrs. Wilkie began to introduce Shilo.

"Last but not least is a new student of mine. He has been taking lessons with a different teacher for nearly twelve years and just transferred to be my student. I am very confident that he, too, will blow you away with his exceptional talent and experience. It is my pleasure to introduce to you Mr. Shilo Huang."

Shilo sat at the bench and waited for the crowd to die down before beginning to play.

Cameron, back in her seat, was feeling pretty confident at that point. She was very happy with how she had performed. She had only made one mistake, and she doubted that anyone had noticed (except herself, Mrs. Wilkie, and probably Elisabeth) because it was so small. But she was still nervous. Even though she was done performing, Shilo wasn't. And she was afraid that he was going to be better than her.

She was right to be afraid. Shilo may have been blown away by Cameron's playing, but that didn't mean he wasn't just as good. After all, he'd been playing even longer than she had.

Cameron's breath caught when he began playing Chopin's Nocturne (Op. 9, No. 2) – that was her favorite song. EVER. As in, it surpassed the cheesy pop songs she listened to as a kid. It surpassed the latest single from her favorite band that had been played on her iTunes 97 times in the past week since she bought it. It surpassed everything. There was no way to explain why she loved it so much, it was just a gorgeous song and it almost brought her to tears every time she heard it because it was such a masterpiece.

It was Shilo's only performance piece of the night, but honestly, he didn't need another one. With the way that he played it – going from loud to soft to loud again, slowing down and speeding up and accenting at the right places, never missing a note – Cameron wanted to crawl in a corner and die.

What was ironic was that really, the both of them were equally talented, and what had started as Cameron thinking she was cream of the crop and Shilo thinking similar thoughts about himself had ended up as each of them wishing they were as amazing as the other.

It takes a good musician to know a good musician, apparently.

When he was finished, and the crowd began clapping like no other, Cameron held back angry tears. It didn't matter that Shilo was insanely talented. It didn't matter that he was tall, and cute, and funny. It didn't matter that he had been one of her best friends when she was younger. She hated him then. She hated him for being better than her.

The boy took his seat next to Cameron and Mrs. Wilkie concluded the recital. Now it was time for the parents to mingle, and hand out flowers to their children, and snap photos like it was the last day on earth to do so.

Cam saw her sister get up and go to their parents, who were waiting near the back of the room with a video camera in hand. She was going to join her family, but she thought that if she moved, she'd cry.

Shilo stayed next to her. She tried to will him away by glaring ferociously at the ground by her feet (she couldn't face him because then she'd break) but he wouldn't budge.

Eventually she said weakly, "What, your parents aren't here?"

Shilo seemed surprised at her suddenly downtrodden ego. "They are," he said. "But I wanted to talk to you some more. You know, catch up."

"Well I don't want to talk to you," Cameron said. Her voice cracked on the last word. She still wouldn't look up.

"But…I wanted to tell you how well you did. You were amazing. It blew me away. I couldn't concentrate on anything except the music. It was pure genius. I thought for sure I was going to screw up after watching you."

Cameron couldn't help it, what he had said just made it harder for her to hold it all in. And so she burst into tears.

"What – "

Shilo was shocked into silence. He couldn't imagine why in the world she was crying. He was complimenting her! Did he say something offensive without knowing it?

"Um, hey…Cameron? Did I do something wrong?"

Finally, she looked up. "Did you do something wrong?!" she sobbed. "No! You did everything right. It was sickening."

This just confused Shilo even further. "…that doesn't make ANY sense," he said. "Look. If you're crying because of something I did or said or whatever, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you; I was trying to compliment you, actually…"

"Just shut up," Cameron said. She was still crying, but not as harshly as before. For that, Shilo was thankful. The way she had started bawling made it look like he made her cry on purpose, and judging by the nasty looks he was getting from several people in the room, everyone now thought he was some sort of jerk.

"Um. Okay."

After a few moments Cameron stopped crying. "That's my favorite song," she finally said with a sniff.

"What is?" Shilo was just as confused as ever. First she was angry, then cocky, then crying, and now this? What was up with this girl?

"The one you just played, idiot," she spat. "It's my favorite. And you played it perfectly. That's why I was crying."

"…You were crying because I played your perfect song perfectly?" He still wasn't quite getting it.

"Yes! Because you played better than me. And that's not fair. You made it look so easy," she sighed.

He stared. "Better than you? Are you kidding? Did you not hear what I said earlier?"

"Yes, I heard," she answered. "I know I did really well. But you did better."

Shilo sighed. "Remember when we were kids, and we used to trade Pokémon cards on my front porch?"

Cameron stared. This was an odd and abrupt change of subject. "Yes," she answered none-the-less.

"Remember how I used to beat you whenever we battled?"

"Every time," Cam answered with narrowed eyes. Where exactly was he going with this? Was he trying to rub his superiority in even more?

"I only ever won because I used my favorite Pokémon, and I knew all their moves and weaknesses and strengths."

"So?"

"So…maybe you only think I did better today because I played your favorite song?"

"…Okay, now you're not making any sense."

Shilo shrugged. "Yeah, I don't really know what I was trying to accomplish with that analogy either."

Cameron laughed. It seemed that he had successfully cheered her up. Score!

"I do remember one time I beat you though. I brought my own deck over, and you said it wasn't fair because you weren't used to playing with my cards," Cameron said.

"Yeah, I was kind of a brat, wasn't I?"

"Yes. Just like you were a brat when you ignored me for weeks after I kicked your butt in the composition competition in fourth grade," Cam said. Shilo winced.

"I was upset," he said defensively. "I didn't like losing. Especially to a-"

"A girl," Cameron interrupted. "I know. You were a sexist little child."

"Actually, I was going to say 'especially to a white person', but that works too."

Cam's jaw dropped, but only for a second, because after that she was laughing. Hard. "Sexist and racist. I see how it is." She smiled at her old friend, and then she remembered where they were. "Hey, our parents are waiting for us. See?" She gestured to where the Kennellys and the Huangs were standing, undoubtedly wondering what in the world was taking their children so long.

Shilo nodded and the two stood up. But before Cam could make her way over to her family, Shilo stopped her.

"Wait," he said.

"What?" She turned to face him again.

"We should go on a date sometime."

Cameron tensed. "What?"

"You know," Shilo said teasingly. "A date. I'll take you to dinner, or the movies, or for a long walk on the beach or something."

"But we just met," Cameron said slowly. She was stunned that someone was asking her out. That had never happened before.

Shilo looked at her like she was crazy. "Cam, we met in first grade," he pointed out.

"Oh. Right," was all she could think to say.

"So? What do you think?" he asked again. When she didn't say anything in response, he said, "Come on. It'll be fun. Please?"

After a few more seconds of hesitation, she gave in. "Okay," she said.

"Cool," Shilo said with a grin. He took her hand and wrote his phone number on it in messy handwriting with a pen he had produced out of his pocket. "Now come on, let's go."

He didn't release of her hand, and instead held it the entire time, not even letting go when they got to the parents.

All four adults plus Elisabeth eyed the two's clasped hands with curiosity. Cam's dad raised an eyebrow. Shilo's mom looked at her son with a rather peculiar expression.

"I asked Cameron out," Shilo said bluntly, causing the mentioned girl to blush furiously. How could he be so casual about this in front of their parents? Especially when her dad looked like he wanted to pounce on him?

"Oh?" his father questioned.

"Yep," Shilo said calmly. Cameron remained silent. She was too embarrassed to say anything. In fact, she was too embarrassed to even glare at her snickering sister.

From behind them, Mrs. Wilkie suddenly appeared. Upon seeing her two top students holding hands, she grinned.

"Well what do you know," she said in an impressively sly tone.

"We have to leave, Shilo. Say goodbye to your girlfriend," Mrs. Huang said in an amused tone.

"Oh, I don't know if girlfriend is the right – "

"Bye Cam," Shilo interrupted her with a kiss on the cheek.

"Um, bye," she said quietly.

When the Huangs were out of earshot, and Cameron was still beet read, Mrs. Wilkie spoke again.

"See Cam, I told you you'd like him."


a/n: THE END! hooray. i hope you guys liked it, i know it was kind of all over the place, but that's only because some of it's based off real experiences and other parts of it aren't. so...yes. thanks for reading? drop a reivew? you know you want to!