"1. 2. 1, 2, 3, 4."
Those are the soft words Patterson hears from inside the studio when she enters the control room where Jane is working with what she guesses is the last band that contacted them. She'd be sure if she could see them.
Right after the count up, she hears the beats of a drum, quickly followed by an electric guitar. A few beats later, a bass joins in, playing a second voice.
Patterson leans against the door's frame, watching Jane work and listening to the band. It sounds pretty good.
Soon, the instruments are joined by a piano playing the base chords under their melody.
As the music goes on, Patterson can imagine when the vocals, the chorus and the bridge are supposed to start.
Her father taught her that the best way to record a band is to make one take of only instruments, one take of the voices over the previous recording of the instruments and a last one of both vocals and instruments, and after that punch in the bits that need to be corrected. It works, so that's how she and Jane always do it.
So, after their first take and letting them listen to what they have, Jane proceeds to walk in, to add the microphones for the vocals.
"Do you want some help?"
"Oh, hey! I didn't expect you here today," Jane says, surprised. "Isn't it your free day?"
"I got bored. You know I live for the job..." Patterson says, biting her lip. It's not really a lie, that is also true, even if it's not the only reason she's there.
"Right." Jane smirks knowingly.
"I didn't say anything." She giggles.
Patterson rolls her eyes. "Do you want help or not?" she asks, annoyed.
"Sure," Jane smiles at her.
Patterson follows Jane into the recording studio. Her eyes travel around the room until they fall on a certain brunette, who's looking at a sheet while she practices with her guitar. Patterson feels her lips turn up when she finds her, right before Tasha looks up and sees her, lighting up instantly. "Hey!"
Okay, so, maybe Patterson knew exactly what band was recording that day and maybe one of the reasons she's there is that she didn't want to miss them. Alright, scratch that, the main reason she's there is that she didn't want to miss her.
She and Jane met the four members of the band in one of their gigs at the bar owned by Jane's mom, Sandstorm. Their music was great but Patterson got so infatuated by their lead singer, Tasha Zapata, the second she started singing. And Jane has been giving her shit for it since. As if she didn't have a crush herself on their pianist, Allie Knight.
"Hi," she replies. Feeling something in her throat that doesn't let her voice out, she clears her throat.
They stare at each other for a full minute until Edgar Reade, drummer of the band, clears his throat to take them back to reality. Patterson looks around, biting her lip before moving to fix the mics for the recording of the voice. The rest of the band smirks at them knowingly.
She fumbles a little with the microphones feeling Tasha watch her work as a deep blush appears on her cheeks. If she hadn't been so distracted by Tasha, she'd have noticed Jane leaning closer than necessary against Allie and the pianist not even trying to step away from her and the two guys in the band rolling their eyes at their two friends.
Once they are done, they go back to the control room and get to work. Patterson feels entranced when Tasha starts singing, much like when they met at the bar. So much that she can barely hear the rest of the voices.
A few songs in, Patterson leaves to go get some pizzas for lunch. When she comes back, they have already started the break and have set up an impromptu table in the studio.
Reade and Weller have huddled up in an armchair while Jane and Allie are sitting on the floor opposite to Tasha, who's occupying half of the sofa. Patterson guesses the other half is for her and that the sitting arrangement isn't random, not that she's complaining.
She cuts the pizzas in 6 slices and sets them in the table while she hears the band discuss something about a song. Well, Kurt and Allie do, Reade and Tasha just watch them.
"No, we can't change the lyrics now, Kurt," Allie says.
"I'm just saying, it'd make more sense if we sang the first verse and the second one reversed," he explains.
"The point of the song is we're telling the story on reverse, though," she defends before Patterson appears with the cut pizzas.
"Pizza!" Reade exclaims, suddenly, startling his two friends, who seem to forget about their argument when the see the food.
Patterson sits down next to Tasha and leans to pick up her slices and put them in her plate. She hesitates for a second but then sets her plate on the table and picks up another one and does the same thing, then hands it to Tasha.
Tasha's lips turn up and she mutters a "thanks".
Patterson smiles back at her before reaching for her own plate. Before she can, though, Allie speaks up. "Do I get one too?" she asks, smirking.
Tasha glares at her while Patterson, feeling a blush creep up to her cheeks and looking at Allie, unconsciously purses her lips. "Of course," she mumbles. She does the same thing a third time and gives Allie her plate. "Anyone else?" she asks, still embarrassed.
Everyone else looks at her, amusement clear in their faces, and gives her a version of "no, thanks, can do it myself".
Patterson picks up her food and leans back on her seat, wanting nothing more than to disappear. But one look at Tasha and the tiny smile she's giving her and all her embarrassment is worth it.
A few hours later, they are almost done with the songs they had planned to record that day.
"They sound really good," Patterson absent-mindedly says through the last take of the last song of the day.
"Do you hear anyone other than Zapata?" Jane teases her.
Patterson glares at her and sighs. "I hate you," she says, making Jane giggle.
A few minutes later, they have finished and have heard the takes. They like them.
"It does sound really good," says Jane. "I think we could punch in some of the piano."
Patterson frowns, the piano was practically perfect, so why would Jane want to-- Oh. She raises an eyebrow and smirks, it's her time to tease now. She seems Jane flush and her smirk turns into a chuckle.
"That's fine by me," Allie says, from inside the studio.
"I have to go," Reade adds.
"Wait you're my ride," Kurt intervenes.
"I'll wait outside, Knight," says Tasha.
After the guys have left, Jane and Allie get back to the song while Patterson and Tasha watch and hear Jane and Allie "work".
After a particularly flirty comment, Patterson can't help but snort. She turns to look at Tasha only to find her already looking at her. The brunette looks away instantly, biting her lip, but before Patterson can do anything, she looks at her again.
"Do you wanna go take a walk while those two finish flirting?" Tasha asks her.
"Sure!" Patterson answers, surprised.
They silently walk towards a park near the studio.
It's awkward, at least Patterson thinks it is. She wants to talk about something but her nerves have her brain frozen.
The back of their hands brush against each other once.
The third time, Tasha loosely intertwines her fingers with Patterson's, leaving it up to her to tighten or not the grip. She does as a small smile makes its way to her lip.
It's not long after that that Patterson's brain gives her words again. "It-" she clears her throat. "You guys sound really good," she finally says.
"The melody and the lyrics, it's all... really nice. The instruments... And vocals." She curses her brain.
Soon, they enter the park and Tasha suggests they sit on a bench for a while.
"So, how did you get into music?" Tasha asks after she has taken a seat, leaning against the backrest of the bench.
Oh, thank god, she's starting the conversation now.
"My dad. He owns our studio, so music has always been in my life. He bought my first guitar for my 3rd birthday. And I was helping him at work when I was 5."
"That's cute," Tasha smiles softly.
"What about you?" Patterson asks her, mirroring Tasha's position so that they are sitting face to face.
Tasha looks away for a bit and takes a deep breath before letting her eyes fall back on Patterson. "My story is a bit heavier..."
Patterson puts a hand over Tasha's arm. "Hey, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to."
Shaking her head, Tasha shrugs it off. "It's alright. I want to tell you."
"Okay," Patterson adds, letting her hand rest over her a little longer than she should and using it to prop her head with her elbow on the bench afterwards.
"My dad left when I was 4. And my mom..." She huffs and shakes her head. "she was a disaster. Before he left, though, he had bought a guitar for my older brother but he never used it and when he was gone, he hated everything that came from our dad. So he hid it in my room to not have to see it all the time. Anyway, I didn't find it until I was 7 and... uh... something had happened..."
"It's fine, you don't have to tell me everything."
Tasha smiles relieved and nods. "Well, I found it and started to learn it."
"Kind of, I found a tutorial that helped."
"Man, you're amazing..." Patterson whispers.
"I joined my school's music club and that's where I met Weller. He and Allie have always known each other and Reade was in my class in high school."
Patterson watches her lovingly as she finishes talking, and, damn, she really is falling for this girl she just met... But then Tasha looks at her and smiles again and, yeah, she doesn't mind at all.
She wants to kiss her. She really wants to kiss her right now. And she thinks Tasha wants the same thing.
"We probably should go back," Patterson hears herself say.
"Yeah..." Tasha answers, sounding a bit disappointed, Patterson thinks. Or is she just imagining things?
Damn it, she should have kissed her.