His fingers still against the keys as he hears a timid voice call his name from the door of the choir room, "Brad?" He looks up and smiles as he sees the young Latina hesitating in the doorway. He nods gently to her and motions for her to come in. She smiles in relief and he wonders if she knows just how beautiful she is when she looks happy. Their eyes meet as she holds a piece of music out to him to take, "Would you?"
He reaches for the sheet music and looks at it for a moment before putting it down on the bench beside him and moving the binder of music he had been working on and setting it on the top of the piano, the large gold star adorning the black binder frowned slightly with the addition of a piece of clear tape with an unhappy face on it. He picks up the sheet music and places it on the rack, spreading out the pieces of paper. He looks up at her expecting her to pull out her own copy. Instead she just shrugs and says, "I already know it." He nods and places his fingers on the keys awaiting her cue and begins to play.
As he plays the last chords of the song he looks up at the girl who has just finished singing. She has tears streaming down her cheeks and has a look he can't put in words. He reaches to the other side of the piano and finds the tissue box stored there. He stands and moves in front of her, holding it out to her. She takes it, shooting him a grateful look as she blows her nose and dabs at her cheeks to dry them. He waits until she's done to put his hand on her shoulder and squeeze it gently. He meets her eye again and smiles, he knows who it is for.
"I'll—" she pauses for a moment before speaking again, "I'll bring her here during school tomorrow?" She looks at him, thinking, "Will you be here whenever?"
He nods again and puts the box back on the piano, sitting down on the bench and pulling the folder open again. She smirks as she sees the title and wonders if that's the latest solo Rachel is trying to sell to Mr. Schue.
"Hey, Brad?" She's to the door, looking back at him, "Thanks," she flushes slightly. "Just, thanks."
He smiles at her before turning and resuming the song he had been playing when she first walked in. She laughs lightly to herself and leaves the room.
He watches Brittany as Santana is singing to her. He is suddenly grateful that playing the piano isn't like driving a car, taking his eyes off the keys doesn't mean he'll crash into a truck. He can feel the love in the room and he silently wills the girls all the luck he can. When his eyes link with Santana's while she's hugging Brittany he is surprised to see the terror within them. He frowns slightly when he sees it and tries to tell her that it's okay, she doesn't have to be afraid, he's seen a lot at this school and she can make it through, but she breaks contact and closes her eyes, holding tighter to her life line.
She shows up later, defeat written on her face as she collapses next to him on the piano bench, her head resting against the low notes of the piano in a cacophony of sound. "I messed up big time," she mutters into the keys, voice cutting through the dying notes. He rests his hand for a moment on her upper back gently, trying to give her strength before standing quietly and looking through his bag for the sheet music he had picked up that morning. Each copy has a sticky note with a name on it, he hands her both, one with her name, the other Mercedes'. She looks up at him, tears drying soft tracks down her face, and takes the music. Her brow furrows when she sees the title emblazoned on the top of the paper Dancing Queen. She turns back to him, a question on her lips when she sees him wink at her. Dancing Queen. Her eyes widen as she looks at him again, a smile forming on her mouth.