AN: This is my first fan-fiction, EVER, so I would appreciate any and all comments and/or constructive criticism. In short, please read and review! I have more chapters planned, but I wanted to get a response to this before I went forward with it (shyness, you know how it goes).
Disclaimer: I do not own a single bit of Glee... except for the soundtrack that comes out in a week that I've pre-paid for. If I owned Glee, Puck and Rachel would have more than 1 episode!
The only lights inside the auditorium were the running lights that glowed lightly to illuminate the aisles. She liked it that way. In the dark with the barely-there glow from the running lights, she could pretend she wasn't at school, wasn't missing out on life, wasn't confused about what she wanted…she could think things through. She could stare into the black void and be empty for as long as she wanted. Or at least until the bell rang and her lunch period ended.
The darkness of the auditorium was broken by a slash of bright light and the chatter of the hallways broke through the silence before the light vanished and the noise ceased. In the darkness she could hear someone stumbling down the aisles towards the stage.
"Hello?" she called out into the darkness as she pulled herself into a standing position. Better to make whoever was there aware they were not alone – better to be standing in case they didn't appreciate her presence.
"Rachel?" a voice called, and she was simultaneously flooded with warmth and guilt. Every part of her ached for him and yet she could not, could not have him.
"Finn?" she replied, her voice cracking as she felt her guilt flush through her and made her warm.
"I was looking for somewhere to go to be alone… I've had so much on my mind," he said as he moved down the aisle of the auditorium. "I remembered when you told me that this was one of your favorite places to go and think. I didn't think you'd be here now…" his voice trailed off as he began to climb the stairs to the stage.
"Do you want me to leave?" she asked, hoping that he would say yes, so that she could escape, and hoping that he would say no, so that she could be alone with him.
"It's okay, you can stay," he said, "it was your place first." She turned in the darkness and felt him walking closer to her. The running lights from the aisle didn't provide enough light to see anything on the stage clearly, and he walked into her, bumping his chest against hers.
Her skin tingled and she got goosebumps across her chest. "Stop it!" she thought to herself fiercely, as she heard Finn apologize and step back. She could tell he didn't step back more than an inch or two – his body was still close enough to radiate heat onto her own.
"What were you coming to think about?" she asked.
"Um…I guess I can tell you. I mean, in the dark, it's like you're not even here, you know? And it's like I'm talking to myself out loud, which I do a lot because it helps me think, you know?" he said. Right, like I'm not here, she thought. Perfect. Just how she wanted him to think about her.
"Sure…" she whispered, not letting go of her emotions. "Just lay down on your back on the stage and stare at the ceiling. That's what I do." She lay back down on the stage and hugged herself across her chest, hoping that what he was going to say wouldn't hurt her anymore than her love for him already had.
"I've just been kinda freakin' out, you know, about Quinn, and the baby, and how I almost left Glee, and how I'm not ready to be a dad, but I don't even get a say in whether or not I'm actually gonna be a dad. I mean, I'm gonna have a baby, but the baby won't even know she's mine. She won't know who I am. I won't get to teach her how to ride a bike, or scare teenage boys into making sure they bring her home on time… I won't get anything but the worry about Quinn and the heartache and the tears and the PAIN and sometimes I wonder if it's even worth it… I don't mean that. I know it's worth it. I have to be a good man. I have to be there for Quinn, even if I don't lo-" he cut himself off, falling abruptly into silence.
"What? What do you mean you don't love her? How could you say that, Finn? She's carrying your baby! She's given up everything – popularity, Cheerios, Celibacy Club… to be with you! To give birth to your child – hell, she even joined Glee to be with you!" Rachel couldn't believe she was defending Quinn, but she couldn't believe that Finn was thinking about this."I mean, you aren't thinking of leaving her, are you? Because that would be despicable behavior, Finn, and I, for one, expect much more mature behavior out of a boy who is about to become a father, even if it is in biology and name only!"
"No, no! I would never leave her! I can't believe you just jumped to that conclusion!" Finn jumped to his feet. "I stopped talking because my thoughts were getting mixed-up and I needed to figure them out, and… look, Rachel, I love Quinn. I know you and I have this whole messed-up thing, but I've always loved Quinn. I have always wanted to take care of her, ever since she skinned her knee when she jumped off the swing in 2nd grade and fell down. When she started to cry, I wanted to give her a band-aid and tell her it would be okay, even though she had cooties…" he broke off with a laugh.
Rachel lay on the floor in silence. Hearing that he might not love Quinn had repulsed her but had given her a small glimmer of hope. Hearing him recount the moment he fell in love with Quinn had smashed that small glimmer of hope to pieces. She didn't know what to say, but she couldn't help but start talking. "So you're saying you've always loved her. That you would always want to take care of her, and that even though you and I have this 'messed-up thing' you would never leave her?" she tried to keep the hope out of her voice.
"Totally! I'm so glad you understand, Rachel, I felt so bad about sort-of lying to you about getting you back into Glee, and I do think you're a really cool girl and a great singer, but Quinn… she's the one for me." Feeling better about the situation, Finn lay back down on the ground.
Rachel didn't understand. Rachel couldn't grasp what was so great about Quinn Fabray that made Finn so devoted to her, that made Puck stare at her when he thought no one was looking. She was looking. She knew. She was looking at Finn – how could she not notice? She was so tired of staring and of losing that she wanted to play devil's advocate. She wanted to find out just how far out of his league she really was. That way, she could make a clean break. Or, she could keep holding onto her hope. Either way, she had to know.
"What if…" she racked her brains, thinking of the most ridiculous example she could come up with. "What if the baby wasn't yours? What if the baby was someone else's and Quinn had lied to you? Would you still love her and want to take care of her then? Or" she rolled onto her side and positioned her face just above Finn's so that she could feel his breath on her face, feel it speed up and feel the heat build between them as she lowered her mouth to his ear "would you be able" she stuttered, "would you be able to love me then?"
There was a moment of silence and Rachel could feel herself magnetically pulled towards his mouth. Her heartbeat was racing, and just as she was lowering her mouth to meet his, the auditorium door slammed open, leaving Kurt illuminated in the doorway.
She jumped away from Finn as Kurt began running down the aisle, screaming Finn's name. "Finn! Finn! Ohmygod, thank GOD I've found you, you have to go right now! Quinn's got to go to the hospital, she's starting to bleed…" Kurt's voice began to trail off as he reached the stage and looked Finn in the eye as he continued "they aren't sure if she's miscarrying…"
Finn bolted off of the stage and raced up the aisle towards the door. As he ran he called back to Rachel, "Yes. Yes, I would. Because no matter what she did, it would mean that she chose me, and I would be lucky to be her choice. And to your second question. No. I wouldn't. Ever. Leave me alone. Leave her alone. All I care about is making sure that Quinn and our baby are okay!" With that, he ran out of the auditorium, leaving the door propped open behind him.
Kurt turned to Rachel in shock, his mouth gaping open. He started to speak, but Rachel cut him off at the pass. "Don't!" she cried, "don't say anything to anyone!" she ran up the aisle towards the door, sobbing while she ran.
"I won't," she heard as she ran from the room, leaving a bewildered Kurt standing alone, center stage.