Author Note: This is a oneshot set after Sectionals, so definite spoilers. It's from Finn's POV and I've tried really hard to keep the character's voice throughout so I hope that comes across. I'm still working on my Hermione/Cedric and Rachel Berry stories, but, I have major writers block and this is what came out of that. Finn's thoughts on our favourite young ingenue:D
Disclaimer: Please, if I owned Glee I would have Cory Monteith shirtless in every single scene and I'd be prone to yelling out 'I'm a creative genius' to every single person who walked by me. Haha, enjoy!
He thought she was pretty. Like, not in a conventional way. Not in the way Quinn was pretty. But, she was pretty nonetheless. With her dark eyes, lush hair, those full lips and her banging body, he thought she was probably prettier than Quinn. Because Quinn was a common pretty and she was just...well, her own kind of pretty. Sure, she had a biggish nose and she was kind of short, but, to be honest, he actually liked her nose. That's why he had snapped when that Dakota Stanley guy had suggested she get a nose job, because he didn't want her to get a nose job. If she got a nose job she wouldn't be Rachel anymore. Not his Rachel, anyway.
Not that she was his or anything like that. But, you know, she wouldn't be the Rachel Berry he knew. Yeah, that's what he meant.
Quinn had turned out to be not so pretty on the inside, what with the lies about the baby and the cheating with his best friend. She was definitely prettier than Quinn on the inside. And that was where it counted. She believed in him, she stood up for him and she always there for him. That was why he was more than just attracted to her. He liked her. Like, he really really liked her. He just didn't know what to do about that.
Everything still hurt. Not the losing Quinn thing. He was over that. Mostly, anyway. They'd never been suited. Not really. People had just assumed they were suited. He was the captain of the football team and she was the head cheerleader, it was just expected. But, sometimes the expected is meant to fall apart. Like they did. That's what he figured anyway.
He was still pissed at Puck. No one would blame him for that. Yet, he'd gotten over it to a degree. He'd realised he was better off without Puck as a friend. The guy was a jerk. They had only been best friends because they were the two most popular boys in school, it was convenient and natural. In all honesty, he's glad to be rid of the guy. There's no more pressure to hide his feelings because Puck will think his a sissy, or to stop doing things he likes doing because Puck won't approve. It's like his kind of free to do what he wants to do, without the social pressure.
No, the thing that still hurts is losing her. The baby. It wasn't his anymore. It had never been his. He'd grown attached to the idea of becoming a father and now he didn't really know what he was meant to do. For months everything had been about the baby and now that wasn't part of his life anymore. The baby was no longer part of his plan. He didn't really feel happy about that. He felt a weird kind of empty. Because, he'd given that baby a piece of his heart and he couldn't just take it back.
So it hurt. All the freaking time.
Rachel made him feel better by just being there. She could always make him smile. But, he knew he'd been a bit of a jerk to her in the past and he was sick of being that guy. The stupid guy who told a girl he liked her, got her excited or whatever and then couldn't act on it. And he couldn't act on it. Not now. Sure, he wanted her more than anything, but, she deserved a proper relationship and he couldn't give her that. Not when his heart was still sore from all that had happened.
That's why he'd done nothing when she'd turned up at his doorstep a week after Sectionals.
"Hey Finn," she smiles that innocent sweet smile of hers and he forgot that a minute ago he'd been mopping in his room about some other girl.
"Hey, Rach, err I didn't know you knew where I lived?"
"Well, I didn't, but, I told Mr Schuester that we needed to practice our new duet for Glee together immediately, what with Regionals only being a few short months away, and so he rather reluctantly agreed to give me your address."
By this stage though he isn't really giving her his fullest attention. He noticed that her top was a lot lower cut then what she normally wore and that meant it was hard for him to notice anything but her boobs. He'd been wrong when he'd earlier assumed that they were small. They weren't, you know, the size of Jordan's or anything like that, but, they were definitely bigger then he'd first thought. Not that he thought about her boobs or anything like that. Well not a lot anyway.
Something registered in his brain and he realised that she wasn't just here for him to stare at, she'd been talking, "wait we don't have a new duet together, do we?"
"No, we don't. I just told Mr Schuester that to get your address,"
"Why are you here then, Rach?" she smirked mischievously up at him before moving past him to enter the house. He shut the door and turned to look at her. Was she trying to seduce him? No, she couldn't be, right?
But, that top was way too low cut and her skirt was very short, even by Rachel's normal standards, and she seemed to be...was she batting her eyelids at him?
"Ever since the truth about Quinn and Puck and the baby came out, you've looked so sad all the time. I just thought that maybe I could cheer you up."
She flashed him that famous Rachel Berry grin and he almost gave in. Almost told her that he wanted her to cheer him up, that he needed her to just be with him...
But, he couldn't lead her on anymore. He might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but, he knew where this was going. If she came in, dressed like that then he wouldn't be able to help himself from making a move. He wanted to make a move. He really really did. He just didn't want to disappoint her again. And he couldn't make a move and not disappoint her. Because Rachel deserved everything and right now he didn't have everything to give. But, he had to be honest with her. She deserved that much.
"Rach, we both know what's going to happen if you stay. And I'm not ready for that. I like you, but, I just want to be alone," he sees her face fall and he knows he's broken her heart once again. But, this way he's doing the least amount of damage. At least he isn't getting her hopes up. She does look sad though and he can't help but wonder if it would be appropriate to give her a hug.
"You know what, maybe I did have romantic ulterior motives in coming here, but more than anything I just want to be a good friend. You're upset and I wanted to help," her honesty makes him feel like she is kicking him in the shin. It hurts.
"If you want to pretend like there's nothing between us, if you're still too scared to admit that you have feelings for me, then fine. I'm sick with being the only person in this friendship who actually cares about it. I'm done with waiting for you, Finn."
Demonstrating one of her perfect Rachel Berry storm outs, she was gone. He didn't run after her or anything stupid like that. Instead he just shut the door behind her. Because, this was for the best, right?
She hadn't really spoken to him since then. And he kind of had to admit he missed the way she used to just ramble about anything and everything. She seemed to know a lot about basically everything and ninety nine percent of the time she was right, about what he was feeling, about what the Glee club should do. It was a little bit scary how right she was.
He missed just being able to talk to her. In Glee she would say hello and she would sing with him if she had too, but it was like something was missing. They'd touch or sing to each other or you know whatever the song or choreography demanded, but she never looked like she used to. And he missed that. That weird spark thing in her eyes. He had always liked that.
Sighing he tries to pay attention to what Artie and Kurt are talking about. Since everything with Puck and Quinn, he's become a lot closer to the guys in Glee. They were cool. Like sure Kurt always looked at him a bit too intently and sometimes Artie talked about Tina too much, but, they were chill.
"Anyway that's when Mercedes let slip that Rachel's dating that male diva from Vocal Adrenaline. I have no idea how she landed him, he's a complete dreamboat and she manages to look like some ridiculously overgrown toddler no matter how much help I give her."
Artie looks at him sympathetically as Kurt continues his tirade about Rachel's apparent lack of style. It's like something is clenching around his heart. He feels sick. Rachel has a boyfriend. Rachel Berry is dating some male diva kid he's never even heard off. What kind of jerk is referred to as a 'male diva' anyway?
"Which one's the 'male diva'?" he asks before he can stop himself.
"You know the one with luscious brown, curly locks and adorable chocolate eyes that you just want to lose yourself in..."
"What Kurt means is he's the lead in Vocal Adrenaline. He's the one that sung the solo last time we saw them perform," Artie offers, rolling his eyes at an obviously lovesick Kurt.
"That guy, Rachel's dating that guy," he knows he probably sounds angrier than he should, but, he can't help it. He hates that guy. With his stupid curly hair and his too perfect voice, he just seemed like a jackass. And he had definitely thought that before he found out that he was dating Rachel. This definitely wasn't irrational jealousy or anything like that. The guy was just...gah, words couldn't even explain how lame the guy is.
What on earth could Rachel see in a guy like that? They could barely even know each other. After all she'd never mentioned him to Finn...He frowns as he remembers that they hadn't really spoken in weeks. Well, they couldn't know each other that well. The stupid diva was probably only interested in Rachel because she was pretty or because of her voice. He probably didn't know Rachel like he knew Rachel. No one knew Rachel like he knew Rachel. Except, well, maybe Rachel and probably her dads. But, still, male diva man didn't know Rachel like he did.
That's when it hits him like a punch to the gut. He doesn't just really really like Rachel. He doesn't just think she's hot, which she is, but that's beside the point. He loves Rachel. Legit. He's in love with Rachel Berry.
His heart does that weird sinking thing that he knows isn't good. And he can't help but think that sometimes he really is an idiot. He could have had her. She had wanted him and she'd never been particularly subtle about that. If he'd been man enough to make a move then she'd be his right now. Kurt would probably be talking about how he didn't understand how Rachel could have landed him instead of talking about how she was dating that other jerk. She should be his.
But, she's not his. Not now. Maybe she won't ever be. But, they could at least be friends, right? Yeah, he could try and be friends with her again. That could make him feel better. Maybe. It definitely couldn't make him feel worse.
"Hey Rach," he gives her his best smile, the one his mom says reminds her of his dad.
"So how are things with you?"
"Fine," she sounds a bit pissed and he's not really sure what to do next. Isn't she supposed to ask how he is next? That's normal, polite conversation, right?
He shuffles awkwardly in front of her, but, she doesn't seem to want to look at him.
"What?" her head snaps up and it's probably the first time he's ever looked at her and not thought that her eyes looked like warm, gooey chocolate. They look icy. Well, if brown eyes can even really look icy, even though they're not to colour of ice or anything like that. Maybe only blue eyes can look icy. But, that's beside the point, that being that Rachel's eyes don't look warm like they usually do. They look a little bit scary.
"Do you want something, Finn? Or have you simply come over here to tell me again that you don't want me? Because, I have things to do so if it's the latter option then I understood you completely last time we talked. So, if you having nothing productive to say then I best be going, my boyfriend is probably waiting for me."
She's looking at him all meaningfully, like she expects him to say something. But, he really isn't sure what to say. He can't just say he loves her. That would be wrong when she has a boyfriend. And he's pretty sure he'd hate it if she chose Mr Male Diva over him. That would be a kick in the nadds. He should say something though, she's getting that frown line in the crease of her forehead that either means he is about to get slapped or he's going to be witness to another classic Rachel Berry walkout.
"Err, I was hoping maybe we could be friends? I mean we used to be and I miss it a little bit. I totally get if you don't want to or whatever, it's no big deal..." he trails off, cursing himself for rambling. He is definitely not a rambling kind of guy. It's probably just because she makes him nervous. Like, ultra nervous with butterflies in the stomach and everything.
"I'd like that," she flashes him that perfect Rachel Berry smile, and damn she really is pretty, "but, I really do have to go, maybe we could practice for Glee tomorrow during free period?"
"Cool, I'll see you in the auditorium then."
She nods before turning to walk down the hall and he can't help but notice just how nice her butt looks in her stupidly short plaid skirt. Now that he's admitted he loves her he allows himself to stare at her butt and her boobs and the sway of her hips as she walks, because he figures as he fully appreciates all that is Rachel Berry then he might as well get a little perving in. That and he is a sixteen year old boy.
"You really are getting much better Finn, though offcourse you could still use more practice. It took years of vocal training for me to get the voice I have today and you've only really been singing for a year."
He smiles because somewhere in her ramblings is a compliment and that makes him happy. She looks happy too and that just makes his smile bigger. He loves it when she's happy, especially when she's happy with him. It makes him feel like he has some sort of purpose. That maybe he could achieve bigger things than he's ever dreamed about. It's like he has a future.
"Well, you're a great teacher. There's no way I'd even be decent if it weren't for you Rach,"
"Thanks, Finn," she blushes at his compliment and suddenly he feels extra confident.
"Hey, you know how I always get hungry after I sing? Well right now I'm starving. Wanna go grab a bite to eat?"
She frowns and he's pretty sure that's not a good sign, "I'm meeting James for dinner, Finn. I already told you that."
His heart does that weird flip floppy thing that he really doesn't like. James. He doesn't like to think of the jerk by his name. It's easier if he just thinks of him as Mr Male Diva. It makes him less of a threat or something.
"Oh...yeah sorry I just kind of forgot. I'll erm see you at Glee tomorrow then," he half smiles at her before leaving the auditorium.
This being only friends with Rachel thing might just majorly suck.
He's gotten used to being just friends with Rachel, and sometimes it does majorly suck, like when she talks to him about Mr Male Diva. But, at other times it's really really great. Like when they just sit and talk about whatever and he gets to just watch her get excited as she speaks or when she laughs that cute little laugh at one of his jokes. And that's when he's glad that he's allowed to at least be friends with her. Because, he knows every day would majorly suck if she wasn't part of his life at all. He guesses that he kind of needs her. He smiles and looks around at all the Glee kids. His friends. Well, really 'second family' would be a more accurate description.
Things don't really seem to hurt anymore. Sure, there's still some sort of dull pang every time he sees Puck touch Quinn's now super evident baby bump, but, it's almost all gone now. And he's pretty sure he has the club to thank for that. They've been so good to him. Kurt's maybe been a little scarily attentive, but, whatever, they all seem to care and that's really what matters. He can't remember the last time he smiled as much as he is now. Just sitting in Glee, half-listening to Mercedes and Kurt go through the latest gossip.
"So apparently Rachel broke up with diva-boy," and now he's fully listening.
"Why would she do something as stupid as that? I'd totally understand if he was the one who broke up with her, he is way too good for her, but why would little miss Broadway break up with him," Finn feels his heart beat speed up.
"I don't know, me and Rachel aren't exactly close, I just heard she dumped him," Mercedes shrugs and Kurt rolls his eyes and starts to say something about someone losing their touch or whatever.
He's not listening anymore. Rachel broke up with Mr Male Diva. Rachel's single. His heart's pumping so hard he's scared it might burst out his chest. If he thought he was smiling big before, then now he has to be beaming. He looks over at Rachel, whose laughing at something Artie's saying, and she definitely doesn't look she's heartbroken. He frowns as he doesn't know what that means. Is she single? Or did Mercedes actually get a piece of gossip wrong? He figures he'll just have to corner her after practice. Yeah, that's what he'll do.
"Hey Rach, hold up. Can I talk to you for a sec?" she looks slightly hesitant but she closes the door nonetheless. They're the last ones in the practice room. Just like he planned. Sometimes he can actually make a plan.
"Sure, Finn, what did you want to talk about?" she smiles sweetly up at him and moves to sit on the piano stool.
"I overheard Mercedes telling Kurt that you and Di....err I mean James broke up. I just wanted to make sure you're okay?"
Her smile falters, "how on earth did Mercedes already know that? I broke up with James at lunchtime."
He's heart starts doing double flips and cartwheels and all kinds of weird gymnastics. But, they're good gymnastics. Rachel's single. Rachel Berry is single. His Rachel is single. He feels like he could do a happy dance to go with his hearts gymnastics, but, he figures that's probably inappropriate.
"So, are you okay?"
"Offcourse I am. Why wouldn't I be? James and I weren't destined to be together and I'm not the sort of girl who gets all depressed just because a relationship I was in doesn't work out."
That's the Rachel he loves. The over-confident, dare-to-defy me Rachel Berry that he knows so well.
"Why did you break up?" he asks before he can stop himself. He can't help it though. He really wants to know. She raises an eyebrow at him and he mentally kicks himself because she's probably annoyed that he would ask something so personal.
"I'm sorry...that's none of my busin-"
"It just didn't feel right," she cuts him off, and now it's his turn to raise an eyebrow, "I tried to make it work, I really did, and James really is a great guy...but, I couldn't make myself fall for him."
She stands up and for a second he thinks she's going to leave, but, instead she just starts pacing in front of the piano.
"He was an amazingly talented, sweet, good looking boy who liked me and I couldn't fall for him. It's stupid, unbelievably stupid," he can't remember ever seeing her this vulnerable, and really it scares him a little, because Rachel's always so strong.
"I have this attentive boyfriend who doesn't think I'm some sort of freak and I can't stop thinking about the stupid boy I did fall for," she looks directly at him and it's like his hearts decided that gym isn't fun anymore because it stops moving, skips a beat.
"You want to know what makes things worse, Finn? What makes me even more of an idiot?" she's crying now, standing in front of him as the tears fall freely down her pretty face.
"The stupid boy that I did fall for has broken my heart more times than he really should be allowed too. I'm not meant to be the girl who gets depressed because a boy I like doesn't think of me as anything more than a friend, but, this boy seems to be able to make me that girl. I hate being that girl, but, I just want him to like me so much, so much Finn that it hurts."
He might not be intelligent but he gets that's he's the 'stupid boy' in this story. He gets all of it.
He's hurt her so many times. He's pushed her away more times than he would like to remember. And now maybe he can make it all better. He should probably tell her, you know, everything he feels. Yeah, that might make her stop crying. It might make her his, too. That would be, like, a double bonus.
"Rach," he stands up, moving towards her, pulling her shaking body into his arms. He probably shouldn't be noticing just how perfectly she fits in his arms right now or how pretty her hair smells.
"It's just too hard to keep being around you, Finn, it hurts too much," she chokes out and he clutches her tighter. She sounds so broken and he just wants to make her better.
"What if I told you that that stupid boy you fell for had fallen for you too?"he can feel that she's stopped crying because his shirt isn't getting any wetter, and he pulls away from her slightly, wanting to look into those gooey chocolate eyes when he says what he wants to say.
"I love you Rach," he sounds way cheesier than he would like, but, whatever, they can totally make it sound way more masculine when they tell their kids about this in the years to come. Not that he's already planning to have kids with her or anything like that. He's just thinking hypothetically. Yeah, hypothetically.
"I love you too, Finn" she gives him a watery Rachel Berry smile and he decides that his heart really does like gymnastics. He should really kiss her now.
Before he can work up the courage to do just that, his lips are being brought down to connect with Rachel's. It feels so good, so right, that he can't even be angry that she's the one that made the first move. Her lips are so soft and sweet against his own, her hands tangling in his hair while his own hold her to him by her waist. She's really short and he knows he's borderline a giant, but, they just seem to fit together. He likes this. Just kissing her. It's fun and all kinds of amazing and he's happy. Really really happy.
And oh wait-shit-he's maybe a bit too happy- think of the mailman, think of the mailman, think of the mailman.
As he walks through the hallway he pauses as he sees Puck with his hand around Quinn's waist and his other hand resting gently on her baby bump. He doesn't feel anything though. No hurt, no resentment, no weird dull pang. Nothing.
Rachel pulls on his hand, which is clutched tightly in her own, trying to get his attention. She's talking about all the different Broadway shows that are out at the moment, trying to decide which one to take him to for his first Broadway experience, they're going to New York this weekend with her dads. He doesn't really care. He's pretty sure most of them sound slightly fruity, but, he knows he'll go if she wants too. He smiles goofily down at her. Damn, she really is some awesome kind of pretty.