This is for all of the other Gleeks out there, who hold that L above their foreheads with pride.
And also, it's dedicated to Kailee, my new beta and friend. Girlie, you're amazing and this story wouldn't be half of what it is now without you.
Disclaimer: The only part of Glee I own is the Road to Sectionals DVD and a t-shirt. The rest (unfortunately) isn't mine.
"I have to tell you something…"
"Because sometimes, being special…sucks."
"You forgot your keys." "No I didn't."
"We cool dude?"
"Here's your chance, don't screw it up."
It had been a long week.Between Ms. Pillsbury taking over Glee club when Mr. Schuester was disqualified, finding out about Quinn and Puck's lie, quitting Glee, football ending, going to Sectionals in Mr. Schue's car, coming up with numbers to perform less than an hour before going on stage, and coming out as the winners despite it all.
Finn Hudson was exhausted, to say the least. Over the weekend, he had done pretty much nothing at all, holing himself up in his room and sorting through his thoughts when he wasn'tcatching up on some much needed sleep. He had explained the situation to his mother, who had not been happy at all. However, she seemed to think Quinn had it hard enough already, so when the blonde came by to pick up her things Mrs. Hudson had kept it civil. She seemed to understand that he needed to work through this on his own though, so aside from the occasional offer to bring him something to eat, Finn's mother left him alone.
He had no clue what it felt like to have your heart broken in half, but he guessed that he was pretty close. True, he and Quinn had been fading for a little while before she got pregnant, but as soon as he found out he was going to be a father everything changed. It didn't matter what had happened so far, what mattered now was his child. When he found out the baby wasn't his, he was crushed. Because even though the weight of supporting and raising a child at his age was a lot for anyone to handle, he had fallen in love with that baby. He had sung to it, thought about it for countless hours and made so many plans so that his kidwould have a dad itcould be proud of. And in the span of about ten minutes that had all been taken away. Now, he didn't know what to feel.
When Monday morning rolled around, Finn made sure to get to schoolextra early. He had some things to say that were long overdue."
The brunettewas already at her locker, as he predicted, and her head snapped up at the sound of his voice.
"Finn, hi. You're here awfully early."
"I needed to talk to you, it's kind of important." he said bluntly. "Do you have a second?"
Rachel nodded and shut the locker's metal door. "Of course. How about we go to the choir room?" She would have walked with him to the Sahara Desert if that was what he wanted, but she kept that to herself. Immediately, fears, and uncertainties began spinning through her mind." Maybe he was mad at her for telling him. After all, it was her fault they had almost lost Sectionals and had to bring along that Jacob Ben Israel creep.
He led the way to the room often used for Glee rehearsals, with Rachel having to almost jog to keep up with his nervous and somewhat excited pace. They soon arrived at the empty room, all other usual inhabitants having not arrived yet.
"So, how are you?" she set her books down on an empty chair and sat on the piano bench, causing Finn to notice just how right she looked in front of it, as if she had been born to play; like she had always belonged there. Finn dropped his backpack on the ground half-hazardly and went to stand in front of her, far too jittery to sit.
"I've been thinking." He announced, ignoring her question. "All weekend."
Rachel nodded slowly, obviously trying to figure out where he was going and nervously biting her lip. "About what?"
"About everything! Quinn and Puck and the baby and Sectionals and winning…and you." He let out a breath. "I've thought a lot about everything, and I realized that I needed to talk to you. And I know you like to talk too, but I need you to just let me say it all and then you can say something, okay?"
Seeing his eyes so wide and alive, Rachel had no choice but to nod and try to ignore the anxiety becoming more painfully obvious on her face. "Okay, go ahead."
"Okay. So I know you like me, Rachel. I mean, you kind of made it obvious when you kissed me and everything. And I know I was complete jerk for lying to you when I kissed you, and I still get mad at myself when I think about it because it was wrong and I hurt your feelings." The pitch of his voice kept going up and down, sentences coming faster and faster as he really got into his speech and every so often his eyes would flicker towards her, as if to confirm that he still held her attention.
"And I know a lot of the stuff that's been going on hasn't been fair to you, and I'm sorry for that. The thing is, though, that I like you too. I mean, like-like." He sighed, clearly frustrated at how stupid and childish he sounded. "You know what I mean. I have for awhile. Since before I found out about the baby and stuff. But even now that I know that Quinn lied, I still have to work some things out. And I know it's not fair to you at all, but I want you to wait for me. I want to be with you Rachel, I swear, but there are some things that I need to take care of. Because everything is really messed up right now and I don't want us to be messed up. I want it to be really awesome and just…not mixed in with all this other crap, you know?"
Finn finally stopped, his breathing somewhat heavy after talking so much. "Okay, you can talk now."
The brunette girl slowly shook her head. "I…I don't know what to say."
Finn smiled. "There's a first."
Rachel rolled her eyes, but there was an obvious look of relief spread across her face.
"I really hope you say yes," he said honestly. "Because I really need you Rachel. Even getting through all this, I need your help. I have no clue what I'm doing and it scares the hell out of me, but you always seem to know what to do and you make everything seem a lot less scary."
Rachel nodded, taking a moment to think everything over. Finally she glanced up at him, a small sense of epiphany and surprise still clear on her face. "Yes."
"Yes?" His tone was nervous, but eager as well, as if he was trying not to get his hopes up too early.
"Yes. I'll help you." She elaborated. "I'll always be here for you Finn. We all need somebody to lean on," she sang softly. "Remember?"
"Thank you." Finn pulled her into a tight hug, a smile coming over his face. "I promise I'll make it up to you."
Rachel shook her head. "You don't have to. That's just what everyone does for the people they care about."
Later that day, just as the lunch bell was ringing, Finn made his way over to his ex-girlfriend as she exited Algebra 2, keeping to herself as the other students spilled out into the hallway chatting with friends. She held her books close to her bulging stomach, as if to guard herself from the stares and harsh words she now dealt with on a regular basis.
The blonde stopped, her eyes wide with surprise that he was speaking to her.
"Hey." Her voice was quiet and timid, as if she was afraid that he had come to yell at her again.
"Um, do you think maybe we could meet after school in the choir room? To talk?" Rachel had told him earlier that the best way to deal with a situation like this was to face the music and discuss everything, even if it meant talking about stuff nobody really wanted to talk about, in a calm and adult manner.
A visible look of relief washed over Quinn's face. "Yeah, we can do that." she agreed.
Finn nodded. "Okay, um, make sure that Puck comes too. I'll see you then."
"Okay. Bye Finn." She raised her hand to wave, but he was already gone.
"Are you sure about this Finn? It's really none of my business."
"Rachel, I told you, I want you here. You make me less nervous and I need you to basically direct this thing. I don't know what I'm doing. Just, do what you normally do. You're good at telling people how to do stuff right."
It was 3:00 on the dot and the two teens were in the choir room. Rachel was sitting in a seat near the front of the room while Finn paced back and forth along a path between the chairs, both of them waiting nervously for the others to arrive.
Rachel had suggested the choir room to hold the meeting of sorts because it was neutral ground for all parties, big enough so they each had plenty of space since there was no Glee practice today, and, although she hadn't said this out loud, there were plenty of people close by, in case Finn decided on a second attempt to break Puck's jaw.
"Hey, just so you know, I'm really glad you're here."
Rachel glanced up to see his eyes on her as they shared a smile.
The sound of the practice room door opening ended the short moment of peace as Puck and Quinn made their way in, both looking a bit nervous.
"Hi Finn." Quinn was the first to speak. "And…Rachel."
"I asked her to come." Finn answered her unasked question. "She's here to… what's it called?"
"Mediate." Rachel supplied quickly. "Finn asked me to lead this discussion since everyone seems a bit uncomfortable and out of sorts. If the two of you have an objection I'd be perfectly fine to leave-"
"You should stay." Puck spoke up. "She has a point. None of us really know how to talk about this crap."
The blonde nodded. "Yeah, you can stay Rachel."
"Okay, well, I guess we should get started." The four teens sat down awkwardly and waited for Rachel to begin. "Um, I'm sure Finn has some questions for the two of you." She said slowly. "Finn?"
"I…" Finn paused and glanced at Rachel, who nodded encouragingly. "I want to know why you lied to me. Actually, I know why, but how could you lie to me? I mean, what did I ever do to either of you? What made you think I deserved this?"
"We're so sorry-" Quinn started, but he cut her off.
"No! I don't want to hear that! I've heard it a million times and I get that!" he exploded angrily. "I know that you're sorry! I want to know how you could lie to me like that." He frowned. "You were going to let me go my entire life thinking this baby was mine, let me support it, raise it, and give up any dreams that I had to take care of it. How could you do that? I mean, we've been friends since we were kids, and I can't believe that you would do this to me." He glared at his ex-best friend for a moment before moving on. Especially you Quinn, after you said all that stuff about loving me and caring about me. I'm genuinely curious how in the hell you could do it."
"I wanted what was best for the baby." She finally answered shamefully, unable to look him in the eye. "I wasn't thinking about you or me or Puck or anybody else. I just wanted this kid to have the very best I could give it."Quinn glanced down at her shoes, tears in her voice. "I was selfish and I was extremely mean to you and Puck. I doubted him and wanted you to be everything I didn't think he was. And I am so sorry Finn."
Puck nodded. "We both are. But we're gonna make it work."
"So you're going to keep it?" Rachel couldn't help but ask.
Quinn nodded. "We talked about it and we know it's going to be hard, but we decided that adoption was just something we couldn't do."
"Are you back home?" Finn asked.
"She's staying with me." Puck answered.
He nodded, and Puck kept going.
"Look man, I know you're pissed. But I'm gonna take care them." For the first time in awhile the sincerity in his voice didn't sound like it was a joke.
Finn waited a moment before responding. "I think I'm gonna be able to forgive you guys eventually. Like, maybe not right away, but eventually."
"We can respect that." Quinn said understandingly. "And we're always here for you, even if you're angry at us."
"Same here," he nodded. "If you guys need anything or, you know, stuff with the baby…"
Quinn smiled sadly. "We should probably go, I'm kind of tired." She slowly began an attempt to rise from the chair, but due to her large stomach Puck soon grabbed her arm and helped her stand.
"Yeah, good idea." They all stood up and Puck grabbed his and Quinn's things before heading towards the door.
Quinn held up her hand and gave a small wave. "Bye Finn." And just as she reached the
door, she stopped and turned back. "Rachel?"
The brunette looked over to her from across the room. "Yes Quinn?"
Seeing the other girl wave her over, Rachel soon joined her by the door, leaning close to listen.
"Take care of him." Quinn whispered tearfully. "And thanks."
Rachel smiled warmly as an unspoken truce was exchanged between the two girls.
"Yeah, thanks Berry." Puck nodded at her once before pushing the door open and holding it back for Quinn to walk through. "See ya."
The door closed with a small thud and Finn turned to her.
"What was that about?"
Rachel smiled. "You know us girls, we love our secrets."
"Ah." He nodded, obviously satisfied with that answer. He had learned a long time ago that there were a lot of things that he just wouldn't understand when it came to girls, and it was easier just to accept it and move on then spend time trying to figure out one of the world's unsolvable mysteries. "You were amazing."
"I didn't do anything, you're the one that took charge and confronted them." She said proudly. "You were great. And don't you feel better now that you've gotten that off your chest?"
"Yeah, actually, I do. And it's all because of you." He smiled. "I'm kind of hungry, you want to get something to eat and maybe catch a movie?"
Rachel nodded, a grin of her own beginning to form. She slipped her hand into his offered palm, their fingers lacing together almost instantly. "That sounds wonderful."
"The first of many dates to come." He promised.
That sounded perfect to them both.
Well? What'd ya think? Review and stay tuned! There's more to come!