Title: Chemistry

Characters: Finn and Rachel through the eyes of Quinn

Rating: G

Author's Note: This ficlet was written early in October 2009, in response to the teaser promo of Finn and Rachel singing "No Air". It's not my favorite performance ever, but oh gosh, their chemistry is like a separate presence in the room...it seems sometimes like it just can't be ignored. They were making Quinn seem a bit more human on the show, so I did the same. I'm never going to agree with her choices, but I can understand why she made them. Finn's connection with Rachel (as she put it in "Showmance") can't be easy to see and/or watch in action.

She's taken chemistry – managed a B+ in freshman year with dull, decrepit Mr. Anderson – but this isn't the chemistry of neutrons and fission and atomic weight. This is different.

This chemistry swirls in the air, fills the stage, the room with its presence. It's soaring voices in harmony, and strong hands around a slender waist. It's evident when their eyes meet, he and she both captivated and bewildered by the power of the silent current flowing between them.

It exists in the day-to-day; she sees it, she knows its implications. But it comes alive when they sing, and it's achingly beautiful, a garden in springtime. It's the kind of romance she'd add to her Netflix queue and watch with a box of tissues handy, and it plays in front of her every afternoon at glee club practice.

She hates it, hates that it's undeniable, that it fills her with envy like she's never known before. Neither of them mean to hurt her, and she's well aware of it; guilt already erodes her from the inside out as she's touched by a soft kindness she doesn't deserve and something-close-to-loved by a heart too gentle to break.

But the hands that curve around his duet partner's waist, fingers threading through hers as they dance – those are the hands that clutch at her own back when she kisses him. Those hands are hers because he is hers; though for how much longer, she doesn't know.

The music begins again. They begin again. There's a dull ache in her stomach, different from the sudden flash of morning sickness, as she realizes that much like Mr. Anderson's class, this chemistry is a test. And she watches from the background as he sings with her, sings to her, his emotions laid bare for someone else whose eyes shine with unmasked affection for him.

Her palm flat against her stomach as she sways with the rhythm of the music, she thinks of her choices, her mistakes, and she knows in her heart that with this chemistry, she's faced with a test she simply cannot pass.