Title: I'll Help You Carry On
Rating: G
Setting: Before the "Lean on Me" performance.
Pairing: Rachel/Brittany friendship with hints at Puck/Santana and Will/Terri

Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any cover of the song Lean On Me. If I owned Glee, Matt Rutherford would have spoken by now.

As the rest of the Glee Club members waited for Kurt, Mercedes, and Tina to bring Finn and Quinn in so they could sing them a song to show their unity, something was different about Rachel. Any other day she would either be standing in the front and telling everyone to remember their lines and spots or pacing while she did vocal exercises. Today, she was in the corner looking down at her lap with what appeared to be a balled up tissue in her hand. No one seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary --- except Brittany.

The featherbrained blonde moved her head from Mike's lap and stared at Rachel a little more closely. "Santana, I think something's wrong with Rachel. She hasn't said anything since she got here."

"I know, isn't it great?" The brunette Cheerio stated with a smile, her eyes never leaving her phone as she texted away. Seconds later her face changed into pure disgust. "Okay, why is Karvosky texting me? How did he get my number?" She yelled, attracting the attention of nearly everyone in the room. A snicker could be heard in the direction of Puck, who previously was checking out his biceps. Santana looked over at him instantly and stood up. "I hate you!" She said, laughing a little as she walked over to him and smacked him lightly on the arm.

Brittany, however, was still worried about Rachel. She tapped Mike on the thigh and looked up at him. "I'm gonna go see if Rachel's okay." She said, smiling at him a little. He nodded and then glanced around the room. Matt still wasn't back yet which she knew sucked for him. Regardless, she walked over to Rachel and sat down in the empty chair. "Hey Rachel." She said, cheerfully. Rachel looked up at her briefly, sniffed, and then looked back down.

"This might come as a shock to you, but I'm not in the mood to be humiliated right now. Can you please spare me of whatever heartless prank Santana put you up to?" She said softly, appearing to keep her poise even though she was so visibly sad.

Brittany looked over at Santana, who was sitting on Puck's lap - laughing at whatever he was saying, then back at Rachel, shaking her head. "Santana didn't put me up to anything. I just wanted to see if you were okay." She said simply. Rachel's head shot up after that, not being able to hide her apparent surprise.

"Y-You did?"

The Cheerio nodded. "Yeah, you're usually ordering us around with really big music words. So what's wrong?" She finally asked.

Rachel hesitated, seeming to analyze if Brittany's words were true, before finally sighing and speaking. "It's Mr. Shue." She said, looking up awkwardly at him as he finally hung up his phone. "I expressed…feelings toward him that were not reciprocated and now I'm just left wondering if there is any guy who would ever like me in that way and with no hidden agenda of deflowering me or just needing an escape from their fatherly duties to one of the most gorgeous girls I've ever seen and who would occasionally be willing to stand subordinate to my fame when need be with the knowledge that I will always love them far greater than they could ever imagine, but at times my talent must emerge whole-heartedly."

Brittany stared at her, with her familiar look of confusion. She pouted and opened her mouth several times before asking a question. "What does reciprocate mean…?"

Surprisingly, this made Rachel laugh. A genuine laugh. A laugh that instantly brightened her puffy face and filled the entire room. Slowly, Brittany started to laugh just because she wanted to be included in the joke. Everyone stopped what they were doing a second time and stared over at the twosome in confusion. Santana plastered on her signature disgusted face.

Rachel calmed down first and just stared at Brittany before smiling. "Thanks." She said, wiping away some crying tears that had turned into laughing tears.

Brittany shrugged. "There's a guy out there who's gonna be dying to go out with you Rachel. You're awesome, even if you do use a lot of big words." Rachel let out another laugh right before Tina popped her head into the room and informed everyone Quinn was here. Everyone started moving their chairs around and sat towards the back. Brittany got up and looked back at Rachel. "I mean it." And with that, she went over and sat next to Mike. Rachel got up and sat on the other side of Mike and leaned forward, sending another smile at Brittany before looking forward and mentally preparing herself just as Quinn walked in and looked around confused. Not too long after Finn, Mercedes, and Kurt walked in and everyone stood up. It was show time.

Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow.
But if we are wise, we know that there's always tomorrow.
Lean on me, when you're not strong and I'll be your friend.
I'll help you carry on, for it won't be long

'Till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on.

Please swallow your pride, if have things you need to borrow.
For no one can fill those needs that you won't let show.

You just call on me brother when you need a hand.
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you'll understand.
We all need somebody to lean on.

Sometime during the performance, Brittany looked over at Rachel to see her smiling and singing along. It made her smile. She remembered all her moves but when the chance was available she leaned forward and enveloped Rachel into a hug.

I'm right up the road, I'll share your load if you just call me.