Next to Normal

Hi everyone! So I let my other story die a little bit, and when looking for inspiration the other night, this came to me. I am a die-hard Broadway girl, and so this story will be set to the music of Next to Normal, which is a phenomenal musical. Just to get this done with now, I do not own Glee or any music from Next to Normal. This is set post-Bad Reputation, and yes I know there is a new episode today, but it just fits so much better.

Finally, the chapters will each follow a track from the soundtrack, though not in order, and maybe not in message. It's not necessary to listen to the tracks to know the story, but it's kinda fun. Enjoy!

You scan through the score and put fingers on keys

And you play

And everything else goes away

Everything else goes away

And you play 'til it's perfect

You play 'til you ache

You play 'til the strings or your fingernails break

Rachel sat in the practice room, playing whatever came to mind as tears streamed down her face. She had screwed things up again. Her stupid ambition had blinded her and convinced her that tarnishing her reputation would be the best course of action.

And now here she was. Single…again. Lonely…again. Feeling like an idiot…again! Why did this keep happening to her?

The common denominator seemed to be her. Finn had said all those things about how she talked and how self-centered she was. Puck… he hadn't really said anything about her, per se; he had just wanted Quinn more.

Quinn. Good gracious, the girl could do anything and the boys still fell at her feet. Finn still made goo-goo eyes at her, Puck was following her every command, and even Jesse had called her attractive, though he had qualified it with calling her voice breathy.

She didn't notice how hard she was playing the piano now, the piece flowing out from her without thought. Music was her only friend right now. Every note dulled the pain and made her forget for a moment that things were falling apart. Jesse had been her chance for a partner with equal vocal talent and ambition, and even he had seen her as too ambitious. If he couldn't accept her, who would? Now the glee kids would have no reason to hold back on the comments that they already gave freely. If all these people were saying something was wrong with her, they must have a point. This was her fault and now she had to deal with it.

She came to the peak of the piece, pounding on the keys and closing her eyes, letting the music surround her. In the middle of the intensity she found silence, the only peace in this stupid, judgmental world. She let the music overtake her for one more moment, and then began to work the piece back down, to the quiet and restrained end. When the strings finally stilled, Rachel expected silence. Instead, she heard a voice behind her.

"That was pretty good, Berry. You played about as angry as I feel."

"What do you mean, Noah?" She asked, keeping her back to him. She didn't want him to see her tear-stained face.

"Mind if I join you for a while?"

AN: So, there was Rachel's Prelude. I realize she sounds a little pathetic, but she just got dumped and that's a pretty pathetic place to be a lot of the time. Next up will be Puck's Prelude and the story behind why he's so angry. Both preludes will be a bit short, because they're simply intros, and the chapters will get longer. Review if you'd like, and another update will be up soon.