Chibi-Kari: Hey all, here is my second story! Perfection is about to end and the show is taking a direction that I wasn't expecting so I'm going to take a different take on things. This will be Rachel/Jesse at the end, but expect a ride to get there. Watch out for bad decisions and growing up the hard way. I don't own, but I'd love it if you'd leave me a little note after the button!

She says nothing of what she thinks. She just goes stumbling through her memories. Staring out onto Grey Street

She says, "I Pray! Oh, but they fall on deaf ears. Am I supposed to take it on myself to get out of this place?"

She feels like kicking out all the windows and setting fire to this life. She could change everything about her using colors bold and bright, but all the colors mix together to grey.

And it breaks her heart.

-"Grey Street" Dave Matthews Band

Humiliation. That was all it was. Rachel Berry should be used to it by now. It was something she knew all too well. The slushies. The barely veiled looks of hatred. All the times Finn played her. Every moment she was the joke of Glee Club. But this. This was too much. Her mother decided she didn't want her. And then Jesse went back to Vocal Adrenaline. She didn't even find out until they went to Carmel for an invitational and there he was with them singing Another One Bites the Dust. She almost burst out into tears as they sung, "How do you think I'm going to get along, without you, when you're gone? You took me for everything that I had and kicked me out on my own."

Music always sung to her, but this was too much. What was she supposed to do now? She had given him her entire heart. She thought he was worth it, but obviously he wasn't. No one was worth this heartache.

Rachel turned slightly as Quinn placed her hand on her shoulder. Rachel supposed it was supposed to be comforting, but it wasn't. It was disgusting when even Quinn pitied her. It was absolutely sickening. She was Rachel Berry. This was not supposed to happen to her. She shook off the offending hand before putting on her show face. Nothing would bother her on the outside. That would be letting him win.

The room was silent as they finished. Rachel could tell everyone was furious, but it wasn't as if they really need Jesse. What he did affected them, sure, just not to the same extent as it did her. She had to be the captain, the leader. She forced a smile on her face and clapped loudly. The others looked at her in shock before joining in lightly.

Rachel could feel Jesse's eyes on her, but she pointedly ignored them. She was only thankful that New Directions had gone first and now she could excuse herself quickly. She didn't need to be in this auditorium with a mother that didn't want her and an obviously ex-boyfriend. Contrary to common belief, she could take a hint. And what Jesse did was practically screaming at her.

"That was phenomenal, but of course you know that as National Champions." Rachel beamed glancing lightly through the crowd. She then turned to address her club, "Sorry I'm going to have to rush out of here. My Daddies have some plans with me tonight and I need to head out now to make it on time."

Mr. Schuester looked at her with understanding and Rachel thought she was about to lose her lunch, "Yes, I remember you said that before. You should get going if you're supposed to be there in less than an hour." He feigned looking at his watch and Rachel almost wanted to hug him for his quick thinking.

She nodded slightly before striding to the door. She was halfway down the hallway with the doors to her salvation in sight when she heard footsteps. She closed her eyes hoping it was a janitor or Finn or hell even Quinn.

All those dreams crashed to the floor when she heard his voice, "Rachel. Wait."

She stopped short and heard him stop a few feet behind her. "Yes, Jesse?" She commended her acting skills as she continued to stare at the blue sky outside the doors.

"Let me explain-"

"You should get back in. The whole invitational purpose is to get a greater understanding of the art by discussing different tactics and approaches. You are supposed to be a part of that."

"So should you." He said softly stepping forward again.

"I have prior engagements and have been excused from this rendezvous. So if you'll excuse me I truly need to go." Rachel went to move forward again before Jesse's voice stopped her.

"Won't you just look at me for a minute?" His voice sounded tired and Rachel knew it was that same exasperated tone he would use when he thought she was being unreasonable.

"Sorry, but I need to go." She held her head high and strode out of the building. He could take everything except her broken pride from her. That was the only thing she had fractured as it was. Those small shreds of dignity were all that was left of her.

The ride home was quiet and she was proud that she only had to pull over once for a crying jag. By the time she had returned to her house her face was puffy and her eyes red. She glanced in the mirror and panicked slightly about worrying her dads before she decided just this once she didn't care. She wanted to count on them and not a therapist. She wanted someone that loved her to do something.

"Ray," Her Daddy was on her the second she walked in the room, "what's wrong honey?"

"Life." She shrugged lightly with a watery smile.

"Oh, baby." He ushered her into the living room where her Dad was watching the news, "Tell us what happened."

That alerted her Dad and in moments he had her pulled down and wrapped between the two of them.

Rachel hiccupped slightly, "I'm such a fool. They probably all think I'm such a loser. I was deceived. Everyone. Everyone."

By the time she finished her story her fathers had run out of things to say to ease the pain. Rachel watched as Daddy sat with his lips in a tight line, "Sherry."

"What? You want to send her to New York?" Her Dad's voice was incredulous.

"Would you want to spend the summer with Sherry, Ray?" Daddy turned to Rachel and looked at her seriously.

"She doesn't approve of how we live, honey. How can you think of sending our daughter out there?" Rachel watched as her Dad's voice lowered.

Rachel nodded along, "Yeah Daddy, last time you talked to Aunt Sherry she said you were a corporate sellout and that was one of the reasons the world was going to hell in a hand basket."

"Sherry's a bit on the dramatic side and although I don't approve of her bohemian lifestyle I think it might be just the place for you right now. She would never turn you out and," He smiled at her slyly and she couldn't help but smile back, "you can use this as a dry run of the city."

Rachel couldn't help but think that maybe a summer away would help. She could use it to reinvent herself or at least watch as many plays and musicals as she could. And she couldn't help but imagine meeting a star or director and somehow being cast in the newest breakout hit. She could get a Tony before she even graduated High School. She nodded brightly before running up to her room. Things would get better.

Just as she made her way into the hallway she heard her fathers' last comments.

"New York might be too rough for her." Her Dad sounded a little reluctant.

"We've sheltered her for too long, honey. And Sherry will toughen her up. She needs that and she needs a woman in her life. Plus, she hasn't seen Alicia in ages. They always got along when they were little. We'll send her out right after Regionals. If they don't make it New York will be the perfect solution and if they do Nationals will be there. She wouldn't have to travel at the end of the summer. It's perfect. Win-win."

"I don't know. She's our baby."

"Just trust me. I grew up there and I turned out fine. Ray is a little naive and could use some growing up. Don't worry, she'll only be there a summer."

Regionals came and went with New Directions taking second after Vocal Adrenaline. Rachel was pleased with the results. As a first year competing Glee Club that was an amazing placement and they would be going to Nationals and Principal Figgins couldn't cancel their club. Everything was perfect. Or as perfect as possible.

New Directions weren't exactly excited about having to be without Rachel for the entire summer before Nationals, but Rachel made her point that they would only grow stronger having to take more solos. Santana would take her solo in Don't Stop Believing because Rachel knew that the girl had a voice and never made it to the front. She tried to allocate solos to those who rarely got to sing. Mr. Schue was skeptical until Rachel had then perform. Their coach folded easily after that. If there was one thing Rachel knew it was the voices of her teammates. Her perfect pitch and ear told her everything she needed to know about who would sound great where.

Mercedes flounced over to Rachel with the trophy holding it out with a smile. "I can't believe this is real."

Rachel smiled back. Mercedes and Kurt were always hot and cold, but when they won something they were always sidled up beside her. She remembered their first day back to school after Sectionals. It was the three of them covered in slushies together. It was bittersweet.

"It is. And we'll do even better at Nationals. We'll win it I promise." She glanced to the wings and saw her Daddy waving her over. She didn't have time to saunter. Her plane took off in three hours and they were still quite a drive from Dayton International Airport. She would get on her plane and then after a short layover in Detroit she would be on her way to The Big Apple.

Kurt came up next to Mercedes and smiled brightly at Rachel, "Scope out the scene for me, Diva. You know what I need."

Rachel almost laughed at that. "I'll see what I can find."

"Oh, you'll find me a man. This isn't Lima you're going to. Hell, you might even find just what you need." Kurt answered flippantly.

"I just might." Rachel knew for a fact she would. She wanted freedom and she would get it there.

Mr. Schue walked up to her placing his hand on her shoulder, "You should get going. And don't forget to check your email when you get in. I'll be sending the new songs to you to practice. Don't forget the club will be there a week early to practice everything with you."

"Not a thing to worry about." Rachel nodded brightly.

"There's pepper spray in your purse, Rachel. You might want to move that into your checked bags so you don't get arrested." Rachel raised an eyebrow at Quinn, "Puck put it in there."

Rachel looked at Puck who shrugged lightly, "Puckzilla is a badass. I know what those guys are like out there. Plus my mom would kill me if there were less little Jewish babies in the world because something happened to you."

Rachel laughed slightly and nodded, "I'll carry it."

Puck grunted before turning to glance at Finn. Rachel followed his line of sight. The boy was still upset about Rachel leaving. He didn't take it well at all and she almost felt bad, but that was quickly smothered by the resentment that she felt because he didn't even try to understand.

"I'll see everyone in a few months." Rachel smiled and turned quickly towards her Daddy who was now tapping his foot on the ground her purse hanging from his hand.

She almost thought her face would break in half from her smile when she saw them from the corner of her eyes. Shelby and Jesse were making their way over and that was the last thing Rachel wanted right now. Last thing she needed right now.

"I'm ready to go, Daddy." She smiled at her father like she hadn't seen them at all. Maybe if she pretended she didn't notice them she could make a getaway before they got to her. She swung her purse on to her shoulder and grabbed her Daddy's arm ready to escort him to the door.

"Rachel, honey?" Shelby's voice was deep and soothing like a mother's should be, but Rachel could find no solace in it at the moment.

"Shelby?" Her Daddy's voice was slightly guarded. He slipped his hand down to his daughter's and squeezed gently. "Sorry, we can't really stay to talk. Ray, here, has to catch a plane in under three hours."

"Plane? Where are you going?" Jesse's voice sounded confused.

Rachel took a breath before turning to face them, plastering a large smile on her face, "New York. I'm going for the summer to stay with my Aunt Sherry."

"What about Nationals?" Jesse questioned narrowing his eyes slightly.

Rachel waved her hand lightly, "All taken care of. Of course wouldn't it work out in your favor if it wasn't?" It was a low blow and she noticed the way he flinched. She couldn't bring herself to feel bad. It was like that Lilly Allen song. It made her want to smile.

"New York?" Shelby questioned slightly leveling her gaze on Rachel's father, "I don't know if that's a good idea."

Rachel felt her Daddy stiffen. She glanced up at his face and watched it harden. She had never seen that type of expression on his face before and it almost scared her, "I don't see how that is any of your business and she'll be with my sister. Nothing to worry about. Now Rachel, we really need to get going."

He pulled her away and she just couldn't stop herself from looking back at the two people that broke her heart one more time.