No Excuses

Spoilers: through Funk

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee

A/N: This is just an little fluff piece about what could have been….If you like, please R&R because this is my return to after a long hiatus

Rachel nuzzled her head into Jesse's shoulder a Little deeper. "This is nice," she murmured into his shirt, and Jesse mumbled an agreement.

It was nice. Sparkling apple cider, Funny Girl in the DVD player, and Rachel's dads in the next room was not exactly what Jesse had in mind when he was told to seduce (seduce…befriend… whatever) Rachel, but it was really nice.

Suddenly, he pushed Rachel away. "Hold on," he told his annoyed-looking girlfriend as she struggled to find balance and not fall off the couch. He sneezed, promptily blushing a deep shade of red, and rubbed a hand against his nose. "Excuse me."

Rachel automatically leaned away from him. "Bless you," she said hesitantly. "Are you sick?"

"No!" He shook his head and reached out to touch her arm reassuringly. "I wouldn't come here and risk both of us being unable to sing. New Directions would be screwed without us. It's just allergies."

Rachel visibly relaxed, leaning back into her boyfriend and rewinding the movie to watch the twenty seconds they'd missed. But it wasn't even a minute before Jesse nudged her gently, saying "Rachel, can you…" and she leaned forward, reaching for the tissue box from the coffee table, just in time for him to sneeze again into a fist. "Excuse me," he said, taking the offered tissue, but twisting it awkwardly in his hands, embarrassed.

"Bless you." Rachel gave him a worried look. "Do you feel really terrible?"

"Nah. It's just a little sneezing." He tried to smile, but sneezed harshly again and groaned without meaning to. "Excuse me," he said, putting his heads in his hands and leaning forward.

Rachel put her hand on the back of his neck. "You're excused. You're always excused. I'm going to make you some herbal tea."

Jesse gave himself a minute to wallow in self-pity and humiliation before following her into the kitchen. Rachel was sitting on the counter next to the stove, swinging her legs and humming.

Instead of hoisting himself up next to her, he merely leaned against it. She smiled and ran her fingers through his hair. "I'm sorry you feel gross," she said, hopping down as the kettle started to whistle, and retrieving a mug from a cabinet over their heads.

Jesse shrugged. "I'm sorry I'm being gross in front of you." She held out the mug with a tea bag hanging inside, but when he reached for it his hand changed direction and he grabbed the tissue he had stuffed in his pocket and sneezed into it. "Excu-"

"You're excused," Rachel interrupted firmly. "So just shush and drink this tea. We may be able to salvage your voice for practice on Monday."

She forced the mug into his hands, and he took a sip of chamomile-scented water. The steam tickled his nose and he sneezed again, this time clamping his mouth shut afterward to not give into the embarrassment that plagued him.

Rachel wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned her head into his chest. "Bless you."

"I hear you're a vegan Berry," some girl Rachel didn't know, and had done nothing to, mocked her. "The souls of those pour egg fetuses are all on your conscious now." Vocal adrenaline chuckled, and Rachel looked up at Jesse sadly. "Do it Jesse," the girl ordered.

He hesitated. "Go ahead," Rachel ordered softly. "Break it like you broke my heart."

"I loved you," he responded sadly, cracking the egg on her forehead. Everyone turned to walk away, laughing.

Rachel heard a pair of feet halt, but she didn't turn around. They stayed, then Jesse sneezed. "Achoo!" She could almost see him blushing. "Excuse me," he said in the same strange, sad tone.

Rachel's lip trembled as she turned around to look at him. "No."