Chibi-Kari: So, yes Jesse is a jerk now, but I've put some thought into the situation and come up with this little one-shot. It's rough, but it's all Jesse's emotions. Throughout the episode you could tell that he felt something. So here it is. I don't own, but please do enjoy!


He stood up there staring out at the girl he had been dating for the past few months. Him on stage in the bright lights and her in the dark below him. It seemed a fitting image to have burned into his head. He had always kept her in the dark so that he would shine. Nothing was different now. He was sacrificing her for his own good.

He started to date her for his own good. He wanted to make his dreams come true. Improve his acting skills. He lied and told her that his goal was to make her dreams come true. That lying came so easily to him and this betrayal came almost as easily. A means to an end. That was what she was. Then things became complicated. That was why this was more difficult for him. What he had told Shelby that night was true. He likes her.

There was a nagging guilt that ripped through him. She deserved everything, but would get this. She was too good for what he was doing to her. But that didn't change the fact that he was doing it. He would do anything to ease his guilt.

That was why he said what he did. So she wouldn't be ridiculed and ostracized more than she already was. He didn't want them to think he had spied when that wasn't his purpose anyway. So, he took all the blame from her and rested it squarely on the shoulders of those it should have always been pressed upon, "I've transferred back to Carmel High, Rachel. I'm sorry it's come to this, but you guys were aweful to me. You never accepted me. You never listened to my clearly superior ideas."

It sounded like him and he could tell they all bought it. Even Rachel thought he was telling the truth. He couldn't tell her the real truth. He couldn't tell her that his duty was over and she would be left in the cold. Not when she knew so much about him. Not when he felt this way about her. This way she might not feel so used. Maybe she would just be angry. He could handle angry. Angry could be constructive and he wanted her to be constructive. She couldn't give up because of him.

He didn't lie to her when he told her that her names would be in the bright lights. It was true. She was destined for stardom like he was. And he didn't want her to break and give up because of this. Rachel had told him in so many words that he could break her by playing her. So he could never admit that this was all a plan. Instead he would give her this pain. She could use this for her future.

That was how he justified everything as the yoke ran down her face a little while later. She was stronger already. She didn't cry or beg him to say that it was all a joke. Instead she took it. Encouraged it. Embraced it. That would be her defining moment. It showed him how much she could take.

It also showed him how much he couldn't. It hurt. Every look on her face reminded him of what he told Shelby. He didn't want her to hurt, but this hurt was better than what he could have inflicted on her. And she would never know. He would never tell her what he gave up to give her this.

And if they ever met again he was sure she would forgive him. She always forgave everyone. As he glanced at her through his rearview mirror he couldn't help fear that she might not. He made her stronger by doing this. He changed her and gave her the power to succeed. Looking back at her he could tell she already wasn't the same person.