(As if) Nothing Really Matters
He found her near Ms Corcoran's room.
He had known that she would be there, ever since he saw her sabotage their rehearsal, had known she would seek out the mother she so longed for.
She looked slightly crestfallen, but still so pretty, even in that ridiculously gaudy golden outfit. He winced inwardly at the thought of having to wear such a cheap looking outfit; Glee club at McKinley High, as he had discovered first hand, was not exactly top of the school's priority list. And yet she managed to pull it off, managed to make it look almost- decent.
He approached her, and she must have sensed him coming, as she raised her head. Immediately a hard look entered her eyes, and Jesse felt a tiny stab of- pain? Regret?
"I suppose you've come with more eggs," she said tightly, but Jesse could hear the slight warble in her voice, and hated himself for having put it there.
"They're not fertilised," he blurted out, and she stared at him, confused. "They're not fertilised- the eggs. They're not foetuses, not the supermarket variety. You won't be haunted by any unborn chicks or angry mothers."
A part of him felt ridiculously stupid for actually saying that out loud. Another part of him felt- knew, somehow, that it was exactly that sort of thing Rachel Berry would be afraid of. And for a moment, he thought he saw something flicker in her eyes- but it was so quickly masked by an icy coldness once again that he wasn't sure if he had imagined it or not.
"I suppose that makes it all ok, then," she retorted hotly, and turned her glance away.
It was such a simple act- like the act of a child, and it was immature and completely lacking in true theatricality. And yet it managed to hurt. He hadn't expected Rachel Berry to be able to do that to him.
"So where's the rest of your team, then?" he asked, leaning against the wall and attempting to sound indifferent.
A small muscle twitched in her cheek.
"Quinn's just had her baby," she replied, somewhat thickly. "They're at the hospital. It's a- a little girl."
A little girl. A little girl who would, most likely, be separated from her mother. So that was how she felt. And of course, that would explain-
"And I guess Finn's there, right?"
So much for sounding indifferent. She spun around as quickly as a whip.
"Yes, he is," she said, and her voice was high and almost defensive. "So what about that?"
He almost attempted to shrug, to feign indifference, but to do so would be to ignore the bile that was rising in the back of his throat. So, there was something with Finn, had probably always been something with him. And how could she like someone like him? He couldn't sing, he had no class, his dancing was simply painful to watch, and she had had him, Jesse St James, whose singing was second to none, who was destined for Broadway, who had a scholarship to the UCLA- and yet she chose Finn. The thought was disgusting.
He shifted against the wall, raising an eyebrow.
"It always seems to come back to him, doesn't it?" he returned smoothly.
Immediately, a flush came to her cheeks. Suddenly, Rachel was on her feet, and hissing into his face, and he almost missed what she was saying.
"So you think it's about Finn, do you? Funny how you always think of yourself until someone's got to be blamed. Funny how it never, ever reaches your mind that perhaps, perhaps just tiny bit- perhaps it's you who's caused all the problems."
And the worst part of it was that he knew it was his fault, too. He opened his mouth to speak, but Rachel ignored him in her tirade.
"You know, Jesse, for someone who promised never to hurt me, you did an extremely thorough job of breaking my heart. There are a thousand ways you could have told me you'd transferred back to Vocal Adrenaline, but then I suppose you couldn't have had the opportunity to humiliate me in front of both our entire Glee clubs. And then there are a thousand ways you could have talked to me in the car park, and I would have actually listened to you- but no, you had to bring all your emotionless automatons from Vocal Adrenaline and- and- egg me- because you knew I was vegan and you knew it'd hurt! Well, I don't care anymore, because you know what? New Directions is going to win tonight."
He blinked. That had come from nowhere. And could she really, truly believe that? She could sing, yes, she had talent- masses of it- and yes, New Directions could pull of a funk number, but still- their costumes, their choreography, it was terrible. And she thought that, despite it all, they could win?
"New Directions is going to win. And I am through with you. Completely and utterly through."
And with that, she flounced away.
"Rachel," he called weakly, stretching an arm out. "Rachel!"
But if she heard him, she refused to turn back.
He closed his eyes and ground his teeth for a moment before turning around to face the girl who had made him break Rachel's (his) heart.
She glanced down the hallway, then back at him.
"What were you doing with her?"
Such a simple, loaded question. He ran a hand through his hair (it was a move he'd practiced in the mirror at least a dozen times before he felt confident to do it in front of others) and sighed.
"Nothing, Giselle. She's just delusional, thinks New Directions will win."
Giselle smirked, and he turned and walked away from her. He didn't think he could stand spending much more time in that corner of the hall.
He had known Vocal Adrenaline would win, of course. How could they not, with him as soloist?
Ms Corcoran had been pleased, she'd beamed and cheered and hugged him, and as he lifted the trophy aloft (knowing it would look good in any photograph taken), he felt so triumphant that the bitter memories of the hallway, and indeed of the past few weeks, almost faded away.
His only weakness was that he hadn't been able to stop looking at her. But then, he thought, with a rush of triumph, she had looked back every single time. (He knew).
A/N: Yeah, so… I love Jonathon Groff. And I maintain that when he was singing 'Bohemian Rhapsody', he was channeling his feelings for Rachel into his solo. Just for the record, I know and understand that Rachel/Finn is the way the show is headed. I get it. But I still think Lea Michele and Jonathon Groff share an amazing chemistry, and despite his enormous ego, I have a soft spot for Jesse St James. Title changed because I realised that 'Any Way the Wind Blows' had, apparently, become popular after I uploaded this fic.
Please review if you've read this far. Also, feel free to critique this story; it's not been beta-read and I haven't even edited it so feedback is welcome. God bless!