"Rachel?" His voice startled her out of her daze. The question echoed through the auditorium.
"Are you-" He stopped, as if rethinking his question, then continued. "Are you alright?"
"No." she said sadly. "I'm not."
Matt sighed. He sat down next to her, and, after a moment, took her hand in his.
"Don't worry. It'll be okay." She sniffled, and leaned her head against his shoulder. Stupid Finn. He messed up again, and Rachel was crying again. Asshole. Practically cheated on Quinn with Rachel, then cheated on Rachel with Santana, then cheated on Rachel with Quinn. Douche-bag.
"How can you be sure?"
"Because it's almost snack-time." She looked at him, confused, for a moment. Then she smiled that Rachel Berry smile, and everything was right with the world. It wasn' t the Rachel Berry "I-will-take-over-the-world-and-you-won't-even-know-it!" smile. It wasn't even the "I-am-smarter-than-you-and-awesomer-than-you-accept-it!" smile. It was the true Rachel Smile, capital letters needed.
"I can't believe you remember that."
"Of course I remember. You were my first friend besides Mike. Miss Purple Tights."
"Hmm, don't make fun of me Mr. Batman costume."
"Hey! You said you'd never tell!"
"And I never did. I just pick on you about it." She smiled again, and poked his ribs. They were quiet for a few minutes.
"That was the first time we met, right?" Matt said softly.
"Yes. The first day of pre-school. We were the only ones who went to a different elementary school than the other kids because of the weird district lines." she said, matter of factly. "You cried."
"No I didn't!" He said quickly. She just looked at him. "Maybe I did, but you screamed when your dads got you out of the car. And you cried, hysterically, when Bobby March told us that our parents weren't coming back for us because we were freaks."
"Well...yes, but only because I was at an age were I didn't want to be separated from my family, and believed everything that other children told me. But Bobby was mean anyway."
"It was a long time ago." he said softly, both of them remembering...
"Mattie, honey, you have to get out of the car. All the other kids are already in there!" His mother, Julia, said exasperated.
"No." The little boy in the backseat crossed his arms and stared at the back of the seat in front of him. His face was drawn into a full on pout, not that you could really tell by the Batman mask covering most of his face. The mask matched the Batman costume he wore, complete with a plastic belt. He had refused to take it off this morning, and Julia had been to tired to deal with a silent Matt. He'd be adorable if he wasn't so frustrating.
"Please! Don't you want to see the other kids and play?"
"No." He repeated, quite calmly.
"Matthew Damien Rutherford, if you do not get out of this car, I swear I will-" She never got to finish her sentence, because Fate chose that moment to step in. Across the parking lot, a tiny brown haired girl rushed towards Matt and Julia at top speed, sobbing loudly. When she reached them, she threw herself into the car, right at Matt, and wrapped her little arms around him tightly.
Two men reached the car and hurriedly began apologizing. "We are so sorry!" the tall black one said. "She got away from us and-"
"She's just scared. She's never been away from us for long." the short white one said.
"It's okay, really. My son has refused to leave the car for ten minutes, trust me, I know how it is." She smiled, and held out her hand. "I'm Julia Rutherford. That," she pointed to the car, "is my son, Matthew."
"It's nice to meet you. I'm Marcus Berry." the tall black one said, accepting her handshake.
"And I'm Aaron Berry. That's our daughter, Rachel." He smiled, also shaking her hand.
"Well," Marcus said, looking at their children, who had stopped crying and were talking quietly, "I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship."
It had taken all of five minutes for five year old Rachel to know that Matthew Rutherford was the man she was going to marry. When she told her father's that, six months after meeting him, they had laughed, and said "If that's what you want, honey."
Remembering that, twelve years later, a now seventeen year old Rachel looked at Matt, and hoped that maybe, just maybe, she'd been right. Matt looked at Rachel and hoped that maybe someday he'd be brave enough to tell her how much he really cared.
As they sat in the auditorium holding hands and talking about old times, neither of them could know that in exactly one month, they would go on their first date. In two months, give or take a few days, they would be officially dating, and nauseatingly cute as a couple. They would have their first fight as a couple six months later, and make up the next day. In a year and half they would go to their Senior Prom together and graduate. In four years, Matt would propose to Rachel, she'd accept, and they would get married two weeks later in a small ceremony for family and glee clubbers.
Five years and they'd have their first baby, Levi in November, followed closely by Caleb in October.
Seven years after that day in the Auditorium, Rachel will get her first major role on Broadway, after years of small parts. (But of course no part is a small part.) She'd win a Tony for that, followed by another play, and another Tony the next year, and then a movie deal for both shows. At the same time, Matt would become a choreographer and open a dance studio in New York City, where he and Rachel would both teach for years. Baby Leah came in May.
Ten years after that day in the Auditorium, Rachel and Matt will be twenty-seven, with three children, two Emmys, several music videos, a dance studio, two movies, and a lifetime of love. They will only get happier as each day passes.
But for right now, Matt and Rachel are seventeen, sitting in an auditorium, holding hands, the world at their feet. They don't know what's going to happen, but they do know that all they need is each other. And that is enough.