She stood perfectly still, not an ounce of remorse on her face. He thought she seemed to be watching him pace like she might watch the history channel, mildly interested but not particularly concerned. And he'd only recently learned what "incredulous" meant, but apparently it had been just in time, because that's exactly what he was at this moment. Her request for him to calm down echoed thunderously in his ears and he just couldn't believe the nerve of her.
"Do not tell me to calm down. You kissed another guy, Rachel. I have every right to be pissed."
"For a game. It was 20 seconds that meant nothing. You're overreacting."
"You were just lip-locked with some other dude! This is exactly how I should be reacting. You're not supposed to kiss other people. That's what being my girlfriend means."
He clenched his fists as she rolled her eyes. "Finn, please think about this logically. I wou-"
"Uh uh. No way. You do not get to pretend that you wouldn't be furious if this happened the other way around."
Her lips pursed slightly and her eyes narrowed. "Would I enjoy watching you kiss anyone else? Most certainly not. But if there was a legitimate reason for the action, and if you assured me that there were no problematic feelings involved, I would accept the situation and move on. I trust you, Finn."
"This isn't about trust. It's about the fact that we're together, and have been for quite a while, and that means there are certain things you just don't do with other guys anymore. Kissing being one of them." He sighed heavily. "You shouldn't have kissed him, Rachel. You shouldn't kiss anyone but me."
"Well, I am sorry but that is not something I can agree to."
He felt his cheeks burn as he gaped at her, disbelieving. She said it so matter-of-factly, her eyes still dark and serious. What the hell did she mean she couldn't agree to it?
"You kind of already did: I asked you to be my girlfriend, you said yes. This was, like, in the fine print or whatever."
She shook her head at him, and he could see her chewing the inside of her cheek to reign in her annoyance. He had no idea what she thought she had to be frustrated over, he was the wronged man. God, she was so exasperating. How could she not see that what she did was not okay?
He glared at her as she glared at him, and this was the first time they'd really ever fought like this. Neither one of them even a little sorry, neither one of them budging.
And he really didn't like it.
Finally, she broke the silence, but while she wasn't yelling, her tone was stern. "I'm a star in the making, Finn. Destined to be on the stage. Do you know what female leads do? They sing beautiful songs about falling in love, and about losing love, and about making love. They stare so longingly at their costars that the audience feels their own hearts breaking, and then they reunite with their beloved so passionately that everyone watching can taste it. I'm going to have to kiss my costars, Finn. Sometimes I'm going to have to do even more than that. And you just need to get over it. Right. Now."
He could hear that she meant it as an order, but he remained defiant. "Well, what if I can't?"
His tone was flippant, his eyebrow raised, and he was surprised when she didn't throw something right back. Breaking the rhythm, she just stared at him. Slowly the anger drained from her face, but not in a good way; what was left was sadness.
Her voice was so small when she replied. "Then break up with me now."
He felt his jaw drop, and it was like an invisible sucker-punch to his gut. He couldn't have heard her right.
"I told you I'd never break up with you, and I meant it. I love you, and I honestly believe that I always will. But I am who I am, and I know where I'm headed. I'm going to be on Broadway. It doesn't even feel like a dream or a choice anymore, it's just inevitable. I really want you by my side me for that, but if you can't handle it," her voice broke a little, but she just took a deep shaking breath and plowed on. "I'll have to understand. But you are going to have to end us, because I can't, Finn. I'm too selfish to give you up. You'll have to do it for me."
He blinked slowly once, twice, three times, as his mind just halted.
When it kicked on again, at full speed, it was dizzying and he had to sit down.
He'd been upset, sure. He still was to an extent. Seeing her, so tiny and beautiful and his, press the lips he kissed every day against someone else's? It felt like a kind of torture, a brutal reminder of the pain of last spring. But he'd never thought for a second about breaking up over it. How'd they even gotten to this conversation all of a sudden? He truthfully had no idea.
"I don't want to break up." He said it quietly as the thought looped around in his brain. It felt as much like he was reminding himself as it did like he was telling her. "I really don't want to break up."
She sat down beside him, taking his much larger hand in her own, but she didn't say a word.
She had a point, he knew. She was a great actress, a breathtaking singer. She belonged in the spotlight. The idea of her not becoming a star seemed impossible to him. He couldn't imagine her doing anything else, and he'd never want to. But it had never before occurred to him what that would entail. He hadn't ever thought about her singing love songs with, to, someone else. He hadn't considered what she'd actually be doing on that stage. He probably should have thought about it (because, while he couldn't admit it out loud yet, he did kind of think they might be forever), but he hadn't. And now that he was thinking about it, he definitely didn't love the idea of her making out with some pretty-boy actor every night.
But he certainly didn't want to lose her over it.
He thought about the sharp pain in his chest at the sight of her in the game today, leaning in towards Sam briefly, her mouth puckered slightly. He knew it would never, ever, not hurt to think of her sharing a moment like that with someone else. But the alternative was much worse. It was bad enough to think of sharing her kisses for a game, for a play. He couldn't bear to think of how it would feel if he lost her again, and all of her kisses would belong to someone other than him. That just wasn't acceptable.
He turned his hand in hers to squeeze her fingers lightly. "We're not breaking up, Rachel."
He felt her eyes on him, but he didn't face her as he continued. "The whole problem is that I want to be with you, and I want to kiss you, and I don't want to share you. Breaking up is the total opposite of a solution. I get what you're saying about the future. And, I'm not going to like it, but when it comes to you fake-loving your way to a Tony, I'll find a way deal. I'll just try to focus on how it's not really you being you."
He finally glanced her way and noticed she had the glassy start of tears in her eyes. "But we've got to compromise a little on this, Rach. When it's something like Spin the Bottle? You got to opt out. It hurts for me to watch the real you with someone else. And I shouldn't have to. Not anymore."
When he turned to face her again, her eyes were trained on her lap. She was quiet a long moment before meeting his gaze, the tears falling now as an expression he didn't recognize shaped her features. "I'm so sorry," she whispered just before a sob slipped out. She buried her face into his chest and his arms folded around her as she cried, even as a look of confusion furrowed his brow.
"Hey, Rach, come on. It's okay. Don't cry. We'll be fine. Baby, please, don't cry." He rubbed her arm and back gently as he tried to soothe her, but she just cried harder. "Baby, please. It's fine."
Finally he felt her shoulders still and she pulled back from his embrace. "No, I'm awful. It isn't fine and you should break up with me because you deserve so much better."
He rolled his eyes and nudged her, "Stop it. That's not true."
"No, it is. Finn, I didn't even think of how it would make you feel. I was just so delighted they were going to include me that it didn't occur to me that it wasn't right to play a kissing game when I had a boyfriend. An amazing boyfriend."
Her voice grew firm again, but this time her harshness was obviously directed at herself. "And when you told me you were upset, I was so defensive, so self-righteous, I couldn't even look at it from any other angle but my own. But you're right, you're so right. And I'm just awful."
"Stop saying that. You have to be pretty awesome or I wouldn't be so set on keeping you all to myself, now would I?"
"Finn…" her voice was so soft, as she breathed out his name. It was a plea and a sigh, an apology and her appreciation. His name fell from her lips like it was the only one she'd ever want to say, and he kissed her then because he knew they really were going to be fine.
When he pulled back he smiled at her softly. "I'm too selfish to let go of you, either, you know? I think we're stuck with eachother. "
Her eyes were surrounded with pink splotches, and there were tear streaks down to her chin, but when she smiled at his words is was near-blinding. "I'm really glad to hear that."
Pulling carefully on her arm, he led them back further onto her bed, leaning against the headboard while she curled into his side. He kissed the top of her head and closed his eyes, letting the regained calm soak in.
He wasn't sure how much time had passed when she spoke again. "I am truly very sorry."
"I promise nothing like this will happen again."
He smiled. "Thanks."
"And I want you to know, no matter who else I've kissed before, or what I'm ever asked to do on stage in the future, in every way that matters, the really-me Rachel is all yours. Only yours."
She smiled when he hugged her in closer. "I'm all yours, too."