FRIENDS AND LOVERS

A/N: This story crosses over with "Lucky" and "No Answer," but they all work as stand-alones.

… … …

The first thing Finn thinks when he finds out Puck's in juvie is what a dumbass.

No seriously. What a freaking dumbass.

It'd be different if he got arrested for doing something halfway normal and just accidentally getting caught- like if he was drinking in the park or smoking in his truck or even stealing shit from Walmart. Or maybe if he like kicked somebody's ass and somebody called the cops or something- that would be normal. But stealing an ATM? Seriously? Dumbass.

Puck's his best friend- has been ever since the first day of third grade when their class was overcrowded with not enough desks, so Mrs. Heiner made them share until more could get delivered. They've shared a lot of stuff since then. They've shared jokes and secrets and plenty of things that would have gotten both their asses beat if they'd ever gotten caught. They've shared food and the flu, homework and video games. They've shared alcohol and pot and some other stuff that's not really legal. They've shared lies and excuses and sometimes they've even shared girls. Most of those girls have just been random nothings that they've hooked up with and made out with at the weekend parties they've been going to together since they were like twelve or thirteen.

A couple have been more than that.

Rachel's obsessed with Puck being in juvie. She talks about it nonstop all the time, and Finn doesn't really like that. He knows it's not because she wants to like fuck him or anything crazy like that, she's just super controlling and needs everything to be perfect all the time. New Directions, short a member… That's not perfection. So Rachel's obsessed. She asks him all the time if he's heard from Puck, and there's like forty times when she tries to get him to call Mrs. Puckerman and find out what's going on. He doesn't like it at all.

He hasn't heard from Puck, and he hasn't tried to get in touch with him, either. His mom kind of tells him that he needs to be more careful and pick his friends better, and he takes that to mean that she's not super into the idea of him being BFF with a criminal. So he doesn't write any letters and address them to the county jail or wherever the hell Puck's calling home these days. He does sort of think about asking Mrs. P, but he feels like that'd probably just be weird. She always looks at him weird ever since the whole Quinn and the baby thing, and he doesn't really know why. He thinks she might feel sorry for him, which is funny since it's her kid that caused the whole mess. But whatever, that's in the past. He also doesn't want to like make her cry or something, and he's pretty sure that's exactly what she'll do if he shows up and starts talking about her delinquent of a son.

So he just doesn't.

Nobody in glee seems to give a crap, and after the first couple of days, nobody (besides Rachel) even mentions it. It's almost like Puck never existed. It's kind of creepy because the same thing happened after Matt left- everybody just seemed to stop remembering he was ever there. He wonders if he left glee tomorrow if anyone would still care next week. Weird.

Rachel's all uptight and obsessed, first about Puck and then about Sectionals coming up and then about an English paper on The Great Gatsby and then about West Side Story and In the Heights closing in the same week. She's like way obsessed with too many things, and it's sorta hard to keep up. She's super cute, but she's seriously intense about stuff he's almost positive don't really matter.

When he kind of tries to say that (in a totally nice way- "It's probably not that big of a deal…"), she snaps at him that he can't possibly understand because he has no idea what In the Heights even is and that he's never been forced to deal with the pressures of star-crossed love and the heartache that comes from being in love with someone from a rival world. He asks her what the hell she's talking about, and she says, "Tony and Maria, of course!" He's glad because he sort of thought she meant Rachel and Jesse, of course!

And he's still not totally one-hundred percent positive that she doesn't…

Things in glee are sort of peaceful for once, which is weird because there's almost always some sort of drama. So when there's not, it kind of feels off. But everyone's getting along for the most part, no one's cheating on each other or stealing each other's girlfriends. Artie's maybe trying, but he's not that successful. There are three functioning couples, and it's all kind of normal. Mike and Tina match up well and seem to like each other enough. Sam and Quinn are actually pretty awesome together, and he knows it's fucked up to even think that since she used to be his girlfriend and everything, but Sam seems to get Quinn and doesn't seem like he's going to hurt her or anything. Then there's him and Rachel, and that's cool, too, because people have finally stopped rolling their eyes and faking gagging noises (Santana and Brittany and maybe once or twice Mercedes and Kurt).

They're focusing on their music. They're working hard. They're going to kill at Sectionals, and they all know it. You know, if they actually get to like compete since there's still only eleven of them. But overall, it's going pretty okay, and that's pretty much awesome.

Rachel slows down a little bit when she falls asleep in Spanish and Mr. Schue has to wake her up in front of the whole class. He doesn't like lecture her or anything, which is nice, but he tells her she needs to take it easy. And when she recants the "horrifying" story to Finn later, he tells her that Mr. Schue's right and that she's trying to do too much and stressing out over stuff that's not really important. She tells him her neck hurts and that it's from all the pent up stress and worry she's dealing with, so he rubs it for her and thinks it's kind of sad that it's pretty much the longest he's ever got to touch her at one time.

He doesn't know what that's about, and he's not like being a dick and saying it matters all that much or anything, but he kind of thought Rachel would be down for more than a little making out and some hand-holding in the hallways. Last year she was all about girls want sex just as much as guys do and you can kiss me if you want to (even though you totally don't even know me…) and gotta move up the Glist no matter what. But now she's different. And it really sucks. And seriously, he's not trying to be an asshole, but it's not like she's a virgin or anything.

And that's what pisses him off the most.

See, Rachel's his, and even when she wasn't, she was always pretty much his. Well, like since he started noticing her and stuff. And whatever, he's enough of a man to say he's pretty much been in love with her since the first time she looked at him, and if there was no baby drama, things would have happened a whole lot quicker than they finally did. But even when he was with Quinn and even when she was with Jesse, he always in the back of his head thought mine.

So her virginity and all that important stuff, he feels like it should have been his. And maybe that's selfish or whatever, but she's his. And no matter what, hearing her be all oh, it was no big deal, whatever, I gave it up to Jesse was like the worst fucking thing ever. And he doesn't like thinking about anyone else even touching her, much less doing all that. Especially that douchebag who lied to her and used her and hurt her. And, he thinks, probably screwed her up so much that that now she can't even be comfortable with someone who like legitimately for real loves her.

And he's starting to get frustrated.

Sexually, mentally, emotionally… Just damn frustrated.

Puck gets out of juvie, and Finn's not shocked when he doesn't show up to glee. He sees him in the hallway a couple of times that day, but he doesn't say anything to him. He doesn't know what to say because now he's back and it's like the whole thing is real, and it's weird. So he just doesn't say anything. And when he doesn't show up to glee that afternoon, Finn's not the only one unsurprised. Quinn's acting weird, Sam's acting weird… Most people don't seem to care one way or the other. Tina asks if Puck's coming back, and Santana suggest Quinn suck his dick in order to trick him back. Mr. Schue gets like for real pissed off, everyone else either laughs or rolls their eyes. Rachel sits there and says nothing, and it's really weird.

The next afternoon, she tells him that Puck will be back, and he doesn't believe her until he sees it.

And then that's when he starts getting kind of suspicious. Because Puck is staring at Rachel a lot more, and sometimes they talk and sometimes they ignore each other. And it's probably totally nothing, but it's Puck, and he has a history of losing girlfriends to the dude. So even when he's back and there's like a total golden opportunity to extend an olive branch or whatever that saying is, he doesn't take it. He doesn't argue with Puck or pick fights or anything like that. He just doesn't talk to him. He doesn't really need to acknowledge his presence because somewhere along the line, things have gone bad again.

One night, he takes Rachel back to his house after glee, and he does it because he definitely knows his mom isn't home. He doesn't expect much because he knows her and knows her boundaries and knows that she says she's only comfortable with certain things. She won't even go up to his room when his mom's not home, but she makes out with him on the couch, and he tells her he loves her because it's the truth and also because he wants her to know that it's him who wants her no matter what and nobody else. But mostly because it's just the truth, and he always wants her to know it.

She says, "You're my best friend."

Nobody's really surprised when they win Sectionals. There's not a lot of legitimate competition at that level, and they all go in expecting to win. They do, of course, and there are a few little celebrations but mostly everyone just falls asleep on the bus ride home. That night, though, Rachel texts him at 1 AM and tells him she's outside. He lets her in and sneaks her up to his room, and he's never been more thankful in his life that his mom sleeps like a corpse. Rachel's never snuck over in the middle of the night before, so he's both nervous and excited. Mostly really fucking excited.

"You were amazing today," she tells him, smiling brightly once they're in his room and the door's safely closed. She's got sweatpants on and a hoodie, and she looks a lot different than she normally does. He thinks it's awesome.

"You're the one who killed it," he says back. And he knows it's the right thing because she lives for those kind of compliments, and if he's learned anything from being her boyfriend, it's that even if she doesn't really give a whole lot up, she's a little more willing when there are talent compliments involved.

"I think we're perfect together." She flashes another smile, and he might be a little bit freaked out if he wasn't already horny as hell and wanting to touch her so badly he might explode. "On stage and in real life. We're perfect, Finn."

He wonders if she's been drinking, but obviously he knows she hasn't. Her smile is kind of overkill, and he recognizes what she calls her 'show face.' He doesn't know why she's smiling like that right now because it's not as pretty as her natural one. But whatever, it definitely doesn't matter.

"You're perfect."

And it's totally the right answer. She loves it, and he's only a little bit surprised when she can't stand it anymore and is kissing him like hardcore. And he lets her because, duh. He takes a chance and gets her down on his bed, and that's like a major freaking move right there because she normally only goes there if she's trying to trick him into doing something she knows he doesn't want to do. Right now, though, she's not trying to trick him into anything (he doesn't think)- she's just making out with him. And it's totally awesome.

Rachel's tiny, tiny, tiny, and he's not, so this stuff's like kind of awkward. But whatever, he's not going to worry about how stupid he probably looks because she's actually pulling him even closer and rolling over so that she's like totally underneath him. And all he can think is holy crap wow because she's awesome, and so is this.

"We're going to win Regionals." She looks up at him and smiles again, but it's less stage-facey and more genuine. She leans up and kisses him again. "I know we are."

He mumbles something that's probably close to a sure, and then he's kissing her again and not really holding a lot back. She doesn't seem to mind because she's got both of her hands on his face, and she's seriously for real licking the roof of his mouth. And it's so hot.

"We're going to win," she says again, and he doesn't look at her this time because his brain is starting to malfunction, but she sounds really breathless and really hot. "It's going to be amazing."

"You're amazing." He's got enough brain function left to know that sweet-talking can only help him.

And it definitely does because she moves her hands around to his back and then lower, and then he feels her nails like scraping down at the bottom of his spine, and he closes his eyes really fast to get the best mental picture of his old mailman that he can. He knows it's stupid to be this fucking happy over just making out, but this is like a lot for them. And for real, fucking finally.

He kind of thinks she's going to take his shirt off, which is fine by him, but then she does him one even better. She sits up and kind pushes him a little so that she can move. For a second, he thinks she's finished, but then he stares in total freaking awe as she slips the hoodie and her undershirt over her head. And she's just in her bra and pants, and he makes himself think mailman, mailman, mailman.

She's back underneath him, and he's kissing her again before he has time to register much else. She's not being very shy, but even though he thinks she might go for a little more, he tells himself he's not going to push her. He's got like total free reign of her boobs right now, and even if it's over the bra, it's still Rachel's boobs. And she's almost half-naked, and that's never happened before. So he's seriously for real like amazed right now.

"When we win," she breaks his thoughts, and if he didn't have his mouth on her ear and one hand totally groping her, he might listen a little more closely, "it's going to be so…" she sighs a little bit, and he almost loses it, "good."

He doesn't know why she's so into talking about Regionals, but he figures music gets her hot, so he's not gonna like judge her or anything. All he's going to do right now is exactly what he's already doing. She's pushing up against him, and he can't take much of that, he knows. Grinding isn't really his best friend.

"Vocal Adrenaline won't know what hit them," she breathes out, moving her hips up against his. "We're going to be so much better."

And maybe it's the fact that he can't hold out much longer even with his mailman mind-picture, or maybe it's the fact that he suddenly figures out exactly what's going on. But it's him who stops it all and moves off of her, rolling onto his own back and trying really hard not to like come in his pants and embarrass himself even more.

"You know he's not there anymore, right?" He finally finds his voice, but he refuses to look at her. He knows she's staring at him, but he keeps his eyes fixed on the ceiling. "They've got a new lead."

And maybe Rachel's offended because he knows her well enough to see through her, but she gets pissed and like sits up and starts putting her clothes back on, which should really be like a crime or something. But he doesn't try to stop her. When she gets up to leave, though, he grabs her hand.

"C'mon, Rach, don't be pissed." He stares at her hard, trying to convince her.

"I'm not mad," she says quietly. But she leaves anyway, and he doesn't hear from her again until Monday at school.

Things change between them, though. He thinks they both start trying a whole lot harder. She cuts back on her lecturing, and he tries to do every little romantic thing he thinks she wants him to do. She lets him take her shirt off whenever he wants (well, you know, if they're like in private and stuff- she's not gonna like let him strip her in the middle of US History or anything). He tells her all kinds of sweet stuff, and she giggles and makes out with him a lot more. And it's all for real cool.

The next few weeks, though, are kind of insane. Rachel starts getting like really serious about their relationship and starts talking about things like college and distance and will you come to New York with me? It kind of freaks him out because he hasn't even thought that much about college, and New York might as well be China because he feels like they're both that far away and he has about as much chance of seeing one as he does the other. But Rachel is like… New York. She's not gonna be anything else, and she tells him that.

One day right before Christmas break, he sees her talking to Puck in the choir room, and even though he already told himself not to think about that crap at all, it really pisses him off to see her laugh at something that idiot's saying. He knows Puck, and he knows he's not that funny- at least not in a way that any girl would find amusing. He thinks a lot of his reaction has to do with the fact that last week Puck took Rachel home one day when Finn was out sick. And Rachel brought him soup that night and spent an hour talking about Puck and why he said he did what he did and why she thinks he did what he did. But when he asked her why she was so obsessed with Puck, she got mad and left. And they haven't talked about it since.

So it's really no wonder that seeing the two of them over by the piano laughing kind of makes him want to punch something.

He doesn't, though. And that night, instead of punching something, he asks Rachel if they can have sex. And she looks at him for a really long time and doesn't say anything. Then she just nods and says, "Okay," like it's the most normal thing in the world and like she hasn't spent the last seven months barely letting him do anything.

His mom's on a date, so his house is empty, and they've only got a half-day of school the next day (and it's also gonna be her birthday), so it's seriously the perfect opportunity. They go up to his room, and he totally doesn't believe it's real until she starts kissing him really slowly and whispering things in his ear, and he doesn't know how he's expected to get through any of this without just losing it right there.

He doesn't know what to do really, so he's glad when she takes the initiative and starts taking their clothes off- first his and then her own- until they're both in their underwear and nothing else. And he thinks she's probably for real the most beautiful girl on the planet. And he doesn't register much else. He doesn't think about how formal it all seems or how she's moving things along really quickly. He doesn't think about anything, really, except kissing her and touching her until she pulls away and takes a step backwards to sit on his bed. He joins her because he thinks it's an invitation and thinks that's probably the best thing to do.

He's a little bit surprised when she doesn't climb on top of him or lie down or anything else he thinks should be happening right now. Instead, she just looks at him and chews her lip, and he thinks she's probably nervous. She's got no reason to be nervous, though, because she's pretty much fucking perfect.

"Finn, I have to tell you something," she finally says, and her voice is much, much quieter than normal. He immediately starts worrying.

"What is it?"

She looks scared, and that makes him scared because he's only thinking the worst suddenly. He stares at her until she finally frowns and says, "I lied…"

Lied? He shakes his head. "About what?"

"I'm still a virgin." He just keeps staring at her, and she bites down on her lip. He totally doesn't even know what's happening right now. "I lied about Jesse… We never…" She shakes her head and looks down.

He can't believe this is for real.

She's a virgin. She didn't fuck that idiot. She really is his. He's so in love with this girl it's scary.

"I'm sorry," she says quietly, shaking her head just a little. "I don't even know why I lied… I'm really sorry."

"Rachel." She looks at him, and he shakes his head. "Fuck, I love you."

He thinks maybe it's the most honest thing he's ever said in his life, and right there in that moment, he means it way more than he knows how to express. And maybe a lot of that's down to the fact that she's like in less clothes than he's ever seen her in and also that she has agreed to (finally) have sex with him and even more so that he knows he gets all of her and no one else does… But he doesn't care. All he knows is that it's seriously the honest truth, and she must like it because she doesn't even say anything about his language.

"I love you, too," she says softly, looking right at him and leaning in just enough to kiss him really softly. "Are you mad at me?"

He wonders if she's like legitimately insane, but he just shakes his head and kisses her again. And then she's all smiles and finally moving into his lap.

"It's so much better this way," she says seriously. "With you."

And after that, everything's pretty much a blank. In his head, it's all totally awesome, but he's not stupid enough to think it's all that great for her. She looks sort of uncomfortable, and he knows it probably hurts, and the fact that he's like three times her size probably doesn't do much to help with the awkwardness. But she smiles at him and kisses him and swears she loves him a million times, and he thinks that's what really matters the most. They can work on the rest. And he definitely intends to.

He takes her home later, but before she gets out of his car, she hooks both hands behind his neck and pulls him over so that she can kiss him. "Finn," she says quietly, "I really do love you." He nods because he totally knows. She doesn't loosen up her grip on his neck, but she moves a little closer so she can bury her neck in it. "Thank you for waiting for me… This means everything… You and me, and nobody else, Finn. It's special." She's speaking slowly and almost sort of dazedly. Her voice is muffled because she's definitely like speaking into his skin. Then she finally lifts her head and looks at him right in the eye. "It was always supposed to be you and me."

He agrees with her. That's how it was supposed to be. But then it hits him for the first time that he has his own secret and that he didn't confess to his own lie. And now she thinks they just did all of this together for the first time ever, but flashes of Santana hit his mind, and he feels seriously sick. He can barely say anything when she kisses him and says goodbye. He just goes home and stares at the ceiling and wonders how the hell he's ever supposed to slip it into conversation now.

The next week or so is pretty good. They're out of school, and he spends like almost one-hundred percent of his time with Rachel. The only times they're really not together is when she starts freaking out about curfew and goes home to sleep. It might seem like overload, but they're having sex pretty often, and she's finally stopped wincing every time he tries to move. So all in all, he thinks it's pretty awesome. Every time they do it, though, he feels a little bit guilty knowing that he's lying to her about something that's pretty freaking huge.

Things go bad the day after Christmas.

They don't see each other for a couple of days because his mom's all insisting that he go see his grandparents for Christmas, and he goes because it's easier than arguing. Rachel stays in Lima and texts him nonstop because apparently being Jewish means she has nothing to distract her like presents and ham. He doesn't really mind a lot, but his mom starts getting kind of annoyed and tells him to put his phone up. So he does because his grandma is looking at him like she wants to slap him, and he knows she'd probably do it, too. But when he gets back to Lima that night and finally calls Rachel, she tells him that if he's going to ignore her all day he might as well just dump her. And obviously that's a little dramatic, but it's Rachel so he doesn't think a ton about it.

The next day, though, he goes over to her house, and she lets him go up to her room because her dads are at work and she's apparently not as mad as she was last night. They fool around a little bit, but she tells him she doesn't feel that great and doesn't want to when tries to take it further. It's the first time since they've been doing it that she just flat out says no, and he doesn't know what to think. He kind of knows that if he's pissed about it then that makes him an asshole, but he's also kinda pissed about it anyway. So they start doing that thing they always do whenever one of them (or both of them) is mad and won't admit it. She starts using really big words to annoy him on purpose, and he just gives one word answers and does exactly what she hates and calls passive-aggressive. And so they do that dance all day until he makes up a lie and says his mom needs him to help take down the Christmas decorations.

She calls him later, though, and tells him she doesn't want to fight. He doesn't, either, and they talk normally and don't try to piss each other off. It's a lot better. But then Rachel gets like super serious and tells him she doesn't ever want to lose him and that she's afraid of what's going to happen. And he doesn't know what she's talking about or when she thinks whatever's gonna happen.

"Finn, this means a lot to me." She's being super weird, and he doesn't know what the hell she's even saying. He just sits there and says nothing. It doesn't matter because Rachel will fill up pretty much any silence- that's pretty much a given. "You… This is all exactly how it's supposed to be."

And it's stuff like that that kind of creeps him out. He loves her and stuff, but sometimes she talks in this weird way that sort of makes him think she's pretending it's some kind of movie or something and not real life. She's really intense and dramatic like that, and sometimes it's cool but sometimes it scares the crap out of him.

"Aren't you glad we waited for each other?" He hears her talking and registers the fact that he needs to say something back. Probably something like sorry, I really didn't wait, but he knows he's not really going to say that. "It's just so special," she says dreamily. "All of it."

Instead of doing the right thing and telling her the truth, he just swallows and picks at a loose thread on his bedspread. "Yeah."

"Don't you think so?" This isn't really a question. If he doesn't agree with her, she'll possibly send someone to kill him. "Aren't you glad we get to experience everything together?"

"Yeah."

He doesn't know what else to say. He knows she's going to think he's pissed again because he's back to the one word answers, but he's not mad, he's just guilty. He can't tell her that, though.

"What's wrong?" She doesn't sound amused, and he imagines that she's in her room with that look on her face that she always gets right before she goes into lecture-mode. "I thought you felt the same way."

"I do," he says, and it's not a lie- he does. It's just that… everything else is sort of a lie. "Rachel, I do, I just…"

"You just what?" The dreamy tone is gone, and she's apparently called cut on her movie.

"I just kind of feel like I'm suffocating sometimes."

This is not the right thing to say to a girl ever. Not unless someone is literally holding a pillow over your head, and you need to text for help. Finn knows this. He knows it as soon as he says it, but he doesn't cover it up quickly enough. There's dead silence on the other end, and that scares him more than any of the semi-psychotic things that have come out of her mouth over the past few minutes.

Finally, "I'm suffocating you?" Her voice is tiny- so much different from her normal full voice. It makes him feel terrible, kind of like someone punched him in the gut. "Finn… I didn't mean to…" She sounds so pitiful, and he feels sick.

"Rachel…" He sighs and squeezes his eyes closed, trying to come up with the right thing to say. She beats him to it, though.

"I'm sorry," she says quietly. And then she just hangs up.

He stares at his phone for probably five minutes before he throws it across the room and falls backwards on his bed groaning. He doesn't know how he manages to screw everything up all the time. He didn't want to hurt her feelings- he didn't even mean to say most those things. He feels like the biggest asshole in the world. He is the biggest asshole in the world.

An hour later when he goes to her house to apologize, he sees that one of the cars is missing and that the light's out in her window. He tries to call her, but it goes straight to voicemail. He doesn't know where she is, but he sort of wants to drive around town until he finds her. Another part of hi is scared where he'll find her, though, so he just goes home, calls her voicemail, and leaves her a long message.

He wakes up around ten the next morning because she's crawling into bed with him. His mom must have let her in, and she just smiles at him and kisses his cheek before she lays down and closes her eyes.

He tries to be a really perfect kind of boyfriend after that, and when they get back to school, he does everything he knows she loves. He holds her hand and lets her fix his clothes when they're wrinkled. He tries her food when she offers it to him even though he knows it sucks and that he's pretty much like eating tree bark or something. But he treats her exactly like she wants to be treated, and she pays him back by not nagging at him so much about their relationship and their future and all that stuff. Things kind of start feeling really grownup and real. It's crazy.

One day, he's heading to his car to grab his bag before basketball practice, and he sees Puck just leaned up against the side of his truck. He's not saying anything or doing anything. He kind of looks like he's waiting for somebody, and Finn guesses it's probably Santana since they're obviously still fucking each other. But Puck looks… weird. He's kind of been weird ever since he's been out of juvie. Finn hasn't like talked to him or anything, just a few words here and there in glee and that kind of thing. But he knows something's up. Puck's too quiet, and he's laying too low. He's not trying to get into any kind of trouble or cause any kind of drama, and it's just weird.

Now, though, he sort of looks depressed. There's a really big part of Finn that wants to walk over and ask him what's going on and just go back to being best friends again. He actually really misses that, even if he's never gonna like admit it or anything. He's got other friends- on basketball, in glee… He's got friends, and a lot of them are even good friends. But it sucks not having a best friend. Rachel's the closest thing he's got, but it's easier for her to call him her best friend than it is the other way around. Because Rachel's never had a best friend. She doesn't even have any real friends, so she doesn't know the difference. Finn knows the difference, though, and he misses it. None of his other friends know him like Puck does, and none of them have the back story that they've got- like that time they tried to make a stink bomb in the microwave and it ended up exploding and making his mom so mad that she made them spend an entire week cleaning every inch of the house, inside and out. Or that time that they convinced Puck's little sister that she was an alien and had been kidnapped for experimental and observational purposes and that her real family lived in an entirely different galaxy. Those are the kind of things that he doesn't have with anyone else and isn't going to get.

And it kind of makes him sad.

He goes to basketball practice without saying anything, but he spends the whole time wondering what's going on that's got him acting like that. Something's happening at home, and Finn can tell. He just doesn't feel like he has a right to ask anymore.

Rachel breaks up with him three weeks into the new semester.

She does it at school, right before lunch. She asks him to go to the choir room with her, and he does because there are really rare occasions where she'll actually make out with him at school, and he definitely thinks this is one of those times. It's not, though. She doesn't sit down, she just stands there beside the piano and tells him that she feels like he's hiding something and that it's eating away at her. Then she looks up and asks him if he is hiding something, and he just says nothing. He can't make himself admit it because he's too scared of being the asshole.

So he just doesn't say anything.

And then Rachel just looks sad and shakes her head. "I really love you, Finn. But it's too much…"

She doesn't cry or do anything crazy dramatic like he would have imagined. She just leaves him standing there, and he knows she's totally just dumped him in the middle of the school day like it's totally normal. But he's shocked because he doesn't know what's going on and doesn't know where it's coming from. It seems like it's out of nowhere, and he doesn't really think he's done anything to give away the fact that he's hiding something… But maybe he has.

This is a really crappy way for her to end the script.

He sees her get into Puck's truck that afternoon, and he doesn't know which one he's going to miss more.

… … ….