Rachel finds Shelby alone in the Vocal Adrenaline change room. Having witnessed the epic performance from the rival club and her ex-boyfriend Rachel needed her mom, even though subconsciously she knew going to see her would break her heart again.
"Rachel?" Shelby asks when she sees her daughter standing in the room.
"I just wanted to let you know that we beat you today. You guys were good but you and I both know that Jesse doesn't have much heart." Rachel says, believing the words coming from her lips.
Shelby stands there not defending the boy she looks upon as a son and lets Rachel continue.
Rachel finishes the conversation with her mother and quickly leaves the room before Vocal Adrenaline can find her.
There are three weeks left of school before summer holidays, it's been almost 3 months since regionals when Rachel receives a letter in the mail. She doesn't recognize the writing and quickly tears open the envelope.
I know I shouldn't be sending this to you as it violates the contract I have with your fathers but there is something you should know. You told me at regionals that Jesse doesn't have much heart. The truth is Jesse has more heart than anyone I have ever met. I know you probably don't want to believe this, but it's true.
Jesse does have a heart and a great capacity to love. He hides this though because he has been taught that having a heart, having feelings only makes you hurt. And though he denies it he is hurting right now because what he had to do crushed his heart.
He will kill me for telling you this, but I couldn't bear to see him fake a smile anymore. Even though it was me who taught him how to hold the perfect show face. And I thought that if you loved Jesse the way it looked like you did you should know the truth of what he did.
Jesse truly fell in love with you Rachel. He fell in so deep that he wanted to give up all that he had worked for just to stay with you. He wanted to protect you from any hurt that our meeting would cause. He point blank told me that I needed to be sure I wanted you in my life because he didn't want to see the crushed look on your face if I didn't want you. He told me that if I hurt you he would leave, but I was selfish and created this whole mess. I wanted to meet you so badly that I disregarded everything – your feelings and Jesse's feelings – and in doing so I hurt two people whom I love.
When Jesse confronted my about this he once again made his threat to leave but by that point it was to late for him leave so he decided that he would give up the only thing in his life that he loved as much as performing – you. He told me what he did and though I was angry, when he explained why I realized that Jesse loves both of us. He said that he did it so you would only hate him and not both of us. He said he did it so that one day you and I would maybe have a chance at having a relationship. He said that he loved you so much that he would rather see you with someone else and have a relationship with me, than have you resent us both for my selfish manipulations.
So I am sorry for my part in this Rachel and I hope that one day you can forgive me for my selfish ways. I also hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive Jesse.
Enclosed are three tickets to Nationals, I hope that you come.
Rachel re-reads the letter from her mother, this time without tears in her eyes. She can't believe what she has read. She wanted so much to blame Jesse for all that happened and that is what he wanted. Reading it once more Rachel realizes that he did love her and that his comment before he smashed the egg on her head held some truth. In that moment Rachel forgives Jesse, now all she needs to do is see him. Looking own at the tickets in her hand she knows who to call.
Rachel sits next to Quinn as they wait for the show to start; Puck is off buying some snacks. Rachel had invited the two along so that they might get a chance to see their daughter. When she told them who sent the tickets Puck agreed instantly, Quinn still had her doubts about seeing the baby she gave up, but came so that she would have no regrets about missing this opportunity – even if she didn't take it. Neither of them knows the real reason for Rachel being at Nationals. She didn't want to tell them for the simple fact that they would most likely try to talk her out of what she was about to do.
The lights dim as Puck returns to his seat and the show gets underway. The three teens have to admit that facing against any of these teams would have meant a definite loss for them. The teams that made it to nationals were there because they were the best and no one can deny that Vocal Adrenaline were the best. This time their performance was outstanding. They hit every note and every step with precision and the one thing that surprised Quinn and Puck is how much emotion and seeming joy each member is displaying. The three teens sit through the entire show and then join the crowd in the foyer during the break, allowing the judges to decide the winner.
Rachel, Quinn and Puck find an empty table and grab it. Rachel is looking through the crowd, her head back and forth.
"Berry what the hell are you doing?" Puck asks.
"Looking for Shelby." Rachel lies, she really looking for Jesse. She needs to see him, needs to tell him that she forgives him.
"Well I don't know why you're looking over there when clearly she is standing by the refreshment table." Quinn points out and the three teens turn their head.
The watch Shelby turn away and see her holding tiny bundle in her arms. Puck reaches for Quinn's hand and gives it a squeeze; Quinn in turn gives him a watery smile. Shelby at this point sees Rachel and gives her a wave. He gaze then falls on her two guests. It was as Shelby hoped, that Rachel would bring Quinn and Puck. Shelby doesn't move, she's waiting for an invitation to join the group; she knows that intruding will do more harm than good.
"Do you want me to call her over?" Rachel asks and silently Puck and Quinn nod.
Rachel motions with her hand for Shelby to join them, she meets her mother half way to the table.
"Rachel, hi. I'm glad you came." Shelby says. "I need you to know that what I told you was true. I'm sorry and I know that Jesse is sorry. He does love you."
"I needed to come. I needed to thank you and I need to speak with Jesse." Rachel responds.
Before they reach the table Shelby places an arm on Rachel's shoulder, stopping the girl.
"Rachel I know I said that we should just admire each other from afar, but I don't want that anymore. Having Beth I realized that I shouldn't have pushed you away and that I do want to get to know you. I know it will be strange but do you think you would be willing to try again. Not as mother and daughter right away, but maybe as two people learning from each other?"
"I'd like that." Rachel says with a smile. "Now I think there are two people that want to meet..."
Shelby follows Rachel to the table and greets Puck and Quinn. Rachel can sense that all three are nervous and she decides that she will break the tension.
"So what is this little bundle of joy's name?"
"Beth, well Elizabeth Quinn Corcoran." Shelby answers.
Hearing the name Quinn lets out a sob. Immediately Puck squeezes her hand.
"You named her after me?" Quinn asks.
"I thought she needed something from both her parents." Shelby says and Puck smiles at the acknowledgement of his role in name the baby.
"Can I hold her?" Puck asks, and Shelby nods handing over the child.
Quinn leans over and looks at her daughter for the first time in 3 months. She knows that in that moment she made the right decision for both of them. Puck seeing Quinn knows that this was the right decision. He runs finger along the baby's cheek and smiles as the little girl opens her green eyes.
The scene makes Rachel smile and Shelby tear up. She knows that this is the perfect moment to make her request.
"Quinn I was wondering, well hoping… would like to be Beth's godmother?"
Quinn draws her gaze from her daughter and stares at Shelby, who is giving her a smile.
"I would love that." Quinn responds.
"Puck I would have asked you to be godfather, but not being Christian sort of stops that. However I want you to be part of Beth's life."
"Thank you Shelby, I'd like that." Puck says looking back as the small bundle in his arms.
The three teens and the teacher sit around and talk for a few more minutes before Shelby gets a text letting her know that the results are about to be announced. Shelby asks if it is ok to leave Beth with Puck and Quinn and they nod. Before leaving she tells them to meet her in the foyer because she wants to take them all to dinner.
Rachel is the only one who returns to the auditorium to see the results. Puck and Quinn don't want to take the baby into the loud room. Standing at the back Rachel watches all the teams gather on the stage with their respective coaches. Her eyes seek out the royal blue of Vocal Adrenaline. She frowns at the look on Jesse's face, in this light she see the sharp lines, the tired eyes but what really gets her is the obvious show face and how he is holding himself – separate and alone.
The top three teams are announced and the stage clears of the other teams, leaving Vocal Adrenaline, a team from Florida and the other from Washington. The team from Florida is given third place. Rachel holds her breath as the final two teams wait to hear the winner. When the judge announces that Vocal Adrenaline is once again the national champions the auditorium explodes in cheers. Rachel from her position jumps up and down in excitement and yells her approval.
The team on the stage is also celebrating; well almost all of them are celebrating. Rachel sees Jesse reluctantly hug Shelby, but it seems that the rest of his teammates ignore him. Rachel watches as Jesse exits the stage. She takes off towards the backstage area to see if she can catch him.
She stops when she sees Jesse leaning against the wall just outside his dressing room. He has already changed out of his costume and into normal clothes. His head is bowed and his normal self-assured posture is bent and sad. Rachel slowly walks over and stops just before getting to him. He raises his head and his eyes widen in shock.
"Rachel? What – what are you doing here?" He asks.
"I came to see the competition." She answers and Jesse's head falls.
"That's not all. I came to see if you had a heart."
"What?" Jesse asks confused at the response.
"I made a claim after regionals that you didn't have much heart, but someone told me that I was wrong. That you do have a heart you just hide it away, protecting yourself. I think I knew this I was just so angry at the time that I didn't want to admit it." Rachel tells Jesse honestly.
Jesse grabs Rachel's hand and her eyes snap up to his. "I have never shown my heart to anyone Rachel. You were the first, you made me feel something that scared me and because I knew what was going to happen I had to hide it away so that I wouldn't be hurt more than I could stand. But that didn't work; I fell in love with you. And I know you can't forgive me, I can't even forgive myself for doing what I did, but I need you to know how sorry I am and that I am in love with you."
Rachel steps forward and hugs Jesse to her. What he told her is what she needed to hear.
"I do forgive you Jesse. I found out why you did what you did and I know that you did it out of love. I need you in my life Jesse, you're the only one who has ever gotten me and I never stopped being in love with you." Rachel whispers into his chest.
"Rachel you have my heart and just know that I will do what I can to show you that, even if I am on the other side of the country."
With this Jesse threads his hands through Rachel's hair and pulls her in for a bruising kiss. The two of them lose themselves in the sensations their lips are creating. They pull back after a few moments and just stand in a quiet embrace.
"Would you like to come to dinner tonight? Shelby offered to take us all out and I want you to come." Rachel asks.
"I would love to." Jesse answers, dropping a kiss to the top of Rachel's head.
Jesse wraps his arm around Rachel's shoulder and leads her out of the backstage hallway. Rachel leans into Jesse's embrace and thinks that Shelby was right Jesse does have more heart than people give him credit for.
This was sort of hastily written out after re-watching Journey and getting mad at the line about Jesse not having much heart. Well more at the fact of Rachel saying "You and I both know..." I think that Shelby just didn't have time to defend Jesse/the writers are dumb and couldn't have her redeem Jesse just like that. But if anyone knows how much of a heart Jesse has it would be Shelby and I think that was something the show missed out on.
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