Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot to this story and my OCs. The rest all belongs to Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, the various songwriters, and to the writers of any joke that may not be mine.

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"Well, then," Jack said after a respectable amount of silence had passed, "I think we should look to the future."

Rachel noticed that he hadn't moved his hand from hers.

"That's the problem," she admitted. "That could've been my last chance."

Jack titled his head.

"I don't have any more auditions lined up," she continued. "That show was supposed to be my ticket to the top. To get my name out there."

Jack nodded. "I understand."

"No, I don't think you do," Rachel countered. "I've been going to every open audition I can find, I've shown all the things I can do. How I'm able to cry on command, how I have perfect pitch, all of the things you already about. But, I always get the same thing: 'You're too sheltered'. 'Not enough experience'. 'You're just not what we're looking for'."

"I find that last one hard to believe," Jack interjected.

"I have thrown myself into this my whole life, preparing for it, just waiting for my turn at stardom," Rachel continued, almost ignoring his compliment. "Shouldn't it be easier for someone as talented as me?"

"Of course it should," Jack said. "Look at me. I've counted all of the audition I've been to in the last year since I got out of American Musical and Dramatic Academy."

He pulled his hand away from hers reached into his jacket pocket and withdrew a small notebook, tabs sticking out of the side, indicating what was what. Rachel opened it to discover that he still retained the perfect penmanship he had had in high school. She flipped through the pages of florid song lyrics, each imperfect line scratched out until she reached the audition section of the book.

The scratch marks on these pages indicated that they hadn't gone as well. She flipped through what had to be 20 pages, finally reaching the end of the section, Next to Normal was untouched, but so was bare: A Pop Opera, though no one used the whole title these days.

"I haven't had a chance to take my aggression out on the Next to Normal page," Jack said, his supposed omniscience making another appearance.

Rachel turned the bare page to discover that it was the end of the section.

"I, like you, am in a similar boat," he said as she slipped the book back to him. "But, I don't want to talk about that."

Rachel sipped her tea. "What do you want to talk about?"

"Anything, but the possibility of failure," Jack said. "So, is Gigantor anywhere in the city?"

Rachel placed her cup back on the table. "Finn and I called it off shortly after graduation. We've decided that we'd remain friends, but nothing else."

Jack smiled; this could've been just what he wanted to hear. If it was, he was hiding it well.

"You're not seeing anyone?" Rachel asked.

"No," Jack said. "I've dangled the carrot out on the line, but I haven't gotten any bites."

So they were both alone, no star-making turn, and running on their last legs theatrically. Rachel wiped her nose with a nearby napkin. She did have to curse the fact that Shelby had given her the drippy nose effect whenever she tried to hold back tears.

"I didn't mean to bring you down," Jack said.

"No, no, you didn't do anything of the kind," Rachel quickly amended.

"Yes, I did," Jack said. "Let's get out of here."

Jack hopped out of his seat, offering her his hand. Rachel didn't see the harm in taking her oldest friend's hand, springing to her feet and following him out of the coffee shop.

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Rachel was only a little surprised when Jack pulled her up to the Rhodes-Murrow Theatre. He reached into his pocket, pulling out a golden key and placing it on the heavy metal locks wrapped around the handles. Jack forced the door open and waved her into the lobby.

"I thought it was closed for the season," Rachel said.

"Wilson and Mom are taking their second honeymoon or third honeymoon; I wasn't really paying attention to them. Old people making out makes me-" he squirmed. "They gave me the keys to the theatre and wanted me to watch it while they were out of town."

Jack opened the main door to the auditorium.

"I figured that this would be the best for both us," Jack said. "I've always found that an empty auditorium was the best place to regroup after a trying day."

Rachel watched Jack spring up one of the walls of the auditorium, stopping when he hit the lightning box.

'He's certainly more nimble than he was in high school,' Rachel noted, watching Jack's legs dangle precariously over the floor. 'He would've made a wonderful Gabe.'

Jack slipped out of the box, the lights hitting the stage. He completed the landing, Rachel applauding his agility.

"Can you believe the producers of Barnum told me I didn't have what it takes," he said in his usual self-aggrandizing manner.

"They don't know what they're missing," Rachel said.

"Just like Franklin," Jack returned reassuringly.

Rachel smiled at him as he turned his attention to the stage. He bounded onto the stage, plopping down on the piano stool.

"Toss me a song," he commanded. "Something bouncy, something fun."

'Nothing dark and cathartic,' Rachel mused. 'This is new. And kind of exciting.'

Rachel joined him on the stage, his fingers moving across the piano.

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By the time they exited the theatre, it was nightfall. Rachel now felt better than she had in days. The build up to callbacks had driven her crazy and the sudden disappointment of being rejected yet again had removed that feeling of happiness and optimism she always carried with herself. Now, she was walking down the streets of New York, the Mecca of the Theatre World, with a handsome escort.

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Jack, himself, was surprised when Rachel hooked his arm. He still had a prescription against physical contact that took him by surprise, but he enjoyed it from time to time when it was the right person. And, in New York, the Vessel of the Great White Way, with a beautiful woman on his arm made him feel like he belonged there at last.

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They reached the outside of Jack's apartment building, which, by coincidence, was only a block away from Rachel's apartment. He stopped on the stairway.

"Do you want to come up?" he asked. "Have a nightcap?"

"Since when do you drink?" Rachel inquired.

"Since my father and Lisa's wedding," Jack replied.

Rachel nodded, remembering the first time she had seen Jack drink or be drunk was at the wedding of his father, Kristopher, and Noah's mother, Lisa. The words he screamed at Noah made the wedding even more memorable than when Kristopher stole the thunder from New Directions and sang "So Close" with his wife.

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Jack lay prostrate on the pool table outside of the rented hall. His body contorted in the lamp lights shining on him. He would've stayed there all night if Rachel hadn't seen him punch a bartender in the throat and steal a bottle of liquor. She had searched for him for the last half hour, hoping not to alert his father of his son's actions.

"I still don't see why I have to be the one who handles this?" Noah asked as Rachel pushed the bigger Jew toward his fallen stepbrother.

"You're his family now," Rachel said sternly. "And family's help each other. Do you want to ruin the happiest day of your mother's life?"

Rachel had long ago learned that Jewish guilt didn't work on Deists, but it would always work on someone like Noah. Some nights she prayed he would find a nice Catholic girl to balance out the guilt trips from both sides of the Covenant.

"C'mon, Stonehenge, on your feet," Noah commanded, hoisting Jack upright.

"You," the drunken drama king bellowed. "You may have slept with my mother and made me your brother, but I will never call you call you FATHER!"

Jack dropped again, throwing up on the ground.

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"What're you laughing at?" he asked, suddenly in her face.

Rachel hopped back, surprised at his speed. Well, not really, he just had to warn people before he did stuff like that.

"I'm just remembering what a terrible drunk you are," she confessed.

"Yeah," Jack said. "Well, I don't drink that much anymore. When you have my family's history with alcohol and with bum tickers, you watch yourself."

Rachel nodded.

"So, you coming with me, or am I going to have to kidnap you?" he asked, smiling arrogantly.

"I'd be honored," Rachel said, joining him on the stairway. "You don't have anything potentially lethal upstairs."

"Besides all my guns?" he asked. "No. I do not. Project Falcon taught me not to keep uranium in my living quarters."

"I still have nightmares about turning green when the lights go out," she reminisced.

"I was against it because it ruined those clever games of whoever smelt it, dealt it," he said, leading her to the elevator.

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Jack opened the front door of his apartment and turned on the lights. Rachel was surprised at the lack of opulence in her friend's home. She had expected some so grandiose it would be called tacky by anyone except for herself and Kurt.

Instead she found it was a pretty simple setup, the only indication that a bachelor theatre actor resided was the Steinway piano near the balcony. The only thing that showed Jack's eccentricities was the Storm Trooper suit of armor that was the same size as he was.

Jack crossed over to the couch, diving onto it, landing front first in front of the arm. Next to the arm was the table that housed the home phone and the answering machine. He checked the machine, two calls from Noah's younger sister, Sarah, telling him how much she loved going to Vassar and that she would be in town in a few days to visit him. The third call was from April and her husband, Wilson Murrow, telling him they were going to be back in a couple of days and needed him to watch the theater until. The final was Manfred Fellows, the casting director for bare, confirming that he was on the list for the audition tomorrow.

Those words crushed Rachel. Since he mentioned it the audition he had, and the staggering defeat at Next to Normal, she had prayed this was an open audition. Mr. Fellows had dashed those dreams just as Mr. Franklin had done earlier that day.

Still she continued to watch Jack as he scribbled the information onto a nearby table, his back muscles moving with his arms as he wrote. She had thought his black shirt was loose and flappy, but there was something about it now that fascinated her. He whipped over and didn't make the situation as the shirt rode up on him, exposing a trace glimpse of his abs.

'The biceps were just the tip of the iceberg,' she marveled, biting her lower lip.

He fixed his shirt and used his momentum to throw himself over the side of the couch, landing on the ground.

"Now, about that drink," he said, snapping her out of her little fantasy of what he looked like in the white boxers Gabe wore in his first scenes in Next to Normal.

'Bad Rachel!' she scolded herself. 'Mind out of the gutter!'

"Pick your poison," he called out, unscrewing the gin bottle.

"I'll have a gin and tonic," Rachel said.

"Thank God," Jack drawled. "I thought you were going to ask for a cosmopolitan."

"Do you have something against that drink?"

"Certainly not, I find that it helps to know all sorts of drinks when you hobnob in the theatre circles."

"Not all gay men drink cosmopolitans," Rachel drawled.

"I'm aware," Jack said. "I got a black eye from suggesting the drink to Jonathan Groff."

Rachel's eyes went wide. "You actually talked to him!"

"Oh yeah, nice guy. Mean left hook."

"I'm impressed," Rachel said. "The closest I've ever gotten to being assaulted by a celebrity was when Meryl Streep came to NYU and thought I asked too many questions and had security throw me out."

"My story's better," Jack said, sipping his drink.

And that was how it was for the next few hours, each one telling the other stories about their time in college, the ups and downs of looking for work in theatre, and their love lives, or lack thereof.

"Oh my God," Rachel said, looking over Jack's shoulder. "It's almost midnight. You have that audition tomorrow."

"Don't worry," he said. "I've powered through these sorts of things on less sleep than that."

Rachel stood up, the effects of her drink long since passed, and moved toward the door.

"Rachel," Jack said. "Do you want to come down to the audition tomorrow? It'd be nice to have a friendly face in the audience. I think I've pissed off a lot of the people with whom I'm trying out."

Rachel studied her friend, his handsome face shining in the lamplight. Despite his lack of emotion, Rachel could tell he needed this. Jack was one of those people that required great scrutiny to really understand his body language. And, who knows, she could make a good impression on Mr. Fellows. He was one of the biggest casting directors in New York, maybe speaking to him would be the foot in the door she needed.

"Yes," she answered. "Yes, I will go with you."

"Great," he said. "I'll walk you home."

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Jack was on the doorstep of her apartment the following morning, his ever loyal satchel slung over his right shoulder and two plastic cups of Earl Grey tea in his hands. Rachel bounded down the steps and grabbed the nearest cup.

"Since when do you start using reusable cups?" she asked.

"Since I learned how annoying actors in New York really are," he replied. "Mom tried to warn me, but I didn't listen."

Naturally, Jack didn't let the progressive sensibilities, or as he termed it, psycho fascism masked as concern for the world, of actors change his routine or behaviors. The two sauntered off to the theater, discussing the possible roles he could play in the show.

"You'd make the perfect Peter," Rachel said. "Considering that 'Role of a Lifetime' is tailor made for your voice."

Jack bit his lip. "I don't know. He's a great character and a lead part, but I've always liked the role of Jason more. He's complex, conflicted, and myriad of other 'C' words that, if I hadn't lost my thesaurus last week, I would use."

"You lost your thesaurus?"

"Yep. I tossed it at Puck last week and it hit the fireplace," he said, rounding the corner.

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They arrived at the theater ahead of time, managing to find Rachel the right seat to watch the audition.

"Are you sure you don't want me further from the stage?" she asked.

"No," Jack said. "I want you to see everything, and, by some miracle, I get something wrong, I'll need your critique of the situation."

"Understood," Rachel said.

Jack nodded and headed for the lobby of the theater.

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Rachel sat in the seat, watching the stage intently. The actors were good, though Jack's natural stage presence and ability as a liar made the competition less than stiff. The readings were completed for the guys, now all that was left was the music.

She sat through various renditions of "Role of a Lifetime" from this very show, "One Song Glory" from Rent, "All That's Known" from Spring Awakenings, and "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd. All the men were decent, some were even good, but there was something lacking in their singing. The same could be said for their reading. There was one man in the group of the young actors that stood out, he was almost tailor made for the role of Peter. He even looked like Matt Doyle.

This left Rachel wondering what Jack had up his sleeve for his audition. He had made through the book reading without any trouble, naturally, but with just one person who showed any real competition was he going to get arrogant?

Jack emerged on the stage, dressed as Peter Allen in the final moments of The Boy from Oz.

"What've you got for me this time, Harmon?" Mr. Fellows asked.

Rachel wasn't sure if it was a good thing the casting director seemed to really recognize Jack, given his history of terrible first impressions.

"This time around, I have a special treat," Jack declared. "I'll be singing "Once Before I Go" from The Boy from Oz."

Jack signaled the pianist, who began to play.

"Once before I go," Jack sang, a grim smile forming on his lips, "I want you to know that I would do it all again."

He turned to Rachel, her gaze never left him as he moved across the stage.

"I'm sure I'd make the same mistakes," he beamed, "but we could make it through the pains and joys and aches we knew back then. I'd do it all; I'd do it all again-"

Jack switched positions on the piano, facing the on-looking actors and the casting director.

"Before I go, I want you to know," he sang to them, "that I look back with no regrets and when our luck was wearing thin and we were down and out and still came back to win against all bets. Now when I look back, I still have no regrets-"

Jack stood up, his voice stronger than ever.

"And it's so hard to say good-byes, when there's so much that's left unspoken in your eyes," he nodded at the truth behind those words. "But unless I spread my wings again, I'm afraid I'll never soar, so hang on to the memories, and hold me close once more-"

He seemed to weaken for a moment, a showing of the character's vulnerability.

"Once more," Jack continued, his voice regaining its strength, "just once before I go, I want you to know," he confessed, "that I have loved you all along. And even when we're far apart, I only need to feel you're living in my heart, and I'll be strong."

A guitar sang out from the orchestra, as if it were the only instrument in the pit to represent the man on the stage.

"I love you just the way," he affirmed, shooting Rachel a wink, "I've loved you all along-"

The music began to sink a little before Jack pushed off of the piano.

"And it's so hard to say good-byes," Jack proclaimed, "when there's so much that's left unspoken in your eyes. But unless I spread my wings again, I'm afraid I'll never soar, so kiss me for the last time, and hold me close once more-"

The orchestra began to swell as Jack sang with gusto, his heart on his sleeve for the crowd.

"Once more, just once before I go, I want you to know that I have loved you all along. And even when we're far apart, I only need to feel you're living in my heart, and I'll be strong."

Jack took a deep breath, his smile shining in the lights

"You are the light that shines on me," he sang, the big finale over the hill, "you always were and you'll always be. So I had to let you know just this once, just this once before I go!"

Jack held that last note for almost a minute before throwing down his arms and the lights went out. Jack took a bow, gathered his sheet music, and left the stage.

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Rachel threw her arms around Jack as he laughed triumphantly.

"I take it you enjoyed that?" he asked rhetorically.

"What do you think?" she countered. "Are you sticking around for the girls?"

"Certainly," Jack said. "Since you stuck around for my audition, I figured I'd stick around for yours."

Rachel opened her mouth, but no words came out. What had he just said?

"What did you do?" she finally whispered fiercely.

"Nothing," Jack said. "As it turns out, one of the girls who was auditioning for Ivy got sick and I talked to Mr. Fellows. I told him that you were a scholarship student at NYU, talented as hell, and absolutely beautiful. That last one really works for the few straight casting directors in the business."

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Now, Constant Reader, what Jack said was half-true, he had, in fact, talked to Mr. Fellows but only before taking care of something.

"Hello, Evelyn," he said to the talentless prima donna standing before him.

Evelyn Rauch, the daughter of Peter Rauch, the billionaire owner of the Rauch Hotel Chain, was a beautiful young woman. Unfortunately, that was all she was. She had an IQ lower than the sperm count of nuclear power plant employee and the attitude that seemed to make Sue Sylvester seem like a selfless, loving demon from hell. Needless to say, Jack didn't like her. She was what he had to get rid of to get Rachel into this audition.

"Would you like some coffee?" he inquired.

"I don't drink coffee," she said, her eyes droopy, as if she had been up all night filming another sex tape.

"I was talking about regular coffee," he pressed. "I meant Irish coffee."

Evelyn's eyes widened.

"Top me off," she said.

"I bet that's what he said," Jack growled under his breath.

He walked over to the coffee pot, making sure his upper body hid what he was planning. He opened up his hip flask, sniffing its contents. A laxative-laced drink would put her out long enough to miss the whole audition that her daddy had gotten her.

Jack turned and handed her the cup.

"Down the hatch," he declared wickedly.

Evelyn downed the drink, stepping forward and suddenly realizing that she had to use the restroom. Jack laughed as she raced out of the room, trying her best to hold it in.

"Turbo-lax!" he said, laughing. "It's my new prank tool."

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"But, I didn't even bring my sheet music," Rachel protested. He had dropped this on her out of nowhere.

"What happened to the girl that can pull a ballad out of thin air?" Jack asked.

"I'm still that girl," Rachel argued.

"I suggest you show me that, because I don't believe that," he declared.

'Arrogant little,' Rachel's inner voice snarled. 'Let's show him what we can do.'

"I think I have a song," she said, whispering something in his ear.

Jack laughed and reached into his satchel, withdrawing the very song she asked for. In addition he had revealed that he had brought managed to pilfer some wardrobe from the costume room at his mother's theater.

"You planned all of this, didn't you?" she asked.

"Most of it," he confessed. "I've actually been improvising for much of the day."

"You improvise now?"

"Shocking, huh? I took several improvisational classes at ADM. Now, get up on that stage and stop all those no talents from getting a part you're meant to play."

Rachel's expression morphed into a determined scowl, she wanted this and when Rachel Berry wanted something, she got it.

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Jack took a seat in the third row of the auditorium, taking in the sight of the girls doing their book readings. As he expected, Rachel performed beautifully and seemed to be head and shoulders above all of them.

'Only natural,' he mused to himself. 'She's almost as good as I am.'

Still, he was on the edge of his seat over what she was going to do with the song section of the audition.

'Why should I be so nervous?' he thought. 'It's a great song and it can show the Fellows what she can do.'

There was something digging at him.

'Rachel in tight leather pole-dancing is certainly appealing,' he thought. 'Unprofessional, discourteous hormones!' he scolded, crossing his legs.

He checked his watch one more time, only be blown backwards when the guitar in the orchestra pit started playing. He looked up to see Rachel doing the cock of the walk strut he had seen from her before. She had changed into the outfit he had selected. It was almost as if they had stepped into a time machine and were back at McKinley as Rachel stepped fully into the spotlight in an outfit reminiscent of what she wore when she had her Britney Spears makeover, the skirt replaced by tight black pants.

"What's the time?" Rachel sang, checking her watch. "Well, it's gotta be close to midnight," she dropped to the front of the stage, her eyebrows dancing suggestively. "My body's talking to me, it says, 'Time for danger'"

She leapt to her feet, her abdominal muscles were in even more pristine condition that Jack remembered.

"It says 'I wanna commit a crime,'" she professed confidently, "'wanna be the cause of a fight, wanna put on a tight skirt and flirt with a stranger.'"

Rachel stopped by the center stage steps, her hips moving to the music. Jack slouched; this was not what he expected.

"I've had a knack from way back at breaking the rules once I learn the games. Get up - life's too quick-I know someplace sick where this chick'll dance in the flames."

She fell back on the steps, catching herself before she did any real damage, her body convulsing in an inappropriate manner.

"We don't need any money," she stood up, running her finger across one of the boy's jaw, waving said finger as she walked with purpose. "I always get in for free. You can get in too if you get in with me."

She popped up behind Jack, running her hands down his chest. She was faster too. Her ninja powers had certainly improved with time as well.

"Let's go out tonight!" she exclaimed, swinging her small body over the chairs and landing in his lap. "I have to go out tonight!" she directed the next words to him. "You wanna play? Let's run away, we won't be back before its Christmas day."

She leapt out of the chair, looking back at Jack, whose eyes were now as wide as saucers.

"Take me out tonight!" she sang.

Rachel turned back again, caressing Jack's cheek.

"Meow!"

Jack's body finally returned control to his brain as he exhaled and nearly choked on the air. What was she trying to do to him?

"When I get a wink from the doorman, do you know how lucky you'll be," she asked, racing up the steps, her focus now on Mr. Fellows, who was scribbling away on his notepad, "that you're on line with the feline of Avenue B?"

She leapt into the air, landing safely on her feet, spinning around and dropping to the ground in a manner almost reminiscent of Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.

"Let's go out tonight! I have to go out tonight! You wanna prowl, be my night owl? Well, take my hand we're gonna howl out tonight."

The music slowed as Rachel stood up. Jack could see the expression on her face; it was one of a woman on her last legs and not caring of the consequences.

"In the evening I've got to roam, can't sleep in the city of neon and chrome," she confessed. "Feels too damn much like home when the Spanish babies cry."

She moved one foot in front of her body, preparing for her next action.

"So let's find a bar," she sang in an almost ironic manner, "so dark we forget who we are, and all the scars from the nevers and maybes die!"

Rachel held that note and began to dance again, her whole body now working to get a part, anything in this show.

"Let's go out tonight!" she exclaimed, moving toward the edge of the stage. "Have to go out tonight!" She threw herself against the wall. "You're sweet, wanna hit the street," she questioned, her eyes back on Jack, "wanna wail at the moon like a cat in heat?"

Rachel darted to the center of the stage.

"Just take me out tonight!" she proclaimed. "Please take me out tonight! Don't forsake me - out tonight! I'll let you make me - out tonight! Tonight - tonight – tonight!"

The lights went down on her and Jack had to restrain himself from applauding like a madman. The others applauded politely and the next person took to the stage when the lights came back up.

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Jack was jolted awake by a knock at his door. He hopped off of the couch, where he had been nodding off while reading the latest Christopher Paloni novel. Jack's bare feet hit the hardwood floor by the door, causing him to open the door and hop back onto the rug.

"I'm coming in," Rachel said from behind the door.

"Feel free," he said.

'I hope this isn't awkward,' she thought, stepping into the apartment.

Sure enough, though through fault of his own, Jack was making the situation more awkward as he finished buttoning up his shirt. Things had been weird between the two from the moment they left the theater that day.

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Let us, Constant Reader, go back to the audition for bare: A Pop Opera. Rachel has just completed her audition and they have both been dismissed from the theater by Mr. Fellows.

"You did great up there," Jack's voice cracked.

"Thank you, so did you," Rachel replied, equally uncomfortable with what had happened inside of the theater.

"Thanks," Jack said.

"So, we'll talk later?" she asked.

"Of course," he replied. "Bye."

"See you," she said.

With that, both young Broadway wannabes went in the opposite directions, unsure if they meant what they said.

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Of course, the two had talked over the phone, that eased the tension a bit, but they hadn't seen each in the last two weeks.

"So, um," Jack began. "How've you been?"

"I think we should talk," Rachel blurted.

"To the point," he said. "I would've suggested it, but I figured you'd start crying and we'd both be screwed over because we'd both be uncomfortable hugging, and…"

Rachel, out of nowhere, covered his mouth. Something she was so use to getting from him.

"You're babbling," she observed.

He pulled her hand away from his mouth. "And you're not."

"We've switched places," she noted.

"We have," he acknowledged. "I think what we need to talk about is this underlying attraction we have for each other."

"It would be irrational for us to act on it," Rachel stated.

"Agreed," Jack said. "If we're cast in the show and it doesn't work out, we'd be setting not only us for a fall, but the whole cast."

"And we've grown too much as people to let that happen," Rachel added.

"Then why do I want to kiss you right now?"

"It's the attraction talking, don't listen to it."

"I won't."

"You smell nice. Old Spice?"

"Actually, yes," Jack answered.

Rachel and Jack's mouths were only a few inches from connecting when the phone rang.

"Thank God!" they declared as Jack raced for the phone.

"Hello?" Jack said into the receiver. "Mr. Fellows…Hi…Really…Why, yes I would…Yes, I did…You're more than welcome…I guess I'll see you in the next couple of weeks…Thank you."

Jack put the phone back on its charger.

"Oh my God!" he exclaimed. "I did it. I've got the part. I'm officially Jason."

Rachel dropped onto the couch next to him.

"That's amazing," she said. "Shouldn't you be a little more excited?"

He didn't move. "I'm ecstatic. I'm just moving for two reasons. One is because if I start moving, I risk waking up. And the other, is kind of your fault."

"What do you?" she understood what he meant. "Ah."

"And now our bodies are the guilty ones…our touch-" Rachel's phone sang.

"Hello," she said. "Mr. Fellows…Hi…Really…Why, yes I would…Thank you so much."

Rachel disconnected from the conversation.

"I take it that was good news," Jack said.

Rachel nodded. "I'm in too. I'm Ivy"

"Okay," he said. "I want you to pinch me; I'll do the same for you."

The two tentatively reached for the other, their fingers grabbing some skin.

"On the count of three," he decided. "One…two…"

"Wait, do we go on three or one, two, three, than go?"

"On three," he said. "We always go on three."

"Right. Just checking in case your style's change at all."

"One…two…three."

They pinched each other.

"Oow!" the two screamed, leaping to their feet.

"That hurt!" Rachel complained.

"Don't act like you were going easy on me, Berry!"

They glared at each other, both of them suddenly noticing that they were back at square one.

"We shouldn't do this," he said.

"No, we shouldn't," she agreed.

"It would be stupid."

"Beyond stupid."

"You want me to kiss you, don't you?" Jack asked. "Kiss you is what I'm supposed to do…"

"So, are you going to?" Rachel asked.

"I am…" he said.

"Those aren't the lyrics," Rachel argued.

"Shut up, Berry," Jack said, kissing her. "Stars can change the lyrics if they want to."

That kiss was the moment when the romantic friendship between the Broadway impresarios blossomed into a romance. They knew it was a dumb move because of the show, but they also knew they were kind of selfish and wanted this moment in time.

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A/N: Whew! I did it. I finished the story. Pretty good for a guy who couldn't even start it in the beginning.

I'd like to thank Melting Crayon's for allowing me the chance to writing the sequel to her first story.

This is my first real JackxRachel romance story, so I want to know what you guys think of.

And now, because I don't believe in goodbyes, I want to wish everyone a good morning, good afternoon, good night, and good luck.

Signed
Soulless Warlock