Auhtor's Note: This is a one parter I had in mind after I saw the preview for tonight's episode. I tried to get it done in time to post beforehand, but I'm just not that quick. HUGE thanks to Jann for the support and I hope you all enjoy my first venture into Finn's POV!
Finn walked into the choir room with unusual swagger. Ever since their win at championships and the super sick halftime performance, Finn felt like king. Sure, it was Monday and the game had only been a few days ago, but it was still nice being on top. Karofsky might be a giant douche, but he had a point. It was easier living like royalty, especially when you knew how it felt to be the jester.
For the entire school day, no one said one negative thing about glee club or the football team (last year they were the laughing stock of the school, right above glee club). Everyone was getting along, even the a-hole hockey team found Finn during lunch to give their congratulations. And they weren't the only ones. Kids he'd never met (and that was saying something since the school was comprised of the same set of students he'd known from middle school and from elementary school before that) were coming up and telling him he was awesome.
Ex-girlfriends were kissing him.
Finn still couldn't wrap his head around the new turn of events, which wasn't because he was as dumb as everyone thought but rather because it had been a few minutes ago. He'd only just walked into the choir room, and before that he was still rooted by Quinn's locker with a shocked and stupid expression on his face. Or at least that's what he assumed his face looked like even though he couldn't actually pull his eyes out and turn them around so he could see his expression.
Wouldn't that be wicked sweet if he could?
"Welcome back, gang." Mr. Schuester sat casually on a stool next to the piano, him and Brad sharing a quick look before the former looked back toward the group. "Still reeling from Friday?" He laughed when met with an overwhelming response, several of the guys exchanging high fives. "Me too! And I've decided to use this momentum as we prepare for Regionals."
"Mr. Schuester!" Rachel raised her hand quickly, her voice enthusiastic but urgent and demanding at the same time. "In the course of casual conversation with the competition, it has come to my attention that we have been focusing entirely too much on beating Vocal Adrenaline when there will be at least two others teams in attendance that we must defeat."
"Is this the part where she asks for a solo?"
"Demands," Quinn corrected Sam in her usual flat tone, her chin resting on her hand. Finn dared a glance in her direction and was pleased to see that she wasn't staring off in boredom, but rather staring directly at him. He was the man.
"This is the part I suggest that we focus less on the musical stylings of our rivals and more on other possible ways we will be able to one-up them during our performance." Rachel scowled at Quinn for a split second, her expression quick to change back to its usual determined features. "For instance, the competition is set a mere week after Valentine's Day and we have yet to discuss the likelihood that a love song or songs would be the best tactic to prey on the judges' emotions."
"Oh, I see." The group turned to Santana, who wasn't one to usually offer any opinions about what was said during their rehearsals. She'd been getting more solos lately and she liked glee (obviously, or she wouldn't have quit Cheerios for the stupid club), but she basically just did what she was told and threw in an offensive line or two during practices. "This isn't just about getting a solo, but getting Finnocent back, too."
Rachel rolled her eyes at the insinuation, but offered no rebuttal. Instead, with her head slightly bowed and her veil of black hair as a shield, she looked at Finn from the corner of her eye before quickly moving her gaze to her lap. Finn sighed, tuning out the rest of the conversation between the glee club (mostly just Mr. Schuester sticking up for Rachel, saying that she had a point and all) and instead thinking about everything that had changed recently.
He really thought things with Karofsky and the rest of the school were going to get better. Maybe it was naïve, but he knew their win Friday meant something. Something had shifted, the plane of popularity dependent on the person you were and no longer the groups you were a part of, no matter what Karofsky thought. During the halftime show, they had been that force Mr. Schuester always talked about them needing to be. Vocal Adrenaline was twice the size of McKinley's glee club, if not three times as big, but with the football players, their sound was unbearable … no … wait … impermeable.
If they went to Regionals with that kind of power, no one could stop them.
Finn grinned to himself, looking around to make sure no one was talking about dead puppies or something and he didn't look like a major tool for smiling then. He heard Artie throw out a reference to Paul McCartney's "Silly Love Songs" and knew he was in the clear. But then he looked at Quinn again, her eyes still trained on him, and suddenly he had a great idea. Like, epic genius.
"While we're talking about love songs," he opened, his words forming in his head as quickly as he was saying them out loud, "I feel like the club is at a great position right now, with the halftime show and my recent turn to almost celebrity status after leading the Titans to their first championship title. And we need to monopolize on that."
"Capitalize," Rachel corrected, her voice muffled under a twinge of sadness when she realized Finn wasn't getting ready to proclaim his undying love for her in song.
"I know the Cheerio budget is going toward our trip to Regionals now, but I have decided to hold my own fundraiser, donating all the proceeds to charity."
"I knew you were a girl." Puck scoffed, his arms folding tightly across his broad chest. "If you want to lace up an apron and go all Better Crocker on our asses, then don't let us stop you."
"I don't mean a bake sale." Finn grinned widely, his usually goofy smile turning a bit more … naughty. "As we've discussed, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. And I've decided to open up a kissing booth."
The reaction in the room was as to be expected. Rachel squirmed uncomfortably, Santana rolled her eyes, Puck pumped his fist in the air, and everyone else gave their own variation of a gasp or sigh. But Finn didn't care anymore. He was so past the days when he was embarrassed of his body (hey, Sam 'Abs' Evans, guess who kissed your girlfriend!), and he was the most eligible bachelor at McKinley (Puck didn't count because he'd done practically every girl in the school already).
"I figure if I have the booth open for the entire lunch period every day, charging a dollar a kiss, I could have like, thousands of dollars by the end of the week."
"Thousands?" Santana questioned incredulously. "I've kissed you, Finn. It isn't worth a dollar." His ego deflated slightly at that dig. "In fact, by the end of the week, you might be in the red."
"That's a very inspiring concept, Finn," Mr. Schuester commented, each word chosen carefully and drawn out, purposely ignoring the girl's harsh words and the boy's foolish estimate. "It's admirable to use your popularity for those less fortunate. What charity did you have in mind? The Make-a-Wish Foundation? The Ronald McDonald House?"
"Probably the children's hospital. Or maybe that animal shelter down the road." Finn seemed to consider his options thoroughly. "Chicks dig animals, but I'll probably get more sympathy if the money was going toward sick kids."
"Real admirable," Sam drawled, his eyes rolling and moving to Quinn for reassurance. She wasn't exactly panting over Finn's sudden sex appeal or generosity (whichever he was trying to exude), but she hadn't humored Sam at all either. He noted this as well as her general lack of interest in him and his feelings that started last week, and glared at Finn. "But why are you telling us?"
Finn stumbled on his response. "I thought … we're a team … and you guys could … help."
"We're cool now, dude, but I ain't kissing you."
Compared to Finn's start-and-stop conversation style, Puck was swiftly direct. When Puck walked into a room, he commanded it. Everything he said and did was hailed on some pedestal of coolness, and Finn wanted that. He was sick of being the all-American quarterback. The nice guy.
He wanted to be the one girls swooned over.
"Finn's right. You guys are a team and I'm making it your weekly assignment to help him with the fundraiser. If we all pitch in, we could really make an impact on the lives of some children who really deserve it."
Finn took a deep breath, walking down the hallway toward the kissing booth that the glee club had built last night. It was made of random pieces of wood that Puck found (he said they were leftovers from shop class, but Finn thought they looked an awful lot like the desks in their math class) and was leaning a bit to the left, but it was kind of cool. The girls had gayed it up, painting it red and pink and adding those white coaster-looking things and whatever, but they made this super cool sign for the front that let people now when he would be in and out.
It reminded him of Charlie Brown and he always thought that guy was kind of funny.
"What are you doing here, man?" Finn asked Puck, eyeing his former-best-friend-turned-regular-old-best-friend.
"Are you kidding?" Puck laughed humorlessly, looking Finn up and down. Finn did the same only because the look Puck had given him hadn't been good. He had inhaled a chili dog before coming and – shit - he dropped some on his pants. "You're about to make out with handfuls of girls and you have a chili dog for lunch?"
"It's two for Tuesday," Finn answered blankly, licking his thumb again before trying to wipe away the brown-ish stain from his jeans. Puck rolled his eyes, pushing himself off the wall with his shoulder and digging into his pockets. He pulled out a pack of mints, tossing the frosted blue case to Finn.
"Take three and call me in the morning." He left with a shake of his head, his original intention to see Finn make a fool of himself clearly not as fun as he thought it was going to be. But Finn didn't let Puck get him down. He was probably just jealous he hadn't thought about this awesome idea first. Finn was going to get tons of play, and then the girls would think he was the hottest guy in school.
His confidence back to the new height it had been in since Friday's win, Finn nodded his head dramatically and turned the kissing booth sign to "in." He went around to the other side and sat on the stool, noting the safety deposit box Mr. Schuester had given him to collect the donations. Now all he had to do was wait for the money to start pouring in.
The first few customers were reluctant at best, most giggling like crazy as their friends pushed them closer and closer to the booth before paying on behalf of the kissee. Finn let his charming smile take over his face, simply bending down to their heights and letting them kiss him. It started on the cheek, the young girls turning beet red before running back into the cafeteria with their friends. Then, as word spread about what Finn was doing, more started to make their way out into the hallway.
When he saw Santana saunter over, he actually gulped. She wasn't like the other girls. She wasn't shy or embarrassed. She didn't giggle. Even without the cheerleading outfit, she was hot and she knew it. She walked right up to the booth, plopped down a five and licked her lips.
"Let's get this party started," she purred, grabbing Finn by the back of his neck and jamming her tongue down his throat. His hands grasped her shoulders awkwardly, pushing her away after a beat or two and thanking her for her donation. She just rolled her eyes and walked away, the line of girls waiting suddenly longer and more eager.
Gone where the chaste kisses on the cheek and the dollar advances. By the end of the lunch hour, Finn had been groped, fondled, and probed by about thirty girls, many of them the same sweet, innocent ones from before. He had seriously tasted so many different flavors of mint that he actually wondered if he wouldn't have to brush his teeth tonight. And was he chewing gum before?
Because he was now.
"Still a toad, I see," Santana sneered, peaking into the safety deposit box before Finn slammed it shut. He went around the other side of the booth and turned the sign over to read "out" and then used the sheet Brittany had brought (he really hoped she didn't still use Care Bear sheets) to cover the booth.
"I thought my kisses weren't worth a dollar?"
"They aren't." She rolled her eyes, crossing her arms below her chest, pushing her boobs up just enough for Finn to notice. "But you aren't going to make any money from those pre-pubescent prisses who are dumb enough to think you're cute if all you're offering is gay-ass kisses on the cheek."
"I didn't see any of them complaining."
"Well of course not. What the hell do they know about a good kiss?" She scoffed, walking away without any further conversation. Finn was actually probably lucky, thinking Santana probably had flashcards or something that would explain to him all the ways he was completely clueless when it came to those types of things. She'd been so demanding when they did it (girl was flat out strong for weighing close to nothing) and had no problem telling him what to do and how to do it.
It had all been pretty demeaning, but Finn wouldn't have known what to do otherwise. He had only lasted like five minutes anyway (he cranked one out before showing up at the motel so he wouldn't erupt too early) and there wasn't a lot of foreplay beforehand. In fact, given how much time had passed (and how badly he tried to repress the memory), Finn wasn't even sure if they kissed at all during the exchange.
"You are a good kisser, Finn."
He turned at the sound of her voice, surprised to see her actually standing there. He'd kind of thought it had just been his imagination. That happened a lot since they broke up. Whenever he needed a pep talk or needed to feel good about himself, he'd always hear her voice. It freaked him out. Like she'd found a way back inside his head.
"Thanks," he finally answered, walking in step with her since they both had the same class next. Things between them had been weird right after the breakup, but they were slowly getting better. He was really grateful to her for what she did for the football team, and wished he knew how to tell her without sounding like a girl. Hopefully she already knew.
"How much money did you make today?"
"I'm not sure." Finn furrowed his brows, deciding to change his answer. That made him sound like he couldn't do the math. "I didn't count it."
"It seemed like there was a pretty long line."
"Yea." He shrugged. "Santana sort of donated five dollars and mauled me, which opened the door for … more interest, I guess." Rachel nodded slowly and Finn studied her out of the corner of his eye. He suddenly realized what she might be thinking, and he was smart enough to put a stop to it. "But I don't want you getting any ideas, Rachel."
"Meaning?" She asked, that tinge of anger that he often heard in her voice when she spoke to other people clearly evident then. She'd only used that tone with him once before and it had totally freaked him out.
"Meaning you can't throw down a hundred dollar bill and expect us to get back together or something." His comment was met with deafening silence, her face shifting from impatient to confused to pissed in a matter of seconds. "I just mean … it's just a kiss, regardless."
"I'll try to control myself, Finn." She rolled her eyes and walked into the classroom, Finn left standing outside for a few moments before he joined her inside.
From his spot in the back and hers in the far right corner in the front, he couldn't see her face but he could see the tension in her neck. Her posture was straighter than usual, and that was saying something. He thought back to what he said and tried to hear it from her perspective, but he couldn't figure out why she was so upset.
She probably saw the stain on his jeans and knew he hadn't chosen the vegan chili dogs. Dammit.
The next day during lunch, Finn opened up the booth to a waiting line. The glee club had spent a lot of their rehearsal yesterday working on their routine for Regionals, but a group of them had gone over to Finn's house to make signs to post around the school promoting the fundraiser. Kurt and his friend Blaine helped, too, at least until Puck had used some of the paint to write "No Dudes" on every single poster.
It was insensitive, but Finn was kind of thankful.
Once again, the girls eased into the embraces, accepting his cheek or a light kiss on the lips with a sigh. The dollars were pouring in at the beginning of lunch, and then there was a lag in time where there was almost no foot traffic in the halls at all. Finn figured everyone was eating, which was uncool.
"This bites," he complained to no one in particular, happy at least some of the glee kids had decided to eat their lunch out in the hall so he wasn't all alone when it was quiet like this. "I'm starving."
"Finn," Rachel chastised softly, shaking her head while swallowing a bit of her sandwich. "You ate an hour ago. Mr. Schuester is letting you eat in his class, remember?"
"Oh yea." He grinned, thinking back to his lunch. His mom made a wicked peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That's why he had her pack three.
"You might be dumber than a sack of rocks, but this was a brilliant idea." Puck rarely let his envy of Finn show, but his statement had made it obvious. Score. "If I could get away with it, I'd set up a booth and charge chicks twenty bucks to give me blow jobs."
Finn closed his eyes tightly, preparing for the over-the-top argument that was no doubt about to spring from Rachel's lips. Puck's insult to him wouldn't be nearly as bad as the line of combative words his ex-girlfriend would have to say in response. Words like "feminism" and "demoralizing" echoed in his head.
"You think twenty bucks isn't enough?" Puck looked around at the other glee kids who were surrounding the booth, offering support or humiliation Finn wasn't sure. "Fifty seems like a lot."
"You'd charge money for them to give you blow jobs?"
Finn didn't know if he was more shocked that Rachel had said blow job or that she was participating in the conversation at all. He had noticed that she and Puck seemed to have a closer friendship than they did before, and while it sort of bugged him, he kind of got it, too. They've known each other for longer than even he and Puck had, what with being Jewish and all.
"Don't act like you aren't considering it, Berry." She glared at his lewdness, Finn mimicking the icy stare. Trust him; Rachel wasn't considering it. She and Finn had dated for six months and he'd barely gotten to second base. "Besides, I would make it an educational experience."
"Here comes the part where he makes a pun about giving tips." Quinn rolled her eyes, entering the conversation on a high note. Her voice had been cool and collected – still a cheerleader at heart – but her outer appearance was less so. She had a dollar in her hand that was shaking like a leaf until she placed it down on the makeshift table of the booth.
"You're going to kiss him?" Sam suddenly screeched, his eyes nearly boggling out of his head. "I thought you just wanted to hang out with the glee gang?"
"It's for charity," Quinn stated softly, her eyes never leaving Finn's and his never leaving hers. He swallowed thickly while she pushed some of her perfect hair behind her ear. She was wearing it down today and it looked really pretty. He almost said it, but instead he just handed the dollar to Artie who put it inside the safety deposit box.
"Well I'm going to watch!"
"Perv," Puck muttered, his eyes also glued to the two old flames. Finn turned to his friends for a moment, trying to give them the look that said "scram" that guys were just supposed to get, but it wasn't working. So instead he took a deep breath and looked back at Quinn. Audience or not, he could do this.
He leaned down to her level, brushing his lips against hers softly. She was wearing lip gloss today, which she hadn't been on Monday when she kissed him unexpectedly. It felt weird on his lips, but it tasted good. It was strawberry or watermelon flavored. Maybe cherry.
Man he was hungry.
"OK. I think that's a dollar's worth." Sam pulled on Quinn's hand, effectively removing her lips from Finn's. "If you want to kiss old girlfriends, why don't you lock lips with Rachel or something. Leave my girl alone."
"I'm not your girl, Sam."
Quinn placed her hands on her hips and Finn again closed his eyes. Rachel might have surprised him a bit earlier talking about blows jobs and stuff (had he mentioned that was kind of hot?), but he knew Quinn. She did not like being told what to do. She was the one who bossed people around, not the other way.
"I'd hate to be you right now."
"I'd hate to be you period." Sam glowered at Puck, eventually ending the silent showdown to catch up to Quinn. Her class was the other way, but Finn knew she wasn't really heading there yet. She just wanted to make Sam work for it.
"What the hell is his problem?"
"Wouldn't you be pissed if your girlfriend kissed another guy?" He asked pointedly, his question posed to Puck but his eyes moving to Rachel.
"It was for charity," Puck answered absently, not hearing the thick meaning behind Finn's words. "It was just a kiss."
"Sometimes they mean more than just a simple kiss."
"Yes, Noah, sometimes." Again, Rachel's words were directed at Puck, but she was glaring at Finn. "Unless of course it is in an auditorium or a bowling alley."
"That's … different!" He sputtered helplessly.
"Or the hallway earlier this week." She cocked her head, daring him to refute her. But Finn couldn't He could barely breathe. She'd seen that? She knew? "Then it is just a kiss."
"It's not the same thing and you know it," he said, his voice considerably lower once he realized more people were out in the halls. A group of girls were walking up to the table, too.
"It's only not the same thing because I told you the truth."
Rachel turned on her heel then, walking away without ever looking back. And all Finn could do was to watch her. She wasn't his girlfriend anymore and he didn't have to run after her like Sam had to for Quinn. Besides, he didn't even know what he would say. She was right, after all.
"Dude, don't sweat it." Puck pat Finn's back once, the guy's version of comfort. "She was pissed at you yesterday and she came around. That's just how Berry is. She's probably just jealous that Quinn got to kiss you before she did."
"Maybe." Finn frowned.
"Bitch probably has more singles on her than I do when I cross the county line to hit up that strip joint that doesn't check IDs." Puck grinned, sighing when Finn didn't come out his funk. "Pussy."
Finn sighed, accepting another dollar and offering a less than enthusiastic kiss to one of the foreign exchange students while Puck and Artie left. She kissed both of his cheeks, which was weird. That was like two kisses.
He should get another dollar.
Finn walked slowly from his truck to the front entrance of the hospital. There was probably something better he could be doing on a Friday night than dropping off the money he earned at the kissing booth, but he couldn't think of what it was. Ever since his fight with Rachel on Wednesday, he hadn't been able to think of anything else.
She had a way of getting into his head, but this was different. This time she made sense. The thing between her and Puck had killed him, but was it really any different than what he'd done to Quinn … twice? And now he had done it to Sam, who was sometimes a douche but was still his boy.
Quinn still didn't know about what happened in the auditorium way back when between him and Rachel, and he'd told her that they'd hugged at the bowling alley because he was trying to get her back into glee, but he left out the kissing part there, too. He knew Quinn wasn't going to say anything to Sam about their kiss from Monday, and suddenly he felt obligated to tell him.
Rachel had told him about her and Puck the next day. He lied about him and Santana for months and she was willing to forgive him. But she shares a kiss with his best friend and tells him about it right away and he breaks up with her? Who does that? Who honestly claims to love someone so much that they'd never want to hurt them and then just sweeps the rug right out from under their feet like that?
They hadn't even talked about it. She tried to apologize like a million times, but he never listened. He finally asked her for some space, and she had given it to him. She didn't call or text or visit all winter break, and it sucked. He missed her. He had plans for winter break, and instead he spent the whole time wallowing in his own pity.
Even Kurt had called him out on it, which was completely weird since he wasn't used to Kurt sticking up for Rachel. Ever since he started going to Dalton, those two had gotten closer and closer, and it was kind of nice. When she had been at his house and Kurt was there, it felt like they were one, big happy family. Now they weren't a family anymore. They weren't even a couple.
Finn walked into the hospital and checked the front board. The children's center was on the fourth floor, so he opted for the elevator. Stepping inside the space alone, he hit the round button and waited for the doors to close. The elevator moved at a quick speed, which he guessed was probably necessary for emergencies and stuff. He felt kind of bad that he originally came up with this plan for his own benefit. Here he was in an elevator that rushed kids to operations and stuff and he was worried about getting some action?
Man, he was a bigger tool than he thought.
When the elevator doors opened, Finn stepped out but then stopped in his tracks, surprised to see the tiny brunette come out of one of the rooms. She was wearing a pair of pink scrubs and her hair was pulled back, but she was absolutely breathtaking. Did he mention that he missed her?
"Rachel." Her head whipped around toward the elevators, her eyes opening in surprise for a moment before they both slowly walked toward one another. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm donating my time to those less fortunate." Rachel kept her head up, her voice level and stern. "Some of us do not need to resort to particular levels of prostitution to give back to the community."
He bowed his head at her words, kicking the ground absently as he thought about what to say. Clearly she was still pissed at him. Hell, after thinking about it, he was pretty pissed at him, too. He'd been acting like a grade-A asshole to her, even before the big the weird thing was, Rachel didn't care about any of that stuff. They could have lost the game by a million points and he could have sang the entire halftime performance out of key and she would have still loved him. She always told him what a good person he was and how big of a heart he had, and he didn't have to do anything in return.
He'd taken her for granted.
"I'm sorry." He fiddled with the envelope, toying it between his fingers nervously. "About Wednesday. About Quinn." He shrugged emptily before looking back up at her. "About everything."
He stared at her in disbelief, amazed that it could be that simple. Quinn would have made him beg, grovel on his knees and would have punished him for as long as it took to do something else completely stupid. Santana … she would have probably cut him or something. But Rachel just forgave him. Just like that.
"Is that the money for the hospital?"
"Yea." He looked down at the envelope for no other reason than he didn't know where else to look. He could see his reflection in her eyes and at that moment he sort of hated himself. "Puck said he would deliver it, but I figured I should do it if the hospital ever wanted to see the cash."
She laughed lightly at his joke and he felt a little better. It had been a really confusing month, but right there, with her, he was starting to feel like his old self again. The kissing booth had been fun (and entertaining after Puck took over for Friday; they didn't earn thousands but after Friday they made almost four hundred dollars), but it wasn't him. He was a one-woman man.
And that woman was Rachel.
"I was actually disappointed you didn't stop by."
He put it all on the line, figuring he owed her that much. And it was the truth, too. He'd kissed a lot of girls this week, but none compared to Rachel. Her lips fit his perfectly and tasted crazy good. Plus, the feelings he had when they kissed were unlike anything he felt with anyone else. He certainly didn't feel them with Santana, and while he'd always have a soft spot for Quinn, it wasn't the same.
"Since you care about the kids so much, what would you say if I gave you all the money in this envelope in exchange for a kiss?"
Her eyes widened again, this time leveling back to neutral while her smile overtook her face. "All that money and you just want a kiss?"
He nodded slowly, bringing his lips down to hers before she could change her mind. Their exchange was soft and tender, the kiss gentler than some of their previous make out sessions but the emotions he felt were no different. He still loved her. He always would.
Pulling away slowly, watching Rachel's eyes flutter open the way his heart fluttered alive, Finn smiled and whispered, "Worth every penny."