A/N: Yes, Rachel/Sam. Don't judge me, this was inevitable because of the Quinn/Finn thing happening. My mind works in funny ways, I guess - but this pairing is seriously my favorite Glee pairing now.
This includes spoilers for Glee episodes 2x11 and 2x12, and ignores some of the things that happened in 2x13.
This is completely dedicated to Pearl (PrincessPearl), my lovely Glee pairing twin and fellow Skandar Keynes fangirl, who happens to adore Rachel/Sam just as much as I do! :)
Just A Lonely Little Distraction
"And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not." -William Shakespeare [Othello]
At first, she's just thinking about it - all the possibilities, exploring what this could mean about getting things back to the way they're supposed to be.
Because that's the way girls like her think.
Just thinking about it works for a while, until she realizes that she has to make her move, and quickly.
Because Rachel Berry never loses, and she's not about to start now.
It's remarkable the way it happens - she's in English class, listening to the teacher drone on and on about symbolism and metaphors and things she could care less about, because literature just isn't her forte - when she sees it.
A Shakespeare quote that inspires her to even beginning thinking about this.
Thinking about Finn, about Quinn cheating on Sam with Finn.
Thinking about jealousy, about revenge.
And that's all it takes for her to snap.
She's never wanted to do anything more than this.
So she starts planning, plotting out the beginnings of The Plan, and because it's her, nothing can go wrong, right?
The first thing she does is promise herself - no, tell herself and her calculating brain that Sam Evans is going to be just a lonely little distraction, that's all.
Mistake number one.
It starts off with Shakespeare, as funny as that sounds, because she realizes how utterly stupid she's been these past few weeks, wasting time over trivial things.
After all, Quinn could be cheating on Sam with a dozen different guys, and Rachel Berry wouldn't care.
She only cares about Finn, the way Finn looks at Quinn, in the way that he definitely won't be looking at her anytime soon unless she does something.
It hurts, and she needs to get him back.
She's jealous, too, of course, but jealousy isn't going to get Finn to come back to her.
So for the moment, she forgets about how much she wants to stab Quinn to death, and how much she wants to kiss Finn senseless.
She forgets it all, because that's part of The Plan.
Mistake number two.
"Quinn's cheating on you."
She's shown up at his locker at lunch, uninvited, and he's giving her a dumfounded look.
"Don't look at me like that," she says, crossing her arms and tapping her foot impatiently. "I know it, you know it, the whole school knows it."
"Quinn didn't cheat on me. I don't know what you're talking about," Sam says, slamming his locker door shut.
She follows him, arms still crossed, when he walks away, probably trying to avoid her. "Sam, this is getting quite pathetic, you know?" Get him where it hurts, Rachel, she tells herself. All part of The Plan. "You're losing respect in the Glee club and from your football teammates because you're not manning up and facing this."
She knows it worked, because he looks absolutely stricken, though he's still not looking at her, sweeping through the halls and straight out the front doors of McKinley without sparing her a second glance.
For a moment, she actually feels bad.
But she forgets about that, obviously.
"Hey, Sam!" she yells after his figure that's growing smaller and smaller in the distance. "Come back here!"
But she's not giving up that easily.
Mistake number three.
"Hey, Sam," she whispers to him the next day when he's sitting in the chair right in front of her in Glee. "I need to talk to you."
She ignores the funny looks Santanna is throwing her way and nudges Sam's shoulder, because the boy doesn't seem to respond well to words.
"What is it, Rachel?" he asks exasperatedly, finally turning around to face her.
"Well, if you should know," she flips her hair for good measure, "I need to talk to you."
He gives an involuntary shake of his head, noticing that Quinn's entered the room now, and gives Rachel a look that clearly says, "We've barely ever said two words to each other, what is there to talk about?"
She huffs indignantly at him, crossing her legs.
The boy's going to need some encouragement, that's what it is.
She catches up with him after Glee and English class is over, returning to his locker like it's become some sort of habit, and revels in the fact that Quinn isn't there, too busy talking to Finn somewhere else.
She doesn't get caught up in the implications of that, but instead waits patiently for Sam to stuff his belongings in his locker gracefully.
She never knew that throwing your books into your locker could look so artful.
She snaps out of her reverie quickly enough, disgusted at herself for even noticing this minor detail.
"Well?" she says out in the awkward silence, because Sam acknowledges the fact that she's there, but doesn't seem to be doing anything about it.
He sighs, closing his locker. "Rachel, I don't know what you want to talk to me about, or what you want from me."
"That's the thing, Sam," she begins cheerfully, sensing her golden opportunity. "I don't want anything from you, I'm just trying to help you!"
"Help me with what?" he asks cluelessly, making his routine way through the halls, towards the front entrance.
Rachel follows, once again. "I want to help you understand that Quinn Fabray isn't the best thing that's happened to you at McKinley." She pauses, waiting for some sort of outburst from him like there always has been from Finn when she's suggested something he didn't like. When it doesn't come, she continues. "New Directions is the best thing that's happened to you here. I'm only trying to help you realize that."
She holds her arms out in a truce-like fashion when he still doesn't reply, eyeing her suspiciously.
"There must be something in this 'persuading me' act for you," he suggests, stopping as he reaches his usual destination of the front door.
For a moment, she wonders what her fellow Glee members could have told him, but she throws away that thought, because worrying about herself is not part of The Plan.
"No, there's not," she says. "Think about it, there's absolutely nothing that could possibly be in it for me."
She reaches into her pocket, producing a CD case with no cover.
"Here," she hands it to him, "You'll know."
And she walks away without a word, thinking about things she could have done differently and about how bright his hair looked under the fluorescent light.
Mistake number four.
It's his turn to try to get her attention, and she's not going to let him have it so easily.
"Rachel," he says a bit more persistently, using her tactic and shaking her shoulder.
"Oh," she turns around, feigning surprise. "You were talking to me?"
He shoots her an annoyed look that makes her consider the fact that annoying looks can actually be, well...
Only under certain circumstances, that is.
And one of those circumstances might just be whenever Sam Evans does it.
"Yes, I was talking to you," he says. "There was only one song on this - " he pulls the CD from the day before out of his pocket, " - what was the point of that?"
She smiles sweetly at him, twirling a piece of hair around her finger. "Oh, Sam, I think you know exactly what the point was."
He turns around again, and she can almost see the wheels in boy's mind turning.
Come time when Mr. Schuester is asking for volunteers to sing solos for practice, the predicted happens.
Rachel has never felt as satisfied as she does when Sam volunteers, getting up in front of his fellow Glee members, his fingers strumming the starting tune to the song on his guitar seamlessly.
His voice spills out in a colorful burst of emotion that Rachel's almost engulfed in, but then she remembers the whole point of this and makes it her job to notice every single one of Quinn and Finn's expressions as Sam sings.
"...I know, I know, I know, I know it's over..."
He's looking at Quinn.
"...And I know, I know, I know..."
Quinn's looking at Finn.
"...I've always been your token nice guy..."
Finn's looking at Sam.
"...You know that you rule your whole world..."
Sam's looking at Quinn again.
"...And thought I could live in it..."
Finn's looking at Rachel.
She's thinking that her mission is accomplished already, but then, the impossible happens:
"...But I just can't..."
Sam's looking at Rachel.
She finds herself looking back at him.
Mistake number five.
The same day, maybe on impulse, she really doesn't know - she does the one thing that's definitely not a part of The Plan.
She shows up at his locker at the same time she has the past two days, and he's shoving - no, putting his books in his locker, because "shoving" doesn't suffice for the way he does it so gracefully, as she's previously noted.
"Hey," he says, taking the initiative of making conversation with her for the first time. "I'm just getting done with Geometry class."
For some odd reason, maybe for the same reason that she's breaking The (carefully calculated) Plan, she finds it attractive the way he's mentioning his math class so offhandedly, as if it was important for her to know.
He shuts his locker door, waiting for her to follow.
Things are obviously going better than she'd originally planned.
She walks next to him instead of behind him this time, and mentions, "Oh, I just had English."
He smiles. It's the first time she's seen him smile in weeks, she realizes.
"So, the CD you gave me..."
"Yeah, you understood, didn't you?" she says quickly, too quickly. "I mean, you sung the song in Glee club today, and..."
"I did, didn't I? It inspired me, to say the least."
They're quiet for a few moments until they reach the front doors, but it's not awkward this time.
"Thanks for that, Rachel," he tells her quietly. "It was strange that you knew exactly what my problem was, but thanks for pushing me to express myself."
She shakes her head. "No, it was all you, Sam. You didn't have to sing that song in front of Quinn, but you did, and that's all that matters. Now she knows."
And for a split second, she's actually believing her own words, searching them, feeling them, embracing them as the truth.
Just for a split second, and then that feeling's vanished, just like every other time she's felt something truly real.
"Hey, Rachel?" Sam's familiar voice calls out behind her just as she's walking away. "Do you want to - maybe - come have lunch with me?"
She knows there's no harm going to be done, in fact, it might even be beneficial to The Plan, so she graciously accepts. "Uh, sure."
Mistake number six.
Things are happening fast.
"Things" referring to Quinn and Finn noticing how much time Sam's been spending with Rachel lately.
"Time" referring to a ritualistic lunch out every day in his car, him holding the door open for her at every opportunity, and sitting next to her in Glee club.
"Sam" referring to the boy she never had given a second thought until two weeks ago, the boy who's such a gentlemen that she wouldn't think it to be humanely possibly if it were anyone else.
He cracks his classic Avatar jokes (yes, she recognizes them - she didn't miss viewing the biggest blockbuster of all time, unlike other ignorant souls, thank you very much) and she listens, because she's pretending to be a better listener than Quinn, for one, and it's a plus that Finn's looking their way every now and then.
She teaches him how to polish up his already amazing voice, which she never would have found out about just by his solos alone.
They work, Rachel and Sam.
They don't work like some sort of mashed up cliche, oh no, but instead, they're two distractions in themselves, merging into something much more unique, because they're both heartbroken and lonely and it's only a matter of time, darling.
Quinn's shooting them a dirty look across the cafeteria one day when they've decided to stay at school for lunch, already discovering that it wasn't the best choice.
Rachel doesn't understand Fabray's deal, really. Sam broke up with her ages ago and she's still in some sort of mourning stage, even ignoring Finn now, because apparently, her pride is what matters most to her.
Rachel doesn't dwell on this, instead focusing on - what was it?
A combination of the two?
Yes, she thinks, she has to combine those two worlds of thought, because Sam is just too gorgeous to pass up at this point, but the way Finn's been staring at her lately counts for something too, doesn't it?
"You alright?" Sam's concerned voice rings out from next to her, nearly making her jump.
"Oh," she replies. "Yeah. Just not hungry, that's all." She pushes away her untouched food for dramatic effect.
He places a hand on the small of the back, making her shiver and further wonder just why they haven't made things official as of yet.
"We can leave, if you want," he tells her, shooting a glare in Quinn's general direction.
"No, I'm fine," she says truthfully, because his gentle touch has made things so much clearer for her.
She turns to him, finding his face extremely close to hers, his ocean blue eyes searching her face for a sign.
She blinks, once, and before she knows it, his lips are on hers, soft and sweet and gentle, and she's surprised at herself for responding so quickly before realizing they're doing this in front of the entire school.
But hey, that makes it even better, doesn't it?
She can't remember exactly why kissing Sam Evans in front of the whole student body of McKinley, including Finn, would be so beneficial, because the smell of Sam's hair, one hand cupping her face, one still on her back - it distracts her.
Her "lonely little distraction" is distracting her immensely.
And she's enjoying it.
She's never been good at chess, Rachel, but she knows if she was looking at this from a "literary standpoint" as English teachers do like to repeat constantly, she would know that a pawn is an excellent metaphor for what she's used Sam for thus far.
Although, the power of metaphors have never tasted so good.
She still thinks he's a metaphor.
Mistake number seven.
She's never been good at English.
She's never been good at chess.
But most of all, she's never been good at confrontations, and what's facing her right now, precisely one month after her first kiss with him, is one big, ugly confrontation.
"Rachel," he's saying, his blue eyes boring into her own brown ones. "You used me."
It sounds so much more like an accusation than a statement, cold and unforgiving.
She doesn't know how to respond, because yes, she used him, but no, it's not even about that anymore.
First - how did he find out?
Second - no, no, no, no, no.
Because the tables have turned, and things aren't the same anymore for Rachel Berry.
He won't understand, she knows.
As expected, he doesn't allow her to finish. "Don't, Rachel. Just - don't."
And just like that, he's gone.
The metaphor that became a reality for her before she even knew it is gone.
Rachel Berry never made mistakes.
She'd vowed to be perfect since the very first time she had sung in front of an audience, but this wasn't even about music or Glee or Finn anymore.
In fact, she didn't even know what it was about at this point.
And it scared her, not knowing.
The only thing she knew for sure was that she had made a few mistakes - maybe one or two, here and there, but nothing remotely significant.
It was still an absolute mystery to her how Sam Evans drove her to make most of the mistakes she had.
She almost hated him for it.
A/N: PLEASE don't favorite without reviewing!
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or any of the characters, and the lyrics from the song that Sam sings is "Stomping the Roses" by David Archuleta and doesn't belong to me.