House of cards

By Iana

Disclaimer: Glee is owned by Fox. I don't own anything and I have no money, so…

Spoilers: Everything up to "Original Song"

A.N: Sorry about any grammatical/spelling errors! Please feel free to comment on those as well, as long as leave me a reply, I'll be happy. Can you tell I'm a little mad at Finn right now? LOL.

GLEE

"Because your presence still lingers here and it won't leave me alone.

These wounds won't seem to heal; this pain is just too real.

There's just too much that time cannot erase."

GLEE

Chapter 1

It all begun as an impossible idea. Those you have when you hurt too much but never think you can actually do it. After the talk with Quinn, she thought about it for a while. But she wrote the song, they won Regionals and the idea left temporarily.

The happiness she felt when she won that little star trophy had been enormous and she actually thought, for a moment that leaving Lima had been a crazy, idiot idea and she was happy where she was. Until the end of Glee practice, when Quinn kissed Finn in front of everyone and Rachel's bubble burst.

If they were a cartoon, her heart would be on the floor now, beating comically while Finn stomped into it. But they weren't and it hurt so bad she actually felt out of breath. Mercedes watched as the smile left Rachel's face and turned to look at the direction the other girl was staring. She scoffed when she saw Finn and Quinn leaving together and holding hands.

"Rachel, girl, don't mind them. I…"

The petite girl turned her eyes to her and they held such pain that Mercedes couldn't finish her sentence. "It's okay, Mercedes. I think I'll just go home now… Thanks for this." Rachel said with a tense smile and waved the trophy. She quickly grabbed her bag and left, almost in a run.

That was the day that Rachel realized that she needed to get away from Lima, from them, otherwise she was going to spend the rest of her school years being miserable, standing in the shadow of a boy that didn't love her anymore (had he ever?).

When she got home, her decision was made.

GLEE

Rachel's dads were away that week for a big trial so she worked meticulously on her plan and went to school mechanically for two days and only because it was the closest ticket to New York she could buy and she didn't want the school contacting her dads about her absence.

Yes, she knew New York was terribly cliché, but it was the place where dreams were made and she had plenty of them that she wanted to make come true. She knew the odds of her being able to get a career right away was impossible and Rachel was a realistic. All she wanted, really, was to get away from Lima for a couple of months, see New York with new eyes, think a lot about her life and what she wanted to do with it and just breathe.

Take a deep breath and not feel like her lungs were so constricted all the time. Let the wind blow on her hair and be glad she was alive instead of wishing she wasn't every time she spotted Finn on the hallways talking to Quinn next to her locker. She wanted to be happy, to laugh, and to find the joy in life that only singing brought her these days.

More than anything, Rachel wanted to change. She wanted to grow up, be a more lovable person, to not have to struggle so much every time she wanted to fit in. And she knew that being after Finn turned her usually high self-esteem to dust and she couldn't seem to make herself believe she was beautiful and talented and all those things she whispered to her image on the mirror every day.

Now, as she flew away from home and Lima was nothing but a dot on the map, Rachel placed her head back on the seat and pondered on the fact that even now, several feet above the ground and not really out of Ohio yet, her heart already felt lighter; that her breath came just a little bit easier. And she was ok.

GLEE

The pounding on the door woke them at 2am. Burt got out of bed and stumbled sleepily towards the entrance, half-awake and half-thinking that surely the house was on fire.

The stairs were tricky but he managed to get to the foyer without breaking his neck in the process. He opened the door with one eye opened the other closed against the porch light and stared at the rumpled, desperate visitor. "Leroy, what the…"

Rachel's dad burst into the Hummel house in a desperation led by parental fear. Carol, who was coming down the stairs, followed by a sleep-walking Finn, took one look at him and woke right up.

"Leroy? What happened?"

He took one look at Finn and lunged, grabbing the boy's shoulders and shaking him. "Finn, have you seen Rachel, do you know where she went?"

Finn's brain was slow on the uptake when he was fully awake; when he was half-asleep it was like a car with a frozen motor on the winter. It kind of had to warm up before it kicked to gear. So he stared at small man in glasses in front of him for a little while and blinked. The question finally processed and his eyes widened while his stomach dropped to his feet unpleasantly.

"Rachel? No, Mr. Berry, I haven't seen her since school today."

"Oh my GOD!" Leroy whispered, taking his glasses off and pressing both thumbs to his eyes to stench a flow of tears.

Carol sent a questioning look towards Kurt, who had came up from the basement tying his robe and sighed when the other boy shook his head with a shrug. Whispering soft word to the distressed man, she led Leroy towards the living room where he collapsed boneless on the couch.

"Leroy, what happened?"

"I'm sorry for waking you up, Carol… I was in Atlanta with Hiram on a big case and decided to come home earlier than planned. Rachel has been really down lately and I worried about leaving her alone. Hiram and I decided he'd stay and finish up while I'd check on her, maybe do something fun together. So I took the first available flight, but when I got home and went to give her a goodnight kiss, she wasn't there!"

Finn's mouth dropped open. Rachel was missing? What the hell? He saw her that same day and she seemed fine! She even smiled at him! But was she? Finn swallowed the lump on his throat when he realized that no, maybe she wasn't fine.

"There was a letter on her pillow and her bedazzled microphone. She doesn't leave that mic behind for anything. She takes it everywhere! Oh my God, Carol! What happened to my baby girl? What am I going to tell Hiram?"

The man burst into tears and Finn's mother rubbed his back soothingly.

"And what does the letter say, Leroy?"

He handed it towards Finn, unable to speak and the teen took it with shaking hands. The paper was kind of wrinkled, as if Rachel's dad had been holding it too tight. It made a noise as Finn unfolded that seemed too loud, even with the sound of sobs and sniffles that came from the couch and Finn's heart thudded on his ears like it wanted to escape his chest.

The awful feeling in his stomach he recognized as dread made it hard for him to focus on Rachel neat, flowery hand-writing. Clearing his throat, he mouthed the words as he read and didn't even realize he was turning a sick shade of pale.

"Finn?"

Kurt placed a hand on his arm and started to read over his shoulder.

Daddies,

First, I want to begin by saying I love you. I know that right now you may be finding this hard to believe, but I do. And I also know it will be hard to understand and to accept what I'm doing but I have the faith that knowing me, you'll come to see that this is the best for me right now.

I feel suspended in a place I don't belong and truly, I need to grow up. You raised me to believe I could do anything and to overcome obstacles but I never learned how to deal with not believing in myself.

I hurt Daddy. All the time. I feel suffocated and unwanted and I really want to belong. There's nothing in Lima for me anymore but I know that overcoming the rejection and feeling like I'm worth something, even if I'm constantly told otherwise is the final step I need to take in order to grow up. I need space to learn to do that. I need to think and plan what I'm going to do with the rest of my life and Dad, I know you'll think I'm being overly dramatic, that Finn's just a boy and "he was my first but he wouldn't be my last" but I really thought, for just that small space of time we were together that he was going to be the one.

So I need to rebuild my dreams; to stop being so diva all the time. To not wear school girl clothes and make myself ready for a world that's going to eat me alive for sure.

Finn was the best thing that happened to me and there's not a day in my life I don't regret hurting him. After all, you taught me better than to be a cheater and a liar. Guess I managed to do both things in the end.

So, anyway, I'm leaving for a while, but I'll come back. When I'm ready, I'll come back. I took some of my savings and I still have my credit card, if you don't cancel it. If you do it's okay, I'll find some other way.

I'll turn my phone on next week if you want to talk to me; this week I don't want to talk about anything. I'll just take walks around the park, eat ice cream cones and meet new people. I want to find a job and laugh. Most of all, I want to feel like the golden star you always told me I am.

Please, Daddy, tell Dad not to go to the police or to come looking for me like crazy. I need this. I promise I'll be ok and I'll keep in touch; have faith in me like you did so many times before.

I love you.

P.S: Try to see with Mr. Figgings if I can fax over my homework. Tell him I have a contagious disease or something.

Rachel

There was no golden star next to her name. While he shook like a leaf in the wind, paper rustling madly in his hands, all Finn could think about was how plain her name looked without the golden star next to it. Kurt's hand had tightened on his arm like a clamp but Finn never felt it. He had just lost all feeling in his extremities. Because all he could think about was that there was no golden star next to Rachel's name. He had taken the light out of her.

GLEE