Title: I Told You Once I'd Be There For You
Pairing: Sam/Rachel friendship that borderlines on them dating; eventual Finchel…because its endgame people.
Summery: Something was wrong with Rachel Berry; something that had her wearing sweatpants and working at Sheets n Things—stacking rugs and shower curtains. Finn was totally aware of his relationship with Quinn but he couldn't stop the constant pull of needing to know what was wrong with his ex-girlfriend.
Type: Multi-chapter story
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the idea :)
Author's note: This takes place after Regional's; Quinn and Finn have made their relationship public. And in this story Sam and Santana never dated. This Rachel/Sam friendship follows my one-shot Honest Friends Are Hard to Come By. It's not necessary to read that beforehand but it's a nice lead in to how close Rachel and Sam have gotten with their friendship.
Okay, so, first Finchel Fic! I'm sort of nervous, hope you all enjoy the first chapter! I will probably have the next chapter up tomorrow!
Finn sighed, caught between an aisle for frilly toilet covers and towels at Sheets n Things. Where the hell were the throw pillows? He swore his mom said that he could find them here…He peeked his head down another aisle. Maybe Kurt would like… He picked up a rubber ducky shaped soap dispenser. This? He likes to be clean and stuff…he's always in the shower for like, hours… He put the duck down. Kind of lame for a birthday present.
He talked it over with his mom because he wasn't sure what to get Kurt for his birthday. He knew the guy but not well enough to shop for him. He was fond of decorating—he ignored the pang in his heart over the small incident, who am I kidding? A huge incident where I was an ass— when Kurt had decorated his and Finn's room in the new house for their new 'family'. Finn had kind of exploded, to say the least. He shook his head, pushing the thought out of his mind. Throw pillows. He thought it'd be perfect and his mom agreed. Throw pillows came in all different shapes and sizes and colors and…designs. He'd have plenty to choose from if he could just find the goddamn aisle.
He didn't really want to be there; ever since he had started dating Quinn and everything he was avoiding Sam like the plague. And back when Sam and Finn were friends, Sam had told him about the job he got at Sheets n Things and how he could get his mom a lot of discounts on bathroom supplies or things needed around the house.
Finn turned to go down another aisle and ran into lampshades. Why the hell was there an aisle dedicated to lampshades? He ran a hand through his hair, nearly fed up with being there, a fight from earlier with Quinn making a headache pinch behind his eyes. He heard a customer fighting with an employee a row over, yelling something about pink shower curtains. God. How shitty was that? Getting yelled at over pink shower curtains and what color towels customers were looking for? No, thank you. He'd take another job any day.
He froze when he recognized a voice—a light and airy voice. It sent an instant shudder down his spine. Rachel. Rachel Berry was in Sheets n Things. He left the row and turned to go down the next, following her voice. He watched her direct the customer—wait, she was the employee?—down the row and to the left to where there were other shower curtains displayed.
"Rachel?" He asked.
She turned, wearing a pine green apron. It came down to rest just above her short blue skirt, gold stars scattered around the fabric. Her yellow tights were bright under the fluorescent lights. Her name tag displayed her name in bright red capital letters, gold star stickers surrounding her name. Finn didn't expect anything less from her to be honest.
She swallowed and looked towards the floor, like she was embarrassed. "Oh, hello Finn."
She picked up a stack of towels and carried them down the aisle, reaching up on her toes to stack them onto the shelf.
"You-you work here?" He tried to keep the shock out of his voice.
Finn never thought he'd see Rachel Berry working at Sheets n Things—stacking rugs, toilet covers and curtains. Those colors; red, purple and rose pink didn't even suit her. Her color was gold—like one of her shiny, star stickers. What the hell was she doing here?
Rachel nodded softly. "I needed the money."
Finn just stared at her, slightly amused at her trying to reach the top shelf to put away glass soap containers. He took it from her and easily set it on top. "For what?"
She just sighed and kept stacking. A long time ago, it felt like that anyways, he knew that there was one point in their relationship where she could have told him anything. There were moments where she never kept secrets from him—when she confided in him.
"What are you doing here?" She asked but Finn could sense that she didn't really care about his answer.
"I'm here to get a present for Kurt."
"Oh!" She turned to look at him, instantly engaged in what he was saying. He couldn't help the small smile that tugged at the corners of his lips as she grinned. "What did you have in mind? I bought a present for him last week," Course she had, she had always been more prepared than him. Never left things to the last minute. "I had several selections and even helped Blaine pick his present out—so I could definitely help you…if you want." She bit her lower lip nervously; he bit his tongue on telling her how cute it was.
He nodded. "That'd be great."
They started walking down the aisle, Rachel leading the way. "So how's Quinn?" Rachel muttered.
Finn sighed, annoyed. That headache was making itself more prominent. This was the last thing he wanted to talk about. This whole prom situation and Quinn's ever-so-obvious obsession with the damn dance and ending out on top was fraying the last of his nerves.
"I don't really want to talk about her," He didn't mean to snap at her. "Sorry, just—sore subject right now." He swallowed, sticking his hands in his pockets.
She nodded, seeming to understand.
"So throw pillows."
She nodded again, her hair shaking loose from her ponytail and framing her face a little. "Throw pillows."
Rachel picked him out a blue throw pillow that was shaped like a frog. It had big eyes and green polka dots speckling its back. He wasn't sure if giving this to his half brother was such a good idea—but Rachel assured him that he would like it, or at least the thought of the present if nothing else. He trusted her; she must have known more about pillows and stuff than he did. Not to mention Kurt and her had been hanging out a lot—they had gotten closer and closer and became really good friends. Finn was glad Rachel was gaining more people in the friend department…she deserved people realizing how amazing she was.
"So, what did you get him?"
She smiled. "It's a surprise."
"You'll be there for his party on Saturday? It's at my house…uhm, I'm gonna decorate the basement and stuff with balloons or streamers. It's at one; you could bring cookies and baked goods if you want." God he missed those Snicker doodles of hers.
She nodded. "Sam is taking me. Would you like Snicker doodles?"
Finn couldn't even appreciate how she had read his mind or something because he was trying his hardest to mind his own business. Rachel had nothing to do with him anymore—heartfelt original song or not—his feelings for her were gone. God, they just had to be, he had to move on. He was with Quinn now and annoying as this whole prom thing was with her, she was his first love…or something and he had to give her a chance. Regardless of how much he honestly didn't want to. Regardless of how much he tried to will those feelings away for the tiny brunette in front of him. No matter how hard he forced them away, the harder they came back, squeezing his heart like one of those cool anaconda snakes he saw on the Discovery channel.
"So you are with Sam now." Couldn't keep the acid out of his voice. What happened to the control he had been working on?
"No, we're friends Finn…so, the cookies?"
And when the hell did that happen? He knew that Sam and Rachel had gotten close over Valentine's Day—became friends or whatever. He stuck up for her when Finn couldn't find the balls to do it. Eventually Santana stopped making rude remarks, which was a small miracle within itself, because she didn't want to deal with Sam retaliating on her to defend Rachel. Was he so far up Quinn's ass about this prom that he hadn't noticed Sam and her getting even closer than friends?
"Is this why you're working here?" Finn accused. "Because Sam does?" Too late; his motor mouth couldn't stop running at full speed.
He knew the moment his mouth opened that he regretted it. Her smile fell from her face and reshaped into a frown, her eyes glaring at him angrily. She stomped her foot and if Finn hadn't been so pissed he would have thought it was cute.
"I am friends with him, Finn! And even if we were dating, it'd be none of your business! I think you've made it clear that you want nothing to do with me." Her voice was shaking with emotion.
Rachel's word 'nothing' bounced around in his head. Had he really convinced her that she meant nothing to him? Because that wasn't true—she'd always mean something to him. She taught him to believe in himself—to believe that he was more than this hick town had to offer, that he could go places, that his voice could take him there. He swallowed a hard lump in his throat. She meant everything to him and he never should have taken that fact away from her.
His mouth opened, having a mind of its own. "I know what you're doing, trying to make me jealous. Rachel, I thought we were past this—"
"Not everything is about you Finn!" She cut him off.
Finn closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose as she angrily stacked packaged sheets onto a shelf and when she dropped one, she quickly snatched it up before he could pick it up for her.
"Sam helped me get the job." Were those tears in her eyes? A pang of guilt stabbed his chest.
"Because you needed the money…" He repeated her earlier statement softly.
She nodded once, her hands shaking as they smoothed down her apron.
"…but you can't tell me what for?"
He knew he didn't really have the right to ask her that sort of thing—to confide in him like that, not after how awful he was being to her. And for no goddamn reason! One moment he was just talking to her and the next he exploded. God, it's like I'm bi… He thought a moment. Something to do with a polar bear? Bi-polar! That was it.
He wanted to touch her shoulder or something. "Rachel…"
"You better get that up to the register, Finn. We're closing in ten."
And with a flip of brown hair, a Rachel Berry storm off commenced.
So that was chapter one! How was it? Did you like it or…? Not? Any feedback would be great. I have many chapters mapped out and the next few written. So if the feedback is okay, I'll continue with posting chapters. :) thanks so much for reading!