Rachel stood there, motionless, unsure of how to handle what had just happened. She could still feel him, taste him, on her lips. The cold wind whipped her hair in her face and she took a staggering breath. Slowly but surely, she turned herself around and slowly paced back to the two men.
"A-Are you okay?" Jesse asked, touching her bare shoulder. She nodded, refusing to cry. He turned to look at Mr. Schue for some type of answer. He just shrugged, then took of his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders. She smiled lightly as they looked down at her.
"We can't keep the glee club waiting." she smiled. They looked warily at her, but nodded and walked with her back towards the building. Jesse was afraid to touch her, but kept his hand lightly on her back.
"Hey, you guys. Is everything okay?" Mercedes asked, watching the group walk in.
"I don't see any blood, so I think it went perfect." joked Artie. The club laughed.
"We're fine." Jesse stated informatively.
"Thanks for filling in, Mercedes." Mr. Schue smiled, taking his seat at his desk.
Rachel sat next to Kurt and Jesse, staying silent. Kurt gently took her hand and she flashed him a quick grin.
"Hey, where's Puck? Didn't he go out with you guys?" Quinn asked, searching the room.
"Yeah, but he decided to leave. I don't know where he went." Rachel finally spoke. Both Jesse's and Mr. Schuester's eyes were on her. Jesse slowly slid his hand into her other, cautiously intertwining their fingers. She didn't speak, just leaned her head on his shoulder. He kissed her head, then turned to stare forward again.
"Look, I really don't have anything planned honestly. Just take the last few minutes to talk or do whatever." Mr. Schue finally announced, running a hand through his hair.
"Rachel, if you want to talk later, I'm gonna be there, okay? I'm here for you. Just...are you going to make it through today?" his eyes pierced through her skin and penetrated her heart. She felt Kurt's eyes on them as well as a few other wandering ones, too.
"Jesse, I'm fine, but thank you. I'm really, really good." Rachel smiled, but Jesse wasn't so convinced. She hugged his neck, then kissed his cheek. "I promise." he couldn't help but smile back as the bell rang.
Throughout the day, both her teacher and Jesse tried to keep tabs on her, but couldn't seem to find a flaw in her behavior.
"Hey Rach. You want me to come pick you up?" Jesse said on the phone as the school day ended.
"Sure, Jesse. I'll be in the choir room. You can either call me or come in if you want."
"Okay, sounds good. I'll see you soon, Rachel." Jesse said seriously.
"See you soon." she smiled before tucking the phone back into her pocket. She headed towards the piano where Mr. Schue was familiarizing himself with the music she gave him. His fingers danced on the keys as she belted out her beautiful words. During what was supposed to be an instrumental break, he paused.
"What's the problem, Mr. Schue?" she questioned.
"Rachel, I-...That was beautiful, but - but I just can't shake the feeling that everything's not okay. Noah was out of line outside and he just left you there and you seem to be, well, fine. I'm worried." Rachel stared at him for a long while, then hugged him tightly. He held her like she was his own daughter.
"I'm okay. I-I promise." she whispered softly, honestly. He rubbed her back gently.
"O-okay. I believe you. I-I trust you, Rachel." he continued to hug her tightly for another moment before releasing her and wiping his eyes quickly.
"Do you want me to start where we left off?" he asked calmly.
"Sure." she smiled. Once again, his fingers danced across the keys and soon she was singing again. She held on to her last note, longer than she ever had tried with this particular piece, but he accompanied her with pleasure. As she finally let it go, she didn't hear one set of claps, but two. She turned to see Jesse standing in the doorway. They both smiled as he sauntered towards her and wrapped her in a hug.
"That was amazing." he grinned. She giggled. Mr. Schue stood and shook Jesse's hand, but Jesse insisted on a hug. Mr. Schue obliged and they embraced quickly, but genuinely. He also hugged Rachel and complimented her on her singing.
"Thanks, you guys. I wasn't so sure about the song choice, but I guess I made a good decision." They both laughed at her modesty.
"It was nice working with you Rachel. I'll see you tomorrow, then?"
"Definitely. Thanks, again, Mr. Schue." she said as Jesse took her hand and the walked towards the door.
"Anytime." he smiled.
The entire week, Rachel hadn't heard a word from Noah. She didn't want to let it bother her, but it was an uneasiness in her stomach that ached a little more as each day passed. Neither Jesse nor Mr. Schue seemed to notice anything and were just happy to have everything back to normal and she didn't want to ruin that either. She didn't like upsetting them and soaking their clothes and wasting their time with her seemingly endless sobs.
Before she knew it, Glee club was back in session for their weekly rehearsal. Jesse had again stayed with her during practice although both the New Directions's director and Carmel High's director were concerned about Jesse being able to listen in during rehearsals. Jesse refused to go, though. He refused to leave Rachel alone, and would only do so if it was what she wanted. The directors finally agreed to the conditions and allowed the young man to do as he pleased. There were other kids to worry about.
Rachel skimmed the room with her eyes in search of the boy who again had made her rethink her previous choices and who was going to be the one for her in this life - but he was no where to be seen.
"Alright guys..." Mr. Schue started with the clap of his hands, but Rachel blocked him out. She slowly pulled out her phone and texted Noah.
Where are you? Glee club today...
She was afraid to say anymore to him. She clasped her cell tightly in her hands, waiting for that vibration, but after five minutes tucked it away, disappointed. Jesse watched her face and frowned to himself, and gently let go of her hand. He let it rest on his knee and stared forward as Mr. Schue spoke, although he felt Rachel's eyes on him. He wouldn't dare look at her. The song she had sung that day, "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri, was coming back to him. He's better for her. He is. He thought to himself.
The class was a blur to him and Jesse found himself surprised when the bell rang. Without a word, he gathered his things and headed out, hurring to the parking lot, trying not to miss too much of his classes. Rachel rushed out to follow him, but ran into someone on the way out and was soon on the floor.
"I'm sorry, I-" she stopped her apology seeing who she had run into: Noah. They both quickly stood and she refused his help in returning to her feet.
"Rachel, I need to talk to you." she turned.
"I don't want to talk to you!" she urged.
"Yes, you do. You wouldn't have texted me if you didn't wanna talk to me. I'm not an idiot. Well, not totally anyway." Rachel stopped and listened, and realizing he was right, she turned around to face him. He smiled slightly and led her into the choir room.
Mr. Schue turned to see the two of them and a look of worry grew on his face as he took a protective stance.
"It's okay, Mr. Schue. We're just here to talk." he stayed for a moment longer, staring the boy down, then retreated to his office, but kept alert.
Rachel sat on the bleachers and fidgeted with the hem of her shirt, unsure of how to act towards Noah anymore. He paced, searching for the right words.
"Rachel...first of all, I-I'm sorry. I've just been kinda mixed up lately and I can't control my impulses anymore. Dammit, I just don't know what to do about Jesse anymore. No offense or anything, but every time I see him I just want to punch him in the face. He doesn't even have to do anything to piss me off, ya know?" Rachel stared at him, suddenly forgetting all the anger she had possessed for him.
"Noah, I-...I don't know what to say..." Rachel started, but couldn't say anymore.
"Rachel, you're not gonna believe me and it's okay, but I-I think I love you more. I think I love you more than Jesse does. I know I ain't perfect and I'm the king of bad-asses and I get mixed up in some bad stuff, but I'm not gonna stop loving you, okay?" Noah had since gotten closer to her, and touched her shoulder. He stared into her eyes.
"Noah...I-I need some time to think everything over. I'm just a mess right now, okay? I-I'm sorry." Rachel rushed past Noah and headed outside, tears streaming down her face. She slumped against the side of the building in complete agony and frustration. She was just so confused at this point. She hoped that no one had followed her outside, although she knew that Mr. Schue would've have realized her absence due to the silence of the choir room. He'd find Puck and blame him, then Puck would have to explain where she was and he'd find her. Rachel took the time to try and getting a hold of herself. She was tired of crying in front of everyone and making them worry for her. It wasn't fair.
Rachel heard footsteps and held her breath. She knew she couldn't hide much longer because it would soon become a larger issue. Mr. Schue was one to worry. She let out a whimper, and all was silent. The rush of footsteps soon followed and her teacher had found her. He collapsed next to her, holding her in his arms. He was...crying.
"Rachel...are you okay? Did-did he hurt you?" she had never seen her teacher so concerned and-and broken.
"It's okay, really. He-He didn't hurt me or anything, I just...I got overwhelmed. I'm really sorry, Mr. Schue." her tears had calmed and she was slowly wiping them away. She pulled back to look her teacher in the eyes.
"Please...don't worry for me, okay? I-I'm gonna be okay and, and you're just too busy to be chasing after me all the time. Please, Mr. Schue. Please..." he had stared at her, unable to speak. It seemed like an impossible and utterly ridiculous request coming from her. He couldn't respond, nor fully comprehend what all she wanted. He stood up slowly, then offered his hand to her. She cautiously took it and stood slowly.
"I'll take you home." he said and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"It's okay, I can go back -" she tried to turn but he took her shoulders.
"Rachel I know you want to, but I think it's best if you let me take you home." Rachel wanted to fight, but she had done enough damage for the day. She simply nodded and he led her to his car.
The ride was quiet besides Rachel giving directions. Meanwhile, Will couldn't seem to get Rachel's words out of his head. He wanted to help, but he didn't know how to fix anything. He didn't know if he should be angry with Jesse or Noah. He was frustrated, but he wouldn't let Rachel know.
He stopped the car and paused for a moment.
"Rachel, are you sure you're okay? I mean, I could send someone here after school, or I- I mean I could stay here too if that's too long..." she smiled slightly to herself, looking down at her hands in her lap.
"I think I'm gonna be just fine, Mr. Schuester. Thank you." she clasped her arms around his neck and held on for a little longer.
"You're welcome. Anytime." she pulled back to smile at him and she gathered her things she had set at her feet. He touched her shoulder and she paused.
"I mean it, Rachel. If you need me, or anyone, don't hesitate to ask. We're here for you." they both smiled and she hugged him one last time before stepping out of his car and letting him leave her alone.
It didn't take long for Noah to call Rachel.
"Hello?" she asked sheepishly.
"Hey." he paused for a long moment. "Did Mr. Schue find you, okay?"
"Yeah. Thanks for telling him where I was. I-I kept telling myself I didn't need anyone, but I'm really glad he was there." Rachel admitted. There was another pause before he spoke again.
"Are you okay, then?" he wondered seriously.
"I-I think so. I just need to take time to think about things and to really consider what's in front of me." Noah knew she was talking about him and Jesse and sighed, but agreed.
"Take as much time as you need. I just want you to be...well to be Rachel again." His voice was serious and honest.
"Me too...kind of. I just want to be happy. Before I was...well I was mean. I was mean to people and put them down, especially in the glee club. Yeah, sure, none of them seemed to have much of a problem and kind of brushed it off, but that doesn't make it okay. I'm gonna change, I-I promise." Noah took in a staggering breath. His chest tightened and he tried to force the tears back.
"Rachel I...I-I just gotta go now. I'm sorry." Before Rachel could say anything, he hung up. So this is what he feels like when I do that Rachel thought to herself.
She sat on the edge of her bed and thought. She wanted to make her decision about who she wanted, but she was just too damn confused about everything.
After about an hour of thought, Rachel closed her eyes, just wanting to sleep. Her thoughts of sleep were interupted by the rain outside, pouring down endlessly and the honking of a horn outside didn't help either. She looked out her window to see a car parked in her driveway and Noah being soaked to the brim. There's no way...she thought, rushing down to see him.
She bounded out the door, not bothering to put on a coat, and jumped in to his arms. He caught her effortlessly, although he never imagined she'd be happy to see him. Instead of thinking about it too much, he sent it to the back of his mind and smiled.
He set her down gently after a moment and looked at her, still holding her at her with both hands lightly on her waist. Both were sopping wet, as Rachel stared up at Noah. She wanted to so badly to take his lips in the rain, but held back, afraid she'd cause even more trouble and confusion. Instead, he read her mind and kissed her in the rain like she had wanted. She just smiled wonder-struck afterwards, then led him inside. After changing and giving him one of her dads's old sweatshirts, they sat in her room and sat together silently on her bed.
"I love you, Rachel." he whispered, brushing her hair behind her ear. Her mind flashed to her memories with Jesse, and then the fights and problems, then did the same with Noah. Suddenly, it had become clear to her.
"I love you, too, Noah. I mean it this time. I'm sure." he looked at her shocked, then took her into a tight hug on the bed.
"How are you going to tell him?" he asked quietly after an elongated moment of silence. "When?" he gulped.
"I-I don't know..." she admitted and played with their fingers.
Rachel was happy she finally decided what she wanted, but she absolutely dreaded have to tell Jesse. She was still a little too not over him. She curled up next to Noah and breathed deeply, hoping to find an answer. He kissed her head and she soon drifted off.
Okay so I realize this is long...sorry/you're welcome lol. Anyways, thanks for reading! PLEASE review with comments, concerns, and/or suggestions! Love to hear from y'all! Much love, Nicole xoxo