Movie Sidekicks and Token Gay Guys - A Short Story
This was always her favorite scene in Under the Tuscan Sun. Diane Lane sitting alone at a table alternating the opening of her right eye then her left eye as she looks at a bottle of wine. It only took a couple lonely glasses of Merlot for her to try it herself. Right. Left. Right. Left.
She hears the apartment door shut loudly behind her but she doesn't stop. It's only when she hears Kurt stop beside of the table that she pulls her gaze away from the empty bottle and turns it on him. "You look like hell," he says emphatically, his hands perched tightly on his hips, "and I'm being generous."
She picks her chin up off of the table and grabs her glass of wine. "Why thank you, Kurt. Your honestly is always appreciated." Tipping her glass up, she lets her last drink slide down her throat and places the glass back down. She glances around. "Where's Blaine?"
Kurt takes a seat at the table opposite her and props his feet up on one of the empty chairs. "Still at the bachelor party. Is it just me or does Blaine become way too heterosexual when he is drinking?" She cocks an eyebrow at him, not even needing to respond to his question. She's pretty certain Kurt remembers in excruciating detail her own kiss with a buzzed Blaine several years earlier. "Regardless, he seems to be enjoying the Neanderthal activities taking place where as I simply alternated between being appalled, disgusted and embarrassed. So I placed him in Puck's care and made him promise to safely put his gorgeous rear in a cab when the male bonding ended."
"What about you? How was the bachelorette party?" He glances around the room; she knows likely noting the empty Chinese food containers thrown about haphazardly. He's probably expecting to find more empty wine bottles there too.
"I didn't go," she says and he quickly brings his gaze back to her, eyes wide. "Don't look at me like that, Kurt. You know that she didn't really want me there, she only asked me because of Noah." She hates how his name stings her head (and her heart) and she leans forward, placing her hands on her forehead. After a few seconds, she whispers, "I just couldn't do it."
She can feel Kurt's gaze on her and she's unsure of what he is thinking. Probably what a waste it was for him to spend two hours picking out the best ensemble for her to wear only for her to make it as far as the sidewalk before she bolted back inside and into the safe confines of their apartment. She wonders if he would find solace in the knowledge that the doorman told her she looked nice.
She's about to tell him when he speaks. "I think we need to talk, Rachel." She lifts her head up to look at him. "Before you make the biggest mistake of your life and you let Puckerman make the biggest mistake of his."
Her eyelids flutter shut, "I . . I don't know what you're . . ."
"Oh you don't," Kurt interrupts, jolting her eyes back open, "Because I'm certain you know exactly what I'm talking about. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to have this conversation with you. That you would wise up and take care of it on your own. But alas, that was not to be so I believe it is my duty, as your fabulous friend and person who has to live with you, to talk some sense into you." He removes his feet from the chair and leans forward against the table, folding his arms in front of him. "You're a smart woman, Rachel Berry, but you are ridiculously stupid when it comes to Noah Puckerman. I ignored it for the most part, believing you would figure it out on your own, but we are exactly one week now from it being too late so I'm going to help you along. He's getting married, Rachel, married!" He slams his hands down on the table, causing Rachel to jump slightly and the empty wine bottle and glass to wobble. Her heart starts to race wildly and she's unsure which of the scares Kurt just put in her is causing it.
Leaning forward, she places her chin in her palm and stares at the wine glass in front of her. Noah's getting married. She's painfully aware of this though she has done a fairly good job of late (well, since he told her) of ignoring that very fact. Even then, she could feel this subtle and consistent pain in her heart. She shouldn't have to ignore it, she shouldn't feel like her heart is being pulled out of her chest and stomped on every time she thinks about it. He's her best friend, her confidant, her rock. He's been there for her through it all, through every failure and every success, so she should be there for him during this happy time. Shouldn't she? If only it were that easy.
He started dating Kaitlyn a year and a half ago. It bothered her immediately but she chalked it up to being lonely . . . not jealous. It didn't take her long to figure out she was wrong but she wouldn't admit it. Then six months ago, Noah showed up at her apartment at 3 a.m. He was buzzed and seemed angry and she couldn't figure out why. He rambled for a bit about anything and everything and then he looked at her point blank and told her he was going to ask Kaitlyn to marry him. When the words came from his mouth, she felt her heart plummet. She has never felt anything like it before and it scared her. Literally scared her. Then he asked her if there was any reason she thought he shouldn't ask Kaitlyn to marry him.
She said no.
"Staring at the wine glass isn't going to change anything, Rachel," Kurt says softly, drawing her from her thoughts, "You're in love with him. Are you seriously going to let him marry her without knowing that?"
"It doesn't matter, Kurt," she says as she shakes her head. She can feel tears start to sting at her eyes and she fights to keep them back. "He obviously loves her. He's marrying her. And I cannot be that woman . . . this isn't some Hollywood chick flick. I can't go running to him now, declaring my undying love and expect him to just walk away from her for me. It doesn't happen that way in real life. And I can't do that to him . . . or her for that matter."
Kurt stares at her momentarily, his eyes sympathetic on her, and then he shrugs. "Then do it for you." He gets up and slides into the chair nearest to her, slipping his arm around her shoulder. "I always did love those chick flicks. And you and Puck? You have chick flick written all over you. The angst riddled romance that ends with a lifetime of happiness. The friends who don't even realize they are in love with each other even when everyone else," he quickly turns to her and glares, "and I do mean everyone else, knows. Honey, there is a reason why Puck came here at 3 a.m. to tell you that. He wanted you to tell him there was a reason he shouldn't ask her. And there is a reason why Kaitlyn isn't very fond of you. It's because she knows that her fiancé is in love with you. I wouldn't like you either." She bites at her bottom lip as she listens to him speak, her heart pounding harder with each passing second.
Kurt leans his head against hers. "I can tell you that tonight, Noah Puckerman did not look like a man happy to be betrothed. He looked like a man who is running scared. He doesn't have a ring on his finger yet. Stop him before he does."
As he kisses the side of her head, she hears the apartment door open and Blaine stumble in. "What's up, my friends," he laughs, obviously still on his buzz.
Kurt waves his hand dismissively, "Oh nothing, just trying to convince the blind one here that she needs to stop this wedding before it's too late."
Blaine looks at her and smiles. "Epic . . . and totally necessary." He places his hands on her shoulders then, grasping them maybe a little too strongly. "Two words Rachel. Chick. Flick."
Twenty minutes later, she's changed into four different outfits . . . well she's been made to change into four times . . . before settling back on the white dress and stilettos she had on originally and Kurt and Blaine are hustling her into a bright yellow cab, slapping a fifty in the drivers hand and telling him to take her as quick as he can to Puck's address. She still feels a little tipsy from all the wine she's consumed but she figures she is going to need that for what she's about to do. She clenches her eyes shut and throws her head back against the seat. Oh for the love of Babs, what is she going to do? Kurt and Blaine barely gave her a second to think about this, knowing that was likely very deliberate. They chattered endlessly about how Noah looks at her (and how Kaitlyn leers at her) and how everyone knows they are meant to be together (yet no one ever said anything). But did they give her guidance on how she is supposed to face him and tell him how she feels? NO!
This is going to go horribly, horribly wrong. She can feel it. Because she's fairly certain she would have noticed if Noah was looking at her differently or she would have caught on to his feelings for her. He's her best friend, she would have noticed that. Right? But then again, she didn't notice her own feelings until it was too late. Too late.
This is probably why they never show the lead up to the big chick flick ending, never show the character and their thoughts as they are driving (or riding) to the big finale destination. They make the decision and the next thing you know, they are at the persons door. She thinks it's because they would have to show them talking themselves out of it if they did show it.
She's about to tell the driver to turn around before she makes a horribly tragic mistake when he pulls to a stop and announces they are there. She looks at the building for a few seconds and then Kurt's words from earlier ring in her head. You're in love with him. Are you seriously going to let him marry her without knowing that?
She knows the risk now. That she may just end up losing him when this is said and done. But she also knows that she has to do it. Because leaving this between them will only hurt them . . . and possibly kill her. So she needs to put her heart on the line. Now.
In very chick flick like fashion.
She's grateful that he lives on the bottom floor because really doesn't need more time for her conflicted mind to give her any more reasons to run. So she rasps on the door a few times and then waits impatiently, rubbing her hands together.
He's shirtless when he opens the door, a pair of jeans hanging loosely on his hips. His eyes grow wide when he sees her. "Rachel? What's wrong?"
Fitting. There have only been two other occasions where Rachel has ended up at Noah's door at 3 a.m. Both times involved a great deal of alcohol and a fight with a guy. Both times he provided coffee, a shoulder to cry on and his bed to sleep in. "Nothing is wrong," she whispers, her nerves causing her voice to hitch slightly as she speaks, "I just . . . can I talk to you?"
He narrows his eyes on her and nods before opening the door wider and waving her in. She takes her jacket off and throws it on his couch, momentarily forgetting the outfit she is in until she sees him raking his eyes over her. She suddenly feels very self-conscious and she starts rubbing her hands down her dress.
He notices, seemingly forcing himself to pull his eyes from her. He moves to the couch and props himself up on the arm. "So what do you want to talk about, Rach?"
She really doesn't have a clue how to begin, cursing herself for not practicing this in the cab on the way here. She wants to start scanning chick flicks she's seen to remember how they started this conversation but she knows she doesn't have time for that. Not with his soft green eyes boring into her right now. Probably wondering what in the world she is doing there at this time.
She scans her brain looking for the right words. Opening her mouth every few seconds to speak and then huffing in frustration when she realizes it's not right. Then she just moves her eyes to his, takes a final huff and lets her shoulders slump. She knows the perfect words aren't going to come so she says the only thing she can right now. "Don't marry her."
He looks like he had the wind knocked out of him, inhaling sharply back, his eyes growing wide on her. She immediately wants to start retracting or yell gotcha or something but that's not what she came here for. She came to be honest with him, something she should have done a very long time ago. So she straightens her back, jetting her chin out as she stiffens her resolve. "I love you. I'm totally and completely in love with you. And I don't care if it's too late, I'm telling you anyway. And I know that I should have told you that . . . well, at least before now. But sometimes I'm an idiot and sometimes I get stuck on these ridiculous thoughts in my head." She pulls her eyes away and starts looking around nervously. She knows she is rambling but she hasn't a clue how to stop. "I had this plan, Noah, when I came to New York City . . . and you weren't part of it. I had wrote it when I was ten years old and I kept telling myself that if I changed the plan, then the whole thing would change and I wouldn't get what I wanted. Like the plan would be null and void. It's a completely preposterous notion, I know. But it's what I thought."
Clenching her eyes closed tightly, she waits a few seconds and then opens her eyes back to him. "I want to alter the plan. I want to alter it to have New York and to have Broadway but also to have you. Because I want you too. So very badly. So please, please, don't marry her."
She sees his jaw tick and he pulls his gaze from her. Her heart sinks to the ground so far that she feels like she is going to have to pick it up as she leaves. She knew this stuff didn't happen in real life so why did she let herself believe it would happen for her. Why did she let Kurt and Blaine convince her of it?
"I love her," he says and her eyes flutter shut. Her whole body feels numb and she can't even force herself to move right now. What in the world was she thinking? Of course he loves her. He is going to marry her in one week.
"I'm sorry," she says, her voice barely above a whisper but the room is so quiet that she knows he hears her. She can hear him breathing heavily. "I know I totally screwed this up and I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking. I . . ."
"Just shut up Rachel, please." He's shaking his head when she looks to him, continuing to do so for a few seconds before he turns suddenly to gaze at her. "I love her but I love you too. I'm insanely and madly in love with you and it's completely nuts because I never thought you felt it. I don't feel that kind of love with her. The kind that makes a man crazy." He lowers his gaze, shaking his head again. "Only you can make me crazy."
Before she has a chance to process everything he has said, process the fact that he just told her he loves her, he pushes up off the chair and takes three long strides until he is standing in front of her. He places his hand on her cheek and brushes his thumb across her soft skin. "You wanna know how crazy you make me?" He rests his forehead to her, keeping his hand on her face. "I called Kaitlyn after the bachelor party and called the wedding off. Cause here I was, out to celebrate this moment that is supposed to make me happy, make me complete, and all I can think about is my crazy Rachel Berry. And I knew then that even if you didn't feel the same, there was no way I could marry her while I was so much in love with you. She deserves better than that. And I deserve you. Just glad you figured it out too so I didn't have to figure out how to convince you that you deserve me."
He pulls her face forward, capturing her lips with his. Her body instantly feels like it is on fire and she melts into it, reciprocating his kisses with fierce intensity. She's never felt this way with anyone else before because she's never loved anyone else this way before.
Her hands snake around his bare back and he pulls back momentarily, laughing as he catches his breath. "I'm surprised that you didn't know about the wedding though," he says and she peaks a curious glance up at him. "Blaine was with me when I called her. Kept saying something about epic love stories and happy endings. The dude watches too many chick flicks."
Her mouth falls open at this revelation but he quickly captures it back with his and all is lost in her mind.
She will deal with Blaine and his role as the scheming sidekick in this chick flick later. Right now, she is going to begin her happy ending.