DISCLAIMER: I neither own Glee nor the characters. They are the property of Ryan Murphy and FOX. This is purely for fun. Enjoy!
A/N: Welcome to the final chapter of Lovesick! I hope you survived all the drama, enjoy the fluffy ending!
Epilogue: Love is All You Need
Three Weeks Later
Sitting in the corner booth of one of Lima's fanciest restaurants, Rachel patiently folded her napkin across her lap as she waited for her lunch date to arrive with bated breath. Her hands were shaking from nerves and she had to remind herself to breathe more than once as the clock continued to tick. Where could he be? Why was he so late?
Finally, after waiting for what felt like a lifetime, she spotted Jesse St. James maneuvering himself through the crowd with a wicked smirk on his face pointed directly at Rachel. She smiled as politely as she could and stood up when he arrived, leaning over to press her cheek against his in a friendly kiss.
"Hello, Jesse. Glad you could make it."
"I'm so sorry I'm late, my darling, but I had to re-listen to your voice-mail about eight times in order to believe that it was truly real."
Trying her hardest to be polite, she shot him a strained smile as they sat at the table. "Well, it's real Jesse. We have a lot to talk about and it's time we start acting like adults and be honest with one another."
"I couldn't agree more." He said while unfolding his menu. "So what would you like to talk about, my sweet?"
"I'm getting married, Jesse."
The menu dropped unceremoniously from his hands as he glared at her from across the booth.
"What did you just say?"
Smiling sadly, she lifted her left hand, showing off Finn's simple, yet stunning, ring. "You heard me, Jesse. Don't make me repeat myself. Finn proposed to me and I accepted."
"You're actually going to marry that Neanderthal?" He asked incredulously. "At this time last year we were picking out flower arrangements and now you're marrying another man?"
"I thought you wanted to be an adult about this," she said defensively, dropping her hand into her lap.
"I thought you called me over here to make up, Rachel, not rub your proposal in my face." He crossed his hands over his chest and stuck his nose up in the air. "Besides, my engagement ring was much more ornate, intricate and expensive than that little bauble."
"Jesse," she warned, her voice stern. "I'm trying to be as civil about this as I can. I've been telling you since the moment you arrived here that I was seeing someone but you refused to listen. I know about the conversation you had with Finn a few weeks ago, and I came here to tell you that I've moved on. You have to do so as well. You've been hanging around Lima for weeks for no reason."
He reached across the table and took her hand in his, but it felt wrong so she pulled away. "Rachel, I still love you."
"I'm sorry, Jesse. If you really do love me, then you have to allow me to be with the person who makes me happy."
"We can be happy!" He urged, getting desperate as she shook her head.
"No we can't. You could never make me truly happy, Jesse. You can't just buy happiness and compassion and devotion, you have to feel it in your heart. And I don't feel that way when I'm with you."
His face was grim as he finally started to put the pieces together in his head. "Did you ever feel that way with me?"
"I thought I did," she admitted as Jesse shook his head. "But it wasn't real. I wanted it to be real, but it never was."
"I see." There was silence for a few very tense moments before Jesse spoke again. "Then maybe it would be better if I went back to Cleveland. I've been gone for far too long anyway."
"I think that would be best," she agreed. "But before you go, do you think you could do me a favor?"
His eyebrow shot up in curiosity as he stared her down. "What kind of favor?"
Rachel grinned as she looked at her menu and picked out a salad for lunch. "A special favor for an ex-fiancée. Don't worry, it's right up your alley."
"Oh, I can't wait," he said, the sarcasm just dripping from his voice as they ate their lunch together in amicable silence.
"Who is this guy?" Quinn said from her hospital bed as Santana slowly and carefully changed the bandages on her head. Rachel pushed Jesse into the room and introduced him to her patient.
"Quinn, this is Dr. Jesse St. James. He's a very talented and accomplished plastic surgeon." She smiled at Quinn who looked at Jesse with curiosity in her gaze. "He's also my ex-fiancé."
"Pleasure to meet you, Quinn. Rachel's told me all about you." Ignoring Jesse altogether, Quinn turned to Rachel with a sneer.
"Oh great, trying to give me all your sloppy seconds, now?" Quinn winced as Santana hit a sensitive spot on her temple. "Ah, watch it!"
Santana sent Rachel a look that meant she wanted to strangle her patient and Rachel rushed forward to diffuse the tension in the room. "Santana, why don't you let Jesse look at Quinn's head wounds so he can see if he can help." Exhaling deeply, Santana backed away from Quinn as Jesse placed gloves on his hands and moved towards the patient. He turned on all the extra lights so he could see the damage properly, and Rachel and Santana watched as Jesse delicately touched the outlines of the gash, noting her condition.
"Well, the cut is deep, that's for sure," he commented freely. "It's healed nicely so far. The edges of the wound are still quite jagged from the impact of the accident, but it's nothing I couldn't fix. I would have to read your file but I'll take the case if you want, Miss Fabray. You might have to make a few trips out to Cleveland for consulting and surgery, but I think I can make this surgery work."
"You can fix my face?" She asked in awe. "You can stop it from scarring?"
"Absolutely," he said, puffing out his chest with pride. "I'm the best, it's what I do."
"Thank you, Dr. St. James," Quinn said sincerely as Rachel slipped Santana a secret high-five. "We'll talk again soon."
"Yes, absolutely. Any friend of Rachel's is a friend of mine." Quinn looked over at Rachel with a smile that actually reached her eyes.
"Yeah, she's actually not that bad," she agreed as Jesse backed out of the room. Santana continued to dress the wound as Rachel followed Jesse out into the hall.
"So you'll really help her?" Rachel asked. "She's been making progress in therapy but she's been really self-conscious about her face and you're the best plastic surgeon I know."
"Why thank you for the compliment, I appreciate that. I would be honored to help her, since it means so much to you." They stood in awkward silence for a moment as Rachel shuffled from one foot to the other.
"So I'll be seeing you, Jesse. I wish you the best, I really do."
"Same here, Rachel. I'm sorry that things didn't work out for us." She looked over his shoulder and saw Finn walking towards her in the hallway with a smile. She definitely wasn't sorry that things didn't work out between her and Jesse, but he didn't need that rubbed in his face. Her future was with Finn, and her past with Jesse was just the catalyst that had brought them together.
"Take care, Jesse." She maneuvered her way around him and never looked back as she met up with Finn in the corridors of the hospital. He had a glowing smile on his face as he wrapped his arms tightly around her.
"Hey," he whispered into her hair as he placed a kiss on her forehead. "I see you talked to Jesse. How did it go?"
"Better than I imagined," she admitted. "There was no yelling or screaming, and not a drop of red wine was involved," she joked with a laugh.
"Good to know," pulling from his embrace, he took her hand in his as they walked down the corridors side by side. "And how has therapy been with Quinn?"
"Better," she said with a smile. "She's more involved now and her attitude is much more positive towards me. I actually have to head up there now to meet her. Jesse said he would work on her face."
"That's great, Rachel. You're really awesome for setting this all up." She shrugged her shoulders with a sigh.
"I thought it was the least that I could do for her." She looked up into his warm chestnut eyes and almost lost herself there. "So what about you? How did the meeting go with Mike?"
"Well, he said that I could transfer to the day shift in the Spring. They'll start hiring for the night shift to replace me, and Rory is gonna get promoted to my spot. He's thrilled. It's only a few more weeks until the transfer, so until then we just have to deal." He squeezed her hand affectionately. "I can't believe it's been almost a full year since you moved to Lima."
"Yeah," she scoffed. "Two engagements in one year. What a mess."
"Two apartments in one year for me," he added while nudging her side. "But I don't mind all that much now that I get to sleep and wake up every morning next to you."
Her grin was so wide her cheeks started to hurt. "At least I already started to plan the wedding!" She added. "I kept all the numbers from my old vendors and contacted them about a fall wedding. Somewhere open, where we can see the different colors of the trees." Her imagination got the best of her as she fell into her fantasies, but Finn immediately brought her back to reality.
"Yeah, but nothing gets bought until it passes the Hudson budget," he warned her. "Or else no honeymoon in Paris."
"I know, I know. I remember the argument well." Rachel still had to learn how to curb her more expensive tastes but Finn didn't really mind as long as they always discussed things together first. They were saving the $3,000 dollars from Rachel's clothes for the honeymoon, so they had to pinch pennies for the wedding but Rachel didn't mind. She was just happy to finally get married to a man who adored her as much as she adored him, and if they had to elope just to make it as cheap as possible, then she would do it in a heartbeat.
"Hey guys, what's up?" Puck said brightly as he wheeled Quinn out of her room for her therapy session. Quinn waved politely at Finn and Rachel as they joined the couple in the hall.
"Nothing much, Puckerman, same as always," Finn said with a shrug.
"You mean you're being an emo pussy while Rachel cries over spilled milk?" Quinn was in hysterics laughing while Finn and Rachel both frowned.
"You better watch it, Quinn, or else I'll make you sing children's songs during session today." The blonde smirked and continued to snicker under her breath as they made their way towards the therapy wing.
"You go ahead and bring her in, Puck. I'll be right there." The porter nodded as he wheeled Quinn into her therapy session, chatting and smiling with Quinn. She wasn't sure if they were seeing one another but Quinn had never looked happier, so she wasn't going to question it. Quinn needed the support wherever she could get it and Puck seemed to be enjoying her company as well.
Turning to her fiancé, she pulled her hand from his, only to bring it up and place it on his cheek in a soft caress.
"So, I'll save you a plate of dinner tonight, okay? Blaine is coming over to make something special for us but you'll already be working. I think Kurt might move out soon, especially now that I started kicking him out of the apartment for sex," she grinned, thinking about their new deal. "Payback is fun."
"Absolutely. If I wake you up again when I come home tonight, I apologize in advanced."
"No problem," she didn't want to say goodbye, but she knew she had to leave and get back to work. "I gotta go," she said pulling away from him with a frown.
"I know, but the best part about living with you is that I get to see you whenever I want," he pulled her back in for one last kiss and she wished it would never end. No relationship was ever going to be perfect, but she was convinced that what she had with Finn was the closet thing to it.
"I love you," she whispered against his lips.
"I love you, too, Rachel. See you tonight." Leaving her in the hallway, he turned around and walked away, and like a child she waited until he had turned the corner to enter her office. Puck was giving Quinn a kiss on the cheek as she walked over to her instruments, and Rachel smiled at the porter as he made his way out.
Turning to Quinn with a grin, she clapped her hands brightly and handed her a tambourine. "So! Children's songs! Do you want to start with my extensive Wiggles collection or should we just skip right to Disney?"
Quinn glared openly at Rachel while she started to play "A Whole New World" on the xylophone with a smile. "I thought you were trying to cure my brain damage, not cause more of it."
"Come on, you know you love it!" Rachel couldn't stop the burst of giggles that escaped her lips as Quinn finally relented and lightly sang the chorus along with her.