A/N: Just a simple one-shot based on a prompt found at finchel-prompts, over at tumblr (I actually just got a tumblr tonight! Exciting, I know... even though I still haven't exactly figured out what I'm doing...). It's AU, and essentially the prompt was that Finn is a famous singer and Rachel is a fangirl/groupie - the prompt, I believe, was called "Party Like a Rock Star". I deviated from the original prompt just a little bit, and the whole storyline is quite predictable/fluffy/etc.… but I hope you all enjoy it!
(Just to clarify, in this AU setting, Finn is not from Lima.)
Finn never really wanted to be famous. He knows that sounds like some cliché line that belongs in the subheading of a Rolling Stone's article (Finn Hudson – Only in it For the Music!), but it's honestly the truth. He's always loved singing, always loved playing the drums; his mom instilled that love for music in him at such a young age, that growing up to be anything other than a musician never seemed like an option.
And seriously, he loves his job. He loves performing, he loves writing, he loves going on tour with his band. When he's singing and playing the drums, it's like the entire world just sort of falls away, and all that's left is him and his music. It's cool – way cooler than any other job he can possibly think of. The perks of being a musician are pretty awesome, too. He makes a ton of money, so his mom doesn't even have to work anymore, and he can travel like, anywhere he wants, whenever he wants. Last week, he realized that he had never been to Spain, so he just bought a ticket that morning and left that night, no questions asked.
If you had asked him ten years ago when he was sixteen years old, working at Sheets 'N Things, if he ever thought he'd make enough money where he could buy a first class ticket to Barcelona without thinking twice, he probably wouldn't have even known where Barcelona was.
So, yeah. Being a musician is definitely awesome, but it also definitely sucks some times, because Finn's famous; not at like, Coldplay or Radiohead levels, but still, famous at a level where it makes it difficult for him to go to the mall or grocery shopping. He didn't really anticipate that whole aspect of being a musician. Having to do interviews or photo shoots is fine, but the awards shows and the meet and greets, and all of that nonsense… it's just not fun. It's not real. It's a bunch of people he doesn't know screaming his name, begging for his attention, trying to get ahold of him. It makes him super uncomfortable, actually.
And for the love of God, he feels like no matter where the hell his band is playing, fangirl extraordinaire Rachel Berry shows up with a piece of paper and Sharpie marker in tow. It's starting to get a little pathetic. And weird. And stalker like.
Finn sighs as he sees her inch up in the multiple hour long line that's waiting for him outside of a venue in Dallas. He just finished the first show of his band's new tour, he's tired, and all he wants to do is go play some Halo on the bus and stuff his face with Doritos. But Blaine insisted that at least one person from the band do a meet and greet either before or after every single show ("we have to show our appreciation, guys!") and of course, Finn got nominated to do the first one.
And of course, of course, Rachel Berry is here. Finn's not sure why he even thought for a second that she wouldn't be. The girl has literally been to almost every single show or festival that he's been at – she went to Coachella last year, when he wasn't even scheduled to play, just because she heard through the rumor mill on the internet that he might be attending.
Rachel lives in Ohio. (Finn doesn't want to know this, but he does, mainly because she talks about it every single damn time she's near him.) It can't be cheap to be flying or driving all over the country, just to hear Finn Hudson sing a little and play the drums, and he's pretty sure that she's still in college – shouldn't she like, be studying all the time, or have something sort of important to do? Where the hell does she get all this free time to track him down?
Finn pushes his sunglasses farther up on his nose. He sees Rachel wave at him a little bit excitedly, and he forces himself to smile and wave back. He knows he should find this crush cute or something, and he knows that Rachel isn't the only girl who's obsessed with him and follows him and the band around. It's just that Rachel makes herself so much more damn noticeable than anyone else.
The people who listen to his music are mainly hipster, indie college students or adults trying to maintain their cool edge. Rachel is none of these things. Every time Finn sees her, she's wearing an animal sweater, or knee socks, or sequined leg warmers. He tries to forget, but there was also one unfortunate incident last year in Michigan where he saw her wearing a pantsuit.
Today, at least from the looks of things, she appears to be dressed semi-normally. But Finn has learned that even when she appears normal, Rachel Berry is never quite all there.
He sighs, and then smiles as the first fan makes her way up to him. She's a typical girl who listens to his music – pretty, twentysomething, and decked out in clothes that kind of look like they belong on his grandma or something. Blaine says that those clothes are super fashionable. Finn just doesn't see it.
"Hey," he says conversationally, "how are you doing?" The girl blushes, covers her mouth with her hands for a moment, then takes a deep breath and lets out a little squeal.
"I'm sorry," she says immediately, blushing and clearly embarrassed. "I told myself I would be totally cool and not freak out when I saw you, but I'm just – I'm just, you know, and you're you, and I just never thought I would be this close to you!"
Finn laughs. "Well, I never thought I'd be this close to you either?" he says questioningly, and the girl flashes a blinding grin, and holds out a picture for him to sign.
It's a Polaroid of him from like, two years ago, and he can tell because two years ago he thought it was cool to wear his old high school letterman jacket to shows. Such an idiot.
He glances at the girl. "What's your name?"
She looks as if she's about to hyperventilate, or faint, or both.
"Kate," she says breathily. "Kate McKey. And I'm honestly one of your biggest fans. Seriously, I've been following you guys since you first started in New York, and your music – it just touches me. It's beautiful," she rambles, and Finn nods, quickly jotting down her name, a 'thanks for the support!', and then his name with a smiley face next to it.
He hands the photo back to her, and she stands there for a second, just staring at him. "Have a good day?" he offers. She holds out her arms and he laughs, standing up a little out of his chair so he can reach across the table and give her a hug. She squeals again, and then bolts away from him, crying.
For the next hour and a half, the majority of the interactions he has with the fans go like that. There are a few guys who come up, but usually they try to act super nonchalant, or like they're just picking up the autograph for their cousins or brothers. A couple of the girls try to kiss him, but Finn tends to draw the line at that sort of thing, turning his head at the last minute so that all the girls end up with is his cheek.
He tries to take a super long time with each person. He asks them what their favorite song is, how they like the new album, what they think of Puck's stupid new Mohawk, and whether or not they're planning on coming to any other shows during the tour. He's only obligated to spend like, two hours at this thing, and Rachel Berry (somehow, miraculously) ended up near the end of the line. He figures that if he can just waste two hours on the fans in front of her, he won't actually have to talk to the stalker.
But of course, at the hour and forty minute mark, Rachel makes her way up to him.
And he was right. She does look normal today or at least normal for her. She's wearing cut off jean shorts and a pale pink tank top, and sandals that don't look like they belong on a ninety year old nun. If Finn didn't already know she was bat shit crazy, he might even try flirting with her, just for fun.
But she absolutely is, and he absolutely does not have a death wish.
"Hi," Rachel says, a little shyly, holding out a piece of paper and a Sharpie. Finn takes the items without a word. "The show was fantastic."
"Thanks," he says awkwardly, drumming the pen against the table absentmindedly. Rachel's just staring at him expectantly, so he continues, "we wanted to do a different set list than last tour, but we weren't sure if people would go for it or not."
Rachel smiles widely, encouragingly. "Oh, everyone I've talked to loved it. Especially your drum solo at the end of Aftershock; that was just." And she breaks off, looking down at the ground nervously before looking back at him. "It was incredible, Finn. It really was."
She speaks so truthfully and looks at him so – God, lovingly, and she barely even knows him. It just freaks the hell out of him.
But he plasters on a smile, and he says, "Thanks, Rachel. That means a lot."
Her mouth drops open a little in shock, and then she bites at the bottom of her lip, shaking her head. "I still can't believe that you remember my name," she says quietly.
Finn's not exactly sure how to respond to that. He knows that he's not the smartest guy in the world, but he sees this girl at least once a month, sometimes twice. The idea that he wouldn't be able to remember her name is sort of crazy.
The odd thing is, usually when a girl says shit like that to him, they're totally lying, and Finn can tell right away. But Rachel's not. Finn can actually tell she's being serious, in that she really thinks that he wouldn't remember her name.
He can't help it. He just feels so bad for her in that moment that he almost forgets for a second that he's dealing with a fan who could write a best-selling book on how to psychotically stalk a person and get away with it.
Whenever he complains to his mom about Rachel, she always chides him for being so rude to the person who is undoubtedly one of his biggest fans. He then retorts that maybe his mom should watch Swimfan so she can see exactly what Finn's up against, but still. He knows the point that his mom's getting at.
Clearly Rachel doesn't have a ton of stuff in her life, or a lot of people. Why else is she following Finn all the way around the country, right? She obviously gets some sort of… fulfillment out of seeing his band play so often, and even though it's weird and definitely lunatic-material in how she goes about making sure she sees him, Finn shouldn't make fun of the girl just for liking his music.
He uncaps the marker, and asks kindly, "so, what do you want me to write?"
Rachel thinks seriously for a moment. "I know this might take a minute, but could you possibly write out exactly what you were feeling when you wrote Syracuse? The lyrics are so emotional and the harmonies are just breathtaking, and every time I listen to that song I feel as if I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be in the world at that exact moment in time."
That's not exactly the weirdest request Finn has ever gotten at a meet and greet but it's probably the most unique. Especially coming from Rachel, who usually just asks him to write out a sentence saying that he loves her (yeah, okay) and that he appreciates her coming to the show (which technically is true, but still).
So Finn takes a couple minutes and he tries to think of something intelligent or wordy to say, but he can't think of anything. All he ends up with is:
When I wrote Syracuse, I was thinking of home, my friends, and what it means to be a part of something special. See you soon.
He puts the 'Xo' without even thinking, because Rachel always begs him to do that whenever he signs something for her. It's basically second nature at this point, as lame as that sounds.
He recaps the marker, and hands the sheet of paper back to Rachel. She looks at it for a second, before folding it up and tucking it inside her purse. She takes the pen from him and sticks it in her back pocket.
"Thanks," she says brightly, "And congratulations again because the show was amazing. I can't wait to see it more! I already bought the ticket for your show in Houston, and I think I might try to go to your show in New Orleans, too. I'm definitely going to all of your major East Coast shows though, and I'm even going to both of your performances in New York City! I can't wait!"
Finn's smile immediately drops from his face. Crazy Rachel Berry has officially entered the building.
"No big plans for the summer?" he finds himself asking desperately as she turns to walk away from the table. "College classes? Internship? Part time job?" She glances over her shoulder and smiles.
"Besides following you around? My summer's essentially completely free, minus working a few hours a week. Lucky you!" she calls back to him, and then skips (literally skips) away from the meet and greet.
Finn feels like pounding his head against the table. When it comes to dealing with Rachel, he's starting to realize, it's like two steps forward and twelve steps back. Just when you think she's starting to come around and calm down, act a little normal – she throws a wrench in those plans and goes right back to Crazy Square One.
He just doesn't understand. He's not that cool or good looking or whatever, and yet Rachel is still like, beyond one hundred percent obsessed with him – way, way more so than any other fan he's ever had.
Without a doubt, it's going to be a long summer.
It's fun playing shows in big cities, but Finn thinks that he likes playing in smaller cities more. There are less people at those shows, and the venues are so tight on the inside that everyone in the audience is usually just kind of piled on top of one another, singing along to the lyrics and dancing and screaming. It gives Finn an adrenaline rush, to be that close to so many people who've been like… touched by his music, as lame as that sounds.
It makes all of the shit aspects of his job completely worth it, to see hundreds of people singing along in unison to words that he wrote. It's totally cool playing at super huge shows, and seeing thousands of people there for him and his friends, but when it's a smaller show, he can actually see the audience – they're not all blocked out by the stage lights, and he can see and kind of feel how strongly people are reacting to the music.
It's awesome. Finn doesn't think he'll ever really get over the excitement he feels when he's on stage.
The only thing that kind of sucks about playing in smaller cities is that he has to drive out a ways if he wants to find a bar to go to that's not completely filled with people who were just at his show. It's not that he minds seeing his fans, but sometimes he just wants to unwind, drink a couple beers, and not have to worry about people coming up to him and asking him to do shots or take pictures or sign stuff.
So after the July 4th show in Lima, he drives for about an hour using his manager's rental car, and finds some hole in the wall bar that looks pretty deserted. There's a sign in the window advertising for karaoke, but he doesn't really mind; there are only like, five cars in the parking lot, so he doubts that anyone inside is actually doing any singing.
He puts the car in park, pulls his baseball cap's brim down low on his head so it's practically covering his eyes, and then wanders inside the bar.
Just like he suspected, it's pretty deserted. An older couple is playing darts and a couple of guys are sharing a pitcher and watching college baseball. Finn walks up to the bar and sits down, waits for a bartender to come get his order. He glances up at one of the big screen TV's – for God only knows what reason, Lifetime Movie Channel is on, and before Finn knows it, Quinn Fabray's on the screen. He grimaces. No worse way to ruin a night than being forced to watch a shitty made-for-television movie starring his ex-girlfriend. He catches glimpse of the bartender coming out from the kitchen area, and he quickly calls over to her,
"Hey, do you mind changing the channel?"
The bartender looks up at him, startled, and Finn seriously almost loses his shit.
Because, of course, Rachel Berry would be the bartender in the one random, Nowheresville, Ohio bar he decided to go to, and of course she would be watching a movie Quinn was in. Of course.
He drove a legit hour out of Lima in order to avoid seeing any possible fans, and he went straight to the one bar where his stalker apparently works.
He can already picture how badly Puck is going to laugh at him for this, and to be honest, Finn can't really blame him.
For a split second, Finn considers bolting out of the bar, jumping into the car and driving as fast as he can back to Lima, but he knows Rachel. She's sneaky, and she's a deceivingly fast runner (he knows from many, many prior experiences), and she'd probably just tail him the whole way back to his hotel.
But right now, Rachel's just staring at him, gaping.
(And dammit, when did she start dressing like a normal human being? She's wearing these black leggings and a white t-shirt, with black high top Chuck Taylors; she looks hot and it sort of pisses Finn off.)
He sighs, and motions to the television. On the screen, Quinn's in the midst of an emotional breakdown, tears rolling down her face, and Finn kind of can't handle that. "Please?" he asks again.
Rachel stands there for another couple of moments, as if in a trance, before snapping out of it. "Oh my gosh, of course, I'm so sorry," she says hurriedly, and rushes behind the bar. She fumbles with a remote control for a second, and Finn breathes a sigh of relief when the channel finally switches over to some random news channel. He glances over at her.
"You're welcome," she says, then just stands there for a couple of seconds, before taking a deep breath and letting it out very, very slowly. Finn can't tell if she's going to scream, jump across the bar and attack him, or beg him to never, ever leave Ohio. He's pretty sure she might actually do all three, and he starts to pull his car keys out of his pocket.
"What would you like to drink?" Rachel asks suddenly.
"Drink?" Rachel asks, slowly, as if he's hard of hearing. "You're at a bar, so I assume you want a drink? What will it be?"
It's Finn's turn to gape at her, and he finally manages, "Bud Light?"
Rachel nods and turns to get a glass before squaring her shoulders and turning back around. "I know that not only are you famous but you're also a customer, and therefore I should essentially be doing whatever you tell me to, no questions asked – but I really can't serve you a Bud Light. I never serve anyone a Bud Light."
Finn frowns, and Rachel quickly continues, "That beer goes against everything I stand for, both figuratively and literally. It has a horrible, common taste; people rarely, if ever, can distinguish it from the other major market beers such as Coors or Miller. Besides that, there are so many other better tasting options served at this establishment."
He raises an eyebrow. He's never heard her string so many sentences together that didn't include the words 'marry', 'love', or 'eternal'. And he's heard her string a lot of sentences together before, in many different instances.
She shoots him a small smile, and then reaches underneath the bar, pulling out a beer bottle that she then hands to him.
The Wright Pils. He glances at her.
"It's good," she says encouragingly. "It's still a Pilsner, which isn't necessarily my favorite type of beer, but it's infinitely better than that sewage water you wanted me to serve you."
She quickly grabs a bottle opener and opens the beer up for him. He takes an experimental sip, and she looks at him expectantly. He smiles a little, cautiously.
"It's pretty good."
Rachel nods, looking all business. "I know." She grabs a cloth and starts wiping down the bar, putting some glasses away. Finn takes another sip of the beer. It really is good.
She hums to herself a little as she puts out a bowl of peanuts for him. He shakes his head at her, and she stare at him innocently.
"You weren't at the show tonight," he says, taking another drink. "I almost thought I should call 911, make sure you didn't get into a car accident or something."
Rachel laughs, grabbing the cloth off from the bar and twisting it in her hands a little nervously. She looks him straight in the eye before looking away, wiping at some imaginary spot on the counter a few feet away.
"I couldn't get out of work," she says, clearly trying to sound casual and unconcerned. "No one could cover my shift because. Well. They were all already going to see you guys," she said, and Finn nodded.
"Yeah," she says, and then shrugs. "I can't really complain, though. I just saw you guys last week."
Finn rolls his eyes. "That stupid show at Indy. God, our sound sucked that night."
"It did," Rachel says matter-of-factly, "but you all compensated for it really well. I went to the meet and greet afterwards, and Sam apologized profusely for the poor performance. It was very nice of him."
She clears her throat a little and then continues to wipe at the nonexistent spot. Finn can practically see the gears working inside her mind; one second she acts calm and collected, talking to him as if he's just a regular customer, but then for a couple of seconds he can tell that internally, she's seriously freaking out over the fact that she's serving beer to Finn Hudson.
She digs at the wood a little harder with the cloth, her hair falling into her face a little.
He still can't get over the fact that Crazy Rachel Berry works at a bar. He totally would've pegged her for teaching dance lessons, or working at a cat shop.
"How long have you worked here?" he asks, stuffing a couple of peanuts into his face. Rachel glances at him quickly, before going back to apparently the world's most stubborn stain.
"Oh, I don't know. About eight months, I suppose. I started right after I turned twenty-one," Rachel says. "I'm trying to save up money to go to New York City, and bartending pays the most out of any job in this town."
"I thought you spent all your money following me around."
"That's my parents' money," Rachel says tightly, and Finn can tell that he's hit some sort of nerve, "and it's money that won't go towards New York City, at least if they have anything to say about it."
Finn looks around the bar. It's now completely empty, save for the old couple playing the world's longest game of darts. Rachel giggles.
"Trust me, on weekend nights, this place is packed. It's the only bar around for miles and I'm the only bartender who sings for tips. I've got quite the corner on that lucrative market," she says a little teasingly.
"Oh, I bet," he says. "What, you manage to get to an even five bucks a night?"
She almost looks offended. "My singing is worth much more than five dollars," she says, her voice conveying extreme seriousness. "Most of the time people leave at least a ten dollar tip, even if they only bought a single beer." Finn finds himself laughing, and then she starts laughing a little too, and he almost wants to slap himself in the face.
He's willingly laughing and talking to his own personal Stage Five Clinger. What the hell is wrong with him? Or more importantly, what's wrong with her? How can she possibly be acting so normal right now and yet act like a lost puppy when she follows him around the entire continental United States?
He finishes off the rest of his beer quickly. Without needing to be prompted, Rachel grabs him another one. He stares at it for a second, then looks back at her. This just might be the most surreal moment of his life. Winning a Grammy, having his last couple of albums go platinum – that stuff was all crazy, no doubt about it. But the fact that he's having a legitimately normal conversation with Rachel Berry right now is blowing his mind.
(Honestly, in the back of his mind, he's still a little on edge at the idea that she might just be acting normal right now so that when she follows him back to his hotel room, he doesn't immediately call the police on her.)
As he takes a sip of the beer she placed in front of him, he thinks that he has to test her. Just a little, to see if this is the real Rachel Berry he's talking to, or just some intense disguise she's putting on for his benefit, so that he'll put his guard down around her more in the future.
"So," he says, motioning towards the television that had previously been tuned into the shittiest movie ever made, or it's more formal title, Love's Weary State. "Big Quinn Fabray fan?"
Rachel snorts and rolls her eyes. "Absolutely not. The other bartender here tonight has a huge thing for Lifetime movies. I've considered entering him into a twelve-step program, but none quite cater to his exact needs," she says, giggling a little at her joke.
Finn nods, then asks, "Where is this other bartender?"
"Oh," Rachel says breezily, "taking about a two hour break in the kitchen." She lowers her voice then adds on quietly, "that couple playing darts always bothers him a little bit. The most homophobic people I have ever met."
"God, that sucks," Finn says honestly, and Rachel nods.
"Yes, well. Our one chef always manages to add a little surprise to their nachos," she says, then clamps her hands over her mouth, her big brown eyes widening to almost comical proportions. "I shouldn't have said that!" she exclaims, her voice muffled. She drops her hands onto the bar, pleading quietly, "please don't tell anyone I told you that! Our boss doesn't know and we'd get into so much trouble."
And Finn realizes in that moment that he definitely is talking to the real Rachel Berry, and he smiles in a coconspirator manner.
"Secret's safe with me," he says. He pauses and then he can't help it, she's acting so normal and it's so different from how nervous and psycho she usually is; he blurts out, "I have to ask you something."
Rachel looks at him curiously.
"Why do you like me so much?" he asks, then shakes his head regretfully. "I'm sorry, that came out in such a dick way. I just meant-."
Rachel cuts him off, saying, "It's okay, I understand why you're asking." She's silent for a moment, and then continues, "I didn't have a lot of friends in high school. I mainly focused on my music and my singing. I first heard you when I was a junior and your lyrics – they're so beautiful, so honest."
She looks him straight in the eye, and honestly, Finn gives her some credit for doing that. She's got some confidence, to be able to talk to him like this.
"And then when I started finding out more information about your band, I realized how completely nice and normal you seem. You aren't affected at all by the fame. Even when you dated Quinn Fabray, you seemed like you hated the attention that was given to you," Rachel says. "I admire you, I suppose."
Finn nods slowly, responding, "I totally respect that and everything. But that still doesn't explain why you follow me around the country. And I mean that like, not in an asshole way at all. I'm just seriously interested."
Rachel sighs. "I don't mean to get into too much personal detail, but my home life is rather… complicated. My mother and my father divorced when I was eighteen and it completely ruined me, for a while."
By the look on her face, Finn is thinking that maybe a part of her is still a little ruined.
Rachel clears her throat, obviously uncomfortable, and says, "the idea of spending summers at home, trying to split my time between them is just not something I ever wanted to entertain."
"So you followed me around the country instead?" Finn asks, trying to connect the dots. Rachel laughs.
"It sounds ridiculous when you say it like that, and I know it probably is. But your music touches me and my mother always gives me a certain amount of money to start my summers off with. What better way to spend some time than listening to my favorite band and seeing all the sights that America has to offer?" Rachel asks innocently. "My best friend and I always make road trips out of it. It's honestly a lot of fun, and since I work so much during the school year, it's a nice vacation. And," she says, giggling, "I can't help that you're cute and nice. It's fun to see you."
He laughs. "I can understand that all, I guess." Rachel looks at him knowingly.
"You think I'm a total psycho."
He shakes his head immediately. Rachel gives a look – come on. Finn holds his hands a couple of inches apart.
"Only about that much, at this point. Before tonight," he says, "I probably would've had to have at least, like, five feet between my hands."
"I appreciate your honestly," Rachel says, and she glances around the bar. The older couple is finally leaving, and she lets out a sigh of relief. "Don't tell my boss?" she asks, grabbing a beer for herself. Finn can't help but laugh, and Rachel looks confused for a second, before a look of realization comes across her face. "I guess I don't have to worry, because you'll never be in this bar again after tonight," she says lightly, tilting her bottle towards him. "Cheers?"
He clinks his bottle against hers and takes another swig.
She's cute when she drinks. She wipes delicately at the middle of her lips after every sip, and refuses to drink to the bottom of the bottle – "Spittle," she says in a haughty tone of voice, "disgusts me." – so he ends up finishing the last couple swallows of her beers for her. She tells him stories about what the fans are like in the audience at his shows, like how one fan intentionally spilled a drink all over her brand new white knee socks one time, or how her friend (Santana) hooked up with Puck backstage after their show in San Diego last year.
"She's a lesbian," Rachel says straightforwardly, "but she said that she couldn't resist, and I quote, 'banging the eff out of him'." She takes a drink and then wipes at her lips. "Except she, you know, actually said the word."
"I'll have to ask Puck if he remembers her. Santana?" he asks, checking to make sure that he remembers her name.
"Yes," Rachel says, "Santana Lopez. He may not remember her though – apparently he was quite intoxicated at the time." Finn nods in a conciliatory manner.
"Yeah, he probably won't. He's not so good with names."
"Not like you," Rachel says. "You always remember my name. People who were in the same classes with me for years during high school never even remembered my name."
"How could I forget?" Finn asks, and he smiles at her. He's feeling a pretty good buzz right now and she's standing there, looking all pretty. "I used to be totally afraid of you."
Rachel laughs at that, a huge, hearty belly laugh that honestly makes him want to just to-.
Shit. It makes him want to kiss her.
So he does. He leans across the counter separating them and kisses her.
She stands stock still for a second, and he's afraid that he just freaked the fuck out of her. He doesn't move either, except to reach farther across the counter so that he place a hand on the back of her head, pulling her gently closer to him. He presses his lips a little more firmly against hers, waiting for some kind of response; either her kissing him back, or slapping him… anything besides her just standing there.
Because he doesn't mean to sound cocky, but he's the guy she's been obsessed with for years, and he's kissing her. She should sort of be acting like she's enjoying this.
She pulls away from him for a second, her lips still close to his, so close that he can feel them moving as she whispers, "Is this real life?"
He smiles, his eyes still closed. "Yeah."
She leans forward and kisses him gently. She tastes like beer and peanuts and pretzels and her lips are so, so soft, and Finn's starting to wonder if maybe there's a room somewhere in the bar they could go to, or if they could just have sex behind the bar, or if she wanted to -.
"RACHEL BERRY!" A voice suddenly shrieks, and Finn jolts away from her as if he's just been stabbed in the chest, knocking the empty bottles that had been scattered between them onto the ground. They crash and break loudly and Finn just stares at Rachel, who's touching her lips with her fingertips, her eyes wide and slightly glazed over.
Jesus, she's either drunk or horny as fuck, but she's definitely not being helpful as the voice continues to shriek her name. Finn looks over at the kitchen area. Some guy's standing there, his face pale and his eyes even wider than Rachel's, if that's possible.
"Holy mother of God," the guy says in as calm a voice as Finn has ever heard. The man quickly adjusts his t-shirt, brushes a hand through his hair, poses, and puts his hands on his hips. "Kurt Hummel. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Finn Hudson."
Finn glances back over at Rachel, who is still standing there, her hands gripping the edge of the bar counter. She lets out a deep shuddering breath.
"Hi, Kurt," she says, somewhat awkwardly, then shoots a glance back over at Finn. He grabs his wallet out of his back pocket, pulling out a couple twenties. He goes to drop them on the bar, and Rachel shoots her hand out, grabs him around the wrist. "Are you leaving?" she asks, lowering her voice so Kurt can't hear. "That's not my – that's not my boss, that's just my friend."
Finn pulls his hand away from her, trying to look apologetic.
"I know, and I just – I have to get back to Lima. I'm leaving super early tomorrow and the guys are probably wondering where the hell I am."
Rachel looks so confused and hurt, and Finn doesn't know what he's doing or what he's saying, but he has got to get out of here, out of this bar, right now.
Almost having sex with Rachel Berry? At a bar, in the middle of Ohio? What the hell is he doing? He can't just be having sex with random fans, especially one who just basically outlined her whole life story to him, about how shitty her life is and how his music is so inspiring to her, how she travels around the country just to hear him and be comforted by his voice. How much of a creeper can he possibly be?
God, what the hell is wrong with him?
He sighs, reaching across the bar to hold her hand for a second. "Tonight was awesome, Rachel. You're… you're amazing, okay? Next time I see you, I want to hear you sing." He pulls his hand away from her, and Rachel just stands there in shock. He waits for a moment to see if she has anything to say, then turns around and leaves.
He walks about a mile away from the bar and then pulls out his cell phone, calling a cab. He's too drunk to drive and his manager can always pick up the stupid rental car in the morning.
Finn doesn't see Rachel for over a month. He's not sure if she's avoiding him altogether by not coming to the shows, or if she's just not going to the meet and greets that he works at. Either way, it makes Finn feel like shit. Not only did he make out with a girl and then ditch her right afterwards, but he also probably ruined her summer. He just feels like a total asshole; when it was happening, he thought he was doing the right thing by leaving the bar right away – he didn't want Rachel to get her hopes up or something, or think that like, they were going to start dating. And besides, he still thinks it was a dick move on his part for him to make out with her after she told him that stuff about her parents or whatever. It felt like he was taking advantage of her.
He thinks about her and that night a lot, clearly, and he talks about it with Blaine sometimes too (because Puck just – no, is not an option.)
At first, Blaine had laughed his ass off after realizing that Finn was talking about the Rachel, the Crazy Rachel who had once tried to sneak on their tour bus in Vancouver by pretending to be a cleaning lady.
"Yeah," Finn argues over Blaine's laughter, "but she was just doing it for fun, not to seriously hurt me." He pauses. "Okay, so it's still a little crazy, but she wasn't doing it to be psycho. I don't think."
"No?" Blaine asks, his eyebrows raised.
"No," Finn says, annoyed, tossing a drumstick at his head. Blaine easily catches it. "I think she just got caught up in the idea of being like, this fan-girl groupie thing. It helped her avoid her real life, and her parents. I don't think she actually thought of me as a real person. I was more just this fantasy guy."
"And then she met the real you?" Blaine asks, batting his eyes dramatically.
"No, asshole, I met the real her," Finn says, annoyed. "She's. She's pretty cool." He tries to say it nonchalantly, but honestly, Rachel's kind of the coolest girl he's met in a long time. He seriously can't stop thinking about her, and he's tried, so many times.
"Tell me," Blaine begins, "do you make out with and then randomly leave every cool girl you meet?" He's clearly trying to hold it together, but can't for very long, bursting out laughing. "You're so stupid, Finn."
Finn knows that Blaine means that in a nice way and all, but still, it's a pretty shitty thing to say to a guy who's obviously going through a crisis, you know?
He sighs and grabs a hoodie and a pen. "I gotta go. Meet and greet's before the show today," he says, and Blaine mock salutes him.
"Good luck." Finn punches him in the shoulder as he walks off the tour bus. Tina grabs a hold of him the minute that his feet step onto the pavement.
"Finn," she hisses, "you are twenty minutes late." He rolls his eyes.
"Tina, it's not like the fans going anywhere," he says, "and it's not like the show can start without me. I'll sign all their stuff and then just get right on stage. Get Puck to make sure my drums are all set to go. It'll be fine."
He walks quickly and Tina tries to keep up, dabbing at his face with some sort of powder brush.
"Get away from me with that stuff," Finn warns.
"You look terrible."
"I look like a guy who hasn't had a day off in two months."
"You look terrible," his manager says again, maneuvering in front of him, walking backwards and powdering his nose at the same time. He sneezes loudly and waves his arms so she backs away. He finally reaches the table at the meet and greet, and Tina runs her hands through his hair a couple of times. He glares at her.
"Excuse me for trying to make you look presentable," she retorts in response, before walking a few feet away. Finn rolls his eyes, grabs his sunglasses out from his hoodie pocket, and slides them onto his face.
He almost feels like his sunglasses are his protection. If no one can see his eyes, he reasons, they can't see the real him.
Security opens the line, and it's the same typical fans as always who ask for his autograph, or his picture, or a kiss on the cheek. He alternates between writing "hope you had a great summer" or "thanks for the support", and he feels like he's writing the cheesiest yearbook messages ever. But no one cares, really, as long as at the end of the message, a big "Finn Hudson" is scrawled.
He's tapping his fingers against the table, trying to work out a couple new drum measures, when he hears a familiar voice say,
He takes off his sunglasses immediately. She's standing there, her hands clasped in front of her like she's waiting for communion or something, smiling nervously.
She holds out a Sharpie and a piece of paper, and he takes the items, placing them on the table. He shakes his head.
"Why haven't you come to any shows?" he asks quietly.
"Why'd you leave?" she asks even more quietly. She doesn't look at him, except once, quickly, before looking back down at the table. "I just figured that you wouldn't want to deal with me anymore. I didn't want you to feel – awkward, or anything, because of what happened. So I thought it'd be best to stay away from anything to do with you, but," and she sighs, looking at him finally. "I don't know. This sounds absolutely insane, I know, but when you were at the bar, it wasn't like you were Finn Hudson, Drummer and Huge, Famous Star. You were just. Finn."
He doesn't say anything for a couple seconds, and she quickly adds on, "but I know I was just drunk and acting silly. So I came here to apologize and tell you that I won't bother you at your shows anymore-."
"Rach," Finn interrupts, and Rachel stops talking immediately. The line behind her is getting restless, and a quick glance over at Tina informs him that people are starting to get super impatient about whatever the hell he and Rachel are finding so important to talk about at this moment during the meet and greet.
Rachel follows his gaze, and she nods. "I'm going to leave," she says. "I shouldn't have bothered you here, but it's not like I had your number to call and – and figure things out."
"So let's fix that." Finn grabs the marker and paper, jotting something down quickly. He hands the paper back to her. She smiles at him and Finn says earnestly, softly, so no one around them can possibly hear, "Look, I don't know what the hell is going on with us. For the longest time I thought you were just some crazy groupie, but now I think I like you and you're just so pretty, and nice, and you live in Ohio, and I'm like, all around the world, all the time, and I'm just – I can't promise you anything," he says finally. "I need you to understand that, because I don't want you to be pissed or angry or think I'm leaving you behind on purpose."
Rachel nods slowly. "I know." She's staring at his mouth now, he knows she is, and he can't help but smile a little.
"You can kiss me if you want to," he says, almost inaudibly.
Finn Hudson telling Crazy Rachel Berry she can kiss him. He can practically feel the world as it stops turning.
"I want to," she replies, and she leans across the table, and kisses him.
In September, Finn's tour ends. He takes a break from New York for a while, and flies out to Ohio (much to the disbelief of Puck and Sam, and the delight of Blaine). He stays with Rachel for a couple of months, drinks all the weird beer she recommends, and tips her in twenty dollar bills each night he visits her at the bar, just so he can hear her sing over and over and over again.
She's good. She's so good, so much better than him. When she sings, it's like nothing he's ever heard before. He tells her that she's going to be more famous than him someday, and she always blushes, kisses him on the cheek, says, "No, baby, no." And then he'll say, "yes, baby, yes", and kiss her on the lips.
She moves to New York the next December, saying that she's just moving there so that she can possibly audition for Broadway and further her own career – it has absolutely nothing to do with him. But she moves into his apartment and he clears out a whole side of his closet for her, and she goes with him to all of his stupid awards shows and she tries to visit him during interviews and photo shoots whenever she can.
He's doing an interview for Rolling Stone (Finn Hudson – On his Life, his Love, and his Music) when some interviewer finally asks him about it, a couple years down the road– how the hell did rock star Finn Hudson end up settling down for good at the age of twenty six?
Finn just laughs. Rachel's attending this interview with him, because she's in between shows on Broadway and she doesn't like being away from him for too long when she knows they're in the same city. She's tucked underneath his arm, sipping at a beer and listening to her newest musical obsession on her iPod, seemingly without a care in the world. He places a kiss on her head, and she looks up at him, smiling.
Finn glances over at the reporter. "I don't know, man. She followed me all over the country for a few years and once I finally talked to her as a person, not just as a fan… everything kind of fell into place." He smiles down at her again. She's listening to her music so loudly, she obviously has no idea what the hell he's talking about right now, but she leans her head further against him, brushing her lips against his neck quickly before turning her attention back to her iPod.
He just loves her, all of her, Crazy Rachel Berry included.
(And it turns out that Crazy Rachel Berry is still super relevant in his life – she makes these weird ass cat calendars, and bedazzles his drumsticks, and cooks tofurkey stew every other day. But he loves her. He loves all of that – except the tofurkey, but he pretends to like that a little, too.)
"Interesting, right? She happens to be your biggest fan, happens to be a fantastic singer, happens to move out here and get a job on Broadway right away. Like out of a movie or something, how easily it all fell together for the two of you," the reporter says, and Finn laughs again.
"Honestly? Not at all. But you can write that version down, and let's leave it at that."
A/N2: Just a simple little story :) Again, hope you enjoyed!