Disclaimer: Glee is not mine
"It's funny you know? Every day you sit there and wait... you wait for that one person to change your life. To give you meaning...so you look and look and look... and then the one day you walk into the one place and meet that one person. The one person you never expected to meet THAT day. Then all of a sudden that one decision to go somewhere becomes the best decision you have ever made."
She finds the salon by chance.
Freshly dumped, her hair a mess from the pouring rain and tears still streaming down her cheeks, she yanks open the door and stomps in. Fortunately, the salon isn't busy and she ignores the blonde bitch behind the counter telling her she needs to check in as she makes her way over to the nearest stylist because she's just been dumped again and right now she couldn't care less if she doesn't have an appointment.
"Do you have time?" she asks bluntly as she flops into the seat. "I really need something."
What that is, she has no idea. She just knows that getting beautified always makes her feel better.
The stylist, a small man fashionably dressed all in black looks up in surprise from the magazine he'd been reading in the seat next to her. "Bad day?" he asks as he closes the magazine and stands up.
"That's the understatement of the century," she mutters, wiping her eyes. "I'm Rachel, by the way."
"Kurt." He drapes a cape around her as he introduces himself. That blonde bitch from behind the counter comes over and informs Kurt that she doesn't have an appointment. Kurt simply waves her away, earning a very small smile from Rachel, since right now; blondes are very high on her list of people she'd like to rid the planet of. "So what do you want to do?"
"I don't care. I've just been dumped, so give me a whole new look," she replies, staring at Kurt in the mirror. "I need to become pretty."
Kurt nods in understanding. "Show him what he's missing?"
"So what was it? The I'm not looking for anything serious excuse? Or my personal favorite, it's not you, it's me?" he asks as he examines her hair, trying to figure out what he wants to do to it.
"More like the I met some girl at a bar when I said I was going to be playing poker with the guys excuse," she mutters, fresh tears rolling down her cheeks. "I found Sam in bed with her just now."
"Been there." He nods again in understanding as he leads her over to the sink and begins washing her hair. "Did she at least look like a whore?"
"Absolutely. She even has a whore name." Rachel shudders at the memory as she stares up at the ceiling, willing herself not to cry. "Sugar."
His cell phone starts ringing, distracting him from whatever he was going to say. "Hello?...oh are you?...well I have a client right now so I can't meet you…oh great, I want Ahi Tartare….Ah-he Tar-tar…yes, they have that…it's tuna F-…no, I don't want a tuna sandwich, I want Ahi Tartare…I'm not lying, that's what it's called….."
Rachel stares up at him in amusement as he pinches his nose in frustration, feeling slightly better.
"You know what, forget it. Just bring me a Veggie burger and a Caesar salad….ok, see you then." Exhaling loudly, he hangs up the phone and resumes washing Rachel's hair. "Men."
"Were you supposed to meet someone? Am I keeping you?" she asks worriedly. He gestures to her to sit up, wrapping a towel around her hair.
"It's fine," he says dismissively as he leads her back to his chair. "I always meet my brother and my boyfriend for lunch, but you look like you could use a friend right now so my boyfriend will bring me my lunch."
"Thank you," she says quietly, genuinely touched that this virtual stranger would miss his lunch date to help her.
"You can thank me after I give you a fabulous new makeover that's going to make Sam say Sugar who," Kurt decided, combing out her hair. "A Kurt Hummel makeover is guaranteed to have Sam groveling on his knees."
He goes with Blaine to bring Kurt his salad and burger, even though he hates going to the salon, especially now, since he knows that they all know, thanks to Kurt's big mouth.
Sure enough, Brittany gives him a pity glance from over by the sink as soon as he and Blaine walk in. He pauses by the desk as Blaine's cell phone starts vibrating, trying to ignore Brittany's looks.
"Oh, I've got to take this. Can you give Kurt his food, Finn?" Blaine asks, already shoving the box into Finn's hands. Finn doesn't particularly want to, since he can see Kurt holding court over at the manicure table, but Blaine's left him no choice since he's already outside.
Fortunately, Kurt hasn't spotted him yet, since he's in the middle of telling the manicurist Santana and the other stylists Mercedes and Tina some story, probably about him and his horrible love life. He can tell even the client in front of Santana is paying rapt attention to whatever Kurt is saying, so he bides his time, waiting until Mercedes answers a phone call, Tina gets a client and Kurt and Santana disappear into the back room for a moment before he darts over to Santana's table.
He fails to see the cord of that thing that Kurt claims is a dryer but he secretly thinks looks like a machine designed to zap women's brains which Tina has just moved to her station and he stumbles the final steps towards the manicure table. The client sitting there gasps in surprise, but he manages to regain his balance and stay upright.
"Are you ok?"
Face scarlet, he looks down in embarrassment, placing the food on the table next to the bowl of liquid the girl has her hands resting in, noticing her for the first time.
He likes what he sees.
She's small, with long dark hair that looks freshly styled framing her face, but it's her eyes that he notices. The big brown eyes staring at him are currently red rimmed and puffy, making him wonder if she was crying because of her hair, which he thinks looks awesome. He's wondering if he should tell her that when she speaks again.
"Are you ok?" she repeats, sniffling a little. Her nose is a little red, he notices, but he thinks it's adorable.
"Uh. Fine. I'm fine," he stammers, wishing he didn't sound like such a dork. "The brain zapper tripped me."
She laughs at his lame comment and he immediately notices how her whole face lights up when she laughs.
Scratch that. He really likes what he sees.
"Uh, I just brought Kurt's lunch." He points to the Styrofoam box, wishing someone would come out and help him be less of a loser in front of this girl. He'd even settle for Santana, although she'd probably call him Lard-Ass like she did last week.
"Oh." She bites her lip (also adorable). "He'll be out in a minute. He went in the back with Santana to look at the new nail polish that just came in so they can decide what color I get. They're giving me a makeover, a sort of new pretty Rachel."
"I think you're pretty," he blurts out immediately. She blushes a little, making her face more red and splotchy and he instantly knows that she doesn't believe him. "You're like, you, which is totally awesome."
God, could he be any more of a dork? He doesn't even know what that meant in English, although in what Kurt calls Finnglish it means that she's probably one of the most beautiful girls he's ever seen, even if she's not a conventional beauty.
She seems to understand because she gives him a small smile. "Thanks."
He can hear movement in the little room behind him and knows that Kurt is coming back out, which is his cue to go. "Uh, I've got to go."
"Oh." She stares up at him, still sniffling.
He starts to walk past her, but pauses when he sees her take a hand out of the liquid to wipe her eyes. Unable to stop himself, he grabs her hand away from her face and blurts out the first thing that comes to his mind. "Don't cry. Your hair looks awesome. It's all shiny, like when I wax my car."
She stares at him, her hand still in his, probably wondering who this loser holding her hand was and why she was letting him do it.
Face flaming, he drops her hand and bolts out the door, too mortified to even look back. Only once he's outside and informed Blaine that Kurt got his lunch, does he allow himself to look down at the hand that had held hers, missing the warmth that her little hand had created. He sneaks a peek in the window at her, watching her talk with Kurt for a minute and he wonders if he could get Kurt to talk him up.
Oh, who's he kidding? She's probably got some buff guy with movie star good looks waiting for her at home, while he…well given the recent events in his life, he's just a dork and not a smart one at that.
"Did you at least kick him where the sun don't shine?" Santana asks bluntly as she sits back down at the table. Kurt follows immediately after, sitting down in the stylist's chair next to the table.
"Santana, she doesn't want to talk about it," Kurt admonishes as his eyes fall on the Styrofoam box. "Oh! My food came!"
Rachel nods, laughing at the memory. "Your boyfriend just dropped it off while you were in the back. He's very cute by the way."
Secretly, she thinks he's adorkable, the way he's so big and clumsy and she's almost surprised that Kurt's with him but she's not about to tell Kurt that. Kurt seems like he'd go for the more fashionable, metrosexual guy, not a guy wearing a plaid shirt over a t-shirt and jeans, with messy brown hair that she'd very much like to make messier with her hands.
Whoa. Why was she even thinking that? Besides the whole just got dumped therefore men are the enemy thing, Kurt and his boyfriend are gay. Which means that even if she was sitting here naked, she'd still have no chance.
"Thanks," Kurt replies, beaming at the compliment to Blaine. "I think so too."
"Yeah yeah, Bilbo Baggins is cute. Gag me." Santana makes a choking motion with the hand currently holding a nail file. "Let's get back to the more important stuff. Did you kick him or not?"
"I most certainly did not, violence is never justified," Rachel sniffs, trying to sound like wanting to castrate him was not the first thing that had crossed her mind. "Oh, why am I lying? I slapped him as hard as I could."
"Next time you come, I can demonstrate where to kick him that'll practically guarantee he won't have kids," Santana promises as she files Rachel's nails. "He'll hit the floor so fast people will think he's been shot."
"And just who do you think you're going to demonstrate that on? Certainly not me," Kurt demands, making Rachel chuckle as he placed a hand protectively over his groin.
Santana shrugs. "I'm sure Lard-Ass will be in here moping, he'll do. We'd just have to check for cracks in the floor after we roll him out."
Kurt doesn't say anything, throwing Santana a glare. Rachel glances curiously between the two, dying to know who Lard-Ass was and why the name got Kurt mad. Being the outsider though, she refrains from asking.
"What?" Santana defends. "You know he could use a good kick in that giant ass of his to get his sorry self out of his funk."
"Kurt? Mrs. Jones wants to know if you have time for a single process this afternoon," Brittany called, preventing Kurt from retorting. Instead, he rolled his eyes and walked over to Brittany, who held the phone out for him.
Rachel turns her attention to Santana. "So how long have Kurt and his boyfriend been together?"
Santana grimaces. "We've been hearing all about Mr. Wonderful for 2 years now."
"Oh." She sits in silence, amusing herself by trying to think of what his name could be as Santana continued her task. She'd just decided he needed an unusual, uncommon name when Kurt came back and reclaimed his seat.
"You know, you should meet my brother," he announces, ignoring Santana's snort. "He just got dumped too and in a most spectacular way."
"Really? Something better than finding your boyfriend in your bed with someone named Sugar?" Rachel asked in spite of herself.
"Oh yes," Kurt breathes, ready to gossip. "Try having a baby pinned on you that's actually your best friend's."
"No!" Rachel gasps. "How horrible! How did he find out?"
"He only found out when they were at the doctor's and Quinn wanted the Tay-Sachs test done. Since we're not Jewish and neither is Quinn, my brother kind of put two and two together with a lot of help from myself and our mother."
"That's awful," Rachel murmurs as Santana begins painting her nails.
"Now you know why I said you two should meet." He eyes her nails, critically examining the color he and Santana had chosen. "Who knows? You may even hit it off."
"I appreciate the thought, but I am in no way ready to meet anyone. Men are the enemy right now."
"Just an idea." He shrugs. "It doesn't have to be today. There's no rush. I'm sure you'll run into him at some point."
Santana snorts again as she switches hands. "Rachel could do a lot better than jiggly man boobs now that you gave her a makeover."
Kurt glares at Santana again but Rachel just smiles at him, already planning when she could come back to the salon.
But not to meet Kurt's brother.
He is a man after all and all men must die at the moment.
She shows up at the salon the next Thursday.
Looking much better than the first time she'd arrived, she pushes open the door. Unlike last week, Kurt's busy with a client, setting the woman under what will now be forever known to Rachel as the brain zapper. He gives her a wave as she settles in the reception area with a magazine to wait for Santana to be free.
Brittany, who it turns out is not a bitch despite her hair color, bounces over to Rachel, a party hat on her head. "Hi! Guess what today is?"
"Um, Thursday?" Rachel guesses, trying to figure out what Brittany could be alluding to.
"It's not just Thursday, it's Thursday." She stares at Rachel, expecting her to be just as excited as she is but Rachel only stares at her blankly. She gestured to a cat carrier on the floor, bending down to pull out a cat. "It's Lord Tubbington's birthday. We're going to have a party for him at lunch."
"Ohhh, how sweet! Can I hold him?" Rachel asks eagerly, already holding her arms out. Brittany nods happily; placing Lord Tubbington in Rachel's outstretched arms. Brittany immediately runs and gets a party hat for Rachel, slipping it on her head. She sits back on her chair, stroking Lord Tubbington, her magazine forgotten as she waits for Santana.
Her eyes roam over the salon to see who's here, rationalizing that she should really say hello to Kurt's boyfriend if he's around. She spies Tina giving a hair cut to a prim redheaded woman, while Mercedes is working on the hair of a young heavyset woman with thick glasses, discussing who's more of a diva, Mariah or Aretha.
"Rachel!" Kurt beckons her over to his empty chair. "Ready to continue with your makeover?"
She quickly hands Lord Tubbington back to Brittany and rushes over. "Continue? I thought we were done when you gave me bangs?"
"I only gave you bangs to hide your eyebrows," he announces. "I couldn't do them last week because your face was so puffy from all the crying. Follow me."
He leads her into a small waxing room, pointing to the table. Obediently, she climbs on. "Is this really necessary?"
"Has anyone told you that you look pretty?" he demanded, heating up the wax and turning on the bright overhead light.
She blushes at the memory. "Well actually, someone did."
She's not about to mention that that person was Kurt's boyfriend or that he compared her hair to his shiny car. And she especially wasn't going to tell him how her skin burned when he'd touched her hand. She'd been living on his comment and touch all week, cherishing the memory of their brief encounter. His words had lifted her spirit more than a new hairstyle or manicure ever could.
Not that she was interested (he was gay!), but she seemed to have a connection with him that made her think they could they could be good friends. Sort of like the one she had with Kurt….only better.
"Well that's a start then but we want them telling you that you look amazing. And the key to looking amazing is the eyebrows." He stirred the pot of wax once before using the wooden stick to pull some out. "Lay back."
She does as requested, eyeing the stick of hot wax coming her way warily. Kurt quickly smears some wax on her eyebrow, replacing the wooden stick with a white strip and pulling it off immediately. She winces at the pain but says nothing, letting Kurt work on her other eyebrow.
"All done," he pronounces after a few minutes.
Rachel sits up, accepting the mirror he gives her and gasping when she sees the results. "My eyes look amazing!"
"The trick is to shape from above," he says knowledgably. "I've been doing my own for years. I'm dying to get my hands on my boyfriend's but he won't let me."
"I think his eyebrows are beautiful," Rachel offers. "They fit his face nicely."
She bites her lip, wondering if she'd said too much but when Kurt simply begins to put some soothing balm on her eyebrows, she figures it's ok. "Really? I think they're too thick."
"Oh no. The way the one quirks up is endearing."
Kurt gives her an odd look as he caps the bottle of soothing balm. "Can I assume that since you're examining my boyfriend's eyebrows so studiously that men are no longer the enemy?"
"I was simply making an observation. My penis embargo is still firmly in place," Rachel says decisively.
"So I guess you don't want to meet my brother then?"
"Does he have a penis?"
"You're getting your nails done right?" When she nods, he breathes a sigh of relief. "Good because chipped nails will totally ruin the look I'm going for with you."
"Well she's not getting her nails done till I gets my bikini wax on," Santana announces from the door. "Brits and I have a date tonight, so out Rachel."
"Fine. Let's do this quick before Lord Tubbington's birthday party."
Santana hops on the table as Rachel slides off and quickly steps back into the salon, shutting the door behind her. Curiosity gets the better of Rachel and she pauses outside the door listening to the conversation inside.
"Mr. Wonderful and Tubs stopping by?"
"What's with Lard-Ass coming by so much lately?"
Startled and slightly embarrassed at having been caught eavesdropping, Rachel glanced around to see who was calling her, only to see a frantic Brittany waving her over to where she's sitting with Lord Tubbington.
"What is it? Is it Lord Tubbington?" She looks down at the cat in Brittany's arms but he seems perfectly fine to her.
"He's going to be so mad at me," she replies, clearly stressed. "I forgot to pick up his special birthday burger from Arby's. He likes the Deluxe Bacon Cheddar with a side of fries and he's going to be so mad I forgot. He seems to like you, so can you hold him while I run and go get it?"
"Of course." Carefully, Brittany places the cat in Rachel's arms before grabbing her purse and rushing out.
She sits back down with Lord Tubbington to wait. For Santana. For Brittany.
But not for Kurt's boyfriend or his brother.
They're men. And men are still the enemy.
He's started dropping by the salon every day.
Because Kurt's, like, totally busy and doesn't have time for lunch and his mom would kill him if she knew that he wasn't making sure Kurt ate, because he's the baby and so skinny and all. On the days Kurt's actually able to meet them for lunch (damn!) he now walks back with Kurt, again, because he's the (slightly) older brother and it's totally his job to make sure that Kurt doesn't get kidnapped or something.
He tells himself that it has nothing to do with that girl Rachel. He's just been burned by Quinn and he's totally sticking with the whole swearing off girls thing he's got going on. So yeah, he's just doing performing his brotherly duties when he brings Kurt food or walks him back to the salon and he certainly doesn't hope to run into her each time because his going to the salon has nothing to do with her.
But it totally does.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday had been a bust. He'd been there for a while, listening to what Brittany had planned for her cat's birthday party but Rachel never showed. Not that he was waiting around for her or anything, cause he wasn't, but she'd been crying last time and well, he didn't like seeing her sad.
So here he is on Thursday, pushing open the door with one hand while his other firmly grasps the wrapped 12 pack box of Fancy Feast Yellow Tuna Primavera that Lord Tubbington had requested as a present. His eyes do their usual scan of the salon, immediately noticing Rachel wearing a party hat and sitting on a chair in the waiting area. He starts to make his way over to her cause it would be totally rude of him not to say hello when he notices a rather large problem in her lap.
He likes Lord Tubbington, he really does, but his allergies don't seem to be such a fan. He hesitates, wondering what he should do when Rachel looks over and spots him. Her face lights up in recognition as she waves excitedly at him, her smile from ear to ear.
He'll take his chances.
Trying to not be as big a dork as last time, he makes his way over to Rachel and sits next to her, hoping that he's got a few minutes before his allergies kick in. He's pleased to see that she looks much happier this time. "Hey."
"Hi!" She pauses for a moment as she continues stroking Lord Tubbington. "You know, I don't even know your name even though Kurt talks about you all the time."
"He talks about me?" he asks stupidly, already feeling his eyes start to itch.
"Of course he does! Why wouldn't he?" She seems surprised, her fingers now stroking Lord Tubbington's belly. "So what's your name?"
"Um…Finn. It's um...Finn," he stammers and with that all hopes of not being a dork are gone.
"Well Um Finn, Kurt's in the waxing room with Santana. She has a date tonight," she informs him.
"Oh." She's staring at him and he can't think of anything else to say.
Plus, his eyes are starting to water.
"Are you here for the party?" she asks, eyeing the present in his hand.
"Yeah," he wheezes. He hadn't actually planned on attending the party because of his allergies, but now that he's here, it would be wrong to just drop off his present and leave, wouldn't it? His allergies seem to have decided to put on a show for Rachel, since he now can't stop sneezing.
"Are you ok?" Even through his watery, itchy eyes he can see how wide her beautiful brown ones have gotten with concern.
He nods between sneezes.
"I don't think you are." She frowns, trying to figure out what's wrong as he continues his wheezing and sneezing. "Are you allergic to Lord Tubbington?"
He nods again between sneezes.
"Can you tell Brittany I'm sorry but I have to leave?" she calls out to Tina, who doesn't bother to look as she nods. She springs into action, jumping up and depositing Lord Tubbington in his carrier before turning to Finn, her hands outstretched. "Come."
She guides his arm around her shoulder as she helps him stand.
He likes that.
Her own arm slips around his waist as she walks him to the door.
He likes that even more.
She glances up at him as he continues sneezing, concern etched on her face. "I'm so sorry. I had no idea you were allergic. Brittany just asked me to watch Lord Tubbington while she went to get his special birthday burger from Arby's."
"It's ok. It's my fault for sitting next to you even though I knew this would happen." He lets her lead him down the street, not quite sure where they're going, but perfectly content to follow her.
She smiles up at him, the party hat (which she seems to have forgotten about) still perched jauntily on her head. "So why did you?"
Good question. He has no idea why he did it (liar). "Um…I wanted to tell you how awesome your hair looks. You weren't going to do anything to it, were you?" He punctuates his question with a rub of his eyes, which are still itchy.
She beams at him. "I was just waiting to get my nails done."
"Oh. I don't want you to miss your appointment because of me. Santana will yell at me," he responds, sounding more and more like a pathetic loser.
"Nonsense. Santana will simply have to understand that I'm helping a friend. I can wait until next Thursday to get my nails done. Here we are," she announces, pausing in front of a drug store.
He follows her in, slightly deflated at her use of the word friend.
Not that he's interested or anything.
She eyes him as he makes his way across the crowded coffeehouse, a cup of coffee in each hand and a bag containing her muffin dangling from his fingers.
He sits down across from her, handing her the coffee and muffin in his left hand. "Thanks for waiting with me."
She smiles. "It's nothing. It's not like you could go back to the birthday party, so why should you sit alone?"
"Still." He smiles this half crooked smile at her that she definitely shouldn't find adorable, but does.
"Thank you for the coffee. You didn't have to do that." She looks down at her coffee, embarrassed at how her stomach is doing crazy things from just his smile.
He's Kurt's. She shouldn't be getting butterflies in her stomach from him.
But she is.
"Well you didn't have to buy me allergy medicine, so consider us even."
She peeks up at him from under her eyelashes. "How are you feeling? You look a lot better. Your eyes are back to that gorgeous whiskey color."
Her eyes immediately dart back down, suddenly fascinated with her muffin and hardly believing that she'd just said that to Kurt's boyfriend.
When he doesn't say anything for what feels like hours, she dares to peek at him again. He's staring at her, a slight blush on his face. She finally finds the nerve to speak. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. Please don't tell Kurt."
"Uh, ok?" His face is a mix of confusion, which she assumes means that he agrees. They sit in silence for a moment, neither daring to look at the other.
"I like your party hat," he finally blurts out.
Mortified, she pulls the hat off her head, in disbelief that she was still wearing it. "I'm so embarrassed! I can't believe I was walking around in public like this! Why didn't you say anything?"
"Because you looked so cute," he says immediately. "I mean, you…like…" he trails off, that blush back on his face as he stares down at his coffee.
She bites her lip as she stares at her own coffee, but once again, she peeks at him from under her lashes and sees him absent-mindedly drumming a standard beat on the table.
She changes the topic, thrilled that he's showing some musicality. She's even more thrilled when she finds out he's the Percussionist in the orchestra for one of her favorite Broadway shows. "You're in the pit for Anything Goes?"
"Yeah, Blaine's in the pit for the show too."
She has no idea who Blaine is for a second, but then realizes that Blaine must be Kurt's brother. "Oh! Is that how you all met?"
"Um, yeah, this is the second show we've worked on together actually."
"Oh! I'm in the chorus of 42nd Street at the moment," she announces proudly. "I'm the lead understudy for the role of Peggy. Actually, next Saturday, I'll be playing the lead since Diane Allen, who normally plays Peggy, is taking a personal day. It'll be my first performance as a lead."
"Congratulations." He smiles warmly at her and once again, her stomach is doing funny things. She tries to ignore it, she really does. After all, he's Kurt's.
She keeps reminding herself of that throughout the whole afternoon they spend together, but it gets progressively harder, especially when they finish their coffee and he guides her out of the coffeehouse by placing a hand on the small of her back.
He's Kurt's. He's just being gentlemanly.
They wander aimlessly around the park, talking about their respective shows and how hard it was to make it on Broadway. They talk about college. They talk about their apartments.
But they don't talk about relationships.
"Want some ice cream?" he finally asks, looking longingly at the ice cream truck nearby.
She giggles at how excited he gets at the prospect. "Sure."
He grabs her hand to drag her over to the ice cream truck and she tries really hard to ignore the fact that she really likes the way her hand in his feels.
But she can't.
She finally likens it to having a crush on a famous married movie star. She knows she can't date Josh Duhamel, but that doesn't mean she can't admire his fine form from afar, right?
They settle on a nearby bench to eat their ice cream, the warm sun a contrast to their ice cream.
"How's your Strawberry Shortcake?" he asks, noticing the way she takes dainty bites. He glances down at his own Chocolate Éclair bar, already half gone.
She smiles before taking another dainty bite. "It's very good. I used to love getting ice cream from the ice cream man. Did you?"
"Yeah, Kurt never liked it though." He finishes his ice cream with two more bites, shrugging. "When I first met him, he always refused to come with me to get ice cream."
"I can't believe you finished already! I'm not even half done!" She stares in surprise at the Popsicle stick in his hand. "How did you not get a brain freeze?"
He grins at the look of amazement on her face. "I was hungry. Kurt says I'm like a garbage disposal."
Her smile dims slightly at his words. "Kurt's very nice, isn't he? He was so good to me last week."
Finn laughs. "Don't let him fool you. He has a snarky side. I've been on the receiving end of it enough."
She nods sympathetically before taking another bite. "That happens in relationships. Trust me, I know."
He stares at her for a moment "Uh, right."
Not wanting to talk about Kurt anymore, she changes the topic again as she eats her ice cream. "You've stopped sneezing and you're face isn't red and splotchy anymore. You're back to looking handsome."
Just like at the coffee shop, she blushes again. She hadn't meant to say that last part. Trying to avoid the staring eyes of Finn, she concentrates on taking a rather large bite of her ice cream.
And promptly gets a Brain Freeze.
Her hands fly up to her head, riding out the pain. "Oooh."
"Brain Freeze?" he asks knowingly, smiling at her.
She smiles sheepishly at him. "That obvious?"
"Don't worry, you still managed to look hot," he assures her, then promptly blushes.
She frowns a little. Would Sam have thought she looked hot? She's about to ask him when she notices him staring off at something, a strange look on his face. Her eyes follow his to see a mohawked man coming their way in the distance.
"Let's go," he says abruptly. He stands up, looking up at her expectantly.
She hasn't finished her ice cream, but she stands up. She can tell something is wrong. "Who's that?"
"Is that an ex?" she inquires, looking back and forth between Finn and the man.
He looks at the man again. "Yeah, I guess you could say that."
She nods, determined to help him through this. "Well in that case, I have to get to the theater soon anyway. I always like to be early, just in case."
Head held high, she leads him off in the opposite direction. She tries to distract him by telling funny stories about things that have gone awry at her show as they walk, and he soon cheers up, contributing his own stories about working on Anything Goes.
They're laughing hysterically by the time they reach her apartment and she's tempted to tell him this isn't her building, just so they could keep walking. Glad that she could make him feel better, she rummages in her bag for a pen before reaching for his hand. Quickly, before she can talk herself out of it, she writes her number on his hand.
He stares at the numbers, unsure of what to say.
"You know you can call me if you want to," she says, smiling at him for a minute before running into her building.
He wants to.
He doesn't call her.
He wants to so bad, but he literally can't. Loser that he is, he'd walked back to his own apartment and immediately proceeded to take a shower before work like he always does, causing her pretty handwriting to merge into one big blob of ink on his hand. Horrified, he'd held his hand outside the shower curtain as he'd finished showering, but it was already too late. Not only had the ink run; he'd even lost the cute star she'd drawn next to her phone number.
He's positive that the number had definitely started with a six, because he remembered thinking it was really cool that they both had phone numbers that started with a six, but he wasn't sure about the other numbers. He thought he remembered seeing a two and a four along with a few other numbers, and desperate, tries dialing a combination of the numbers only to get a Korean man on the phone who promptly tells him "No speak English" and hangs up.
His desperation growing, he tries several more times with new combinations, getting an Original Ray's Pizza, the law office of Simon, Smith, Belvedere and Price, a transvestite bar (we don't have a Rachel, but we have a Ms. Raquel) and a radio station (he wasn't the tenth caller though).
It figures this would happen, it just confirms what a loser he is. He throws the phone against the wall, smashing it, which makes him panic, because what if Rachel is trying to call him? His panic dies down when he realizes that he never gave her his number.
Yup, he's a loser.
He walks to the theater, trying to convince himself that Rachel's different, that she'll understand and won't be mad he didn't call.
But he knows she will be.
Which is why it sucks so much that he lost her number. He totally knows that she'll be upset and mad at him and he definitely doesn't want to be the reason she's sad. He can tell from just one afternoon with her that she won't judge him or make fun of him for the whole babygate episode. And she definitely won't give him the Poor Finn pity look that pretty much everyone he knows gives him on a daily basis.
He frowns and shoves his hands into his dress coat. Maybe he could ask Kurt? He cuts her hair, he must know her number. After all, Kurt cuts his hair too, and he knows his number.
No. He can't ask Kurt. He'd probably say he'd be violating some hair stylist's code or something. He has to figure this out on his own.
The only thing he knows for sure? He's interested.
She blames herself for his not calling.
It was clearly too forward. She tells herself that he's probably freaked out, thinking that she likes him. Which would be absurd because she doesn't. She was simply being a friend and friends should have each other's numbers.
True, he didn't give her his number but she'd rationalized it by assuming he figured that since his number would come up when he called she'd have his number.
Which would be fine, except it's been a week and he hasn't called. A week she spent fretting over why he hasn't called, finally coming to the conclusion that it's her fault.
It's not like she can ask Kurt why he didn't call when she goes to the salon on Thursday for the highlights Kurt insists she needs. She just so happens to go around lunch time but to her disappointment, Kurt isn't there when she arrives. Brittany isn't behind the counter, so unsure of what to do, she decides to sit in the waiting area for Kurt.
"Where's Kurt?" she asks Santana as the Latina passes her, a bottle of nail polish in her hand.
"Oh, he's out to lunch with his boyfriend. He should be back any minute. Let me see your nails."
Obediently, Rachel holds out her hands for inspection, earning a string of Spanish expletives from Santana when she sees the state of Rachel's nails. "I know I missed last week but-"
"Table now," Santana barks, pointing to her manicure station. Rachel promptly makes her way over to the table without argument, settling into the chair and placing her hands on the table.
Santana gets to work immediately, still cursing in Spanish under her breath. Rachel sits silently, finally finding the nerve to venture a question. "Santana? Can I ask you a question?"
"Yes, I think that sweater is atrocious."
"Can you be serious for a moment?"
"Are you going to start coming in weekly so my work doesn't get destroyed?"
"Of course," Rachel says quickly. "I only missed last week because-"
"Save it. What's your question?"
"If you gave a guy your number purely to be friends but he never calls, does that mean that he thinks you like him?" she asks quickly. "Because I don't. He's in a relationship and I would never get in the way of that. I don't like him. I don't."
"Sounds like you do." She pauses her nail filing to look at Rachel. "What's the big deal? If you want him, break up him and the girl. When I was into guys, I did it all the time."
"Even if you know the other person?"
"That makes it even better, especially if the other girl is a bitch." Santana puts her nail file down and rummages through a drawer for her buffer. "Trust me. It's an adrenaline rush."
"Well it doesn't matter because I don't like him. I was simply trying to be a supportive friend," Rachel says firmly, hoping Santana buys it because she's not even buying what she's saying. "I may have commented on his gorgeous eyes and handsome face, but it was platonic."
"Look, men never call when they say they will, which is yet another reason I'm glad I switched teams." She buffs Rachel's nails quickly before putting a clear coat on them. "You should consider switching teams. You'd be a real catch with that body."
She blushes at Santana's words. "I'm flattered, and although I'm currently employing a penis embargo, I expect that ban to be lifted in the near future."
The thought crosses her mind that she'd lift her self-imposed ban for Finn in a heartbeat and she quickly squashes it while Santana begins applying a cheerful pink color to her nails.
As if he knew Rachel was thinking dirty things about his boyfriend, Kurt chooses that moment to come into the salon. He spies Rachel immediately and comes over to the table. "Are you almost done? I want to get started on her highlights."
"Don't get your panties in a twist, Kurt. I'm done." She caps the bottle of nail polish as if to prove her point. "Rachel and her guy problems are all yours."
"Guy problems?" he asks, immediately interested as Rachel settles into his salon chair and he drapes a cape around her.
"I was merely asking Santana a general question about men," she replies firmly, staring at Kurt in the mirror.
"She's got the hots for some man that she claims is only a friend," Santana calls out as she passes by.
Rachel blushes pink. "It's not like that, Kurt. We're just friends."
"She told him he has gorgeous eyes!" Santana yells over from her table.
Kurt nods knowingly. "Gorgeous eyes, huh?"
The blush turns from pink to scarlet. "Friends can tell each other that. Your eyes are very pretty, too."
Kurt smirks as he pulls on his gloves and accepts the bowl of chemicals an assistant has mixed for him. "While it's common knowledge that I have nice eyes, it's not going to work, so spill. Why are you asking Santana questions?"
"I simply wanted to know what it means if you give your number to a guy as a friend and he doesn't call you."
"Well men are idiots, you know that. They have all sorts of rules about how long to wait before calling, although that's after a date. Maybe it's the same with friends." He places a piece of aluminum foil under a small strip of hair, spreading the chemicals on it and quickly folding the aluminum foil in a well practiced manner before he reaches for a new piece of foil, ready to begin again. "Or maybe he's an idiot and threw his phone against the wall, like my brother just did. He had to get a new phone and pay all those charges."
"Maybe." She frowns, considering his words.
They're quiet for a few minutes, each lost in their thoughts as Kurt continues to cover her head in aluminum foil.
"All done," he finally pronounces. She can't help but laugh at her aluminum foil covered reflection and even Kurt chuckles. "You need to sit under the heater for about twenty minutes, then we'll wash it out."
He fiddles with the buttons on the heater once she's settled under it. "You know, if you're looking for a guy with nice eyes, you should meet my brother."
"Maybe someday Kurt, but not right now."
Pleased at the answer, he starts the heater and walks away.
His feet bring him to the salon automatically.
He wasn't heading there, he really wasn't, but somehow, instead of the music store, he ends up in front of the salon. He debates going in versus leaving for a moment, because like what if she's in there and starts crying because he never called? He doesn't think he could handle it if she's sad because of him. On the other hand, if she's not there, he can totally check Brittany's book of clients, get her phone number and then call her, especially since he got a new phone.
That's what he'll do. He'll totally go all Austin Powers and distract Brittany so he can look at her client book.
His mind made up, he opens the door to the salon. Immediately, his eyes begin scanning the clientele, hoping (but not hoping at the same time) to see a tiny brunette. He sees Tina and Mercedes, busy cutting hair, but neither Kurt nor Santana (thank God) is anywhere to be seen. His eyes continue to sweep the salon and his heart drops when his gaze lands on the heaters.
She's here and she's spotted him. He watches as she struggles to get out from under the heater, which he totally doesn't think she's supposed to do unless Kurt says it's ok. She starts making her way towards him and panicking, he can only think of one thing to do.
He doesn't run per se, more like he backs back out the salon door and stumbles down the street, totally crashing into a little old lady carrying groceries. He's horrified as he helps the lady up, who promptly starts hitting him with her handbag. He scrambles around trying to pick up her fruit and other stuff as he apologizes and he's just handing her the tube of denture glue when he hears it.
The soft voice stops him in his tracks and he turns, still gripping the tube of denture glue. His eyes go wide as he stares at her, still wearing the salon cape, one hand on her hip. Her head is covered in aluminum foil and he blurts out the first thing he can think of. "You look like an alien."
Her eyes narrow and he knows instantly that that was the wrong thing to say. "No! I…I mean…I …"
The old lady yanks her denture glue out of his hand and gives him a final smack with her purse before she walks away. He apologizes one more time before he looks at Rachel, who now looks like she's trying to control her laughter.
He rubs the back of his neck as he looks sheepishly at Rachel, who's outright giggling. He smiles at her, noticing how even when she looks like an alien, she still manages to look adorable.
She stops giggling and looks at him sternly. "You didn't call."
His smile dies a little and he rubs his neck again. "Um, this is going to sound really lame, but after you gave me your number, I took a shower and washed it off by accident. I wanted to call you, I really did, and um…I couldn't ask Kurt because of the hair code. I tried different combinations of the numbers I remembered, but none of them worked."
She gives him a weird look, but doesn't say anything. Instead, she steps towards the outdoor café they've been standing in front of and gestures towards a waiter. "Excuse me, would you happen to have a sharpie?"
The waiter nods and hands her the pink sharpie. Smiling, she steps over to Finn and grabs his hand, once again writing her number on it. "There. That's permanent so you don't have to worry about the shower this time. Call me, even if you just want to vent about Kurt."
He laughs as she returns the marker to the waiter. Her hand is still holding his and if he just moves his fingers to the left, he'd totally be able to entwine their fingers. She's staring up at him and smiling, so he kind of figures she wants him to do it. He's just about to make his move when Rachel suddenly squeezes his hand and steps away from him.
"Call me!" she yells over her shoulder as she runs back to the salon.
He's already programming her number into his new phone.
Her phone rings at eleven o'clock that night.
It's an unknown number, but she doesn't hesitate to answer it, even though she's dead tired from tonight's show and is climbing into bed. "Hello?"
"Hi!" she responds, suddenly not tired anymore.
"It's Finn. Finn Hudson."
She laughs. "I know who you are, Finn, Finn Hudson. How was your show?"
He immediately launches into an enthusiastic response and she can practically hear him relax as she listens to him finish describing his night. "So how are you? Are you excited about Saturday?"
She hesitates. "Yes and no."
"My fathers can't come." She speaks the words quietly, still not believing the news she'd gotten when she'd come home from the salon. "They had to fly to Japan today for an emergency business meeting."
"So…you're not going to have anyone there for your debut?"
"No." She tries to put on a brave face as she says the next part. "But my cast mates are going to record the matinee so that my fathers can see it when they come home."
He doesn't buy it, she can tell. "That's not the same. You need someone there. My mom brought my grandma to my first show, and I was just playing in the orchestra."
Her lower lip starts to tremble and she wipes her eyes. "There's not much I can do."
"I'm coming." The words are spoken with conviction and she knows he means it.
"You can't. What about your show?"
"On Saturdays, I only do the matinee show. I'm coming."
The thought of him sitting in the audience cheers her up immensely and she immediately stops crying. "Thank you Finn. You really don't have to. Are you sure Kurt won't mind?"
"Kurt? He'll be thrilled that I'm going."
"Well if you're sure," she says, doubting that Kurt would be thrilled that his boyfriend is going to watch a woman perform.
She laughs as she settles back on her pillows. A sudden thought grips her mind and she frowns suddenly worried. Maybe it was wrong that she gave him her number. Now that she thinks about it, she probably should have cleared it with Kurt first. "Kurt won't mind that you're calling me right?"
"Uh, I don't think he'd care." She thinks his voice holds a note of amusement, but she's not positive. She's also not positive why he would find that amusing.
"Are you sure? I don't want him to be mad at me." She bites her lip, awaiting his answer. Her little dog, a Pug named Roxy after the character in Chicago, jumps on the bed and the two of them snuggle into the covers.
His voice is definitely amused now. "Trust me. He won't mind. But uh, if you don't mind, I didn't call you to talk about him."
Her heart races a little at his words, which it definitely should not. "Oh? What do you want to talk about then?"
"Whatever you want."
She absently begins to pet Roxy as she thinks. "Ok then. So you want to tell me why you were getting beaten up by an old lady today?"
His tone immediately becomes embarrassed. "Um…I may have knocked her over."
She laughs again. "Trying to get away from an alien?"
It's his turn to laugh. "Yeah, something like that. You have to admit you looked funny."
"I know I did," she agrees. "But it's all for the cause. Kurt's going to make me pretty."
"Rachel. Why do you think you're not pretty?"
"Because I'm not." She says the words quietly and she can hear him gasp.
"Rachel, you can't be serious."
"I know. I'm like me, which is totally awesome." She repeats his words quietly, still not quite believing them.
"It really is. Who else would stay with a loser who goes to a cat's birthday party even though he knows he's allergic?"
"First of all, you're anything but a loser. Second of all, staying with you makes me nice, not pretty. Pretty is Santana or Brittany."
"No, pretty is both inside and out. Santana's just mean, so she's only half. She's like a swan."
"Swans are pretty," Rachel points out.
"Yeah, they're pretty, but they're also mean as hell. I should know, I got bit in the ass by one, so that makes them mean."
She can't help but laugh. "You really got bit in the ass?"
"Yeah, Kurt couldn't stop laughing for days." She giggles at the fact that he's not bothering to hide the bitterness in his voice. "You see what I'm saying? You're nice and like super hot with your eyes and-"
She can't help but smile, even though he never finished his sentence and she's now wondering what else he would have said. "Thank you Finn."
"Anytime. So uh, what do you normally like to do in bed?"
"Excuse me?" She stops petting Roxy in surprise.
"Before bed! I mean like before you go to bed? Are you even in bed?" Even frantically backtracking, he's unable to hide the embarrassment in his voice. "Or is it just me?"
"As a matter of fact, Roxy and I are both in bed," she replies, smiling down at the Pug.
"Don't worry, she's a Pug, not a cat," she teases. "I don't want to have to drag you to the drug store again."
"So you didn't answer my question about your bedtime routine. I always watch Family Guy."
"I can't say I've ever seen it. What channel is it on?" It's an obvious change of subject but she goes with it, reaching for the controller.
"Channel Eleven. This is a good one too. I'll explain it to you."
He keeps his promise, explaining each character and the plotline of the episode to her. She finds herself laughing along with him and they watch another episode together. And another.
Even after Family Guy is long over, they're still talking and before she knows it, it's 5:45 in the morning. She's shocked at the time, since it feels like they've been talking for only a few minutes, an hour at most.
They've been talking for over six hours.
Very reluctantly, she hangs up with him, but he promises to call again after his show tonight.
She can't wait.
He buys a ticket for both her shows on Saturday.
It wasn't easy getting Tim to agree to play both the matinee and the evening performance, but after some flat out begging (along with a pair of Knicks tickets) Tim finally agrees to cover his matinee performance in addition to his own evening performance.
There's no way he's missing her performances. She'd confided in him about how nervous she was for today and while he highly doubted she had anything to worry about, he wanted to make sure he was there for her.
Talking to Rachel the past two nights has been awesome. Exhausting, but awesome. Last night hadn't been quite as late since he knew that she had be at the theater early, but they'd still talked until three in the morning. Her insecurities about being pretty surfaced again and he'd spent a large amount of time trying to make sure she understood how pretty she was. He hasn't asked her out yet, since the whole Quinn debacle has left him feeling a little gun shy about dating and for now, he's content to just talk to her which is good, since talking to Rachel is quickly becoming one of his favorite things to do before bed. They'd watched another episode of Family Guy together last night and she'd understood the epicness of it, something Quinn never did.
He spots a few people he knows in the orchestra and goes down to the pit railing, hoping to get some inside info about Rachel. "Hey Artie, how's it going?"
Artie looks up from tuning his guitar. "Finn! How's it going over at Anything Goes?"
"Not bad. How's it going here?" he asks, trying to steer the direction towards Rachel.
Artie's clearly not picking up on his hint because he shrugs. "Same old."
"Oh." Desperate, he glances down at his playbill, the little white paper indicating a sub will be performing sticking out. He plucks it out, staring at Rachel's gorgeous head shot. "You guys get a new lead?"
"No, Rachel's just filling in for the day." He finishes tuning his guitar and starts checking the amps for his electric guitars.
"Oh," he says again, wishing Artie would help him out a little more. "Uh, how is she?"
Artie shrugs. "She's good. Scary and intense, but good."
"Scary?" Finn asks, trying to figure out how the girl who'd spent all afternoon wearing a party hat with a picture of Puss in Boots from Shrek on it could ever be considered scary. "What makes her scary?"
He never gets to hear what makes her so scary because Will Schuester, the conductor he'd worked with on South Pacific comes over to greet him. To say he's disappointed that Artie quietly slips away is an understatement, but he's not about to tell Will to go away since he knows that working in a Broadway orchestra is by the invitation of the conductor.
"Finn! What brings you to our neck of the woods?" Will asks warmly as he shakes Finn's hand.
"Uh, I've heard really good things about the show," Finn stammers, not about to admit that he was here solely to ogle Rachel for two and a half uninterrupted hours.
"How's Shannon treating you?" Will asks as he organizes his sheet music on his stand. "She's a tough conductor."
"Yeah, but that's why we won the Tony." He grins at Will, wondering how much longer he'd have to wait to see Rachel.
Fortunately for him, Will gestures apologetically to his watch. "Sorry, Finn. It's almost showtime."
"No problem." He heads to his seat nearby and opens up the playbill, immediately finding Rachel's biography and wanting to know more about her.
And maybe he wants to see if she thanks a boyfriend.
Despite talking for hours on the phone the past two nights, they've never broached the subject of relationships and exes, which is fine with him, since he's not in a rush to tell her about Babygate. He doesn't think she has a boyfriend, since she's been talking on the phone with him all night, but when it comes to girls, he definitely not an expert.
He studies the words listed after her name carefully, skipping over her theater credits and getting to the important part: who she thanks. Much love to my parents and my vocal coach.
Well that tells him nothing. Does that mean she didn't have a boyfriend at the time she filled this out but has one now? Or does it mean that she's still single? He doesn't have time to ponder it, though because the lights dim, signaling the start of the show. He waits patiently for Rachel to come out, paying more attention to the music than the story. Rachel soon appears onstage and he sits up a little, watching her every move.
He's blown away.
She's incredible. No she's more than that, she's like…well he can't think of a word better than incredible, but whatever it is, she's it. Every note she sang touched him, deep in his heart. His eyes never leave her, and honestly, he doesn't really have any idea what's going on in the story but he can easily say that Rachel's face lights up when she's singing and that he's jealous of her costar when they kiss.
He manages to get Artie to get him backstage after the show and he navigates his way to her tiny dressing room. He knocks lightly, clutching the flowers he bought for her. She opens the door, still in costume, but minus the wig.
"Finn!" she squeals, throwing her arms around his neck and practically knocking him over in her excitement. He wraps his own arms around her tiny waist, hugging her back. "How was I?"
"You were phenomenal," he says honestly. "Like the drum solo in Phil Collins' song In the Air Tonight."
A lame comparision, judging by the look on Rachel's face and he sighs. Just once he'd like to not say something stupid around Rachel, but clearly that's not happening. Sheepishly, he holds the flowers out to her. "Uh…these are for you."
Her face lights up and he feels like a million bucks.
"Finn! These are amazing!" she squeals, holding them up to her nose to inhale the scent. "Wait. I thought you said you work the matinee and you'd be coming in the evening."
He blushes. "I took off. I wanted to be here for you. I'm still coming to the evening performance."
She stares at him. "Kurt's ok with that?"
"Uh, I didn't ask him, but he would be ok with it." He can't figure out why she's always asking about Kurt and why she's always worried about him being ok with everything, but he figures maybe it's part of that hair code. He's heard Kurt say a thousand times that there's no greater relationship than the one between a girl and her stylist, so maybe that's why she's so concerned. He decides to reassure her. "Don't worry. Kurt will still cut your hair even if we hang out without him."
She's staring at him again, biting her lip thoughtfully. "I was just about to order some food. Want to stay and eat with me?"
Hell yeah is his first thought. "Uh, sure."
"Can you put the flowers in that vase on the table while I change?"
"Sure." He busies himself putting the flowers in the vase, but almost drops it when he realizes that Rachel has removed her costume and is now standing in front of him in her bra and underwear as she hangs the costume back up. He stares at her hot body, which is a bad idea, since his pants are rapidly getting tight. Quickly, before he can embarrass himself and look like even more of a loser than usual, he grabs the vase and places it in front of him as he sits on the couch.
She smiles at him as she pulls a pair of yoga capri pants and tank top out of her bag and slips them on to his relief since he was about two seconds away from either jumping her or coming in his pants, he's not sure which. "I'm in the mood for Greek food, I hope that's ok."
"It's fine." He grins as he finally get himself under control, not about to tell her that she could have ordered tar and he'd gladly eat it just to spend some time with her. She takes the vase from him and places it on her vanity, burying her nose in them one more time.
They pass the time until the food comes resuming the debate they'd started on the phone last night about which show might win the Tony this year. To be honest, he's not really that into the shows, he's always been more about the music but Rachel's the opposite. He's been working on Anything Goes since it was in previews two years ago and he still doesn't know the storyline, just the cues he needs for his music. Rachel had been so passionate about the topic though and not wanting to disappoint her, he'd summoned every single thing he'd ever heard Kurt and Blaine discuss about the various shows.
It doesn't escape his notice that Rachel had been gradually moving closer to him on the couch. Once the food comes, she leans back against the arm of the couch, letting her legs rest on his lap.
He likes it.
Rachel's legs in his lap feels natural and he resists the urge to start rubbing her legs, choosing to concentrate on finishing his Souvlaki. She smiles at him as she eats her Falafel and somehow, his free hand is suddenly resting on her leg, his fingers running casually along the exposed skin of her lower leg. Her skin is super soft and he feels like he's touching that cashmere sweater Kurt made him buy their mother for Christmas.
She seems to like it too, judging by the little smile on her face. He finishes his Souvlaki and his other hand begins following the path of the first, noticing that she's scooted a little closer towards him. He's wondering if he could move his hands higher without getting slapped when a knock is heard and the door opens.
She jumps and tucks her legs securely under her, to his extreme disappointment. "Hi, Jesse."
It's the dude who was kissing Rachel on stage and normally he'd be watching him carefully to gauge his interest in Rachel, but one look at Jesse and it's clear that he's more Jesse's type than Rachel is.
"I just wanted to say that you did quite well in your debut. Not as well as I did in mine of course, but it was good."
He resists the urge to roll his eyes at the pompousness of Jesse once he sees Rachel beaming from his semi-compliment. "Thanks, Jesse!"
Jesse nods and leaves, closing the door behind him. Rachel watches him go, waiting for the door to close securely behind him before she opens her mouth. "He's cute, right?"
"Uh, I guess so," he replies uncomfortably. "I don't think he's your type, Rach."
"No, I'd say from the way he was checking you out that's he definitely not for me, but surely you must know someone you could set him up with."
"Um, I guess I could ask Kurt," he replies, not quite sure of why she's decided it's his job to find Jesse a date. The beaming smile she gives him tells him that that was definitely the right answer.
She yawns a little.
"You should probably nap before your next show," he says reluctantly. "I'll leave so you can nap."
"Don't leave!" He thinks he sees a hint of panic in her eyes, but he's not sure. "Stay. I promise I'll take a nap if you stay." As if to prove her point, she takes the couch cushion, places it in his lap and lays her head on it, her eyes firmly closed. "See?"
He laughs. "That doesn't look very comfortable."
She opens one eye to look up at him. "Well it would be more comfortable if you were lying down too. That would be the most beneficial to me, you know."
"Well we need you to be at your best, don't we?" he plays along, already picking her head off the pillow. She eagerly gets off the couch waiting for him to move. He frowns slightly, knowing that there's no possible way he's going to fit on this couch. Three-fourths of his legs are hanging off the end of the couch and he knows she's laughing at him but it's not his fault he's huge.
He finally finds a semi comfortable position if he partly sits up and gestures to Rachel to climb on, which she eagerly does, snuggling into his side. His arm wraps around her as her own arms envelope him. She rubs her face against his chest as her eyes close, a sleepy smile on her face.
His legs are totally gonna fall asleep, but it's worth it. Because this?
He likes this most of all.
She practically skips to her nail appointment on Thursday.
"What's with you? Have you gotten laid or something?" Santana asks as she does Rachel's nails.
"No, I have not been intimate with anyone," Rachel replies, blushing at the thought of being naked in bed with Finn, a thought that has been very much on her mind ever since they took a nap together in her dressing room. Jesse had found them curled up together on her couch when it was time for sound check, very much jealous of Rachel. They'd done their warm ups together while Finn tried to regain feeling in his legs back in her dressing room and Jesse had been shocked when she'd told him Finn was gay and in a relationship with her hairdresser. He'd insisted that his gaydar was always spot on and that Finn was straight. Not only did he insist Finn was straight, he was adamant that he wanted her, which secretly sent her heart soaring, since she was officially incredibly attracted to him.
She'd told him he was wrong, that she's not the other woman. Finn's never been anything other than friendly towards her and she would never do that to Kurt, since she knows firsthand how awful cheating can be. They're just becoming really good friends and nothing more.
And yet…sometimes she's positive Jesse's right, since there's been more than a few times when she's felt like he wanted to kiss her or more. When she'd changed in front of him (something she'd never do if he was straight) she almost thought he was using that vase to hide his hard on, until she thought about how ridiculous that was. After all, he's gay and he's Kurt's. But then when he started rubbing her legs, she felt like he wanted to put his hands on other parts of her body, which left her totally confused and even more attracted to him.
"Are you sure? You have that I just got fucked glow about you," Santana insists. "Did you steal that guy?"
"She's right, Rachel. You distinctly have an I'm involved with a man look about you," Kurt adds, looking up from his magazine next to Santana's table. "Spill."
"There's nothing to spill," she defends, not about to tell Kurt about her relationship with his boyfriend. Finn now calls her every night at eleven so that they can watch TV together and then talk until late in the night. Sure, she knows that he should probably be calling Kurt, but he's not. He's calling her and well, she likes it. She really likes it.
Actually, she really likes him.
She likes the way he remembers little things she's told him and she loves how talented he is and passionate he gets about the music. He'd played her a piece of his music over the phone last night, earning the ire of his neighbors and she'd been blown away by his talent. She finds it adorable how embarrassed he gets when he blurts out things and she loves how clumsy he can be. She's amazed that he's determined to show her how pretty he thinks she is and she's starting to understand his unique way of speaking.
"I take it the Penis Embargo has been lifted?" he asks, arching an eyebrow at her. Her blush gives him the answer. "I thought so."
She watches as he pulls out his cell phone, texting someone. "What are you doing?"
"Nothing." He continues texting away, directing his next comment to Rachel. "You know, I think my brother's lifted his Vagina Embargo. You should meet him."
She laughs. "He has, huh? How's he doing dealing with his own breakup anyway?"
Kurt shrugs. "Pretty good actually. Ever since last week, he's been really cheerful for some reason."
"Maybe he met someone," Rachel suggests, earning a snort from Santana.
"Please. Unless her name is Betty Crocker or Sara Lee, Tubs isn't interested."
"Funny, Santana," Kurt snaps.
"He might be busy with work and that could keep his mind off it. I know Shannon Beiste is really gunning for that second Tony," Rachel comments, trying to alleviate the tension.
"How'd you know that?" Kurt asks curiously, staring at Rachel, who blushes.
"Your boyfriend told me the other day when I saw him," she replies, not bothering to add that they'd started meeting for coffee before they both had to be at their respective theaters each day.
"Oh. He didn't tell me he saw you."
"What color do you think I should do, Kurt?" she asks, quickly changing the subject. She's relieved when Kurt and Santana start bickering over her color choice, forgetting about their previous conversation.
Maybe she should meet Kurt's brother; it might help her get over her massive crush on a gay man.
Somehow she doubts it.
He goes with Blaine to bring Kurt his lunch as usual.
"You're pretty cheerful for someone who hates going to the salon," Blaine comments as they walk down the street towards the salon.
"I never said I hated it."
"Yes, you did. You said – and I quote – I hate going to the salon because they all know about the Quinn and the baby, thanks to Kurt's big mouth."
"It's Thursday. I'm in a good mood." He shrugs, grinning at Blaine. "Plus, all that Quinn stuff is in the past. It's not a big deal."
It's really not a big deal anymore. Sure he punched Puck in the face at the time, but now, he couldn't care less. He was better off without them; he knew that now, thanks in large part to Rachel, who spent large amounts of time correcting his belief that he was a loser.
"You know, most people get excited on Friday, not Thursday."
"Well I'm not most people, I guess." He walks quicker, hoping that Rachel is getting her nails done. She'd told him last night on the phone when she was going to be there but she'd chosen to tell him during the highlights of the game and he may have been slightly distracted.
He bounces into the salon, immediately scanning the room for Rachel, Blaine just behind him.
She's not here.
Disappointed, he begins to scan the room again, this time looking for Kurt, who doesn't seem to be around either.
Unfortunately for him, Santana's at the front counter talking to Brittany. "Quick Brits, secure all the loose stuff before Tubs takes another step and the shelves collapse."
"Santana, can't you ever be nice?" Blaine reprimands. "It won't kill you, you know."
"Can it, Bilbo Baggins," Santana snaps. "Gandalf knows I'm just kidding."
Blaine sighs. "Where's Kurt?"
"He's in the waxing room. He should be almost done."
Finn stares at the closed door a little warily. He has no idea what goes on in that room and to be honest, he never wants to know. He's kind of afraid that if he goes through that door, he'll come out with only one eyebrow something.
"Oh, we'll wait then." Blaine settles down on a chair and picks up one of the magazines on the table.
He does the same, but his eyes keep roaming the room, checking to see if he missed Rachel at all.
He really needs to take a leak, but what if she comes while he's in the bathroom and he misses her? He could go super quick and be back in his seat in under five minutes since he's not sure but he thinks that it takes longer than five minutes to get a manicure.
Deciding to risk it, he bolts to the bathroom as fast as he can.
Because after all, he's totally here for her.
Kurt insists she needs a bikini wax.
Apparently, no Kurt Hummel makeover is complete without one and despite her protests, she finds herself in the waxing room, letting Kurt put wax in areas she doesn't think hot wax should ever be.
It's not as bad as she'd imagined and before she knows it, Kurt's telling her she can put her clothes back on and that he'll meet her outside. She gets dressed quickly, wondering if Finn will be coming while she's here.
She opens the door just in time to see Kurt with his arms around a small curly haired man.
Anger starts to boil inside her at the implications. Kurt is kissing another man right in front of everyone. He's blatantly cheating on Finn and he doesn't care who knows it, doesn't care that Finn is sensitive and is bound to be incredibly hurt by this betrayal. He'd just been telling her last night about how important honesty was to him and here he was, getting betrayed by the person who's supposed to love him.
Not if Rachel Barbra Berry has anything to say about it. She clenches her fists and stomps towards him, reaching Kurt in record time. "Kurt!"
"Oh, Rachel. Why don't you-" He gets no further since Rachel's hand immediately comes up to slap him as hard as she could. "Ow! What was that for?"
"How could you!?" she screeches, debating whether to slap the man next to him too. "How could you do that to your boyfriend?"
"Do what?" Kurt stares at her in confusion, holding his face.
"How could you cheat on your boyfriend with him?" She points to the curly haired man next to Kurt.
"What are you talking about? This is my-"
"Don't deny it! I saw you kissing him just now!" she demands, still angry. "How could you do that to Finn?"
"Yes, Finn! How could you do that to him? He's so kind and sweet and you're cheating on him!" She actually stamps her foot she's so furious.
"I'm cheating on Finn?" Kurt states, his hand still on his cheek. "My boyfriend Finn?"
"I know that!" Rachel screeches. "And if you think I'm not going to tell him, you're-"
"Rachel," Kurt says slowly. "Blaine is my boyfriend. Finn's my brother."
She stares at him, slowly comprehending his words. Brother. The man she was insanely attracted to, the one she'd thought was gay and unavailable was actually Kurt's brother, not his lover. Her jaw drops at the revelation as Finn himself comes out of nowhere, glancing between Rachel and Kurt. She points at Finn. "Finn's your brother?"
"Your straight brother that you've been wanting me to meet?"
She launches herself at Finn, jumping up into his arms and kissing his face all over. He stumbles a little as he catches her, but his lips manage to find hers and she feels him eagerly kiss her back. His lips are just as soft as she imagined they'd be and she loses herself in his kisses. Forgetting that they were in the middle of a crowded salon, her tongue slips into his mouth as she grips his hair, pulling his face closer to hers. Panting, they break apart, staring at each other.
"I…you…Kurt…lunch…" she tries to explain, kissing him in between words.
He grins at her. "That's why you were always so concerned with Kurt? You thought we were dating?"
She nods, kissing him again. "He'd said his boyfriend was bringing his lunch and then you came and even though I couldn't see you two together, I-"
He cuts her off with another kiss. "Enough talking. Want to get out of here?"
She nods again, kissing him once more before sliding down his body. She notices everyone staring at the two of them and she slips her hand ino his, choosing to ignore the gawkers and concentrate on the fact that Finn is smiling down at her like she's the only one in the room.
She loves that.
Her smile wide, she releases his hand to let her arms wrap around his waist, her hands sliding into his back pockets to give him a gentle squeeze.
"Want to get out of here?" he repeats, his fingers gently running up and down her back.
"So much." Her hands leave his pockets to weave their fingers together. She turns to face the door, prepared to drag Finn towards it but is stopped by the sight of a still staring Kurt.
"Well Rachel," Kurt says; his voice laced with amusement. "I see you've met my brother."
A/N: I got the idea for this while I was at the salon and saw a very Kurt like man washing someone's hair. It made me wonder what Kurt would be like in a salon and well, this is the result :)