Author's Note:

Okay, so I just want to apologize. This story hasn't been updated in over a year, and I feel awful for it but things have been nuts with my personal life, school and work. No excuses though, the second last chapter is finally posted. That's right, unfortunately, as originally planned, this story is only 10 chapters long. But don't worry, I've got some more up my sleeve. Thanks for sticking this out with me though!

Now onto what you've all been waiting for!


Chapter 9: Perfect

She cried the entire trip there. It felt like her world was falling apart with only her hope that they will one day be reunited keeping her up. This wasn't fair. Why couldn't she have it all? The dream guy and the dreams? Rachel had been such a hard worker for the entirety of her 18 years of living. If anyone deserved having everything work out for them, it was her. Her dads were wrong for thinking that Finn was getting in the way. She was just finally living life and yeah, maybe it meant that she got a bit distracted but what did that matter? Her dreams were going to come true; there was no doubt in her mind.

Rachel took in a deep breath attempting to calm herself down.

God, she loathed her dads right now.

As much as she tried to withstand them, these hateful thoughts kept returning to her head. Thanks to them, she and Finn were done - over. He did what he was convinced would be best for her because he loved her that much. He did what he thought would make her the happiest. She couldn't be mad at him for that but man would she give anything to be in his arms at this moment. It would be better than laying in her dorm room, all alone, waiting for the sun to come up.

Tomorrow she would have to begin settling into New York. As soon as she arrived at her residence, Rachel just dropped her bags on the floor and flew to her bed. She didn't care about organization or making the empty room feel like home - will it ever? All it felt like was a place to sleep.

An image of Finn returned to her head; just as it had about 100 separate times. She could not get their final goodbye out of her mind. She replayed it, absorbing every small detail of him. Rachel wanted to retain his scent, the number of freckles he had on his beautiful face, and the image of his smirk. Though they were thousands of miles of apart, Rachel refused to forget him. Finn was the love of her life and the universe would bring them back together someday.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the incessant buzzing of her phone.

Unwillingly, she rolled over on her bed and reached to pick it up off her night table.

"Hello?" she mumbled.

"Hey diva, how are you doing?" inquired the familiar voice of her best gay.

"Kurt? How did you get my new number?" Her father's had bought her a new phone so that they could stay in contact with her, while also cutting off her ties with Ohio aka Finn.

"My dad convinced your fathers that it would only be logical if your future partner-in-crime had your number since I will be arriving there shortly. They put up a good fight and made us swear that I would keep it away from F-him but I got it," he explained.

"Have you heard from him? I know I've only been here for a few hours but -" choked out Rachel, tears subconsciously appearing at the thought of her love being so far away.

"He left right after you boarded without a word. I'm sorry sweetie...maybe this is best," Kurt attempted to comfort her, but Rachel would not take it.

"No. It's not Kurt: being forced to leave the love of my life is not for the best," she spat back at him, surprised by her own tone. She didn't understand why his statement frustrated her so much.

"Hm, who knows what life has in store. I'll see you in two weeks or so sweetums," he forfeited.

Rachel hung up on Kurt with no goodbye.

If she kept feeling this empty while she lived here in her dream city, Rachel didn't know if she could make it.

0-0

She hadn't left her room much. Rachel knew that the goal of her leaving to New York was not for her to sit around and mope, but her heart was not into any exploration: it was miles away in Ohio. Her fathers called her every night to see if she had gone out and discovered the city that she had dreamed about for so long but her answer was always the same: not yet.

Rachel was in need of a pick me up and it came in the shape of a thin and lanky young man belting out one of her favorite songs as he swung the door open.

Her room filled with the lyrics to "Defying Gravity," in the male soprano's voice.

She couldn't help the feeling of heart lightning as he marched towards her bed. Rachel peeked over her covers and was greeted by Kurt's wide grin only inches away.

"Morning Barbara! Your savior is here," he teased.

Before Rachel could even say a word, Kurt backed up and yanked the covers completely off her thin and frail body.

"Kurt," she groaned while repositioning herself onto her stomach.

"Get up Rachel. What do you think your dads would say if they saw you like this? Have you even been eating? You already look like a stick," bantered her best friend, his frown prominent as he took in the sight.

Begrudgingly, Rachel turned back over and slowly opened her eyes.

"Just leave me here Kurt. Leave me to die of a broken heart. Those traitors I used to call dads wouldn't care, you shouldn't either."

With that, she let out a loud sigh and wrapped her thin arms around her face.

"Okay, drama queen. Get out of bed. I need to feed you," replied Kurt with little amusement in his voice.

"No," she barked at him.

"No more Mr. Nice Kurt," he groaned, irritated with the young girl.

To the surprise of both young adults, Kurt scooped Rachel into his arms and lifted her off the bed. Creating a loud thud, he dropped her onto her butt.

"Ow!" exclaimed Rachel, her arms quickly reaching over to rub her now sore bottom.

"You have 15 minutes to put some clothes on and attempt to look presentable. I'll be nice today and I won't even dictate your choice of outfit," taking a quick glance at his watch he continued, "15 minutes starting...now."

Kurt left the room and Rachel to her own thoughts.

She looked around and was saddened at the realization that she hadn't even unpacked. Everything was in the same place she had left it when her fathers first forced her into the early move-in. Her burning anger hadn't simmered even a tad. All Rachel could think about since the day she entered her room was Finn and the time they had shared. If only her fathers could be just a bit reasonable.

Her mind was about to begin wandering into the past as had become routine, but the reminder of an awaiting Kurt convinced her otherwise. She slowly got up and walked towards a box marked "clothes". Without a care, Rachel pulled out the first two articles of clothing: a black skirt and a thin black tshirt. She couldn't help but chuckle at the irony.

Rachel then got up and walked towards her mirror. Kurt was right. She had lost some weight. A few weeks without eating much food could do that to a person. Her cheekbones were prominent as her face had slimmed down. Her arms were thinner than usual and her thighs seemed to have gotten smaller. Quickly clothing herself, she couldn't help but took a good long glance at her eyes. They were swollen from the countless hours of crying, but it was the sadness within them that upset her. Rachel put on a bright Broadway-trained smile on in attempt to bring some light back to her face, but her eyes didn't change. There was no sparkle. That had disappeared alongside her separation from Finn.

"Okay, long enough. I'm coming back in. You better be dressed," warned Kurt before swinging the door open.

"Is there a funeral I don't know about?" he asked genuinely as he absorbed Rachel's appearance.

"Shut up and feed me," retorted Rachel as she marched towards the hallway.

0-0

Kurt had taken her anywhere he could think of in hope of bringing a smile to her face. Rachel would not budge. After a very large lunch with a very expensive cheque (Kurt couldn't help but silently thank Rachel's parents for the cash to treat her), he brought her to the locations she raved about ever since he could remember. If Times Square couldn't make her smile, he was sure the Gershwin theater could falter the frown. She didn't budge. Landmark after attraction after landmark, nothing could get Rachel talking or smiling.

It wasn't until they ended up at Central Park that Kurt could get anything out of her.

Arm-in-arm, the two friends walked silently along the paths formed between the beautiful forestry, the glittering lakes and the open space.

"Finn would have liked it her," she mumbled to herself.

That was when Kurt snapped.

"He's not dead Rachel! He's just not with you. Why do you have to be such a drama queen?"

Rachel was taken aback by his reaction.

"I didn't mean that. I..."

"No, I don't want to hear it. You're acting incredibly immature. I've spent the entire day trying to cheer you up but you're too busy isolating yourself and feeling sorry for yourself. Finn is not dead. Your fathers did what they thought was best," taking a deep breath, Kurt continued his rant not allowing a single word to escape Rachel's lips, "I know it sucks that you can't be with him anymore but he wouldn't want you acting this way. If Finn were here, and by here I mean physically in this location because he is on this planet, he would ask you why you haven't started scooping out your competition at NYADA. That's what the old Rachel would do."

A silence fell over them, so Kurt started once more.

"I was really hoping to arrive and have my best friend ready to conquer the world with me but look at you. Am I the one that really has to point out to you, one of the smartest girls that I've ever known, that the sooner you make something of yourself here, the sooner Finn can come back? I guarantee the boy is just waiting for you to act together so he can be with you again. But you know what? Even if he wasn't, you need to do this for you. For Rachel Berry. The most obnoxious, stubborn, driven, and incredibly talent woman I know."

He could tell that Rachel saw the truth in his words. Kurt wished he was a bit nicer about it all but it killed him to watch the strongest girl he knew in such a state of weakness. Either way, this lecture was just the step he needed.

"You're right," she replied in what sounded like almost a whisper.

"You're right," her answer was repeated with firmness, "I need to get ready to become the next star of Broadway. Not for my fathers and not just for Finn. New York is my calling!"

"That's my Barbara!"

Kurt let out a little chuckle and wrapped his arm with Rachel once more.

He couldn't help but beam as he listened to the voice he had missed explaining to him her step-by-step plan to win over New York. Kurt had no idea what it was but something must have clicked in her head. All that passion that had seemed to disappear with her separation from Finn was ignited and ready to jump out.

He smiled to himself.

She was ready.

0-0

There he was sitting on her bed, in her empty room, staring back at her.

"Finn!"

The screamed she let out was loud enough for anyone in the building to hear.

With all her energy, she ran and leaped into his arms. Within seconds, their lips were attached and every amount of passion she had expressed for her future was exerted onto Finn. Deep and intense, the couple continued to share kisses, each one leaving a lingering tingle for the short periods of separation. Her arms were tightly wrapped around his neck as if she was making sure that he would never disappear. Her entire body melted as he held it as closely as he could. It was as if they were the only two people left in the world.

Kurt let out a loud cough.

Rachel blushed deeply and reluctantly pulled away to look at her best friend.

"Did you know he was going to be here?"

Rachel could tell by the satisfied look on the boy's face that her love's return was planned.

"Surprise," chuckled Finn.

He lend in close and gave her a quick peck on her cheek.

Without moving from her spot on Finn's lap, the questions started rushing from her lips. So many emotions were flying through her at once that she couldn't keep her thoughts straight.

"How? What about my fathers? Why didn't you tell me? How long are you here for?"

Kurt took no time to answer.

"The giant wouldn't stop harassing me about you. How is she doing? When do you think I could see her? Do you think I could change her fathers mind?" Kurt imitated Finn's voice earning a giggle from Rachel and a glare from his target.

"I told him that you weren't doing much better and after many hours of persuasion..."

"Mostly arguing," interjected Finn.

"Arguing. Finn had your fathers convinced that it would be in your best interest for him to visit you," continued Kurt.

"OH Finn!" squeaked Rachel with delight before kissing him quickly.

"There are three conditions," interjected Kurt, rolling his eyes at the couple. They clearly wanted some alone time.

"First one is that Kurt has to make sure that adorable little mind of yours was set on actually conquering New York," began Finn. Rachel's face eyes flickered over to Kurt, making the connection with his lecture in the Park.

"Second, he has report back to your dad's with any/all details about my visit so they can decide what effect I have on your new life during, as well as after," he continued.

"And the third is no hanky-panky," Kurt finished with a straight face.

An awkward silence fell upon the group.

"Don't worry, I won't tell," chuckled Kurt, his face scrunching up in disgust when both Rachel and Finn let out a sigh of relief.

"Okay, ew, but before you two jump into it like rabbits, can we have some fun in the city that never sleeps?"

"Of course we can Kurt. Let me go get changed into something a bit nicer and we can go exploring. We need to find our future hangout spot anyway," replied Rachel, beaming at her best friend.

After giving Finn one long deep kiss, she finally climbed off his lap and ran to the bathroom. No one could miss the glow that was radiating off not only her but the man sitting patiently on her bed.

With Rachel gone, a silence overcome the room once more.

"So, when are you going to tell her?"

Kurt broke the silence, as he was known for doing, asking the question that hung over the boys. There was another condition made with her fathers but Finn wasn't ready to break that news to her just yet.

"When the time is right. It has to be perfect."


I wonder what Finn has to tell her *snickers*

I'll be updating ASAP, so stay tuned!

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