DISCLAIMER: I neither own Glee nor the characters. They are the property of Ryan Murphy and FOX. This is purely for fun. Enjoy!
"I feel ridiculous," a harsh whisper ripped from Finn Hudson's lips as he walked behind his brother on the crowded streets of Greenwich Village. It was difficult to push his way through the crowds of drunks and hipsters that loitered on the pavement, and he blessed his height as it helped him spot Kurt in the dense crowd. The perfectly coiffed head of hair in front of him bounced to the beat of Kurt's lively steps as they made their way deeper into the side streets.
"You promised you would do this with me," Kurt commented over his shoulder, giving Finn a passing glance. Annoyance was marring his boyish features as he pinned his brother with a frown. "Besides, I think this could be a good experience for you. Who knows, you might learn something about yourself that you never knew before."
Finn's scoff was canceled out by the loud music seeping out of the bar they were passing. "I highly doubt it." His brother ignored him, and he took a moment to seethe in silence as they continued their quest. Finn knew himself quite well, thank you very much, and he didn't think that some crazy old lady was going to tell him something about himself that he didn't already know. At almost 25, Finn had been through his share of experiences, especially since he'd moved out to the city after college, and while he still didn't have a career like Kurt did, per se, he thought he was doing pretty okay for himself. As a bike messenger he got to explore parts of the city he'd never imagined seeing, and the pay was decent enough that he never needed anything. Living with his brother helped him cut his bills in half, and he was pretty content with the way things were.
Well, there was one thing he did need. . .
"Maybe she can tell you why you haven't been sleeping," Finn frowned at Kurt's blunt statement, almost reading his mind, and had to nod his head despite himself. For some reason he hadn't gotten a decent night's rest in over two whole weeks, and it was starting to drive both him, and his brother, a bit crazy. Either Finn was walking the halls in a sleepwalking trance way into the early morning, or he was scaring his brother with terrifying nightmares that caused him to actually shout in his sleep. Never in his life had he experienced such sleep phenomena, even calling his mother in Ohio to ask about his sleep habits as a child. Something was wrong with Finn, and even after seeing a therapist and getting a prescription for Ambien, he still couldn't get any rest. "Maybe she can cleanse your aura too."
"I don't want this witch cleansing anything of mine!" he yelled, grabbing the attention of some of the lingering people on the street as they stared at him. Finn looked above Kurt's head and saw the sign for Tarot Card Readings as the color drained from his face.
"Finn Hudson, you sound ridiculously closed-minded right now! Just because one participates in certain facets of the Magical Arts does not mean she's a witch. Besides, she was highly recommended by one of my clients, who went to her for some crystal therapy."
"Crystal therapy?" He repeated it like there was something sour on his tongue.
"Yes, that's when she uses the natural power of crystals and geodes to purge the aura of any impurities."
"This is insane," he said to himself more than anyone else. "I shouldn't even be doing this."
"Well we came all the way downtown to see her, don't you want to at least try it?" Kurt shrugged his shoulders. "If it helps you get some sleep, could it really be all that bad?" Finn had to take a moment to contemplate his brother's words. It was getting to the point where he was starting to get desperate for any kind of rest, and to be honest, he really hadn't been feeling like himself lately. Besides the fatigue that plagued him on a daily basis, it was like there was an energy inside of him that was draining him to the very core. His moods had been wildly irregular, and the dreams he'd been having were too terrifying to ignore any longer.
"Alright," he heaved a sigh of resolve and waved his hands towards the darkened establishment. It didn't even look like anyone was inside. "Let's just get this over with." Kurt grinned and opened the door, disappearing inside while Finn dutifully followed. The first thing he noticed, right away, was the pungent odor of the establishment, and as he took in the various items adorning the walls, he knew why. Roots, flowers, herbs and plants of all shapes, colors, sizes and odors were in mason jars on shelves that adorned the walls and reached the tall ceiling. On another wall there were gems and stones and crystals that he couldn't even name. They all twinkled in the dim lighting, and Finn felt a chill roll down his spine as he looked around in awe at the empty room.
"You're late," a small voice suddenly broke through the silence and scared the bejeezus out of him as he yelped and stepped backwards, almost walking into a giant table filled with candles. He hadn't even noticed the short, smiling young woman standing in front of him, almost as if she had materialized out of thin air. Her timid grin was kind, yet full of knowing, like she was in on a joke that he wasn't.
"Late?" Finn repeated dumbly, struck by her unique beauty as her features became more prominent in the dim lighting. She had long, dark brunette hair, the same color as her large knowing eyes, with a squared, angular jaw and full, rose-colored lips. Her most obvious feature was her nose, which was on the larger size for a girl that small, but he was more preoccupied with her sudden appearance than the way she looked. "How did you do that?"
"Do what?" She said, her grin growing wider as Kurt came up to them. Finn straightened himself out and watched his brother shake her hand.
"You must be Rachel!" He said while the girl nodded. Whatever Finn had been expecting, it definitely wasn't this tiny wisp of a girl in front of him. He thought the lady would be an older, wrinkly woman with missing teeth. This girl was actually quite beautiful, in her own creepy way. "I'm Kurt and this is my brother, Finn. I got your address from Martha." He said, name-dropping the client from his interior design company who had referred them to her.
"Ah, yes. It's a pleasure to meet you both," she said, turning to Finn and holding her hand out for him to shake. He was hesitant to do so, still intimidated by her sudden appearance, but he eventually took her hand and shook it casually.
The simple gesture made his head explode in a pain he had never felt before.
"Ah!" He pulled his hand from hers in an instant and gripped the sides of his head instead, the sudden, throbbing pain almost blinding him as his vision blurred. He shut his eyes while the pain wracked him, wondering what was causing it's sudden and unwelcome appearance. Never had he felt such a sudden, blinding pain before, and had no idea what could have caused it.
"Finn?" His brother asked in worried tones while he placed a hand on his shoulder. He opened his eyes and saw the girl staring at him with a dark expression in her eyes. For a moment, he thought the impossible.
Could she be the cause of this sudden, agonizing pain?
Shaking it out of his mind, the pain eventually subsided, and he took even, steady breaths in order to calm himself down. It must have been a side effect from his fatigue. Yes, that had to have been it.
"I'm fine," he said, gritting his teeth through the lingering discomfort. "Let's just get this over with." The girl frowned at him, but pulled aside a curtain so they could enter a secluded, back room.
"Then follow me," she said tightly, her voice dropping to a whisper. "If you think you could handle it." Seeing her words as a challenge, Finn knew he couldn't back down now as he walked past the girl and entered the back room.
He wasn't going to let this little witch intimidate him.
Not if he could help it.
Rachel sighed as the tall, stubborn man pushed past her into the back room. His brother, who was decidedly the more polite of the two, shot her a sympathetic smile before following after him, and to Rachel it would have to suffice. This wasn't the first time a non-believer had been in her midsts, but she'd always proved them wrong in the end thanks to her special gifts.
And there was nothing more satisfying to her than proving people wrong about her talents.
To be completely and totally blunt, Rachel was an honest-to-Goddess witch, and after nurturing her abundant powers over the years she had cultivated quite the name for herself in the community. A respected, talented, successful young woman, Rachel wanted nothing more than to share her gifts with the world and still maintain some sense of normalcy.
Which was too bad for her, seeing as a witch could never truly be normal.
There were the benefits of course; the instant gratification of always getting what she wanted, the powers that were sometimes so strong it intimidated even her, the petty revenge she was able to seek on people who had wronged her. But she would trade that in for anything to enjoy the more simple things in life. Sleeping in a bed without having to worry about floating above it, dreaming about things and not having them come true, being with a man and not watching him obsess over whether or not she had slipped him a love potion to enhance his affections.
She sighed deeply to herself. Sometimes the cons outweighed the pros.
But she couldn't just let her talents go to waste, which was why she had opened up her shop and offered her services. Normally she tried to stick to the Tarot Cards, not wanting to spook people too much with her witchy abilities, but her two latest customers were different, she could tell from the premonition she'd had that alerted her to their arrival. She could easily see herself becoming friendly with the shorter, skinny guy due to his easy demeanor. The tall one on the other hand, the one who was so handsome it made a sudden and violent heat rise to her cheeks, was definitely a non-believer, but there was something about him that made her hair stand on end.
And for a witch, that normally was a very bad sign.
So she wanted to get to know them as well as she could, which meant doing more than read their cards. She wanted to read them; their thoughts, desires and dreams. All she had to do was get them to trust her and it would be all too easy.
They sat around a small table where she normally did her readings, and she lit some incense and candles in order to create the right kind of atmosphere. From the corner of her eyes she saw the tall one, Finn, fidget in his seat and her attention was immediately on him. He had warm, chestnut eyes, unruly dark hair, and his face was speckled with various birthmarks and freckles. When she shook his hand earlier she had sensed a most peculiar energy within him, and she wouldn't rest until she knew what it was, especially after his painful outburst.
"Well, let's get started," she said amicably while taking her seat across from them. "Who would like to go first?"
"Ooh, me!" Kurt's hand instantly shot in the air and Rachel suppressed a grin as Finn rolled his eyes liberally. "I want to go first." Rachel reached for the deck of Tarot cards and shuffled them, noting every expression of disbelief on Finn's face. She was going to relish proving him wrong.
"Now cut the deck," she ordered Kurt, who executed his task perfectly. She dealt his cards, one by one, noticing the looks of intrigue on both of their faces. The reading began once she turned the first card over, and Kurt sat in rapt attention as she read what the cards dictated.
"You're entering a new part of your life right now," she closed her eyes and let the information flow through her as her powers spoke to her. "You're hiding something big from the people you love and you're afraid to tell them. You fear the consequences of your actions." Kurt's eyes opened in shock as Finn pinned his brother with a glare.
"Is she for real? What are you hiding, Kurt?"
"A lover," Rachel answered for them. "A lover who is younger than you are, that you've been seeing in secret for some time." She raised an eyebrow at him while her statement hit home and the man looked like he wanted to run. "A lover you met at work."
"How did you know?" He whispered in awe while she shrugged her shoulders.
"It's in the cards," she lied stealthily, turning the next one over. "He makes you happy. Happier than you've been in a long time."
"That's right," he was barely able to suppress his awe. "Blaine is an intern at the firm and I'm worried we might get fired if anyone finds out about us. He's two years younger than me but I care about him a lot."
"There are other reasons why you're afraid, though," she said, turning the next card over and trying to sense his aura. "You fear something you cannot control. Something you cannot see." She turned to Finn and even he looked engrossed. "Something to do with your brother." It was Finn's turn to look shocked as she tried her best to sense the energies swirling around the room. "That is why you're here."
"You're right," Kurt breathed. "Finn hasn't been sleeping lately and I'm getting really worried about him since no one has been able to figure out what was going on. We hoped you could help."
"Well, Tarot Cards won't be able to help you, Finn." She turned her attentions towards the handsome, doubtful man with a frown. His chiseled, angular features softened when their eyes met. "If you really want me to figure out what's wrong, we're going to have to try something different."
The distrust clouded his features instantly. "Like what?"
"You'll see," she said simply. She still wasn't done with her first customer yet and wanted to complete Kurt's reading like a professional. She flipped the next card over and spoke about his parents, the loss that she still sensed in him, and subsequently learned that Finn and he were brothers by marriage after his mother passed away.
The reading continued without error, and when it was over Rachel was proud of the stunned smile that pulled up his cheeks as he thanked her profusely. Finn still looked doubtful, and she was ready to figure out what it is that created so much fear inside the hearts of the two men before her. Their auras were swirling with anxious energy.
"Alright, Finn," she said with a heavy sigh. "Are you ready?"
The man answered her with a blunt scoff. "No, but I don't really have a choice, now do I?"
"Of course you have a choice," she said matter-of-factly. "I need your complete consent and trust If I am to perform this next task."
"Well then I need complete proof that you're not some crazy fraud out to mess with me and my brother." She placed her hands on her hips and frowned deeply, the offense pricking at her in an annoying fashion.
"You think me a liar?" She challenged.
"I don't believe in magic," he retorted.
"Well, then," she said crisply, "I guess I won't be able to help you." Kurt shot Finn an angry glare.
"You promised, Finn! You said you were willing to try anything."
"Yeah, I was, but this is nuts," he said, waving around at the decor.
"No, this is real, whether you believe it or not," she explained to him slowly, like she was talking to a child. "Now I will repeat myself once more. Are you willing to give me your permission, and your trust, to see if I can help you?" The man leaned back in his chair with a defeated sigh.
"Answer me one question first."
"Why did you say that we were late when we arrived here?" She raised an eyebrow and contemplated whether or not she should tell. Normally she kept some of her powers a secret, not to scare off the clientele. Being a tarot card reader and aura cleanser was one thing, but letting people know about the real power she was able to harness was completely different.
But she looked at the doubtful man and accepted his challenge, lifting herself to her full height in her chair before responding. "I had a premonition earlier today, about your visit. I had expected you both after dinner, but you arrived quite later than I thought you would."
He still didn't look convinced. "You expect me to believe this? That you had some freaky vision about meeting us?" She bristled at his blunt assessment of her powers and crossed her arms over her chest while Kurt looked on, amused.
"I expect you to have an open mind."
"All right, fine." He said, throwing his hands in the air as a sign of defeat. "What do you need me to do?"
The girl in front of him beamed, all traces of her previous annoyance gone, and for a moment he focused in on her pretty smile before she reached out for his hands, snapping him out of his momentary trance. Before tonight, he had considered magic to be nothing more than slight-of-hand tricks and fantasy. But here was a girl, sitting in front of him like it was just another night, who was seemingly reading his brothers mind and having visions about him.
Could it be real? Was she, in fact, a witch who practiced true magic?
"Give me your hands," she ordered, reaching across the table and waiting for him to comply. He let out a long, labored sigh and placed her hands in his. They were small, and warm as he held them, and for some reason an uneasy feeling passed through him when she closed her eyes and steadied her breathing. He glanced over at Kurt, who looked like all he needed was a bag of popcorn to munch on in order to make his night complete. "Close your eyes and let your mind wander. Try not to focus on anything. Let your thoughts guide you." Everything she was spewing sounded like horse shit, but he closed his eyes anyway and tried to do what she said. For a moment his mind went completely blank, and it almost felt like the pressure in his head had returned before everything was clear and calm inside of his head.
"Tell me about the nightmares, Finn," she said, and he startled since he couldn't remember mentioning any of his nightmares to her. But instead of freaking out he took a deep breath and answered her questions.
"There's something dark that's coming after me. Something I can't see, but I know it's there. A creature, a monster." He struggled in his recollection of the frightening images. "The ground opens up beneath me, and under my feet the floor is hot. It's like I'm about to drop right into the pits of hell and nothing can stop it." He had never voiced his nightmares aloud before now, and as he said the words he knew how stupid he must sound, but she didn't judge him or interrupt his description. "And the thing that chases me is evil. I know it is."
"Tell me about your ex-girlfriend." He was so stunned he almost dropped her hands completely, but he actually held onto them tighter as the image filled his mind. How could she have known about Quinn? This was starting to freak him out, but for some reason he continued to share his past with Rachel the witch.
"She said I was a loser," he repeated from memory, the pain still feeling raw as he thought about her. "Her name was Quinn and I thought she loved me. But last month, after I suggested that we move in together, she dumped me. She said I wasn't worth her time and moved to New Haven. It broke my heart." Rachel squeezed his hands tighter and the gesture soothed him.
"In doing so, Finn, this Quinn girl filled your aura with startling negativity. To be honest, I've never seen anything like it before. There are dark forces trying to manipulate this to their benefit, that's why you can't sleep. You're the most vulnerable in your sleep and it's your bodies way of protecting you from the negative energies inside of you. The nightmares are the manifestations of these entities."
"So you're saying I need an ex-girlfriend exorcism?" He opened his eyes to stare at her in disbelief and she did the same, only her eyes were twinkling with mirth as her full lips turned up in a soft smile.
"In a way. I'm going to purge the impurities from your aura and hopefully the dark forces won't be attracted to you anymore. It's really nothing."
"Whatever you say," he said with a shrug. "If it helps me sleep tonight I'll do anything." Tobe honest, this whole exchange wasn't even that bad, despite his first impressions. The girl in front of him smiled, and he couldn't help but notice how pretty it made her look. It was almost as if she had an inner light that illuminated her face with every grin, like her own personal halo. For a creepy witch, she was really cute.
"Alright, now close your eyes once more, and when you do it this time, I want you to think about the fear you feel at night when the nightmares come." He bristled for a moment, not wanting to seem too vulnerable, but Kurt nudged him in the side with his elbow and Finn knew that this was his last resort. He closed his eyes once more and remembered the feeling of panic he had felt while trapped in his nightmares. The dark creature was hunting him, and the threat of death lingered behind every corner.
But all of a sudden, the fear and panic had melted away, and it felt like a vice was loosening it's grip around his heart as a warmth entered his body that he couldn't describe. It was like floating in liquid heat, and it permeated every cell of his being as he exhaled deeply, a sudden, overwhelming feeling of ease washing over him. A weight had been lifted from his body, leaving him feeling awestruck at the sense of calm that flowed through him. Never in his life had he felt such content before, and for a moment he didn't know what to believe anymore. It was like he could feel her inside of him, healing his pain and easing his fears.
What the hell had just happened?
"You can open your eyes now," her voice called to him, trying to bring him out of the peaceful trance she had lulled him into while he basked in the calm that had settled in his mind.
"How do you feel?" Kurt asked as he dropped his hands from hers.
"Great," he answered truthfully, rolling his shoulders back and cracking them. He hadn't felt so relaxed in ages, like he got a full body and soul massage. "Really freaking good actually."
He watched as her lips turned up in a smirk. "So I've made a believer out of you?"
"I don't know," he said, still stubborn in his doubtful ways. That wasn't real magic, that was probably just some meditation mojo she'd picked up from too many yoga classes.
But if that was the case, then how did she know about the nightmares? And Quinn?
"We'll see how much sleep I get tonight," he continued, relying on doubt to cover up the fact that he couldn't rationally debunk any of the events that had just transpired.
"Well, just remember, I don't do refunds," she winked at them and led them back into the shop, picking items off of the walls. "Here, hang this above your bed tonight. It should ward the spirits away." She passed him a bunch of herbs tied together with twine and he pinched his face in disgust as a robust odor wafted towards him. "And if you're still having problems sleeping then call me." She said, passing him a business card. "If we need to have a full-blown exorcism I know enough girls to make a coven."
"Sure," he said, stretching out the word longer than he had to. Half of what she was saying still sounded completely insane, and he refused to believe the hype until tomorrow morning, after he tried to sleep. Kurt paid the girl and she beamed, waving her right arm in a huge, over-exaggerated flourish as a huge gust of air blew the front door open. Finn wasn't quite sure whether it was real or a trick of the light, but part of him never wanted to step foot in her freaky shop again.
"Good night, Kurt! Good night, Finn! Sweet dreams!" Her enthusiasm followed them all the way out of the little shop, and when the door slammed shut behind him Finn clutched his goods in his hand and could barely believe what had just transpired. He had just met a witch! Well, at least it was someone who claimed to be a witch, and despite the creeped-out feeling he experienced in her shop, she wasn't all that bad.
And here he thought all witches were green-skinned hags with warts of their noses.
Kurt and Finn headed back uptown towards their apartment, and Finn did what Rachel told him to do as he hung the bunch of herbs over his bed. Looking at himself in the mirror, he really couldn't help but notice how much more relaxed he looked. The dark circles under his eyes were gone, and his skin didn't look so pale anymore. He stretched his long limbs before climbing into bed, and with a tired sigh, let go of all the stress he had felt over the past few weeks as he relaxed into his sheets.
He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
It was the same dream again, he could tell as he walked through the familiar halls of his mind. An ominous feeling crept over him as he looked around in the darkness, and he could hear the creature scattering around the floor, it's claws scraping and making a ghastly sound as it stalked him. He started to run, wanting to escape like always, but as he turned the corner he could see a girl standing in front of him, wearing a white, billowing dress. She seemed familiar to him, and her smile was soft as she reached out for him.
"Take my hand, Finn," she said, her voice soft and sweet. The girl was beautiful and he walked towards her without hesitation, knowing that she could save him from the darkness. He took her hand in his and the nightmare around him melted until all he could see was the brightest, warmest light shining around him and his companion, engulfing them both in it's welcoming glow.
He flipped over, lifting out of his sleep and groaning as a peaceful sense of calm settled inside of him. That had been the most restful night of sleep he'd had in ages, and part of him never wanted to get out of bed. It felt chilly in his bedroom, so he pulled his blanket up tighter, only to have it fall off of his body for some reason. When he reached over to grab it and felt nothing but air around his hand, he opened his bleary eyes against the sunlight and stared down at the messy comforter and scattered pillows of his bed.
Because he happened to be floating four feet above it.
Rachel woke up that morning like she usually did, floating a few feet above her bed and landing roughly on her mattress once she became fully conscious. She rubbed her head tiredly as she got up, trying to shake away the unsettling dream she'd had. It was about the customer from last night, Finn, and the dark energy she had felt within him. The urge to protect him within the dream had been so strong it scared her, and she could remember the way he had reached out for her hand, holding it tight. Hopefully her powers were able to help him, and she wondered if he had gotten the sleep he'd so desperately needed.
It was early, way before noon, and since the shop didn't open until later in the day Rachel had plenty of time to spare on her daily chores. Normally she spent her days shopping for new herbs and crystals and various sorts of talismans. She was always interested in learning new spells and practicing them during the solitude of her day. Baking was another one of her beloved hobbies as well, and for some reason she really wanted to make a batch of banana bread, even though it was never one of her favorites. Oh well, whenever she got an urge to do something she usually did it, because it was normally her intuitive powers warning her or preparing her for something and she always wanted to follow her instinct.
So she got up, dressed herself, and headed out of her apartment above the shop to go to the market to pick up some fresh ingredients. The morning was crisp, cool, and it served as the perfect preview for the rest of the fall. Autumn was her favorite time of the year, and she basked in the cool Manhattan breeze that whipped across her face while she carried her goods back to her apartment.
But when she turned onto her block an uneasy feeling washed over her, and she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Knowing that something was wrong, she approached her building slowly and saw a man standing outside of her shop, pounding on the door and windows frantically while calling her name.
A man who looked very familiar to her.
"Rachel!" He screamed, pounding his fists on the door. "Where are you, you tiny witchy person! What did you do to me?" Already feeling threatened and mildly offended, Rachel approached Finn, her customer from the night before, with determination in her eyes and visible anger on her face, her peaceful dream about him completely forgotten.
"Is there a problem here?" She said calmly, grabbing his attention as he leaped away from the shop like the paint on the walls had burned him. The look in his eyes was wild, panicked, and she sensed a fear in him that was probably overwhelming his rational thought. "I have neighbors and a reputation to uphold, so I would like it if you didn't refer to me as a 'tiny witchy person' outside of my establishment." He had the sense to look ashamed as he rubbed the back of his neck and averted his eyes.
"Sorry," he said, and after she nodded her forgiveness he looked up at her and frowned. In the bright afternoon sun his features were much more defined, and she couldn't help but notice how handsome he was, despite the scowl that twisted his face. He practically dwarfed her with his six-foot-plus frame, and she noticed a large bike that was leaning against the front of her store, chained up to a pipe. "But I really need to talk to you. It's an emergency."
"Did you get any sleep last night? I told you I didn't do refunds."
"No, I got a ton of sleep, but that's not the problem." He looked around them, seemingly lost in his paranoia, and lowered his voice to a whisper. "The problem was that you did something freaky to me and now. . ." he trailed off, opting not to elaborate further.
"What? I assure you I really did nothing but a simple cleanse, so what happened?" He still wouldn't answer her, and she sighed liberally before pointing to the door that led to her apartment. "Would it make you feel more comfortable if we went upstairs to talk? The shop isn't open yet and I need to get this stuff upstairs so I can start baking."
He shrugged, looking uneasy, but eventually nodded. "Sure, I guess so." He nodded towards the bags. "What are you making?"
"Banana bread." His eyebrows shot up in surprise.
"Nothing, it's just that," he paused, almost as if he didn't want to tell her. "Banana bread is my favorite." She smiled to herself, thanking her intuition for being so informative. Everything happened for a reason in Rachel's life, and her magic sometimes worked in mysterious ways.
"Come on," she said, leading the way into the building. He followed her in silence, but she could tell that Finn was more than a little uneasy as he trailed behind her. His aura was swirling with nervous energy and she noticed his hands shaking. When they entered her apartment he looked around the space wildly, like he was expecting her to live in a cave or a dungeon. She placed her bags on the counter and turned to face him with a small frown.
"What were you expecting? A moat with trolls under the bridge?"
"Well, I mean," he looked around sheepishly at the modestly decorated apartment adorned in shades of cream and pastel yellow. "Your store downstairs is kind of weird, but this seems pretty normal."
She let out a weary sigh. Finn was just as judging and dismissive as all the other people she'd met over the years. Why did she think, even for a second, that he would be different? "Well, I try to be as normal as I can. Why don't you have a seat? We can talk." He sat down on the sofa and she sat across from him on the loveseat, hoping that he could relax long enough to open up to her. Something had obviously scared him enough to warrant this visit, and she wanted to know if her cleansing had achieved it's desired affects. "Do you want something to eat or drink?"
"No, thank you," he shook his head.
"So tell me how you slept last night."
"I slept great," he said angrily, his sudden shift in mood shocking her. "I slept better than I have in weeks. It's a damn miracle."
"So what's the problem?"
His eyes flashed angrily. "The problem is that I woke up floating four feet above my mattress this morning, waving my arms and legs around until I dropped out of the air like a rock!" Rachel stared at him in stunned silence, his statement completely shocking her.
That certainly was a strange development.
"Are you serious?"
"As a heart attack! Now tell me, what exactly did you do to me?"
Feeling offended, Rachel stubbornly turned her nose up at him. "I did absolutely nothing to you, Finn. I performed the same aura cleanse that I do with all of my clients, and they have never once reported such side effects to me afterwards."
"So how do you explain the fact that I can fly now?" She narrowed her gaze at him, growing more annoyed by the minute.
"Levitation and flight are two completely different things. Maybe some of my energy lingered inside of you after our exchange last night. I've never heard of such phenomena happening to non-magickal individuals and hopefully it will pass."
"Hopefully it will pass?" He repeated incredulously, his anger spiraling. "You have to fix this! You turned me into a freak like you!" She felt the sting of his words swiftly and painfully, once again feeling like an outcast in a world that didn't, couldn't, understand her. She cursed her fragile emotions as tears filled her eyes and the gallon of milk that was still sitting on the counter exploded, the white liquid splattering all over her kitchen as her powers and emotions began to affect the natural world around her. Jolting in surprise, Finn stared at her, an instant apology on his face, but she chose not to see it as her anger piqued.
"You can leave now," her voice was cold as she spoke and the lights began to flicker in tandem. "It's the height of rudeness to offend a host in their own home and I don't think I'll be able to help you." Finn looked more than a little intimidated, but instead of backing down he stood his ground. She had to give him points for bravery; most people would have run for the hills at her blatant show of power.
"Look, I'm sorry about what I said. I'm just freaking out over this and I don't know what to do. I need your help."
"So you might want to try not offending the person who you need help from. To be perfectly honest, I don't even know what I can do to help you. I've never heard of this happening before." He looked absolutely despondent and despite the sting of his hurtful words, part of her did want to help him. It's not like he could go to a doctor about a problem like this, and it most certainly had to do with magic of some kind. But if he was going to do nothing but doubt and offend her, then maybe she shouldn't bother offering her services.
"Rachel, I didn't mean what I said. You're not a freak. I'm the one who was floating above his bed this morning, and I'm sorry that I offended you. To be honest, I never really act like this; lately it feels like someone else is speaking for me and I can't control it or the mood swings I've been having. I promise you I'm not really this much of a jerk, and I just want everything to go back to normal." She stayed silent, not disclosing her own experiences with levitation as a self-preservation tactic. Rachel couldn't be sure that she could trust this man, even though he was the cutest guy she had met in a long time and already knew about her secret. "I really have no where else to go." He reached over for her hand and she allowed him to take it, noticing how his large palms seemed to swallow hers. "Please, Rachel." She looked into his eyes and saw nothing but pure sincerity in them as she shook off the rest of her lingering annoyance with this frustrating man. Sure, he was stubborn and doubtful and slightly rude, but he was obviously experiencing something strange and since it was in the area of her expertise, she was willing to help.
"Alright, come back later tonight, after my shop opens. I have some books down there that we can use for research and we'll see if there's a spell I can use to cast away this lingering power inside of you."
He looked more than a little wary. "You're going to cast a spell on me?" Rolling her eyes liberally, she couldn't disguise the annoyance in her tone as her patience began to wane.
"God, Finn, I'm trying to help you not turn you into a toad! If you want my help you're going to have to be less judgmental and more open-minded. If you can't trust me then I won't help you."
"I know, I'm sorry," he rubbed the back of his neck and she could feel his anxiety emanating from him. "This is just so hard to believe."
"Well, the proof is right in front of your eyes, Finn. It's up to you to either dismiss it or believe it, but I can't help you if you choose to be ignorant." She looked over at him and noticed that he was staring at her in the most peculiar way, like he was analyzing a painting or a sculpture to point out all the details.
"You really are a witch, aren't you?" He asked in a daze, almost as if he was realizing it for the first time. Rachel was used to people judging her and offending her, but she wasn't used to people coming to grips about her powers. Most people thought she was nothing but a fraud and a kooky tarot card reader, not a full-blown powerful spellcaster.
No one really believed in magic anymore. Except for maybe Finn now.
"Yes, Finn." She said slowly, feeling vulnerable as she exposed her secret. "I am."
"Then I'll be back tonight," he said firmly, lifting himself from the couch and dropping her hand. She forgot that he'd been holding it, and her skin tingled from the loss of contact.
"Alright," she said, hoping he didn't notice her blush. She couldn't remember the last time she met a man who knew that she was a witch and didn't run away from her screaming, but she figured he just needed her help too badly to care. "I'll bring the banana bread."
"Cool," he said, his smile tight as he headed towards the door. "See you then." She walked him to the door and they said goodbye, and Rachel sighed deeply as she shut the door behind him, wondering if she could even help the handsome, anxious young man. Never in her life had one of her clients complained about strange side affects after a simple cleanse, and she wanted to know if it was indeed her fault, or if something else was wrong with this Finn Hudson.
But first, she had some spilled milk to clean up in the kitchen.
I have no idea how long this fic is going to last, but hopefully I can finish it before Halloween like all my other supernatural fics. I'm getting started early this year.
Don't stop reviewin'!