Rating: M – just to be safe
Notes: Yes, the Rachel and Brody paring has corrupted my tender love for Puckleberry and Evanberry. Though, I still love Puckleberry and Evanberry, I could not bear to not write about these two. Like, seriously, have you seen Brody? Good God, it would have been a sin.
Everything I write about Brody is from my imagination. I haven't read (too m)any spoilers or saw any episode of season 4 yet, so I don't know where he's from or how old he is, etcetera.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: She spews and she spits incoherent, slurred words about lost love, heartache and how is this worth it all when she can't find a solid path to walk on? He sips his beer and nods and agrees, but honestly, he has no fucking idea what he's agreeing about. He just likes her lips. They're just so full and pouty.
Carry me home, tonight
'Let's go crazy, crazy, crazy 'til we see the sun. I know we only met but let's pretend its love.'
She's most likely insane anyway.
She talks a lot, and motions with that beer bottle in her hand at customers, like those intoxicated drunk hooligans from those action movies about an overused, too much detailed for his liking, story plot. They spit and cry and sometimes they throw their beer bottles across the bar and enlighten fights from customers that are twice their sizes.
Everyone in this greasy bar is five times this girl's size. Even Brody.
Seriously, she's really small. Like, petite, or something. He's positive that his colossal hand could break her tiny, little waist in a barely there flick of his hand.
But she's also cute; the way she frowns, and chunks that drink down her throat with ease.
Shit. That was way too fucking easy.
''Guys… suck.'' She hiccups, slamming the bottle down on the bar. The bartender nods, seemingly unfazed by her demeanor. Clearly, this is part of the job, and has he seen more than one intoxicated psycho launching incoherent slurred words about douchey ex-boyfriends and one too many heartbreaks from just about the same person, out of their mouths.
It's a new thing for Brody, though. He expected New York to be… different. At least, much more peculiar than his home town in New-Zealand, but this about exceeds his expectations.
''After all I have done for him.'' She murmurs, motioning to the bartender to send her another drink.
Brody nods, again. Because frankly, he feels like they've got something in common. He might've never, truly experienced a heartbreak (it's, actually, mostly him doing the breaking), but nonetheless, they're both alone in a big city full of people with a head full of stories about the past. It's just a guess, but he thinks that if she wasn't as lonely she would have been wasting the amount of yelling and crying with a friend that could relate with her in some degree.
''After all I…'' She huffs, chunking her new bottle of beer down, ''have done for that sonofabitch!''
It's strange, but hearing her swear sounds pretty foreign.
Pretty stranger girl looks at him, nursing the bottle of beer in her hands as a little hiccup escapes her lips.
They're beautiful… her lips, that is. They're all kinds of puffy, and pouty, and he swears, he could really see himself kissing those lips in the near future.
''He just left me.'' She states. Pretty stranger girl inhales a deep breath, her brown, doe eyes captivating his living being. Damn. She's more than pretty… she's like, all kinds of beauty – flowers and rainbows and imaginative purple unicorns. And yeah, her nose is kind of big, but it suites her. It suites her more than he could have ever imagined. ''I mean…'' She sighs, pursing her lips. ''I get it… I left for New York, and once upon a time, my dreams were bigger than anything and everything else. They were – they still are. But… is it possible…'' She looks up at him, almost fragile. Shit. ''Is it possible for things to change over the course of time?''
''Everything is possible.'' He retorts, because he genuinely believes that she wanted an answer, and he can't be anything but straight forward with this girl.
Does she always have this effect on a guy, or is it just him?
''I was ready to marry him. Marry him.'' She voices, almost as if it's highly uncommon for someone like her.
Brody believes that it is uncommon for her. And here she is. This girl he knows nothing about, just that she wears plaid skirts that make her look oddly hot, and that she has a weird fascination with animal sweaters, and yet, he can't believe anything more than her having this indiscernible fire in the pit of her heart that makes her stand out. She seems more than just a girl of words; she seems like a girl with actions. She knows what she wants, and she knows just how to get them.
He admires that.
''Marriage.'' He points out. He takes another gulp of his own beer. ''You look kind of young for that.''
''Eighteen.'' She says precisely. ''I'm eighteen years old… and yes, it is indeed quite young.'' She shakes her head. ''Unbelievable, right?''
She sits there, staring past him as he takes this moment to really stare at her face.
Pretty stranger girl has these tiny little freckles on top of her nose, and beautiful brown hair cascading across her shoulders. Her lips are this sheer color of red, which is so alluring that he's tempted all together to take a little nip. Just to know if they're really as soft as his subconscious deems them to be.
When she looks down at his face, something shifts through her eyes. It looks like disbelieve. Maybe she finally realizes something, or perhaps the thought of a stranger that hasn't shied away from her obvious psycho demeanor is almost wholly imaginative and she's just now trying to wake up.
''I can't believe I was willing to give up my dreams… for a boy.''
It seems like her dreams do mean a lot to her. So, why would she have even thought about given everything up (as she has so lightly pitched in) for just a boy? Maybe it's love. Maybe love got a hold on this indestructible girl and tore her apart. Maybe love was as cruel as prior victims have voiced. Maybe love wanted a challenge, and pretty stranger girl was just that.
It must suck; knowing just who you are, but along the way, feeling like something is tarnishing who you are, until it's all but just a blank spot of a lifeless, once perfectly capable person.
He can't say he knows how that feels like, but he can't say he hasn't suffered, either.
''Love makes us do stupid things.'' Oblivious to her stare, he takes another gulp of his beer. ''Some people make us feel like… like we can overcome shit, you know?'' Brody gulps. ''Like, with them, we're capable of … doing shit. And making it big. And as long as they're with us, what the fuck do we have to fear, anyway?'' He snorts. ''It makes us feel like, what we once needed, isn't at all what we needed… 'cause we have them… It sucks.''
He clicks his tongue. ''And then, when they leave… it's like somebody threw a bucket full of ice water all over you, and you just wake up from this month's old sleep and you realize – shaken up and scared – that dreams… They end.''
She seems to be breathing heavy. And shit, he's not doing her any good, is he?
''I'm sorry.'' He tries, putting his beer on the bar. ''I got… carried away.'' He dreads a hand through his hair. ''Are you okay?''
Pretty stranger girl nods, ''yes… I am.'' She presses her lips together while her eyelids fall shut. ''I'm better than okay.'' And then she smiles, her eyes fluttering open, and if he didn't know any better, he'd say he's not at all curious about her.
(But he does know better and he's as curious as the cat that got killed because of curiosity.)
So they kind of… sort of… really, actually, have sex.
In his defense; he was drunk too.
And she was the one all over him, and her lips are just so soft (even softer than he had imagined) and her hands fit so perfectly in his, and her withering body feels so amazing – and those legs –God those legs– feeling them wrapped around his waist, just did, done him. The fact that they had sex twice, just states how competent and clear minded they both were.
She just feels so good, and Brody can't help but wonder where pretty stranger girl went when he woke up in his bed all alone with just the scent of apple shampoo tainting his pillow.
(He doesn't know how long he's been breathing in those pillows, but judging from his alarm, it's been a fair amount of time.)
NYADA is a tough school. And that's hardcore shit coming from him.
He's a terrific dancer, and the dance classes go by with ease, the vocal lessons are just as easy (granted, he could use some work on his pitch, but he's getting there) and he's got his courses right by the balls. But science and math… that shits hard. It's like the load has been doubled, and seriously, it's like his teachers forgot about all his other courses, too.
And not to mention pretty stranger girl who's still clouding his mind. Brody's tempted all together to visit that greasy bar again tonight, just in the hopes of finding her there with her brown hair cascading over those tanned looking shoulders, that plaid skirt covering her perky little ass and that reindeer sweater that doesn't do her upper body enough justice. Maybe she hits the bar routinely, or maybe, by off chance, she left her phone number scribbled on a napkin, hoping to see him again.
A guy can dream, can't he?
He doesn't think something mayor was going to happen between them, though. She seemed pretty hung over about that guy she was talking about. He's totally cool with one night stands; but he can't say that he isn't a little disappointed about the lack of a phone number in his mobile phone, or at least a full name that's been proclaimed in the yellow pages, because frankly, she seemed like a cool girl. A little bit insane, but cool nonetheless. And who knows what could've happened if he did get her number, found the courage to call her up, and just talk about stuff that make no sense at all, but are kind of enjoyable too.
She might just turn out to be an actual crazy lunatic, or a misunderstood lovable girl.
(But he's got his two cents on the latter.)
While musing about his thoughts, Brody fails to look ahead, but once he does he's a little too late.
In a wisp, he manages to collide with a moving figure. But instinctively he uses his magnificent stability to catch the body before it hits the ground and smoothly in return he straightens his back, releasing a gasp of relieve.
It's only when the person releases a squeal on her own does he look down.
He quirks his eyebrows up. ''You?''
This time the girl in his arms is the one to look up. ''You?''
Well, shit... It's her. But seriously, who could've known that New York wasn't as big as others prior before him had thought?
Pretty stranger girl slowly pushes herself out of his arms, standing up right and out wrinkling her not wrinkly, blue polka dotted, dress.
''I –'' He tries, but the words somehow die somewhere on his lips. So, he tries again. ''You go to NYADA?''
This time she huffs, the strands of her pony blowing up high. ''As a matter of fact; I do. And I presume the same thing about you?''
He only nods, awkwardly moving from one foot to the other.
Brody did not expect their second exchange to be this awkward… let alone so soon.
He'll just play it cool. ''So… How you doing?''
She shrugs. ''Good.'' She licks her lips, and he can't help but let his mind wonder back to how perfect those lips felt against his.
They really did feel incredible.
''I… I wasn't thinking clearly last night.'' Pretty girl utters, crossing her arms over her chest. ''Clearly, I had a few too many to drink and I was distorted of my recent break-up and let alone my mental stability that was anything but lucid. The hurt that I have experienced clearly baffled me, and I, seeking out a comfort hand; found yours. And you, being a knight might I say; became an auxiliary to my Maria. And therefore I thank you, but I am in no way or shape ready for anything above a friendship… and If you are offering that, than I will gladly accept, but if you are not, than might I say; I'm not ready for anything, yet at least, but I am highly flattered even so.''
Holy shit. Did she always talk that much? Or is it the fact that he has sobered up and did that detail of her extern vocabulary completely wash past him because of his slightly larger than normal fascination by a girl's moving lips?
And the way she chunked that beer down, Jesus H. He was definitely distracted…
''Yeah, sure… I totally get it. You were kind of… out there last night about that break-up.'' He licks his bottom lip. ''And a friendship is cool. I can totally get behind that.'' She nods. ''So, I guess… we should hang out sometime, right?''
She smiles, tooth bright. And he figures it's a trademark smile of hers and that's she's a little too obvious to the fact that it can warm hearts up. Or maybe it's just his heart… Or maybe she doesn't know about this fact at all… It's probably 'cause he didn't eat anything today. Damn apple shampoo.
''I'd like that.'' She chirps. ''My name is Rachel, by the way. Rachel Berry.''
He figures that the name fits her. It fits her a lot. It's a name that equals strong, independent females that see every road block as a challenge. And yeah, he gets that pretty str–Rachel– got a lot of challenges on her plate, and that she's kind of tired and somewhere at the brick of a break down, but the fact that she's still standing here, this gorgeous smile lifting her lips, she somehow becomes more than just a girl on her way to fall apart; the smile represents a big fuck you to everything else entirely. Like in that episode of Half Baked when that dude went all at it to everyone in that room 'fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool, fuck you, I'm out.' She should totally think about owning up to that scene in one of the many theater classes that NYADA extends.
''Well, Brody, I guess you should get my number now, shouldn't you?''
Her voice is anything but ordinary.
She sings almost as if she's telling a story. And he listens almost as if he's experiencing it right there with her. She raises her hand, and presses her eyes shut, she breathes in, she breathes out and she delivers something more than anyone has bargained for. They're all in awe – including him. And though their teacher refuses to show any emotion whatsoever about her performance, he just knows – he knows – that she's just as blown away as the rest of the class. Rachel re-opens her eyes as she belts out the last note of her beautiful rendition of I surrender by Celine Dion. There's something in that mere fragile feature of her voice that lifts him up and throws him somewhere beyond unimaginable perfect.
Is that even possible?
When she's done, and her eyes connect with his, there's this little hopeful part of him that wonders if the song was meant for him.
(But then her doe gorgeous eyes fall to the floor and he knows, just as much as he's certain that she's got more talent in her very toe nail than a dozen of NYADA students, that the song was directed to the guy that took her heart with him to Godknowswhere. And that realization alone pulls at his heartstrings and leaves out a bitter taste of agony and sheer disappointment on his tongue.)
''You were amazing out there.''
Brody catches up with her at the lockers, leaning casually against them as he compliments her like it's the world's most common thing to do. And standing there with her, in the artificial lights of their school hallway, it starts to actually feel like that too.
The effect she has on him is starting to get a little over the top.
''Thank you.'' Rachel replies as though she's received trillions of praises and worships all about her vocal talent ever since she stepped foot on planet earth. He can see why the thought alone about giving up a gift like that for a boy would be just a little too small of a price for what she carries. ''Do you think she liked it?'' She as in the teacher, she as in the one that could cut her out of the program just because she feels like it.
''Totally. You should've seen her face… I swear I saw a little twitch of a smile at the corner of her lips.'' Brody grins, shrugging nonchalantly as he pushes his weight off the lockers. ''You were amazing, you know? It would've been a damn near lie if anyone told you otherwise.''
He can see that picture perfect smile of hers gracing her lips.
''At least I'm good at singing… I suck during dance classes. The teacher hates me – and I love her. I love her talent and her capability of preforming so well with a class full of students watching her every move. And I've always wanted somebody as amazing as her to really, really like me. It's slightly insane, isn't it?''
They've already passed the insane card when it comes to Rachel Berry. He's already seen her insanity and he still hasn't shied away, remarkable right?
''Don't beat yourself up too much. She's got a little twitch with pushing people's buttons that she knows are downright amazing.''
He shrugs, nodding, a smile crossing his lips. ''Yeah… and 'sides, I can teach you a little bit, if you want. I'm pretty good, if I do say so myself.''
She laughs wholeheartedly, shutting her locker door shut. ''I'd love to learn from you.''
Brody decides right there and then that he's totally in like with her laugh.
They practice dancing after school every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. It's a lot of days, but Rachel is dead set in nailing every basic routine there is. At least, until her dance teacher is satisfied enough to stop picking on her. He's not kidding, she actually said; 'why do you keep picking on me'. She makes pirouettes and side leaps that she calls plain work and if he has learned anything from Rachel these past few days it's that she loathes plain work. She's extraordinary, her talent is extraordinary, and anything she does must be extraordinary. It's a lot of work – trying to be the best in anything, and he doubts that he'd actually be able to manage that. But that's the thing; Rachel Berry isn't Brody Weston. She, can do it.
''I suck.'' She huffs, blowing her bangs out of her face. ''If I just…'' She stretches her leg, up, up, up, turn, jump – fall. ''Dammit!'' She yelps from her position on the floor. ''If she saw this she would've rolled her eyes and called me a waste of space… God, I need Katy Perry, now!''
''Look.'' He starts, crouching forward. ''You don't do this in one, two, three.'' Brody snaps his fingers. ''This takes time and energy and patience… You'll get it.''
''I know I will.'' Rachel utters, taking his out stretched hand and standing up. ''I just wish I were able to get it immediately.''
Those are a whole lot of expectations out of a petite, headstrong girl. But she would probably not be Rachel Berry at all if she didn't demand so much anyway.
He asked her out.
Not on a real date, but a 'hey, do you wanna hang out tonight, kick back, and watch stupid shows with me?' Actually, thinking about it, he didn't really ask her out either, did he? It's a simple friends evening with popcorn and coke and shows that he could care less about because she gets all the more fascinating by the second and the thought of actually ripping his eyes away from her gorgeous face seems just about dreadful. But he gets her alone for something other than dancing ever since their wonderful night together and that's at least something.
He still wakes up, sweating and panting, plagued by the dreams of her and him together.
(It's a good kind of plague. One that Brody doesn't mind dying for.)
Rachel says yes, blissfully.
And when they hang out he learns a lot of things about her.
Like, her two gay dads and her estranged mother that raises the child of her ex-boyfriend and ex-nemesis who was once dating her other ex-boyfriend (who she still carries a torch for, apparently, his name is Finn (Finn's is a hideous name. It reminds him of sharks and Brody hates sharks. They're spiteful, hateful, backstabbing creatures)) during her pregnancy, all the while lying about it and claiming that he was the father, and after their very public break-up after Finn found out (he can't say he feels sorry for the douche), got back together with her a year or two later.
Which just sounds pretty insane, but really, he's getting used to all the insanity that floats around Rachel Berry.
She talks about her hopes and dreams and what she longs to achieve in the very end. She dreams of becoming a Broadway star and finally meeting Barbra Streisand who is her one and only role model. She talks about what she longs to become, and speaks of her love for music with so much passion and determination that he feels like he's listening to Mozart-self making the most breathtaking, soulful music that, after years and years, still manages to hit a tender spot.
Rachel hits that tender spot right in the cavern of his heart with just her words.
It's like he can't even imagine her ever giving up doing this, singing, for anything or anyone in the world.
''I admire you, you know that?''
She smiles, bites the bottom of her lip, and tugs a strand of her hair behind her ear. That was too damn cute.
A blush cascades over her cheeks, and he can't help but outstretch the tips of his fingers and touch her right there. Slowly, he moves his thumb over her cheek, her lips parting almost as if she's at a loss of words.
''Yeah, I do.''
There's a fleeting moment when he sees guilt shift through her eyes. But that's just crazy, because, why would she feel guilty? How could something as perfect as this moment be ever dubbed as wrong?
He can barely imagine just how right they could be.
He moves his fingers over her lips. God, how he wants to kiss her right now, the need that's sipping into his veins is unbearable.
And maybe she is waiting for him to do something – anything. Maybe the guilt can't compare to what she's feeling right now. Maybe she wants him to kiss her and make love to her like she has never felt before. Something impossibly better than their first night together.
(But he doesn't – he pulls his fingers of her lips – and he doesn't. And for the life of him, he can't understand why.)
She rocks dance class, and her dance teacher; Cassandra July, has nothing left to say. Cassandra smiles, and nods, claps a few times when Rachel's done, and walks away. A light jump in her steps. Almost as if she's satisfied and proud enough to not say anything. Maybe because all this moment deserves is to bask in all its silent victory.
Rachel whispers 'I did', over and over again. She clenches her fists and stares at the floor as the two letter verb falls of her lips as if it's struggling to comprehend the mere factor of freedom and air. She sighs, a strangled release of rewarding breath.
''I actually did it, Brody.''
Then they look at each other, and time freezes.
There's nothing unalloyed about their current situation.
There's nothing refined about their touches.
There's nothing sacral about their kisses.
Nothing at all.
He feels content and whole with her. There's that knee dropping moan – and that feverish squeal – and the undeniable supplications for more. There's the eyes and the smile and that moment where it feels like it's all about right. Where she makes him feel like heaven has started right here at his feet.
But when they're done, and he's cherishing her cheek, cradling her face, kissing her – oh so softly – oh so memorable – that when their lips part a flicker of guilt passes her eyes that doesn't go unnoticed to his.
There's something wrong about what feels right.
(He thinks he knows just what it is. He thinks he knows just what has been plaguing her enough to slur its way into his veins. He thinks it's an obvious enough guess that it all has to do with the day he first met her. He thinks, she knows, he knows. And how tragically, heartbreaking does that mere unannounced fact fill him up until his very core? He doesn't even know. It's too much to count.)
Brody kisses her though, despite everything, fiercely and longer; now more than ever.
And for a mottled millisecond, nothing else matters.