AN: This AU one-shot is the result of loose concept I'd been toying with for a while, brought along with inspiration from the lovely Denise (Tumblr's pinklunchboxrevenge). The equally lovely Emily (profitina) has leant her beta eye once again.
I don't own the Glee characters. Title and intra-song lyrics are from a song written and performed by Eve 6. I'd highly recommend taking a listen.
Finn pulled his Camaro over to the side of the downtown Manhattan street. It was relatively quiet when it came to vehicle traffic but bustling with people on the sidewalks. He craned upward in his seat, looking for Kurt and Blaine amongst the crowd outside of Callbacks. The bar was a favorite hangout amongst students at nearby NYADA, where Blaine was a freshman.
Kurt had been rejected from NYADA a year and a half ago but moved to New York anyway and landed a fashion industry gig. Finn, meanwhile, felt like he had no business joining his stepbrother in the city all those months ago, but without any other plans their parents thought it would be as good a move as any.
And it was working out – he'd quickly found a job at one of the few auto shops in Manhattan. Even though most people in the city used the subway, there were plenty of cabs and other vehicles that needed maintenance, and the people who did own cars were often willing to pay top dollar for ASAP repairs.
The downside of the "ASAP" part is that the garage stayed open late. This was one of the nights where Finn had pulled the closing shift, which is why he was double-parked and idling in front of a bar instead of in one.
Finally, after another few minutes of waiting, he caught a glimpse of Kurt and his boyfriend standing amongst the crowd. Before he could honk his horn to get their attention, though, Finn noticed that they were lingering and talking to someone else.
He would have noticed the someone else sooner if she wasn't so short. Even the impressively high-heeled boots she had on weren't helping all that much. Her hair was dark and falling down past her shoulders in soft waves, and she had olive skin that glowed in the dim streetlight. Her eyes were bright and beaming with life, her smile big and genuine as she laughed at something Kurt said. She looked sophisticated but with a youthful innocence, and Finn felt instantly drawn to her even from his perch across the street. Because it was December he had the windows up so he couldn't make out most of their conversation, but he noticed when Blaine started singing a few bars of a song and she joined in. The sound of her voice assaulted Finn's senses with its sultry fullness and made his eyes narrow as he gazed at her. Then her singing gave way to more laughter, a sound which kept him equally captivated.
Eventually Kurt noticed Finn's car idling nearby, at which time he and Blaine each hugged the girl goodbye before crossing the street while she walked off in the direction of the NYADA dorms.
Blaine ducked into the small backseat before Kurt settled into the front passenger spot. "How long have you been waiting here?!" he asked with great concern in his voice. "You could have called or honked us over."
"Nah, I, uh, just got here," Finn assured, signaling left and pulling into the street. "How was the bar tonight?"
"Kind of a bore, actually," Blaine drawled, yawning.
Meanwhile, Kurt rolled his eyes. "I'm sorry if our duet wasn't quite stimulating enough for you."
Finn had to hold back a smirk. His brother was quite the adventure when drunk because he could be obnoxious one minute, emotional the next, and giddy the one after that.
"Pft, that's obviously not it, babe. Just remember that I spend all day with these people at school. I don't need to spend every minute of my free time with them, too."
"Yeah, uh, who were you guys talking to before you came over?" Finn asked, trying not to seem too curious.
"Who were we...?" Kurt squinted while repeating his question before his rosy-cheeked face brightened. "Oh! You mean Rachel? Rachel is awesome!"
"Cool." Finn couldn't help but smile at the statement, before reining it in as he maneuvered the car onto the Williamsburg Bridge. "But, like, what's her deal?"
"Ohhh no no no," Kurt proclaimed, sitting up a little straighter in his seat. "She's not going to do it."
"Do what?" Finn asked, checking his side-view mirror and changing lanes.
"You!" Kurt said, as thought it was the most obvious thing in the world. "She's way too focused on her career."
"Now now, Kurt, you can't blame a guy for trying," Blaine said, leaning forward towards Finn. "Rachel is a sophomore, and a musical theater major like me. She's from Columbus, which is totally coincidentally cool, and she has two gay dads." Blaine paused. "It's like, I'm incapable of being attracted to a woman but if I had to, she'd be it..." Then, ever the contemplative drunk, he made a weird sighing noise.
"Yeah, man, but what's she like?"
"Oh, like Kurt said, she's totally awesome. Spunky, vivacious, irreverent, spontaneous, but also really sincere and genuine."
Finn wasn't sure what all of those words meant but they all seemed good, and he had no trouble mentally constructing a personality to go along with the mental image of her gorgeous body.
"Kurt's right about the other thing, though."
"Hmm?" Finn found a parking spot near their Bushwick loft and lined up to back into it.
"She's very focused on her career and has been known to turn even the most charming of suitors away," he explained, glancing at Kurt who had fallen asleep. "But, because I'm very grateful for you and your sweet ride picking us up, I will do you a solid." Blaine winked into the rear-view mirror at Finn before grabbing his phone from the center console and quickly typing something in. "There is her number. When I see her on Monday, I'll mention that she may be hearing from you."
I call an apartment a home
I've never broken a bone
I've spent the last couple of weeks
Just sitting, staring at the phone
Finn laid on his bed, staring at the screen of his phone which displayed the name Rachel B. and a number beginning with area code 614.
He idly wondered what it was like to have two dads, if they were super protective of her or more chill because they didn't really know about girl stuff.
This had become a pattern, him sitting around wondering about Rachel without working up the nerve to call her.
Maybe he was discouraged by the knowledge that she was more focused on school and performing than on dating. He could kill Kurt and Blaine for planting that seed of doubt in his head.
Or maybe he was discouraged because he was discouraged. The thought was what Blaine would call "meta" and it kinda made his head hurt, but it was true. Usually he had no problem talking to girls. He hadn't had a girlfriend since moving to New York, but he went out with co-workers or his jam-band buddies fairly often and he didn't have any trouble talking to girls he met randomly at bars. He also didn't have much trouble getting them to go home with him, much to the annoyance of his roommates. But he had a feeling that Rachel was different, that he wanted to really get to know her before—
Finn jumped in terror when he felt the bed shift underneath him.
Apparently he'd been so deep in thought he hadn't even heard Kurt come into his room before plopping down beside him.
"Whatcha doin'...?" Kurt asked suspiciously.
"Uh, nothing," he answered, clearing his throat. "Just checking some e-mails, seeing if Joe and the guys want to mess around tonight." He tried to act natural, casually thumbing through his phone.
"Mmhmmm..." Kurt's sarcastic tone forced Finn to hold back a cringe. "I think you were staring at Rachel's number again."
Finn furrowed his brow and scoffed. "Why would I be doing that?"
"You've always been a terrible liar," Kurt laughed. "Anyway, if you do want to meet her instead of just obsessing over her from afar, the musical theater department is having a holiday party this Thursday. Each student gets to bring a guest, but apparently I have a work commitment, so Blaine can probably bring you instead."
Finn rolled his eyes. "I don't know, Kurt. Going to a NYADA event with Blaine, just to meet a girl? Isn't that a little... contrite?"
"I think you mean 'contrived,' Finn. And fine, don't go," Kurt said, standing. "Stay here, for the rest of your life, thinking about making a phone call," he suggested facetiously before gliding out of the room.
Once Kurt was gone, Finn exhaled and threw his phone to the foot of the bed. Given his complete and utter failure at contacting Rachel otherwise, there was no point in not going.
After a minute, he couldn't help but smile at the thought.
And as a rule, if you will
I think I'm pretty chill
Yeah this behavior's an exception
And I know it needs correction
Thankfully, Finn had drawn an early shift for Thursday, so he had plenty of time to go home to Brooklyn to get ready before taking the subway back into Manhattan. He followed Blaine's directions to the banquet room, checked his coat, and stood off to the side to wait.
"Hey, buddy!" Blaine said as he approached from an adjacent hallway about a minute later. "You ready to go in?"
"Yeah," Finn said, letting out a steadying breath as he pocketed his phone before following Blaine into the party.
He'd never been to a NYADA event before and it was a pretty impressive affair – tons of fancy-looking food and drinks, winter holiday decorations, and excellent entertainment.
Blaine led him around, quietly pointing out a few professors and other supporters of the academy who were apparently famous in one way or another. Since Blaine was ever the sociable and friendly type, plenty of folks stopped them to say hello as they circulated the room.
"This is my roommate, Finn," he said to each person they ran into. (When Blaine had moved to the city and joined them in the loft, they'd decided that "boyfriend's step-brother" and "step-brother's boyfriend" were sufficiently awkward ways in which to refer one another and that "roommate" was easier.)
Finn's head whipped up instantly at the sound of Blaine's name being called from across the room.
It was Rachel.
She smiled brightly and waved as she made her way over, carefully maneuvering across the plush carpeted floor in a pair of satiny silver stilettos. Finn felt his mouth go dry as he observed her tan and shapely legs, following them up to the hem of her silver and white cocktail dress. Super thin straps crossed her delicate shoulders, and the dress was cut just low enough that Finn could make out a little cleavage. Her eyes were lined black and shimmered with silver – just enough to be elegant, and not too overdone. Her hair was cascading down her back just like outside the bar two weeks prior.
She was even more gorgeous than he'd realized.
Once she got close to where they were standing, it made Finn suddenly self-conscious about, well, everything. Trying to seem casual he looked down at his plate of hors d'oeuvres while his roommate greeted her.
"Rachel!" Blaine exclaimed, engulfing the petite girl in a hug. "You look great, girl!" he held onto her hand while delivering the compliment and she curtsied playfully. Finn watched out of the corner of his eye and aimlessly shuffled the few cocktail franks on his plate. He was afraid to eat anything because he didn't want to have food in his mouth when he got to talk to Rachel, but he also didn't want to stare at her like a creeper until Blaine introduced them.
"Rachel, this is my roommate Finn."
With that he turned towards her, smiling and extending his hand. "Hi, Rachel."
They shook, her tiny delicate hand dwarfed by his large calloused one. Meanwhile Blaine took a step away, having been approached by yet another classmate.
"Ah, so you're Kurt's brother, huh?" Rachel's voice was cool and confident as she released Finn's hand and gave him a subtle glance up and down. "Blaine's told me about you."
"Well, step-brother, actually. And I'm not sure what there is to tell." He raised an eyebrow and smirked, feeling a little more like his confident self again.
"Ohh, let's see. You're 20, you're an auto mechanic, you play drums in a—"
"Rachel! You're on in 5!" a man holding a clipboard interrupted her as he quickly walked by.
"Oh?!" Rachel looked frantically at her watch, then back up at Finn. "I'm so sorry, you'll need to excuse me. I'm performing in a few minutes."
"Oooh, I can't wait!" Blaine squealed, momentarily turning away from his other conversation. "Break a leg!"
"Yeah, uh, break a leg," Finn echoed.
"Thanks! It was nice meeting you," she said, lightly touching his elbow. "We'll catch up again later?
"Uh, sure, yeah," he returned, powerless to say anything else while under the spell of her mesmerizing gaze.
She smiled at his answer before making off for the stage area.
A few minutes later, Finn's heart felt like it was on fire as he listened to Rachel pour her soul into "O Holy Night."
"Isn't she amazing?" Blaine whispered.
"Yeah..." Finn said dreamily.
He'd given up any hope of not staring at her now.
But I've been thinking 'bout you since the first time that I saw you
Think it's safe to say that I've been obsessed
Tryin' to figure out a way to tell you what I'm feeling
But I just can't get the words off my chest
Rachel's performance had gotten her a lot of attention from other guests at the party, including some of the famous and influential people that Blaine had pointed out earlier in the night. Finn didn't want to interrupt that by approaching her, and before he knew it the party was over and he was on his way back to Bushwick without having spoken to her again.
The next morning, Finn wanted so badly to talk to her, but he sought assurance from Blaine first.
"So you're sure that she seemed cool about meeting me? And that I'm not going to make an ass of myself if I call her?"
"Yes, Finn! Just do it already!" Blaine shouted, his exasperation reaching its peak as he packed his bag for school.
Meanwhile, buttoning up his coat and slinging his own bag over this shoulder, Kurt laughed at the exchange. "Honestly, Finn, I've never seen you like this. It's weird."
"It's also nothing to be scared of. It's just a phone call," Blaine assured him while he slipped on his coat.
"Break a leg!" Kurt said playfully as they both exited the loft.
Finn groaned, falling back onto the couch. After mustering up his confidence as best he could, he pulled out his phone and dialed Rachel's number.
"Hello?" she answered after the second ring.
"Hi, it's Finn, um, Kurt's brother. We met last night at the, uh—"
"Yes, I remember," she said with a half-giggle. "I'm so glad you called."
His heart started pounding so loudly that he worried she might hear it on the other end of the line. "Yeah?"
"Yes." She paused. "I can't stop thinking about you."
We got a situation infatuation
We haven't even had a conversation
And I'm lying awake and picturing you naked
I already feel I owe an explanation
It's getting' pathological
I'm totally irrational
We got a situation infatuation
Got a situation infatuation
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