Heavy Heart, Weightless Cloud
Chapter: Kiss Me in the Dark
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or The L Word
"I want my cake and I want to eat it too
I want to have fun and be in love with you
I know that I'm a mess with my long hair and my sun tan, short dress, bare feet
I don't care what they say about me, what they say about me"- Lana Del Rey, Lolyta
Rachel jumped into the shower the moment she stepped off her elliptical, the music still gently playing from her ipod dock in the bedroom. Lana Del Rey's voice in the morning was soothing, she knew Jesse wouldn't mind waking up to their favorite artist in the morning as he too needed to wake up for work before going to class that afternoon. The petite singer was beginning to massage her scalp with shampoo when she heard the shower curtain rustling. Jesse simply stepped into the shower behind Rachel, his overwhelming presence intensifying the heat in the bathroom. He grinned as he stepped closer to her, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind before placing a gentle kiss on her shoulder. "Save water, shower with your hunky best friend." He joked, eliciting a few giggles from the smaller girl. Rachel sighed as she continued doing what she was doing, wishing more than anything that they could move beyond that friend label again.
She understood why they had broken up, it was very rare that they could spend this much time together in the first place and with Jesse being committed to his job and school, it strained the relationship. It was better off this way she supposed, but maybe she was better off enjoying the time she had being single as well, explore other options before deciding on what she wanted. She was certain they were soul mates, they just needed to spend time figuring themselves out as individuals. When Rachel spun around to grab her body scrubber, she caught sight of Jesse's bare bottom and she couldn't help but blush as she reached out to pinch it. Chuckling, Jesse turned his face to meet her gaze and winked. "It's so juicy, St. James. It's just begging to be ravished." She whispered, feigning a naughty expression before they both broke out into laughter. That's as far as things would go, even when they were officially together. The lack of intimacy temporarily distances them but until the semester ends, they both vowed to make it work during the summer, especially since Jesse would be graduating soon.
When they both had finally gotten out of the shower and began pampering themselves, Jesse finished blow drying his curls when he looked over at Rachel, who was occupied with her nails. "What are your plans for the day? When you're done with your classes and assignments I mean." He asked. Without looking up, Rachel smiled and blew on her nails, enjoying the pretty yellow nail polish she had just applied. She couldn't contain her excitement anymore. "Well, I guess it was lucky that we stumbled upon that ad for Lez Girls. With what's left of my allowance from daddy, I'm going to Barnes & Noble to purchase the book and study it before I try out on Thursday. There are also a few auditions available for a couple of commercials today, we'll see if I can make it on time for any of them." She said, excited at the prospect of being able to star as an extra or if she could, portray a main character in a movie. She doubted she could ever land a huge role at her age but it didn't hurt to try, she needed to get her foot in the door somehow just like Jesse did with his video editing career in the works.
Jesse checked his freshly brushed teeth in the mirror before he approached the younger girl, kissing her on the cheek before heading out. "Good luck, beautiful. I'll be seeing you tonight then I suppose. Let me know how everything goes. Love you." He says hurriedly, but not before being stopped by Rachel. Just before he could reach the front door, she'd reached for his elbow and spun him around. He found himself suddenly embracing Rachel, her arms immediately flying out to wrap around his neck. "I miss you. Just have a good day and come home as soon as you can." She told him, her voice sounding completely vulnerable. His heart melted at the sight of a puppy eyed Rachel stepping back, allowing herself to open up like this, which was very rare. She'd never seemed so needy before and well, that certainly made Jesse more determined to come home early this evening. Los Angeles seemed to be changing things for Rachel in a way he honestly wished hadn't. She had yet to fully come into her own, and she had yet to make friends who weren't as awful as the ones she had back in Lima. She deserved better and if landing a few roles here and there could keep her busy and chipper, he'd be more than happy to support her in her quest to find herself.
"Miss you too. I'll be back before you know it. Keep me updated on your efforts and uh, don't do anything I wouldn't do." He playfully warned before stepping outside of the apartment. Rachel sucked in her bottom lip and anxiously played with her fingers, aware of the amount of stress she would be under taking the bus everywhere she could downtown by herself. She missed having Kurt and Mercedes by her side, they would turn a nerve wracking personal mission into a never ending adventure. That's the thing she misses about small town living; no matter how boring or average the activities available were for teenagers, having a few close friends around would make life worth living. In a city as transient as Los Angeles, people came here with a purpose of their own and they didn't really care about you unless you were local. Here she was, on the edge of seventeen, Rachel Barbra Berry was on her own and she was going to take over California with or without anybody's support.
Rachel sighs and straightens up, putting her face on before strapping on her school bag and other supplies she'd need for the trips she was going to make this afternoon. Whether she was approved or rejected for any role, she promised to applaud herself for going out there and trying. As scared as she was, Rachel knew she had to go out there and give it her all. One day, all the hard work would be worth it and she would find her way to Broadway stardom.
West Hollywood – 6:00 PM
Jenny was exhausted. It had been an extremely long day at the office discussing the movie deal with the producers and whether or not she should be given the director's job. They told her to think about it overnight before taking on the huge responsibility. Of course Jenny had reassured them that she was more than capable of taking it on but they insisted on giving her twenty four hours to dwell on it. She'd been taking her little princess off for a walk in the dog park but she decided not to stay there for very long, there were way too many pretentious snobs out at this particular hour. She hadn't really received any phone calls or texts from her friends today, it made her feel quite lonesome but she supposed it was her own fault for the erratic behavior she displayed the other night. She wanted to go out and dance like she used to, before she alienated everybody she ever cared about. Jenny Schecter wasn't one to apologize, however, so if they didn't want to talk to her then so be it. Their lives were so entangled that eventually they'd see each other soon and hang out as if nothing happened.
Just as she began walking towards the parking lot, she turned her head to take in the sunset and the thriving city life around her. It was beautiful, if not noisy and polluted, but still beautiful nonetheless. Just as soon as the city bus had made a screeching halt a few feet away from her, it took off right away as soon as the last passenger exited the vehicle. She couldn't help but notice a small figure from not too far away running after the city bus frantically. Her long dark mane looking frenzied and disturbed, her forehead covered in a sheen of sweat, and the poor young girl was panting and completely out of breath by the time she reached the bus stop. When she finally made it, she had unfortunately tripped over a crack on the sidewalk and fell to the ground, completely dropping everything she held in her hands.
Crying out in frustration, the girl knelt and covered her face in embarrassment, trying to suppress the uncontrollable sobs that threatened to overcome her. Jenny was conflicted; she was ready to take her little princess home so she could have a glass of wine as she bathed but at the same time, the little bit of humanity that was buried deeply within was clawing at the surface. She felt sorry for the girl as she reminded her of where she was once when she first arrived in California, coming all the way from Ohio. As she remained still from where she stood, her beloved furry friend decided to take things into her own hands, changing the fates of both persons involved. Jenny unwittingly dropped the leash. "Princess!" She cried out after she had been broken out of her reverie, watching with brief terror and anxiety as the dog ran towards traffic. Instead of running out in the middle of the busy street, the mischievous animal found its way towards the smaller girl and startled the emotionally compromised woman by jumping on her and begging for attention.
Relieved but a little annoyed by the actions of her pet, Jenny jogged over to where her little Pomeranian was making a bigger scene out of the unfortunate situation the girl who had missed her bus was in. "O-oh my, w-where did you come from you little cutie?" The girl breathed out in between sobs, giggling as the doggy attempted to lick all the tears away. Jenny bit her lip as she knelt over to pick up the other young woman's belongings that had fallen on the ground just a few minutes before. "Hey, I'm so sorry about my dog, she just got a little over excited and ran away from me as soon as she could. I uh couldn't help but notice that you fell over on your way to catch the bus, are you okay?" Jenny began, uncertain if she truly cared about this person or not. Social convention simply dictates that initiating small talk is the polite thing to do.
The girl gently petted her little Princess one more time before she sniffed once, twice and looked up to meet Jenny's curious gaze. Jenny gasped. The girl's modest beauty surprised her, and she was definitely younger than what she originally guessed her to be. Those piercing brown eyes held a lot of emotional depth for someone her age. "I-I don't mean to unload on you like this since I just met you but it's been kind of a rough day all around, nothing has gone right. I'm ready to go home and I live about an hour away from here. Despite the twenty minute wait the bus guide promises you, it takes about forty five minutes before the bus actually picks you up and you have to deal with perverted homeless men who reek of alcohol and pee. I'm not okay, but I will be, I really appreciate your random act of kindness." The brunette woman said quietly, offering the leash she held in her hand in exchange for her items the older woman was offering her.
Jenny raised a brow at the girl, clearly she was not reserved but at least she was honest. She was impressed as that was a very rare quality Hollywood did not possess. "It sounds like you've had a shitty day. Days like these put you to the test until you reach that point where you want to give up on everything, but it seems like you're toughing it out. I'm Jenny by the way." She replies with a small smile on her face, reaching for the leash in the other girl's hand. When her fingers lightly brushed against the other girl's wrist, an electrical current could be felt the moment they touched. The brunette gathered most of her papers and hurriedly crushed them inside her bag, her eyes scanning the ground in case the kind woman in front of her missed anything.
The petite girl quickly bent over to pick up a book that looked oddly familiar to Jenny before the other girl's words caught her attention. "I'm Rachel, Rachel Berry. Thank you for being the one kind person I could count on to make my day much better. I guess I better wait another two hours before I'm allowed to go home. Have a good night, I don't want to trouble you any further." The smaller girl said shyly, biting her lip before she turned to walk away. At that moment, Jenny wasn't quite sure she was ready to let this girl out of her sight yet, but she also wasn't sure what compelled her to continue the conversation with a stranger that she wouldn't have given a second glance at given controlled circumstances. Jenny instinctively reached out to touch the other girl's shoulder, Rachel immediately turning back to face Jenny. Jenny confidently took a few more steps closer until she was invading the other woman's personal space. "I couldn't help but notice that you're reading Lez Girls, a novel personally written by me and about my experiences as a lesbian woman in L.A. What do you think of it and please be honest, I would love hearing constructive criticism."
Jenny couldn't help the smug smile that graced her features as Rachel looked dumbfounded for a moment before the girl rapidly opened the back cover of the book, finding that the woman photographed in the back was the same woman standing before her. "Y-you're Jennifer Schecter, oh my god, I-I don't know what to say. This is such a small world, how ironic that I would unknowingly run into you today, oh my god. It's an honor to meet you, Ms. Schecter. I apologize for possibly ruining your evening with my antics." Rachel began, nearly hyperventilating as she stood before the woman who would be responsible for casting her choices for the film adaptation of her novel. Jenny playfully rolled her eyes, she honestly didn't mind the little rant that seemed to be on the verge of coming out through Rachel's lips. It was cute.
"Hey, Rachel, relax, I'm just an ordinary human being just like anybody else on this bloated planet. You didn't bother me, in fact, you made my night. Are you a fan of my work or are you-" Jenny began, unable to finish due to Rachel's excitement.
"To be perfectly honest, I just picked up your book today at Barnes and Noble with the intentions of understanding the world of Lez Girls. As you're perfectly aware, there are auditions available for major roles revolving around your characters and I intended to try out. You see, I'm a freshman at UCLA and I'm looking for an honest day's work revolving around some form of the performing arts to add to my resume. I'm just a seventeen year old girl trying to make her dreams come true in L.A., as cliché as that sounds." Rachel breathed out, unable to contain the blush that adorned her cheeks. Jenny was struck speechless for a moment, uncertain if she should continue conversing with somebody who was nearly a decade younger than she was. She was conflicted for what seemed like an eternity; she wanted nothing more than to choose to end a conversation with a deluded young actress wannabe who was clearly destined to fail but there was that other part of her that refused to let this go. She was curious, she was attracted to Rachel and that could be dangerous yet there was something more that Jenny couldn't quite put her finger on. Her instincts were telling her to lure in its latest victim like a black widow wanting to mate before killing the poor sap right after a quick fuck.
When Jenny finally formulated the right thing to say, she offered Rachel a predatory like grin and encouraged the girl to walk beside her to her car.
"That is horribly cliché, but for someone as young as you are to be out here and working your ass off to get to where you want to be, that's admirable. Here, I hope this isn't too forward or anything but I've got a great feeling about you. I'd like to offer you a ride home, it honestly isn't safe for a pretty young thing such as yourself to be out here late at night taking the bus all alone. I'd like to get to know you more, if that's alright with you, and we can discuss what's to be expected at the auditions for Lez Girls on the way to your place. What do you say?" Jenny asked, hopeful that she wasn't coming off as some creep waiting to pounce on its prey when she let her guard down. She wanted to prolong this connection she had with Rachel, despite the fact that her age would automatically disqualify her from auditioning. She couldn't let her down now, not when she was barely beginning to have some fun of her own.
Rachel was baffled by the kind offer and she knew better than to accept rides from strangers especially if their intentions were sketchy at best. She also didn't want to share an uncomfortable bus ride home as her fingers would nervously play with the rape whistle hiding in her pocket. The strange men she had seen earlier on her way downtown were leering at her, drooling at the sight of her cleavage and it made her feel so dirty. Licking her lips, Rachel felt bold enough to finally answer Jenny's question. "I have a rape whistle, my dads are lawyers, my best friend is on speed dial and he is a police officer. I was taught at a very young age to never accept rides from strangers but the idea of riding the bus back home is very unappealing and you seem…normal. Please, please don't try anything funny with me, I just want to go home safely and if I can trust you to take me home, then we can talk about personal matters. I would be so grateful for the ride."
Jenny couldn't help but smirk at how clever the younger girl was, it wasn't as if she had any other intentions at that moment. The girl was taking precautions and she could understand that. Jenny was thrilled, her heart rate picking up the pace at the idea of having someone keeping her company for the day. As much as she loved her princess, she longed for human companionship and she wasn't in the confrontational mood to throw away a social opportunity. Besides, Rachel was probably just another typical girl that would eventually bore her with an uninteresting back story she would inevitably tell on the way to dropping her off. She keeps telling herself the only reason she's excited is because she's been on her own all goddamn day and not because of the sudden fantasy she had of plunging three fingers deep inside of Rachel while she was tied to her bed. Jenny's libido needed taming but for the moment, Jenny could pretend she cared enough about the other girl's well being until they went off their separate ways when she dropped her off.
"I would have a lot to lose if I did anything stupid, Miss Rachel Berry. I am a feminist who strongly believes in the well being of other women and with rape culture becoming a huge joke to those born without a uterus, it is in fact my duty to make sure you get home safely. You'll be okay, I promise." Jenny assured the girl, leading the petite woman to her car and immediately unlocking it for the girl should she choose to climb in. Rachel smiled brightly at Jenny and made her way towards the passenger's side, cell phone immediately in one hand the rape whistle safely tucked away in her pocket. "Thank you so much, Ms. Schecter, you are truly a godsend." Rachel said, blushing at the compliment she had randomly thrown at the other captivating woman.
Jenny grinned, unable to resist those who catered to her massive ego.
"Aren't you a sweet young thing. Anyway, what's the address and we'll get you home in no time, hon."
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