Through the Clouds, Love Shines
Rachel Berry x (Gender swap!Kurt Hummel)
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.
Rating: M (For language and adult situations)
Summary: Alternate Universe – Rachel suffers from an unfortunate accident in which she temporarily ends up in a coma/purgatory. When she wakes up, she doesn't remember the incident but she knows something is terribly off – the world she left isn't the one she wakes up to. Most of her friends have become the opposite gender, homosexuality is completely normal while heterosexuality is a major issue, especially if it's interracial, and her loving fathers have instead become nurturing mothers. Not only is she a new student at William McKinley but she's attracted the attentions of popular Cheerio and glee club captain Kristine Hummel and she's become conflicted with her own sexual identity. Whether she's brought back to her old life or not, it's entirely up to Rachel to figure out what went wrong in her previous life before making that choice.
Notes: Loosely based off the LGBTQA film, Almost Normal. Just a bit of a warning; racism is involved in this first chapter but it's to fully convey the severity of a certain situation.
Rachel hates taking the subway late at night. She doesn't understand how Brody could brave the cold nights waiting for each train to transport him from one location to the other before waiting again and transferring to a different train. She sighs, clutching onto her schoolbag tightly while fiddling with her phone, sending a text to Kurt and a similar message to Adam in case one or the other was busy. She was terrified, she certainly didn't want to keep her best friend and his boyfriend up late at night just so she could come home to both pairs of welcoming arms but it would be nice especially since she accidentally left her key on the kitchen counter. When her phone buzzed again, she had received an immediate reply from Kurt that had her sighing again but this time in relief. He had informed her that he had been concerned about her late practice in Ms. July's studio that he and Adam decided to meet up with her at the subway station in order to escort her home safely. She rolled her eyes at the comment he made about being man enough to know it's not safe for a beautiful single lady to walk these New York streets alone, unlike Brody who was too much of a coward to ensure his lady's safety.
Resisting the urge to reply with a snarky comment of her own, Rachel shot out a quick text before she glanced up and took notice of her surroundings. The night life was bustling, a few strange faces here and there but as long as she kept to herself and made it look like she was stoic and busy, creepers would surely leave her alone. She gasped when she felt a sharp pain in her shoulder, nearly losing balance when she turned around to see who was responsible for being so rude and inconsiderate. Her eyes fell upon a young man in a sleeveless jean jacket and skinny ripped jeans hurriedly rushing past the crowd. The culprit had been glaring at her the entire time since walking away from shoulder checking her so hard. Rachel swallowed nervously, but she would not let her fear show. "Hooligan, didn't your mother teach you any manners?! Excuse me would have been a sufficient enough warning for me to move aside for you!" She called out, drawing attention from curious bystanders before they decided to no longer pay any mind. The young man with a mohawk that rivaled Puck's narrowed his eyes, quickly raising a hand to flip her off before turning his attention to a few buddies that had caught up with him.
Stomping her feet, Rachel huffed and walked further away from the group of trouble makers. She'd prefer to keep to herself if she could help it, she didn't want any trouble at the subway station. This whole situation was unsettling, where were Kurt and Adam? Suddenly, her phone rang and checking the caller id, it was none other than Kurt and she immediately hit the 'answer' button. "Kurt, where are you? I'm absolutely mortified, you wouldn't believe what just happened to me." She could have gone on and on but she stopped speaking when she heard her roommate's extremely obnoxious yawn. She still had that notorious issue with inconsistent rambling; it was something she definitely couldn't help. "Oh dear, I almost dozed off for a minute there. Hello Rachel, I just called to inform you that we're here but we're on the opposite side of the station where you're supposed to be. You can tell us all about your misadventures on the way home." Kurt had said with a sing song tone to his voice. Rachel smiled, but immediately frowned afterwards when she realized what he had said. She looked up around the station to pinpoint the location of the signs she needed to read and when she had, her shoulders drooped when she found that she was indeed on the wrong side of the station.
"Kurt!" She whined, "I must have not been paying attention. Give me a few minutes to walk around the walkway to meet you, okay sweetheart? I can't see you by the way, where are you!?" Rachel craned her neck and walked around the scattered crowd near the tracks to catch a glimpse of Kurt and Adam. When she caught sight of her roommate and his boyfriend, who were very easy to spot in a crowd, she grinned and started bouncing in place. Adam was the first to notice the small girl jumping around across the station and gently nudged Kurt, the young soprano finally meeting Rachel's gaze. He waved enthusiastically at the young ingénue before they both mutually hung up their phones. Rachel was genuinely happy that she could count on Kurt at the end of a long day to be there for her. When the petite singer stepped back to walk over to where her friends were waiting, she hadn't been counting on running into something solid and lean. When she looked up, fear had been instantly instilled into her system. The young hooligan who had flipped her off had the audacity to follow her, his presence overwhelming due to his lengthy and discomforting appearance.
Unfortunately, he wasn't alone; his equally hideous buddies who she suspected to be skinheads were staring at her with an evil glint in their eyes.
Assessing the situation quickly, Kurt and Adam panicked and began running towards the walkway, yelling at the young men who were threatening Rachel's personal space. "Hey! Rachel just walk away, we're coming! Whatever you do, don't stay put! We're on our way!" Adam had puffed out his chest, grabbing hold of Kurt's hand as they tried to make their way across the station as quickly as they could. Rachel gulped but stood her ground, carefully noting where she had been standing as she tried to back away from the young men. "So you think you were bein' cute and ballsy talking all that shit back there little girly?" The man she had yelled at for being so disrespectful asked loudly, trying to create a scene so they could have an audience. She could appreciate his need for drama but this was serious, and she wanted nothing more than to put an end to this unruly sociopath. "I don't understand why you feel the need to confront somebody you were clearly being rude to. An apology would be appreciated but given the unpleasant circumstances, I'd actually rather you leave me be so I can go home unscathed." Rachel said as politely as she could, her hand reaching into her pocket to pull out the rape whistle she so desperately wanted to use at that moment.
"Fuckin' kike, who do you think you are talking to us like that? Look at that big ol' schnoz of hers, sticking it in other people's business where it doesn't belong. Let me just remind you of your place…your kind belongs in the oven. I'll show what happens when you fuck with me and my crew." One of his bulkier friends replied, reaching out for a piece of clothing but instead had latched onto her book bag. Panic quickly arising, Rachel for some reason felt it was incredibly important to hold on to it when in reality she should have let go and ran away as far as she could. 'It's okay, it's okay, Adam and Kurt are on their way. Just stand your ground, they only intend to scare you until outsiders intervene.' She thought to herself while yelling out for help but to no avail. The people nearby were simply watching, too stunned to defend her or too careless to make a move. The latter idea seemed unfortunately more practical and for that reason tears started forming in her eyes as she fought tooth and nail to keep her book bag to herself. "Unhand my personal belongings you fiends, unless you want me to call the cops then I suggest you leave me alone NOW!" She shrieked, the sound of the incoming trains alerting her to possible interference with authority figures. Someone must have alerted security by now, this was quite stressful and absolutely ridiculous. Then, she heard a familiar voice, one that soothed her to her very core. "Rachel! Let go, just let go!" Kurt called out, making an appearance with Adam as they both charged at the group harassing his best friend.
The misbehaved men certainly weren't craving this kind of attention so they ultimately decided to let her go, all they wanted to do was frighten the petite singer to send a message and nothing more. The bulky skinhead simply grunted and reluctantly released his hold on Rachel's book bag, unintentionally adding power to the release and it ended up pushing the younger girl back a few steps who had been pulling just as hard. Unfortunately for the NYADA student, it was a few steps too many and the brunette lost her balance when she attempted to regain her composure. With the threat of the oncoming train, Rachel lost sight of where she was and fell backwards onto the tracks. The skinhead almost looked mortified for a second as he realized what he had done, glancing up at the train before turning his attention back to the girl who had fallen onto the tracks. This time, the surrounding crowd began panicking and ran over to finally lend their assistance to the unfortunate victim of harassment. The punk hesitated for a moment before he shook his head and ran off in the opposite direction with his buddies.
"RACHEL! GET UP, PLEASE GET UP! I'M ON MY WAY, PLEASE GET UP AND GIVE ME YOUR HAND!"
"Oh my god, somebody help her!"
"Damn son, that shit ain't right! I'm coming young lady, just hold on!"
The voices. The sound of the train heading her way and the screeching of the brakes told her she was no longer in a safe place. She had to act quickly. When Rachel looked up, fear flooded her entire body as an icy cold chill ran through the base of her spine. The headlights were too bright and the operator banged on the window as he screamed, "Get out of the way, get out of the way!" Kurt ran over to where she had fallen, Adam holding him steady as he tried to reach out for the smaller girl. They didn't have a lot of time, Rachel didn't have a lot of time. When the diva tried to jump off the tracks, something had caught on to a part of her shoe and she was stuck, she was actually stuck and in a panic, Rachel was desperately rushing to pull out of this. "K-Kurt, I can't move! I can't move, I'm stuck, oh my god, Kurt, I can't! My ankle, it hurts!" She screamed, her eyes full of tears and the sickening realization that there was nothing she could do about it fell upon her. Rachel's jaw dropped as she turned to face imminent death approaching her before looking back into the eyes of someone she loved for the final few seconds of her life. Kurt swallowed hard, his eyes widening as he met Rachel's terrified gaze one last time, Adam screaming and forcing Kurt backwards just in time before the train rushed past them. There was a scream for one everlasting second before it had been drowned out by a horrifying crunching sound.
There was blood. Kurt looked down at his hands and he realized there was blood splattered on him, Rachel's blood. Unable to say anything, there was a choked sobbing sound that came out of him instead, his entire world falling apart in a matter of seconds. Adam was saying something, something tragic and unfamiliar and it scared him. All he could hear was static as the traumatic image of Rachel passing before his eyes haunted him. This was a nightmare, this just had to be. There was no way something like this could take his best friend's life, he couldn't accept it. He felt strong arms wrap around him, whispered words of "I'm so sorry" and that's when it struck Kurt; Rachel Barbra Berry was gone and there was nothing he could do about it except for sob uncontrollably onto broad shoulders.
This didn't happen, this couldn't have happened, except it did.
As for Rachel, the last thing she could remember seeing before the incident was Kurt's angelic face before her whole world suddenly turned white. Into the nothingness, her soul was swept away by a strong magnificent source and it was actually soothing. For the first time in a long time, Rachel finally felt at peace. There were no thoughts or ill wishes, bad feelings or horrible memories, or even dreams that followed her in this deep slumber she found herself in. It was so relaxing, yet she didn't know where she was or what she was exactly seeing. In fact, she couldn't see anything for quite some time. What felt like hours was actually seconds that had passed before she heard something familiar, the sound of her alarm. What was happening?
'Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin'…'
Wide, terrified brown eyes snapped open after being shut after what felt like an eternity. Rachel was groggy but the sound of her favorite motivational song didn't fool her; she was home. But how did she end up back in Ohio when she was in New York attending NYADA? She stirred in bed, only to feel a horrible ache in her thighs and an awful throbbing pain pounding against her head. What happened? The last thing she remembered was saying good morning to Brody before she had left for class. The singer sat up quickly against her headboard, her heart rate picking up the moment she realized she had no idea what was happening and how she ended up back at home was beyond her. That wasn't all that felt off. When Rachel released her hair from the half assed ponytail she apparently assembled before bed, she noticed two things: her hair was back to black and she was wearing the same pink pajamas she had worn back when she was a sophomore in high school. Her throat immediately dried up, something was wrong, this wasn't right. Was she dreaming or was this some kind of awful prank Kurt had come up with?
"Oh. My. God. W-what's going on?" Rachel finally found herself asking aloud as her eyes scanned the entirely familiar bedroom that seemed a bit different for some reason. Her eyes fell upon a certain portrait that was reserved especially for the family photo; she gasped at the sight. There she was wearing her favorite animal sweater from high school but her fathers were no longer in the picture. Standing behind her with their hands upon her shoulder was her biological mother, Shelby Corcoran, and former guidance counselor, Emma Pilsbury. They looked so happy together, it was nauseating. Those weren't her fathers, that wasn't Leroy or Hiram Berry posing with her in the family photo. That wasn't her family. This wasn't what it seemed like anymore; where the hell was she? Rachel gulped, clutching her bed sheets tightly before she thought of reacting to this situation in what she deemed a reasonable manner; she shut her eyes and she screamed as loud as she possibly could.
Please read and review if you liked it, I would like to know if I should continue this or not. If you're not into romantic Hummelberry, please don't read it if you don't like it. I don't want to force anyone to like something they're not into. :) Anyway, please enjoy my take on this pairing in a parallel universe!