Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and company.

Prompts: Written for 500themes for prompt #197 (the moment.)

Notes: This was completely inspired by the trailer for 2x20 "Prom Queen." So I am completely expecting everything in this to be Jossed by canon. (This was written prior to the episode airing.)

Blaine's not quite sure why he notices that Rachel is missing from the group that is both protectively and excitedly crowding Kurt. His attention should be completely focused on his boyfriend who seems torn between happiness and sheer terror at having been crowned Prom Queen. Yet he can't help but notice that Rachel isn't there when she should be since Kurt is one of her dearest friends (Rachel's choice of words and not Blaine's) just like Mercedes is. Blaine manages to detach himself from Kurt and the others just as Quinn rejoins the group. (He doesn't think about the fact that he hadn't realized that she was missing until she was back.)

When Quinn looks at him, a shiver runs down his spine and Blaine automatically knows that something is wrong. The predatory glint in her eye and her shark's smile spur him into action. However once he's in the hallway with the sounds of the prom muted behind him, Blaine is certain that he's over-reacting. He stops in front of the girl's bathroom closest to the gym feeling foolish and silly with the intent of turning back when a quiet sound reaches his ears. He can't be certain but it sounds like someone crying, which probably isn't unusual at a prom. Still he pushes the door slowly open, his heart in his mouth.

"He-hello?" Blaine calls out, stumbling over the word,

The only reply is a soft snuffling sound. He steps further into the empty room, following the sound to the last stall. For a moment, he can't quite figure out what it is that he's seeing. And then it all makes sense as he drops to his knees and he gingerly reaches forward. He pauses when Rachel shifts and he's suddenly afraid of hurting her more than she already has been.

Her face is covered in blood and her pretty pink dress has been torn. And he somehow knows that this is the work of Quinn. Why he doesn't or even care about in this particular moment. That can come later, right now he's trying to figure out how to best help Rachel.

"Blaine?"

Her voice sounds scratchy and it breaks his heart. He gently pulls her forward into his lap. When she doesn't resist, he uses his handkerchief to wipe away some of the blood. All through his gentle ministrations, Rachel cries. He's about to ask her if she thinks anything is broken when the bathroom door violently swings open. His arms tighten around her and Rachel quietly whimpers when the door bounces off of the wall and is followed by the sound of slapping feet. He can't quite see who it is and he's worried that it's someone here to finish whatever it was that Quinn started.

Instead of Quinn, a young man is standing in front of them. Blaine vaguely recognizes him as Jesse St. James (in Ohio he's famous when it comes to show choir) and it seems surreal that the former Vocal Adrenalin star is here until Blaine remembers Kurt telling him about Rachel's doomed relationship with Jesse. He can't imagine why he's here now unless he's the one, and not Quinn, who's behind all of this. Rachel's hand tightens around Blaine's lapel as his body tenses, preparing to attack if necessary.

"I texted him."

The words, despite being spoken in a whisper, hang heavy in the air between the three of them.

"She asked me to take her home," Jesse quietly states. "I thought that they'd done something akin to Carrie to her."

Blaine watches as Jesse runs a hand through his hair and he hates that at that precise moment he is consumed with jealousy. Rachel had needed someone so she had reached out to Jesse instead of him. And he can see why as he looks at Jesse. He exhales harshly through his nose as he forces the jealousy down. Blaine decides to explore it later.

"I'm not leaving her," Blaine flatly states.

"Fine," Jesse agrees. "Let's get her to my car."

Blaine carefully stands up with Rachel cradled in his arms, worried when she whimpers at the movement. He stills for a moment until she nods at him and then he follows Jesse out of the girls' bathroom. The three of them don't meet anyone as they make their way through the school. The sounds of Kurt and the rest of New Directions singing float out from the gym as they pass it. Blaine stiffens and Rachel trembles as they listen. He can see why Jesse would have thought that the rest of the school had pulled a horrible prank on her. Her friends and team have carried on without her, completely unconcerned about her absence, as if Rachel Berry would ever miss a performance unless something dire prevented her from attending.

It makes him wonder how it can be that an acquaintance and an ex-boyfriend who had toyed with her know her better than her supposed friends and the rest of New Directions. From the stories that Kurt had told him, he would have at least thought their coach would have suspected something.

"Schuester is an idiot," Jesse spits out, unintentionally answering Blaine's unspoken question.

The look on Jesse's face is intense and Blaine's not quite sure if it's disgust or hate burning in his eyes. It seems out of place after Jesse's betrayal and he thinks that maybe Kurt didn't know the full story of Rachel and Jesse. Again he's embarrassed by the jealousy that almost overwhelms him. His boyfriend is singing and Blaine is more concerned about how Rachel feels about her ex-boyfriend.

"My car is this way," Jesse finally says.

The drive to Rachel's house is tense with Blaine sitting in the back with Rachel still curled up in his arms. He is aware of the dark looks that Jesse keeps throwing them in the rearview mirror. Blaine isn't sure of what to do about it or how to react so he focuses his attention on Rachel. When his phone vibrates, no doubt Kurt wanting to know where he is, Blaine ignores it.

When they finally reach Rachel's house, he's surprised to find it empty and he wonders about her fathers. Both of his parents had been armed with cameras on the night of his first prom at Dalton. He would have thought that her parents would be there to record the experience for Rachel.

"They had a business trip to attend, apparently they left just after Rachel did," Jesse tells him.

Blaine wonders how it is that Jesse knows so much about Rachel when he knows so little. He's in her life now and Jesse is supposed to be her past. He can't help but wonder if the others from New Directions are just as clueless about her as he is.

The jealousy flares up again and he knows that it's completely irrational because Rachel isn't supposed to mean anything to him other than being one of Kurt's friends. Yet as he follows Jesse into the empty and silent house, Rachel carefully cradled in his arms, it dawns on him that she means quite a bit to him. The realization that he's been lying to himself is devastating.

They're standing awkwardly outside of her bedroom door, Jesse is right in front of the room with his hand on the knob and Blaine is immediately behind him with Rachel in his arms. Both of them know that she'll need to be changed and that neither of them have the right to enter the sanctity of her bedroom.

"I could call Finn's mother," Blaine suggests as he shifts his weight from one foot to the other.

"No!" Rachel exclaims.

Jesse winces at how her voice sounds and he worries about the permanent damage done to her vocal chords. And he wonders about the calibre of doctors in Lima who might be able to ensure that her voice hasn't been (or won't be) destroyed.

"Blaine you could help me."

This time her voice is quieter and Jesse almost misses her request, lost in his thoughts about her voice. When Blaine looks up at him panicked and pale, Jesse realizes that no matter the finality of Rachel's opinion of Blaine, it's not that accurate. She tilts her head at him and it's like a knife in his stomach is being twisted at the sight of her. He wants to find her attacker and tear them apart.

"It's okay Jesse, Blaine's gay," Rachel tells him.

"You shouldn't be talking Rachel, let your vocal chords rest," Jesse says filling the awkward silence.

Blaine might be gay but Jesse suspects that Rachel is more than just a friend to him. Jesse turns around, briefly closing his eyes and taking a deep breath before opening the door to her bedroom. The room is just as he remembered it (just as he dreamt about it and even fantasized about it) as nothing's really changed. He does his best to look stoic as he points out the bathroom to Blaine.

Someone needs to take charge of the situation so he does. He finds her pajamas and then places them on the counter in the bathroom before gently guiding Rachel and Blaine into the bathroom all the while ignoring his jealousy. Rachel Berry isn't his anymore and she'll never be his again. All he has is a tentative truce with her that might flourish into a friendship with her if he's lucky.

When the bathroom door closes with a soft clicking sound, Jesse collapses onto Rachel's bed. He breathes in her scent and tries not to remember the last time he was here with her. He tries not to think about how Shelby used him and then cast both Rachel and him by the wayside in favour of Quinn's baby. Jesse tries not to think about how Blaine is in the bathroom removing the pink confection of a dress from Rachel's body, how Blaine's hands are undoubtedly coming into contact with her silky skin.

It's useless and he punches a pillow before he stands up and heads downstairs with the intent of finding something that might help to ease her pain.

Cleaning and changing Rachel is both a relief and a torture for Blaine. He's relieved to discover that the damage had looked far worse than it actually is. The worse of her injuries is a ring of bruises circling her neck from when her attacker had obviously choked her. However having Rachel trust him to be the perfect gentleman, to not respond to her body as he undresses her almost kills him.

He regrets ever telling her (and Kurt) in the coffee shop that he is 100% gay because when it comes to Rachel, clearly his body hasn't gotten that memo as of yet. Yet Rachel acts as if it's nothing for him to remove her dress and then her bra and panties. And then to gently wipe the blood away with a damp washcloth. If she notices that his hands are trembling, she must attribute it to something else.

When she closes her eyes and breathes gently through her nose, he notices that her body is responding to him and he wonders what Rachel is telling herself. And he wishes in that moment that the lie that hangs between them was the truth. She deserves something better than another lie in her life.

Jesse is standing in the kitchen staring sightless out of the window by the sink. He doesn't want to be here but he knows that there's no where else he wants to be. The thought of leaving Blaine alone with Rachel when he has suspicions about how he feels about Rachel tears him apart. Rachel is so free with her affections that it'd be easy for Blaine to worm his way under her defenses when she's hurt.

"She's in bed and wants to see both of us," Blaine says.

Jesse turns and looks at his competition and he knows that no matter what he does, it's doubtful that he'll win the audition. His past actions have screwed everything up whereas he doubts Blaine has the same past with her. He shrugs at Blaine before picking up the glass of water and the bottle of pain killers that he had found.

They silently march up the stairs and into Rachel's room. She's lying in the middle of her bed, propped up by a pillow. She smiles at them both and Jesse feels his heart breaking all over.

"Rachel, we need to tell someone about what happened," Blaine says.

"No," Rachel says as her smile turns into a frown.

"But Rachel what happened to you is wrong," Blaine argues

Jesse suspects that Blaine is more than willing to force the issue but he knows that this isn't what Rachel needs right now. He silences Blaine by gripping his arm and shaking his head. Blaine seems to deflate a little as he sits down on the foot of the bed.

"I don't want to get anyone else involved," Rachel says.

Jesse wonders how she'll feel if her voice is damaged. Still he stays silent, instead he sets the water and bottle of pain killers on the bedside table. Rachel twists part of her quilt in her fingers and he just wishes that she'd say what she needs to say so he can go home and forget about this night.

The moment seems to lengthen and Jesse wonders if Blaine is holding his breath like he is. Finally Rachel speaks.

"I don't want to be alone."

"I can sleep on the couch," Blaine offers.

Jesse has to bite his lip from sneering at the way the other boy is acting. He wonders just how many people fall for the perfect gentleman. Jesse refuses to think about how he played that role last year with Rachel to great success.

"I'd rather you both stay," Rachel says.

He can tell that she's agitated by something by the way her fingers continually twist the bedspread. Jesse sighs before sitting down beside her and placing a hand over her hands, stilling their motion.

"What is it Rachel?" Jesse acts.

She casts her gaze downwards refusing to look at either of them.

"I'd rather you both stay here with me. I mean my bed is big enough and I am just so scared."

Her voice trembles and Jesse realizes that there's not much he wouldn't do for her. When he looks back at Blaine, he knows that Blaine feels the same way.

"Perhaps we should use your dads' bedroom. The bed in there is much larger so that neither Blaine or I accidentally hurt you," Jesse suggests.

Rachel looks up at him in relief and nods her head. Blaine moves forward and lifts her up again while Jesse leads the way. Jesse feels his stomach tighten into knots and he can't recall when he's ever been this sick with nervousness in his entire life.

Once again Rachel is lying in the middle of a bed and Blaine and Jesse are held still by the awkwardness of the moment. Blaine wants to know how Rachel (or Jesse for that matter) can even think that this is a good idea. He's about to suggest that he'll sleep on the floor to give Rachel even more room when Jesse pulls his shirt over his head. His mouth goes dry at the sight and it just confuses him even more. (There's a second where he thinks about rushing out of the house into the very safe and confining embrace that Kurt is sure to offer him. It's ruined when Rachel and Jesse look over at him expectantly.)

Blaine slowly unbuttons his dress shirt, his jacket lost somewhere between the backseat of Jesse's car and Rachel's bathroom. If Rachel wasn't hurt, he'd think that the faint blush on her cheek is because of desire. He can't look at Jesse because that would make things that much more uncomfortable. Thankfully Jesse changes the mood of the room when he toes off his shoes and proceeds to lie down on top of the blankets.

Rachel laughs. And although it's not the normal sound of her laughter, the fact that she can still laugh despite what happened makes him smile. He knows in that moment that she's going to be okay.

"Silly," Rachel says. "You're supposed to sleep underneath the blankets."

Jesse shoots him a worried glance and Blaine bites his lower lip. This is quickly getting out of control. How Rachel expects two teenaged-boys to sleep with her in the middle without certain reactions, he's not sure. Still he refuses to let her down so he quickly sheds his pants and slips underneath the covers with her. Jesse sighs before standing up and removing his jeans and following Blaine's lead. Blaine reaches over and turns off the lamp on the bedside table and Jesse mirrors his action on his side of the bed.

The three of them lie there in the dark, silent but for the sounds of their breathing. Blaine wonders if Jesse is lying as stiffly on his side of the bed as he is on his. Rachel shifts until her hand brushes against him and he tenses. This is a very bad idea and he's about to tell her so when Rachel speaks again.

"I'm glad that you're both here."

Jesse exhales on his side of the bed and Blaine knows that neither of them are going to get a lot of sleep tonight. He can only hope that Rachel will sleep untroubled between them.

Full awareness of where he is filters slowly in. The first thing that he's aware of is the fact that there's something soft in his arms along with a soft tickling sensation against his chest. Everywhere is soft but the middle and he feels the press of hands against the flat of his stomach. Then he remembers what happened last night and where he ended up. When he blinks his eyes open, Blaine finds himself in bed with Rachel and Jesse. Rachel is pressed against his chest, her mouth scant inches away form his chest, and Jesse is wrapped tightly around her back, his hands wrapped around her stomach, pressing into Blaine's stomach.

When he looks at Jesse, he can tell that he is awake and equally unsure of what to do. What Blaine refuses to admit to himself is how right all of this feels. (He doesn't even think about how right it would feel if they were lying in the bed because the three of them all wanted to be there.) So he lies there, refuses to look at Jesse and instead stares at a spot on the wall just to side of Jesse's shoulder. The one time he does look at Jesse, only to confirm that Jesse's doing the same thing, he finds Jesse staring at his lips. It shakes Blaine up more than he thinks that it should. He tries to focus on the fact that he has Kurt but fails miserably.

Rachel awakes up slowly and Blaine tries not to react when her lips press against his bare chest. He knows that Jesse somehow knows by the way his hands tense against his stomach. Blaine thinks that any moment now, Rachel's going to pull away and things will be awkward like they were last night but that moment never happens. Instead Rachel sighs and moves closer to him, inadvertently pulling Jesse closer. It's far too much but at the same time, it's not enough.

Eventually Blaine knows that they'll pull apart from one another and everything will be different. He tries to enjoy the moment as it lingers but the knowledge that it won't, that it can't, last is too persistent. When Rachel shifts in the bed, he uses it to slide out of her embrace, to slide off the bed, to try to force things to go back to the way they're supposed to be, the way that he doesn't want it to be but knows that it has to be.

He ignores the hurt look on Rachel's face and he refuses to look at Jesse. Whatever she has with Jesse will have to be enough for them all. Still Blaine leans down and kisses her, careful since her lip is cut from the attack. Maybe Jesse can convince of the right action to take. He doesn't understand why she wants to protect whoever (Quinn) did this to her but he'll keep her silence until she tells him not to. Her hands tighten around his biceps and he tries to not feel a thing but completely fails.

"You don't have to go," Jesse dryly states.

"I have to. My parents are probably worried and Kurt..." Blaine voice trails off. He doesn't know what to do about Kurt.

Rachel nods up at him and she shifts again, breaking the contact between her and Jesse. The moment is broken and it's his fault.

"Will you be okay?" Blaine stupidly asks.

"Yeah," Rachel tells him. "I'll be fine. I always am."

Her words break his heart more than anything has. The fact that she accepts what is thrown her way is horrifying. He wishes that he could whisk her away to Dalton but knows that he can't. Blaine knows that one day, she'll walk away from this shitty little dead-end town a superstar and she'll never have to look back. He just hopes that she can hang onto that and that it'll be enough to last her for the next few years.

He doesn't hope that she'll forgive him his cowardice once again, he knows that he doesn't deserve that. Still the sight of her in the bed by herself as Jesse has also pulled away from her makes him wish that he was stronger than he is.

((END))