Something Good Can Work
AN: Just an interesting pairing I thought I'd try. Also, Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy, not me. Enjoy!
Looking from Quinn's sick face to Finn's, Sam finally understood. He had been too preoccupied with the blond cheerleader (well, ex-cheerleader) and his rising status to notice it until now. The fact that she had always hesitated before saying "I love you too," the glances that she had given Finn after the championship game – Sam could steal Finn's star position, his place in the hierarchy, heck, even his sectionals solo, but he would never fully have Quinn.
And, gazing down at Finn as he sniffled and coughed, Rachel understood too. She had never really been Finn's first choice; it wasn't until Quinn had revealed her pregnancy betrayal that he had even approached her as a possible girlfriend. And then, at the first sign of interest from Santana and Brittany, he had left her in the dust again. No matter how much Rachel cared for him, no matter how many presents she gave him or how much affection she showered on him, the quarterback would always relish his "power couple" reputation with Quinn more than he could ever appreciate Rachel.
And that was fine. She wasn't going to look back – she was done with Finn. Hell, she was done with men. Rachel Barbra Berry was back, and nothing was getting in her way this time. She would hold her head up high, march alone through the halls like before, and, on the weekends, sit on the couch with a tub of ice cream and "Funny Girl." God, it was pathetic.
Finn and Quinn went official with their relationship a few days after Tina had caught them making out in the auditorium after school. The gossip surrounded Sam and Rachel, but each of them put their masks on – Rachel had her I'm-more-talented-than-you-imbeciles face, while Sam his under his I'm-a-dumb-jock facade. And they survived; both alone and too proud to show it. However, neither one acknowledged the other.
Until Mr. Schue and his damn "Fate" put them together, that is.
"Alright, guys! This week's assignment is about emotion. Regionals are coming up, and you know that as a group, our strength is displaying how we feel in song. If we want to beat the Warblers, we gotta practice." With that, Mr. Schue clapped his hands and bounced energetically. "We will be singing in pairs, but I thought it would be more interesting if Fate –" the classed groaned loudly, but Mr. Schue just grinned maniacally. " – if Fate would pair you up. Here's the hat – Santana, come on down!"
Santana got Lauren, Brittany was partnered with Mike, Finn was with Tina, Puck had Quinn, Artie partnered Mercedes, and finally, there was no one left but Sam and Rachel. They looked at each other curiously, neither upset nor ecstatic.
"Well, I guess that's it; we'll start performing these next week. Get to work!" With that, the pairs started discussing song choices. Sam and Rachel cautiously approached each other, eying the other one carefully.
"Hello, Sam. I know you are not enjoying this, so let us get this over with quickly, shall we?" Sam was puzzled. Had he sounded to annoyed when he said hey? Maybe Rachel was just in a bad mood...
"Are you even listening to me?" The blond quickly snapped out of his reverie and turned to face a seemingly irritated Rachel.
"Oh, sorry- I just...got distracted." To his surprise, Rachel didn't blow up. She simply nodded quietly. Come to think of it, the tiny brunette had been acting subdued ever since the Fuinn show started again. He could tell that she was trying to move on and be strong, but the Jewish girl seemed to be a shadow of her former self.
Just like him.
"Anyways, let's just pick a song, shall we? I was thinking that since we have something in common, we could sing about..."
"No," Sam interrupted suddenly. "Singing a song about heartbreak would be like letting them winning. Letting them get to us. And we," he said fiercely, indicating the two of them, "aren't losers. We are going to sing a rocking duet that will be like sticking our middle finger up to those two!" To Sam's complete shock, Rachel giggled. Actually giggled. Now grinning proudly, Sam was suddenly hopeful. Looked like things were looking up.
"Okay, how about we meet tomorrow after school? We can go over more songs then."
"Cool with me. Where are we gonna meet?"
"Well...if it is acceptable to you, my house is always free. However, if this arrangement is uncomfortable for you, we can always–"
"Your house is cool. Hey, I'll drive you there."
"I think I will take you up on that offer."
The next day, Sam was walking to fifth period English when he saw his duet partner at her locker. Just as she was going to her next class, a couple of hockey players (the football team and New Directions seemed to have reached an uneasy truce) casually some slushies at the poor girl's face and walked away, laughing. Anger and concern surged through the blond jock and he jogged over to a sopping wet Rachel Berry. She seemed to be holding herself together with some difficulty, and she opened her locked again to get a change of clothes.
"I'm gonna go after those puckheads and –" Rachel interrupted Sam quietly, sounding defeated.
"Don't. If you confront them, it's just going to get worse. Please, don't make it harder for me." Sam was now seeing red. A small part of his mind wondered where these protective feeling were coming from, but he quickly dismissed it to just being concerned for a fellow Gleek.
"But, Rachel- they just slushied you without a second glance! That's not fair at all!"
"I have come to find out that life isn't fair, Sam. Anyways, I have to go clean up. And I'm going to be late for Chemistry again."
"Let me help you." Sam uttered the words before his brain could even catch up with what he was saying. He, Sam Evans, was going to help Rachel freaking Berry? It was too weird. But, he realized, he didn't give a crap.
"Sam, that's sweet, but I don't really –" The jock cut her off determinedly.
"Come on. Let's get you cleaned up." Rachel seemed to deflate and nodded mutely. Sighing, she walked to the girl's bathroom and turned on one of the sinks. Sam gently started washing the cherry syrup out of Rachel's hair. His brain couldn't even process the weirdness of it all, and the only thought in his head was this feels nice. After Rachel's hair was clean and dried, she went into one of the stalls, and came out in one of her regular dress-and-tights ensembles. She walked uncertainly up to Sam and, after a moment's hesitation, hugged him fiercely. The blond was taken aback, but then wrapped his arms around the tiny brunette. The only thing he could think about was how they kind of fit together perfectly.
He was probably just imagining that part, though.
Rachel stepped back and wiped her eyes. She took a long, shaky breath, and then looked up at Sam and smiled softly. It wasn't one of her too-bright, unnatural smiles; this one was soft and natural and real.
"I just want to thank you, Sam...for taking the time to do that. That's – that's the first time anyone has ever done that for me." Sam smiled back at her reassuringly.
"Well, it won't be the last. Miss Rachel Berry," he took a mock bow and offered his arm pompously, causing her to giggle. "would you do me the honor of letting me walk you to class? And, after that," he lowered his voice and said earnestly, "I would like it if you were my friend." Rachel stared at him in shock. For a moment, Sam thought he had screwed up. Then, she smiled one of her genuine smiles.
"Of course I would, good sir." With that, she took his arm and the two of them strolled down the hallways of McKinley. Sam looked down at Rachel, and Rachel looked up at Sam, and they grinned at each other brightly. The same thought ran through both of their heads:
I could get used to this.
AN: I think I will be making this a multi-chap; there's so much more potential in this pair! Anyways, thanks for reading, and hopefully there will be more to come.