Hi everyone! Thanks for all the reviews on the last chapter. Those of you who've read my Season 5 will know what's going on in the beginning of this chapter, but we all know that Finchel is forever when I'm writing it. Just tried to stick to canon - because in my canon, Finn's not going anywhere. Enjoy and review if I should keep going!
Chapter 90: Lights Out
Finn hated needles.
He always had. The only time he got shots were when he had his annual doctor's appointments.
At least then, he was seeing the doctor he knew since he was a child. Now he was going to the school nurse's office to get the new required vaccination for faculty members. And even though he was just volunteering, he still counted as a volunteer.
Finn went into the nurse's office, but it wasn't the usual nurse there. This girl didn't look much older than he was. "Hi!" she said. "How are you today?"
"I'm fine," Finn said.
The girl looked at Finn like he was eye candy. "So, what can I do for you?"
"I'm here for the required vaccination," Finn said. "I help with the glee club, I graduated last year."
The girl looked even more excited now. "Oh, so you're not even a student?"
Hadn't Finn just said that? "No. But I really don't like needles."
"No worries," the girl said. "Just sit down." Finn sat down. "What's your name?" she asked.
"Finn," Finn said. "Finn Hudson. Are you the nurse now?"
"No, I'm doing an internship here," the girl said. "I'm in college. I'm Penny, by the way."
"Nice to meet you," Finn said.
Penny injected a shot into Finn's arm as Finn flinched. "You shouldn't have tensed up." She got out some ice and held it to Finn's arm. "So, are you single?"
"What?" Finn asked. That wasn't a question he was sure if he wanted to be asked.
"You heard me," Penny said, rubbing Finn's arm. Was she hitting on him?
"Um, yeah," Finn said.
"How old are you?" Penny asked.
"Eighteen, I graduated last year," Finn said.
"Oh, I'm twenty," Penny said. "So, since you're single and I'm single, what do you say we go out sometime?"
Finn didn't know what to say. He didn't want to go out with anyone right now. He missed Rachel, but after what happened with Brody, he thought she needed some time to herself. "Sure." He just hoped Rachel didn't find out about this.
Rachel looked at her phone. A text from Tina. "Oh, it's Tina," she called to Kurt.
"What's she up to?" Kurt asked. "Hopefully not more with Blaine..."
"You're with Adam," Rachel interrupted. That was for her as much as Kurt and her own situation. She wanted to be with Finn again. But she felt like this time, he needed to be the one to start things up.
"Let's just see what Tina says," Kurt said.
Rachel opened the text and nearly dropped her phone. "Santana's become a girl bar go-go girl."
"A go go girl?" Kurt gasped.
"Oh my god," Rachel groaned. "I can't believe she's doing that."
"She's better than that," Kurt agreed.
Before they had a chance to say anything else, Santana came in. "Um, can you please take a seat, because Kurt and I would like to have a conversation with you," Rachel said.
"All right, you know what, Rachel, if you are still obsessing over what you're gonna sing at your Funny Girl callback, may I suggest your best jam ever, Run, Joey, Run," Santana said.
This wasn't about Rachel. "We think you're throwing your life away."
"It's bad enough you let those horny tourists grope you for tips at that awful Coyote Ugly bar, but Tina just informed me that you are now a bouncer at a lesbian beer garden?" Kurt said.
"And you're a go-go girl," Rachel repeated. "A go-go girl!?"
Santana didn't look at all upset by this. "I am a cage dancer big difference. I'm dressed as Barbarella, and I'm sorry, but some of us actually need to work for a living."
Rachel couldn't believe how casual Santana was being about this. If this was her, she'd be so upset with herself. "Okay, that's not the point. Okay, you're so talented, Santana. You're, like, the most talented person I know, obviously with the exception of me and Kurt. But your voice, it's electric, and I would kill for half of your dancing abilities. So I'm telling you what you told me, which is that you just need to stop and focus on your talent."
"Well, maybe I don't want to be in Funny Girl, okay?" Santana said. "Or be a singing waiter at the Fire Island Pancake Shack. So why don't you just stop trying to force all of your creaky old-time Broadway dreams on to my amazingly awesome dream."
Rachel and Kurt exchanged a look. "And what's that?" Rachel asked.
"I am trying to figure that out," Santana said. "What is so wrong with taking a little time to figure things out?"
Of course nothing was wrong. But Rachel didn't want bad things to happen to Santana, and she wasn't making progress by cage dancing. "Nothing," Kurt said. "But what about doing something in the meantime? Like dance lessons? NYADA has a great extension program for non-students. Something to keep your motors revved, you know."
"My motor is revved every night that I cage dance," Santana said, leaving the living room. "And while I appreciate your pity, I don't really think I need to be taking any advice from TV's Blossom and Lady Elaine Fairchilde."
Rachel looked at Kurt after Santana left. She was glad that Finn had finally found his calling. She just hoped Santana would soon, too.
The date with Penny had been - well, not a date with Rachel.
Penny talked a lot. Maybe even more than Rachel did. But the difference between Penny and Rachel was that Finn was always a part of the talks with Rachel. Penny could go on forever without barely even looking at Finn. Sometimes Finn didn't even make sense of what she was talking about.
For whatever reason, she seemed to like Finn. She talked about how cute she thought he was. Finn was flattered. Not many girls found him cute. And even though she wasn't Rachel - she was someone.
So he agreed to a second date.
Already he was beginning to regret it.
He knew how hurt he'd been when he found out about Rachel and Brody. He knew how much he loved Rachel. It felt like he was doing the same thing to her that she'd done to him.
At the same time though, he felt like he couldn't say no. He was here, Penny was here and Rachel was in New York. As much as he missed Rachel, they were in different states. Even though she wasn't Rachel, at least he wouldn't be alone.
He just hoped Rachel wouldn't find out. Regionals weren't too far away, and he knew Kurt was coming. If Kurt came, he would probably say something...
"Finn!" Finn's thoughts were interrupted. He turned and saw Ryder walking toward him.
"Hey," Finn said.
"Can I talk to you?" Ryder asked.
"Yeah, of course," Finn said.
"Thanks," Ryder said. He pointed at a classroom. "Maybe in there?"
"Yeah, let's go," Finn said. He followed Ryder into the classroom. "What's up?"
"You know how I was into Marley even though she was dating Jake?" Ryder asked.
"Yeah," Finn said. Even though Marley was dating Jake, he thought she would be better off with Ryder.
"Well, I joined an online match website and I met this girl," Ryder began.
"Tell me about her," Finn said.
"Well, she told me her name was Katie," Ryder said. "She posted a photo online. We were talking and I was telling her everything about myself and we had a special connection. I wanted to meet her. Then the day before the gun went off at school, I saw a girl who looked just like the girl in the photo in the hall. I went up to her and sang to her, but she told me that even though that was a picture of her, the person who'd been talking to me wasn't her, they were just using her picture."
"So someone's pretending to be someone else?" Finn asked Ryder. "Are you sure this isn't a trick of some sort?"
"That's what I thought at first," Ryder said. "I thought Marley was doing it to get me to get over her, or Jake was doing it to get me to leave Marley alone. But they both said they didn't know anything about it. Then I asked the person why they lied to me and they said they wanted to get close to me..."
"Are you still talking to this person?" Finn asked.
"Yeah," Ryder admitted. "Even though I don't know who they are... I know I should be mad at them, but I can't... I feel something special with them. We have something that I've never had with anyone else."
"Are you sure they go to this school?" Finn asked.
"When we were on lockdown, I called the number that they'd been calling me on, and a phone rang," Ryder revealed.
So it was someone in glee club. "Hmm," Finn said. "I wonder who it is."
"Yeah," Ryder said. "I just wish they'd tell me."
"If I were you, I'd tell them to tell me who they were or stop talking to them," Finn said.
"You know, I think you're right," Ryder sighed. "I shouldn't keep letting them leading me on. It might just be a trick."
"Yeah," Finn agreed. "You're a great guy and any girl would be lucky to have you."
"You think so?" Ryder asked.
"I know," Finn said.
"You're a really great guy too Finn," Ryder said. "And you'll be lucky in terms of love one day."
"Thanks," Finn said. He was tempted to tell Ryder about what was going on, but since he did still have somewhat of a position of authority, he didn't think he should.
Maybe he should tell Rachel.
He couldn't lie to her.
Rachel sat in the living room when the phone rang. She looked at the phone and saw that it was Finn. "Hey!" she answered the call.
"Hi," Finn said quietly.
"How are you?" Rachel asked.
"I'm fine," Finn said. "How are you?"
"I'm fine, just getting ready for my midterms and my callback," Rachel said.
"That's good," Finn said. "So, I'm back at McKinley."
"You are?" Rachel asked. "That's great! I know how much you liked helping out."
"Yeah," Finn said. "It's good to be back."
"I bet," Rachel said. "So, got the Regionals setlist yet?"
"I can't tell you just yet," Finn teased. "I just wish that you could come back."
"Me too," Rachel said. "It'll probably conflict with my callback though."
"Rachel..." Finn began.
This sounded like he had something to say. "Yes?"
"I'm nervous about Regionals," Finn said.
"You don't need to be," Rachel said. "You'll be great."
Kurt came in, looking excited. "I have to go," Finn said. "I'll call you soon, okay?"
Rachel had a feeling Finn wasn't telling her something. "Okay. Bye." She hung up the phone.
"Ladies? What is the event the Big Apple's hoi polloi must be invited to or they'll pull a Javert and swan dive off the Chrysler Building?" Kurt asked.
Rachel knew. "The New York City Ballet Gala, duh."
"And guess who gets to attend if they just volunteer a few short hours?" Kurt asked.
"Anne Hathaway?" Santana asked.
"It's us, it's us!" Kurt cheered.
Rachel couldn't believe it. She'd always wanted to attend this event. "Are you serious?"
"And just when you thought it couldn't get any gayer, it does," Santana snapped.
Rachel knew this wasn't a joke. "Make fun of it all you want, but the New York City Ballet Gala, it's a celebration of a timeless art. If it wasn't for ballet, I wouldn't be here. It was my gateway into show business. My dance teacher told me that I was a mini Margot Fonteyn. She taught me the power of music, and although that dance studio was just a tiny, moldy Lima storefront, to me, it was the most beautiful place on earth."
"I started ballet at the ripe old age of three," Kurt reminisced. "My mom enrolled me after seeing me in front of the TV, jeteing and debouleing to the Blues Clues theme song. That ballet class was one of the few places that just seemed to fit. And even when I saw some of the kids and their parents laughing at me, something inside my little brain said, 'Screw them. Just go for it, Hummel.' My can-do attitude was born in that room."
"And I skipped all that crap to study the timeless art of crunk," Santana snapped.
Rachel wasn't up for Santana's snark right now. "Look, you can tell Isabelle that I am definitely in."
"Not me, count me out," Santana asked.
"You mean you don't want to wear a designer dress from the legendary Vogue.
com vault that you get to keep as a gift?" Kurt asked.
"I'm in," Santana said.
Rachel knew this was just getting better and better. A dress from ? They had amazing dresses there.
When Rachel, Kurt and Santana arrived at the Vogue vault, Rachel was reminded of trying on wedding dresses. When she finally selected one, she asked Kurt to take a photo and texted it to Finn. "On my way to the New York City Ballet Gala with Kurt and Santana. Thought you might like to see my dress! Wish you could be here - you'd look so cute in a Vogue tux! Miss you!"
"Texting Frankenteen?" Santana asked Rachel.
Rachel didn't know what to say.
"Of course she is," Santana said. "Come on, let's get this over with."
Rachel, Kurt and Santana arrived at the gala, where they met up with Isabelle. Rachel already couldn't believe that she was there. She as volunteering, but there was the performance... and she really wanted to see it. "Miss Isabelle, I'm sorry, I know that we're just volunteers here, but Kurt and I were wondering if there was any possibility that we could maybe watch the performance from the audience?" Rachel asked.
"Absolutely not," Isabelle said. "I'm sorry. You're gonna be watching from the wings with me. It's the best seat in the house." Rachel couldn't believe it.
"Santana, you want to join us?" Isabelle asked.
"Oh, Santana doesn't like ballet," Rachel said. "She's only here for the gown and the swag-bag."
"Oh, I don't believe that," Isabelle said. "Every little girl, no matter where she ends up even at starts out wanting to be a ballerina."
"Not Santana," Rachel said. "We've discussed it."
"Shut up, Berry," Santana said. "I actually did take ballet classes. My abuela put me in them when I was little, because I was such a tomboy and it really pissed my dad off. I only took a few lessons, but it helped me, escape a little, you know? It was the first time I danced." Rachel saw that Santana was looking nostalgic. "I felt safe there, and not different. And part of something beautiful. Listen, I really love dancing. I just am not like you guys. I don't know what I want to do or how I'm even gonna get there."
"But you have plenty of time to figure it out," Isabelle said. "And it doesn't have to be ballet or Broadway, just as long as it's something that you love, something that feeds your soul. And, Santana, baby steps are okay."
"Yeah," Rachel said. "Not everyone knows exactly what they want to do. This is the time to figure it out." Then she felt her phone vibrate. She looked at the text from Finn. "You look beautiful! Have fun tonight!"
Rachel smiled to herself. Here was someone else who'd found his dream.
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