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He listens to her heartbeat when she falls asleep on her bed one night, exhaustion creeping up on her until she succumbs to the relentless pull of fatigue. She lies back on her bed until she sinks into the pillows, her deep brown hair fanning across the sheets like silk, shiny and smooth. He wants to touch her but he can’t; it’s not right. Just because she’s his girlfriend, doesn’t mean he can take advantage of her while she’s at her most vulnerable.

So he leans down until his head is level with her right shoulder, closes his eyes, and listens.

Sometimes he thinks her heartbeat is the only consistent thing in his whole life. It steadily thumps against her chest, strong and steady, lulling into a softer beat as her body rests and regains energy. Her skin feels so smooth under the thin camisole she’s wearing, and he rubs his cheek against her shoulder in the smallest of movements so he could revel in it’s softness. He falls into frivolous daydreams and imagines his heart beating to the same rhythm as hers. With a wicked grin, he realizes that he could sleep here too, right alongside her. Wrapped up in the scent of Rachel, in the essence of her beauty, it would be so simple to feign ignorance and just fall deeper and deeper into his fantasies until he had joined her in slumber. It would be effortlessly easy. No one would even blame him for it. It would be the simplest of accidents.

But he doesn’t do it, because he needs to do this the right way. He has to make a good impression on Mr. and Mr. Berry, and prove to Rachel that he’s no longer Finn Hudson-the-fuckup. He is now Rachel’s boyfriend, her partner in crime. Not only is he her co-captain, but she’s the other half of him, his missing piece. As long as they’re together, they were a united front. A team.

So instead of falling asleep next to her, he just listens. Listens to the sound of her heart. Hoping that it beat for him, and him only.

He kisses her on the cheek softly before leaving, the words “I Love You’ scribbled on a note next to her bed. He idly wonders when she’ll say the words. He wasn’t going to push her, but it still stung to know that the summer was over already and she hadn’t said them yet. But he ignores this idle, yet persistent, thought and slowly lifts himself off of the bed, careful as to not disturb her. He smiles softly as she sleeps without a single stir, and it already feels like his heart is beating out-of-sync. He runs to his car without looking back, afraid of his own weakness, and knowing that if he stays a minute longer, he will change his mind.

Heartbeat is a short one-shot by The_Minsk, set in the time after Finn and Rachel got together after Sophomore year. It’s just a sweet little story about Finn’s feelings for Rachel and how they express themselves.