This Is How It Works
His mom always says that intelligence isn’t the only measure of a person.
He’s pretty sure that’s the mom way of saying you’re stupid. He knows he’s stupid, okay? He does. FOIL in Algebra just doesn’t make sense, no matter how many times it’s explained, and the more he reads Faulkner the less he understands. Seriously, though, Faulkner, really? What the hell, dude — they teach you the period on, like, day two of kindergarten.
Anyway, it’s not Finn’s fault that’s he stupid. He can’t, like, magically just be smart. And sleeping on your textbook, by the way, does not work. Puck’s a big, fat, lying asswipe. See, Finn tries really hard to be as smart as he can, but school is boring, and he has to worry about football and Quinn and being cool. Plus, where’re brains gonna get him anyway?
When Rachel asks him about the future, about what he wants from life and what his ambitions are, all he can do is blink stupidly at her. But, actually, that’s one of the times he’s not being stupid. She’s just being crazy. Why does somebody his age have to think about the future and ambitions and all that stuff? He can’t even fathom maybe thinking about it all.
He has enough to think about now, thanks.
So it kind of bugs him that Rachel plants those thoughts in his head. And it really bugs him that it actually makes him really want to be better. Like, it’s totally cool that she thinks he’s talented and he can have a future and he can … do all this stuff. But it puts all these expectations on him. He knows he disappoints her all the time, and he hurts her, but she keeps coming back for more, keeps trusting him, and he doesn’t get it.
He doesn’t get it, but that’s why he likes her. ‘Cause she obviously likes him, so she’s gonna be nice to him, and she’s not gonna try to play games or to manipulate him. She’s Rachel Berry, and she’s better than all that, and she knows it. She’s cool and confident and … and, dammit, he’s sixteen. He can’t explain it all. He’s a teenage boy, and she’s a really hot girl who thinks he’s awesome.
Why does it have to be complicated?
High school isn’t supposed to be this hard.
(Maybe it’s not complicated. Maybe he’s just too stupid to understand it all.)
This is how it works is yet another amazing one-shot by the equally amazing monroeslittle. Written from Finn’s perspective, we get a glimpse of the working of his mind as he battles his insecurities and deals with the connection he has with one Rachel Berry - and with the emotions she (and others) evokes in him throughout the course of their time apart and together.