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Drabble: Tiny Little Fractures


His arms are starting to hurt, but they stay where they are, wrapped tightly around her small body as her frantic shudders are reduced to small, barely there tremors, the fingers curled into the fabric of his shirt releasing their grip. Her body is rigid, and if it weren’t for the way her tears are causing her whole body to shake, she wouldn’t be moving at all.

She’s been crying for hours. She hasn’t stopped crying since he ran up to her frozen body on the stage, his long, awkward arms carefully gathering her slowly unravelling body into his arms.

She broke down the second he engulfed her, and he’s been trying to put her back together ever since.

He wishes that he were better at this. He wishes that he knows what to do, what to say to make those tears stop, to stop her heart from breaking.

But he doesn’t. He’s not like her, he doesn’t know the words to say to fix this, he has never known them. He’s not like her, and the way she always knows the words that could heal his hurt. He doesn’t know what to say. He doesn’t know what to do.

And this is killing him.

He holds her closer, pulling her as close to him as possible, and as she finally sags against him, he leans down to whisper against her hair.

“It’s okay. It’s going to be okay Rachel.”

He feels her shaking her head against him, her fingers making their way back to his arms, her grip so tight that he feels her nails digging into his skin.

“It’s not,” she chokes out. “Nothing is okay. I- I failed-“

“Rachel, no-“

“I blew it. That was my one chance and I blew it, and I’m never getting another one again.”

He wants to tell her she’s wrong. She’s a star. From the moment he met her and for the rest of his life, she’s always going to be a star. Can’t she see that?

But he can’t put his thoughts into words, can’t articulate them into anything more than a sharp shake of his head and a convicted “You’re wrong”.

He pulls away from her, tugging against her jaw to gently force her to look up at him, and the look on her face feels like another sharp stab to his chest. Her bangs stick to the wet spots on her skin, her eyes puffy and barely open from the lashes that have clumped together. Quietly, he brings a hand up to her face, his giant, stubby fingers pushing her hair back, silently separating her lashes as the tears keep falling furiously down her cheeks.

“You’re a star Rachel,” he whispers, and as she starts to shake her head, her lips trembling, he leans down to kiss her forehead, moving his lips over her closed eyes, trailing the tears down her face as he holds her tighter.

“You are,” he whispers against her cheek. “No matter what happened today.”

She doesn’t say a word, and a sharp sting of desperation shoots up from the bottom of his toes, straight up his spine, knowing that she doesn’t believe a single word that he’s saying.

He can’t fix this.

There’s a glass of water on her vanity, placed there quietly by a worried Hiram almost two hours ago, before her father left them, shooting Finn a meaningful look while Rachel ignored him. He heard Leroy slamming the front door about a half hour later, and the quiet, furious whispers that did not lead to his footsteps outside her door, and he knows they’re hoping he could help her.

But he can’t, obviously. Because she’s still crying, and he’s just sitting here like a douchebag, holding her and not saying anything.

She lets out a small hiccup that leads to a string of longer ones, and he pulls away from her in alarm.

“I’m just getting you some water,” he tells her soothingly when she tightens her hold on him.  It takes two long strides to reach the glass, and two long strides to reach her again, and when he slowly puts the glass up to her lips, she doesn’t resist, taking a small sip of water.

“We’re going to get you out of this dress, okay baby?” he says quietly. Every word that comes out of his mouth has been quiet for the past four hours, because he’s too afraid to speak in anything louder than a whisper. She’s still not saying anything, but she doesn’t fight it when he pulls against the zipper at her back. She’s moving on autopilot as she steps out of her dress, standing in front of him in her bra and lucky panties, the pink one with white ruffles on the edges, and there’s that stab again when he thinks about how all her superstitions have let her down.

It’s just not fair. It’s so fucking unfair, because nobody deserves this more than her, and she didn’t get it.

He pulls out the first pair of pants he sees, and she obediently puts them on. It’s getting late, and he promised Puck that he would be at the choir room an hour ago, but he can’t leave her like this.

She stands in the middle of her room in her pajamas, and she looks even smaller now than she ever did before, looking up at him with those large brown eyes still filled with tears.

Her lips start to tremble, and before he could reach her, she’s falling apart again, sagging against him once his arms are around her, crying uncontrollably.

Ssh,” he whispers, pulling her up against him, half carrying, half dragging her back to the edge of the bed. He sits them down, wrapping his arms tightly around her as she breaks again.

He can’t fix her.

All he can do, is hold her while she cries.

And he’ll do that for however long he has to.