(this just poured out and it’s probably riddled with typos, but my feelings had to go somewhere)
The stage goes dark, and he’s sitting slack jawed in his seat. His eyes can barely make out the small form of his girlfriend as she runs off stage.
He doesn’t want it to be real. It can’t be real. Rachel couldn’t have choked. She’s Rachel. She’s perfect. She knows that song. She lives it and breathes it. It’s her song. She sings it so much that even he knows every word. This couldn’t have happened. It couldn’t.
But it did. She choked. Something in that beautiful, perfect little head went wrong, and now it’s over. The lady wearing the purple turban on her head collects her things and stands up to leave. Kurt flies out of his seat. With tears in his eyes, he asks is there’s any strings he can pull an upcoming NYADA attendee to get Rachel a third shot, but the lady in the purple turban raises her finger at him, and he goes silent as Mr. Schue escorts her out of the auditorium.
The minute she’s gone Kurt starts ranting about how he can’t go to New York alone, and that just pisses him off. How can he say that? No one is allowed to say that Rachel isn’t going to New York.
Finn stands and looks at hi brother with fire in his eyes. “You’re not going alone! It’s not over. She can just-”
“She can just what Finn? That was it! That was her chance! There’s no other school and now it’s over,” Kurt’s high-pitched voice rants. Blaine wraps his arms around him to calm him down.
Now he’s pissed at them both. Why are they upset? “I’m going to find, Rachel. I’ll see you guys later.”
He climbs onto the stage and heads for the curtains he saw Rachel run though. He’s honestly terrified of what he’s going to find, and his feelings are justified, because the small lamp on the director’s table gives off just enough light to help him find his beautiful, amazing, perfect fiancée curled into a tiny ball on the floor and weeping into her hands. He rushes to her and falls to his knees beside her.
His arms wrap around her shoulders, and Rachel desperately clings to him as she buries her face into his shirt. She wails with such violence that she convulses. He doesn’t realize he’s crying until he tries to talk. His voice is hoarse, and he can taste salty tears on his lips as the words pour out of his mouth. “Oh, Rachel…Baby, I’m sorry…I’m so sorry.”
He doesn’t know what else to say. He doesn’t know what to do. This hasn’t ever happened before. He’s never been more terrified for her in his life.
She’s talking, but he can barely hear anything over her sobs. All he can make out is, “E-everything’s ru-ruined…my shot…not going to New York!”
No one is allowed to tell Rachel she’s not going to New York. Not even herself.
He squeezes her tighter. “No! No! You are going to New York. We’re going together remember? That’s what we decided. That’s our dream, and it’s going to happen.”
She shakes her head, and she cries more, and he’s so angry that fate played out this way. He wants to kick the entire world’s ass. “There’s other ways,” he insists. He knows that for a fact. “You’ll get there, babe. You know you will. You’re a star. There’s no other option. You’re going to New York, and you’re gunna be a star, and I’m going to help you. I…I don’t know how, but I will, and I promise everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to, okay? I promise on you and us and everyone that it’ll be okay. It will be okay. I promise, Rachel.”
He hooks his leg under her knees and pulls her legs across his lap. She presses every bit of herself against him like she wants to disappear into him, and he wishes she could. He wishes they could disappear together to somewhere without NYADA and auditions and graduation and grades and people talking, talking, talking to them about how every second that passes is another step closer to adulthood.
He hates it. He hates it all so much. He mind have found his dream, but his dream doesn’t mean anything when Rachel doesn’t have hers. They’re together. Tethered. He only had the courage to say he wants to act because of her, because she wanted New York for the both of them, and because he wanted it to.
And now New York is a million miles away, and it’s not fucking fair. Rachel deserves it. She deserves everything. This, choking, it’s cruel, and he’s so angry, and he’s so sad, and the only thing that hurts more than watching the love of his life fall apart is knowing that whatever he feels, she feels it ten times worse.
He doesn’t know how long they stay there, clinging to one another on the hardwood floor. He hears the faint sound of trashcan wheels. A janitor must be close by, but he’s sure that Rachel’s cries turned the old man away.
He spots her flowers sitting on the vanity, and another wave of tears flow from his eyes as he remembers how he wanted Rachel to put them on her side table that night after they went to Breadstix to celebrate her perfect audition. How he planned on kissing over and over to make for the ones the lost during her preparation. How he wanted to make love to her that night and whisper his adoration into her ear while they brought each other to their peak.
He wants to throw the flowers away - to erase today completely.
But he can’t.
All he can do is hold her while she cries, so that’s what he does.
He carries her out of school, and it’s dark. He drives them to her house at a snail’s pace because she refuses to let go of him while he switches gears. She molds herself against his side as they walk into her house, which is thankfully vacant. He knows that if her dads were home, they would bombard her with smiles that would break her, and she’s stopped bawling her eyes out and resorted to a slow, tired cry. That’s the best he can ask for right now.
They perch themselves on the end of her bed moments later. He doesn’t have any plans to go home. He was supposed to help Puck study, but the guys can handle it. This is where he needs to be right now. If he has to, he’ll meet up with them in the middle of the night.
They sit in silence until she speaks, “My dress is ruined,” all soft and broken.
He shakes his head and plays with the hem. It’s soaked with tears. “It’s pretty.” All of her dresses are pretty.
She ignores his comment, and stands in front of him with her back turn. “Zipper.”
He tugs the metal until the dress parts in two. Wordlessly, she trudges to her closet. Her clothing almost falls off her shoulders as she moves. She’s just so tiny. She exchanges her dress for pajamas – the pair that she wore on Valentine’s Day, he remembers. She pulls the oversized long sleeved shirt and pants on, and turns around.
He opens his arms to her, but she stays rooted in place. “Kurt did a really good job,” she says.
He doesn’t want to talk about Kurt right now, but he wants to talk to her, so he agrees. “Yeah.”
“He got in. Ms. Tibideaux told him so right after he sang.”
Ms. Tibideaux must be the lady in the purple turban. “I know.”
“He didn’t have to wait to find out. Traditionally on Broadway you wait for days, sometimes weeks after an audition to find out if they liked you or not.” Her monotone voice scares him. “When Carmen told him right after, I got excited. I figured she’d do the same for me. I thought I’d know today,” she pauses and presses her lips together, “and I do know. I know I didn’t get in.”
His face falls. “Rach…”
“I didn’t get in,” she repeats. “I didn’t get in. I’m not going to NYADA. I’m not going to school with Kurt. I’m not going to college.” He winces as she starts listing things as if they’re facts that she needs to accept. “I’m not going to live in a dorm and become best friends with my roommate. I’m not going to have acting classes. I’m not going to be in college productions.”
“You can still apply-”
“No!” She screams. “It’s too late. It’s over.”
“It’s not over!”
“Yes, it is, Finn!” She rests her hands on her hips and clenches her teeth. He can see it now. The anger. The fiery rage that he knew was hiding under her tears. “Kurt is going to New York. You are going to New York. I’m not.”
“I’m not going without you,” he insists. Shouldn’t she know that?
“Yes, you are. You have to. You deserve it.”
Lie. “You deserve it.”
Her curls vibrate as she shakes her head. “I thought I did. I thought that it was a guarantee. I thought that song was a guarantee.” He wants to tell her she’s wrong, but she doesn’t give him the chance. She stalks over to her bedazzled CD player and pops open the lid. He recognizes the art on the CD. Funny girl. “That stupid song!” She growls, takes the disc between both hands, and snaps it into two pieces. He’s so shocked by her actions that he doesn’t have time to stop her before she marches towards her Funny Girl poster and rips it off the walls, screaming, she tears the paper to shreds. “Stupid stupid song!”
“Rachel!” He gasps and jumps to his feet and tries to take what’s left of the poster away. She’s going to regret this. She’s going to cry about this later, but she won’t let go! She just keeps screaming over and over. It’s a stupid song! It’s a stupid song! “Baby, stop it. Please!”
When he finally wrestles the material away from her, she sobs have overtaken her again. Brokenly, her eyes close, and she starts muttering, “Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putta / Life’s candy and the sun’s a bowl of butter / Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade / Don’t tell me not to fly, I’ve simply got to / If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you / Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade.”
He drops the torn paper and engulfs her in his arms. She presses her face to his chest and chokes on her tears. “I know it. I know it.”
He feels the tears spring back into his eyes. “I know you do, Baby.”
Her chest spasms. She can barely breathe, and she’s shaking uncontrollably. “I k-know it! I’ve known it s-since I was two! W-why d-did I forget, Finn?”
He doesn’t know. He wishes he did. He wants to tell her that it was a mistake, an accident, that it happens to everyone, but she’s Rachel Berry. She’s better than everyone. There wasn’t anything he could do. All he can do is hold her while she cries.
So that’s what he does.