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Rachel & Finn

FIC: I'm Not That Girl

A Community for Finn/Rachel from Fox's GLEE

Pretending

FIC: I'm Not That Girl

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Title: I'm Not That Girl
Author: respectmyright
Pairing, Character(s): Finn/Rachel, Rachel Berry, Finn Hudson
Rating: G
Word Count: 1462
Spoilers: For the Pilot episode.
Summary: Falling for a boy she couldn't have was never part of Rachel Berry's Master Plan.
Notes: The lyrics are taken from the song "I'm Not That Girl" from the musical Wicked. Cross-posted in a million different places - I apologize if this ends up on your friends page five times!



Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
He could be that boy, but I'm not that girl


Rachel Berry didn't believe in crushes.

When you're already 16 and you haven't been discovered yet, you don't have time for crushes. The clock is ticking, and every minute spent on something that isn't part of your Master Plan to be on Broadway the day after high school graduation at the very latest (while simultaneously attending Juilliard, of course - furthering one's education was key to longevity for a real artist) is another minute wasted. Ambition ruled all; there was no time for feeling sorry for yourself because you had no real friends at school and the Cheerios went out of their way to make your daily life a living hell. With every titter as she passed them in the hallways, with every nasty remark left on her MySpace, with every icy, neon-coloured slushie tossed in her face, she'd learned to grit her teeth and repeat her mantra over and over again in her head as she tried not to cry - When I'm famous, they'll all be begging for my autograph! It worked, because she truly believed it. She had to.

Glee was part of the Master Plan, of course. It was the only place at school where she felt remotely safe, where she felt a little bit like she actually belonged. Mr. Schue understood Ambition; he was trying his best to help her get what she wanted. (She'd considered, at first, a crush on him, but she'd quickly vetoed the idea and wrestled her mind back in line. A crush on a teacher was so clichéd, so Mr. Holland's Opus, and it just wouldn't be practical. Besides, she really didn't have the time.) There was room for romance in the Master Plan, but it wasn't supposed to happen like this. The way she'd planned it, it would've happened when she was an ensemble member in her first Broadway show. She'd fall for the leading man and love him from afar, thinking he'd never notice a lowly chorus member... but then one day, she'd be singing alone on the stage after everyone else had left rehearsal, and he'd hear her as he was leaving the theatre. He'd be struck by her pitch-perfect voice and stop to see who was singing, and after he introduced himself that day, they'd strike up a friendship. When one of the understudies for the female lead dropped out of the show, he'd casually recommend her to the director as a replacement, and by the end of the year, she'd have climbed the ranks to become his leading lady both on and off stage. That was how things were supposed to work. Crushing on a football player-turned-singer who barely knew what a musical was was definitely not part of the Master Plan.

Don't dream too far
Don't lose sight of who you are
Don't remember that rush of joy
He could be that boy; I'm not that girl


She knew that she shouldn't let him affect her mood this much, shouldn't let him matter this much, but somehow, she'd let Finn Hudson waltz into her life and very quickly begin poking giant holes in her once ironclad Master Plan. She kept telling herself he didn't matter, kept reminding herself that really, she barely knew him, but that was the thing - the fact that she had to remind herself at all was a pretty big problem. She didn't have time for these constant reminders, and she definitely didn't have time to think about him constantly, the way she'd found herself doing lately. She didn't like the way his presence threw her focus completely off balance; she didn't like suddenly feeling nervous and anxious - her, Rachel Berry, heart-flutteringly nervous! - every time she walked into a Glee rehearsal, knowing he'd be there. She didn't believe in crushes. This was not supposed to happen!

But she didn't know how to stop it, because for the first time in her life, she'd run into something she didn't know how to control. She can't fix it with a plan or a list; she can't fix it with practice or study or diligence. Her heart and mind aren't working in the orderly way they usually did, and the loss of control scares her.

Every so often we long to steal
To the Land of What-Might-Have-Been
But that doesn't soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in


They're like sparks, the moments she's had with him, little specks of electricity that flared up unexpectedly and burned out bright and fast. There was warmth in the moments, and a strangely consuming joy, but they all went by so fast that sometimes, she can't even remember everything that was said and done. Hold on, her mind says, hold on to the moment, but the moments fade away into a diffused glow and then burn out completely, leaving her grey.

For some reason, he makes her happy. He smiles and she wants to keep that smile with her for so much longer than it lasts; his eyes catch hers and she thinks, They're shining, and she feels like the biggest cheeseball in the world, but it's true. It's true. And she wants more of that, and she wants more than that, but she scolds herself mercilessly for wanting what she can't have.

Blithe smile, lithe limb
She who's winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with a gentle curl
That's the girl he chose
And heaven knows, I'm not that girl


She can't have this boy, because he's taken. He's taken by someone who lives in his world, and she knows that she doesn't; not really. His real world is football and cheerleaders, parties and popularity; Glee was still the semi-embarrassing secret life that lurked in his dark corners. But he smiles at her anyhow, and goes out of his way to talk to her at rehearsals, and sometimes she wonders, Why me? She didn't usually lack self-esteem, but his world was full of blonde cheerleaders with perky ponytails, and she knows that's not her. That'll never be her. And then she wonders if it would make a difference if that was her, if she could be a little less this and a little more that. She hates herself for thinking it, because it's so, so ridiculous - to even think about wanting to be more like those brainless, self-absorbed ditzes - such a girl thought she'd never thought she'd have, but it's there.

She should hate him for it, for inadvertently being the one to plant such a stupid, un-Rachel-Berry-like thought in her head, but she doesn't. She could never hate him. Her, yes - she hates Quinn Fabray far more than she should - but not him. Never him.

Don't wish, don't start
Wishing only wounds the heart
I wasn't born for the rose and the pearl
There's a girl I know; he loves her so
I'm not that girl


There was clearly only one thing she could do, and that was to get over him. Be friendly, be professional, but be done with this crush nonsense, because nothing good could ever come of it. There was no point wasting time she didn't have on someone that would never be hers. There was no point dreaming about could bes and could have beens... no point thinking about the last words he'd said to her, the last time he'd smiled. There was no point anticipating the next time she'd see him, no point in wondering what he'd say next. There was no point lying awake at night, thinking about him; no point wondering what it meant that he'd been consistently showing up in her dreams.

There was no point to any of it, because for every time he smiled at her and momentarily filled her world with joy, there were multiple times when she'd remember that smile and hurt so badly that she forgot how to breathe... because when she walked down the hall, she wasn't walking with him. He was with Quinn, and she was tossing her perfectly-curled ponytail and wrapping her arms around his neck, kissing him in front of everyone because she could. It didn't matter to him that she was nasty and shallow. It didn't matter to him that Quinn struggled to keep her head above water in classes Rachel coasted through confidently, didn't matter that she wouldn't know a thing about what was going on in the world outside of Lima. Quinn was his girlfriend, and she was... what? Not even his friend, yet. His choirmate. His fellow Glee Club member. Someone he thought about when she was there, and forgot about when she wasn't.

Rachel Berry didn't believe in crushes, but somehow, she'd found herself deeply in the midst of one, and didn't know what to do.

- END -


  • Beautiful and deeply moving.
    You are a truly talented writer! :]
  • Very incisive and understanding of Rachel's mindset. And a very well-written portrayal of it! :D Great, great, great job!
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