Rachel liked to entertain herself with the notion of that it was on her own accord that she was strong; that she was able to ignore the constant bullying and humiliation that happened at McKinley High. Yet if she was truly able to tell herself this and make herself believe it, then it would be a lie. Sure, she acted as if she knew everything and that nothing got to her, but deep down, it was a lie. A facade, a facade that she didn’t know how much longer she could keep up. Jesse had been able to help, when he had been attending, but then she had panicked; he had seen her medication when he was at her house and knew just how well and truly she was messed up. Noah had known since the time he had come round to do duets with her, and Finn? Well, Finn made out he cared about her but was just as quick as the others to tear her down and belittle her.
And so she pushed them away. It was remarkably easy if she was honest, she just did the video for Run Joe Run, and none of them wanted to talk to her in the aftermath. And she could understand why, because she didn’t want to be her, let alone want to talk to someone like her, which was how she found herself in the situation currently at hand. Staring down at her sleeping pills, along with her bottle of Lithium pills which were both now empty. Her fathers before leaving had commented on how she hadn’t taken her tablets in a while, and ‘darling, you can see it’s affecting you, why don’t you start taking them again?’
I’ve took them, daddy, she thought, watching in a detached sense of wonder as her body shook. She should probably tell someone, but who? No body cared. Except Jesse. Even though he had been mad he said he had understood why she had done it. I’m sorry for what is to come, Jesse x she sent the text before curling up, feeling sharp stabbing pains in her stomach, and closed her eyes, groaning, not having felt the kind of pain she was in before. At least she had had the thought of writing notes to all the people she wanted to say goodbye to. At least they’d understand. Hopefully.
She felt her phone vibrate almost instantly, and she figured it was Jesse, he was probably texting her to tell her he didn’t want to talk to her, she thought. She threw the phone weakly and it slid out of her reach. Good. She didn’t want to hurt anyone else. She didn’t want to be in anymore pain. Why was she in so much pain? It hurts so much, was the final thought she had, tears rolling down her face, arms wrapped around her stomach, before she slipped into unconsciousness.
Waking up to the sound of machines beeping, Rachel groaned, realizing she hadn’t succeeded in her plan. Fucking wonderful, she thought bitterly. And then she felt the pain, causing her to gasp out loud. “I got you. It’s gonna be okay, you’re going to be okay,” she heard a female voice say, and a hand smooth her hair back, and she hoped it was her mum. She whimpered, and the female made soothing noises, “just breathe, sweetheart… you’re okay, I promise, just breathe,” she did as she was instructed and felt the pain fade slowly, and she took a deep breath once more, before opening her eyes.
To her (nice) surprise, it was her mother, although it looked as if she hadn’t moved from her bedside, and it seemed she wasn’t alone. Please, please for the love of god, don’t be Mr. Shue, she begged, and then the male blinked tiredly, lifting his face, and she let her head fall back, because it wasn’t Mr. Shue. It was Jesse. “Rach, I don’t know whether to be amused that you didn’t want that guy here, or insulted you thought I was him,” he murmured softly, something she was eternally grateful for because her head was pounding. Still, she couldn’t help but let out a soft laugh, before grimacing at the pain it caused her head. He instantly looked contrite, and she gave him a tired smile. How the hell was she still tired?
“don’t be an idiot, Jesse, it’s not your fault…” she trailed off, wondering if they were mad at her.
“how are you doing now, then? Actually that’s a pretty stupid question considering the situation I guess-” she laughed softly, before interrupting him, realizing belatedly that she had really missed him.
“I’m fine, Jesse, tired, but fine,” he looked as if he wanted to say something but nodded, and gave her a smile that made her stomach do flips because of.
”for how long,” it came out of nowhere and she tilted her head up to her mother, grateful for the fact that the lights were extremely dim. Her confusion must have shown, for her mother continued, “how long were you bottling this up?” Rachel swallowed a lump and looked down at the cover, not meeting either of their eyes.
“Rach?” it was quiet, but she looked up into Jesse’s eyes, and realised he needed to know.
“a while,” she mumbled, unable to tear her gaze away from Jesse’s, “I tried to push everyone away -well, I succeeded, actually, if you think about it -because I knew that sooner or later they’d see me for who I really was and not the facade I put up, and they wouldn’t want that anymore or be able to cope with it. It was easier to push them away before they got even more hurt,” she whispered and she felt her eyes well up at the pain in Jesse’s gaze, which she hadn’t broken, “I thought I’d drag them down with me, you see.
I felt as if everybody was miles away from me, and I couldn’t get to them. Or maybe I didn’t want to, not all of them anyway. Most of them hate me and I wish I could be mad, but I can’t, because I do too. And I was in so much pain, no body else saw, they didn’t care about me or wanted to be near me, and I just wanted it to end, I didn’t want to feel that anymore. I just wanted someone to care,” she whispered and felt the tears fall. With the last admission, Jesse got up and dragged his chair to the side of Rachel and sat back down, grabbing hold of her hand, and she squeezed his hand tightly, “I just wanted someone to care,” she whispered brokenly, and he brushed her hair back softly with his other hand,
“Rach, I care,” she felt her lip quiver, and he gently wiped the tears away, “I care, Rach. Your mum cares, and in her own weird way, Quinn cares,” Rachel’s face must have shown her confusion once more because he laughed softly, “the only reason she isn’t here, Rach, is because she went to get you your clothes, and take a shower. She hadn’t left before this morning.” he explained, and she choked out a sob, and he leaned over, ignoring how awkward the position was, and hugged her, rubbing her shoulder in place of her back.
“we’re here, darling, we care,” he whispered, and just as the door opened, with Quinn walking in with Brittany, she sobbed louder, all of the pent up feelings coming out of her, and he felt himself choke up, feeling guilty for not realizing how long she had dealt with things on her own. Shelby let out a sniff, not heard by Rachel, but heard by Quinn, who gave her a soft smile, and signaled it was okay to leave for a few moments. Once she was out of the door, Quinn sat down in the place Shelby had taken to sitting in, and held Rachel’s other hand, and Rachel sniffed, pulling away from Jesse slightly who went and sat down in one of the chairs beside Brittany, who rubbed his shoulder, hidden from Rachel’s view.
“hey,” Quinn whispered to her, and she let out a watery laugh, before whispering back,
“hey to you too,” and Quinn chuckled, squeezing her hand,
“i heard what Jesse said, Rach, and it’s true. All of it. I swear, I don’t always know how to show it, but I swear to god, I care,” she realised Quinn was serious then, and she gave her a weak smile, before squeezing Quinn’s hand,
“I care about all of you too,” she whispered and Quinn nodded, curling up in the chair, before combing her fingers through Rachel’s hair, seemingly helping her, and Rachel, calm down.
“i wrote a song for you,” she looked to Brittany, and felt her lips twitch at the sight of Jesse leaned over, his head resting against Britt’s and sleeping, before she registered the words, and felt shock course through her. Some of it must have shown, since the blonde smiled, “we were doing original songs, if you remember,” Rachel nodded, remembering that, since she had written hers and put it in the envelope to Mr. Shue, “well, when we heard what had happened, I needed to let you hear how I cared. I don’t do well with words,” she let out a soft laugh, and so did Rachel, although she shook her head in disagreement.
“you do wonderful with words, Brittany, you just aren’t as good when the teachers rush you. When you have the time to sort through them, you do wonderfully,” Brittany gave her a bright smile, her eyes glossy from a sheen of tears and Rachel hoped it wasn’t because she offended her.
“well, this is what I wrote, or composed, whatever, Mr. Shue corrected me on,” Rachel felt annoyance pang through her body at the mention of their teacher and seemingly by her fingers briefly tightening whatever they were doing in her hair, so did Quinn, “but I think it’s nice, even if he does say it’s too simple,” she huffed for a moment, so un-Brittany, that Rachel laughed softly, before she continued, “would you like to read it?” the vulnerability on her face was so raw, and Rachel felt herself nod, before smiling, knowing that it was a shaky smile at best,
“honestly, Britt? I’d love nothing more,” she let the sincerity seep through her words, because it was true, and Brittany seemed to gather this, for she smiled one of her blinding smiles, before shifting slightly, obviously wanting to try and not wake Jesse. She wouldn’t have a problem, Rachel thought ruefully, he could sleep through an earthquake.
“alright then, it’s called You’ll never walk alone,” she cleared her throat, and Rachel knew straight away she’d end up crying,
“When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There's a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone” once Brittany was done, Rachel was crying once more, and Quinn had joined in, the two of them moved by the ‘simple’ song.
“Britt, I love it, it’s beautiful,” she said through her crying, and Brittany smiled, seemingly not bothered that the two girls were only just composing themselves after five minutes of crying.
“Thank you Rachel, so are you,” Rachel bit her lip, ready to disagree, but Quinn squeezed her hand, and instead she gave Brittany a soft smile, and Brittany seemed to have forgotten about Jesse as she hopped out of her seat, evidently going to leave. Rachel opened her mouth to say something, just as Quinn did, and they both watched in shock as he slumped, his head banging on the seat next to him, jerking him awake, and he stared confused at the three girls.
There was silence before Rachel burst into laughter, Quinn following, and Brittany and Jesse confused at what the two found so funny.