Title: In the Audience
Pairing/Characters: Jesse St. James, Rachel Berry, implied Finn Hudson/Rachel Berry
Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and company.
Prompts: Written for 5_prompts' VRD challenge for the prompt of green with jealousy.
Notes: Set after Season One,
Summary: There's a determination about her that was missing last year.
Word Count: 614
He knows that he really shouldn't be here, not when he has midterms to prepare for back at UCLA. Yet here he is in Lima, in the back of a packed auditorium watching three Glee clubs complete for the chance at going onto Regionals. He doesn't bother lying to himself as to the why he's there. He's honest enough to admit that he's there so that he can see her .
The first two clubs that take the stage are boring, trite and predictable. The only reason why he hasn't fallen asleep is because half of the kids on stage can barely carry a tune. Much less harmonize together. When the lights dim for the third time, Jesse is instantly rigid in his seat, waiting for New Directions to take the stage and wow the crowd. He hates to admit it but Schuester's ragtag band of misfits, outcasts and freaks are clearly a cut above what has already been offered here.
With the opening note, his focus is completely on Rachel. Her recent Myspace videos haven't done her justice. He notes with a grim pride that her performance has improved, and he wonders how much of the polish of her performance has to do with the betrayal of both Shelby and himself. Jesse knows Rachel Berry because she's just like him and he knows that what he did to her, what her own mother did to, have caused her to push herself harder and further since he last saw her. There's a determination about her that was missing last year.
When Finn wraps his clumsy hands around her waist as they sing and dance their way into Ohio Glee Club legend, Jesse feels himself go green. It's so clichéd that he should be that jealousy of Finn touching Rachel but he is. He feels sick to his stomach and as they launch into a tender duet where their voices blend perfectly, he hastily stands up and rushes out of the auditorium to the bathroom.
Once he's finished vomiting, Jesse doesn't want to go back into the auditorium. He doesn't want to watch any more of New Directions' performance nor does he want to stick around to see them take first place. But he's a sucker for punishment so he slips back in and resumes his seat, his eyes glued to her every movement. His stomach turns every time Finn looks at her or touches her but he manages to stick it through until the very end. And he watches as she wraps her arms around Finn's neck when the announcement is made that they've won, as if there was ever any doubt.
Later when he's in his rental car driving back to the airport, his phone beeps. Jesse pulls it out at a red light and reads the text message.
Don't come back again.
He doesn't wonder how she knew that he was there. He just accepts that she does, just like he knew she was out in the audience in Regionals watching his every moment, listening to every note that came out of his mouth. Jesse shoves his phone back in his pocket and he thinks that this casual command of hers, hurts more than anything else did.
Rachel Berry is going to be a star someday and he realizes that he's completely destroyed any chance that he will ever have with her. Not by being in the audience tonight, he's fairly positive that they both know where he'll be during Nationals. Instead his refusal to accept that Shelby didn't know what was best for her daughter or for him is what has destroyed any chance that he might have had with Rachel Berry.
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