Title: See You For Who You Are
Pairing/Characters: Tina, Finn (sort of Tina/Finn)
Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and company.
Prompts: Written for clockwork_jo who wanted Tina/Finn and “I see something in you that you don't.” (Written for the small fandom & raring paring drabblethon.)
Notes: Set during the first season of Glee.
Summary: Tina sees a side of him that Finn doesn't show to anyone at school
Word Count: 541
Tina's not sure when she starts to notice Finn. He had always just been a jock to her before but suddenly she sees him as something more. He's more real to her, more fleshed out, and he's definitely full of the same insecurities that they all are. Even though he should be the most confident guy in school: he's the star of the football team and he dates the head cheerleader, he's not really that confident.
When he joins Glee, she's surprised. Yet she's secretly happy. She somehow knows that he'll be the glue that'll help hold them all together under Mr. Schuester's guidance. Tina's not sure why she decides to call him shortly after Rachel had complied all their phone numbers together and handed them each a list of what she calls the “Glee Phone Tree” but Tina had punched his phone number and then waited for him to answer.
She stutters when he answers the phone almost unable to speak, her tongue is so tied, but he seems okay when she starts to talk to him about Glee and their shared chemistry class. The next day, it's Finn who calls her, frustrated with their chemistry homework and he asks her to come over to help him study. Tina agrees and before she knows it, her dad's dropped her off at Finn's house.
Tina sees a side of him that Finn doesn't show to anyone at school. She's not even sure that Finn's aware of it. He's more than just the jock she had once thought of him as. Tina smiles at something he says and she realizes just how easily she could fall for him. But she can't and she won't. After all Finn's dating Quinn and should Quinn ever leave the picture, Rachel's more than willing to claim Finn as her own. And even if Quinn and Rachel weren't there, Tina knows that someone like Finn would never look twice at her.
Later when he aces a test in their chemistry class, Finn meets her at her locker with a goofy smile on his face and Tina thinks that she can almost see a future with him. One where Quinn and Rachel are on the sidelines and Finn's more than just a stupid jock. Before she can react to that image, Finn's turning away from her, walking away from her and towards Quinn. They're just friends and that's all they'll ever be. Still for a moment, it hadn't seemed like that.
Tina lets him go with a smile. They're just friends after all and she has no hold over him. The time just isn't right for them and it might not ever be. But she's glad they're friends, with her Finn seems to be more than just a two dimensional cut out of who Quinn wants him to be. Or of whom Rachel wants him to be. With Tina, Finn is just Finn. A teenage boy who plays football and video games and is struggling to keep his chemistry grade up because he doesn't like bringing home bad grades for his mother to worry over. He doesn't have to live up to a hundred petty expectations. And with Finn, Tina feels like she can be herself as well.
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