Title: So This is Goodbye
Pairing/Characters: Rachel Berry/Jesse St James
Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and company.
Prompts: Written for snoozin81's prompt of it didn't have to end this way at the Doomed Ship Comment Ficathon.
Notes: Just a short piece set after Regionals during “Journey.”
Word Count: 359
As she stares up him, Rachel realizes that whatever they shared together had to end in the way that it did. It didn't have to end with him staring down at her triumphantly. She's not foolish enough to think that they would have ended up together and happy, but she knows that they didn't have to end up in hate with one another.
Her mouth tightens as she folds her arms against her chest, waiting for whatever he's going to do. Years from now she'll use this moment and every other moment that occurred between them to further her career but right now, she knows that whatever he's going to do will hurt just like how he had egged her and told her that he had loved her. Even if Rachel knows that he still does love her.
When he remains still, she finally snaps at him.
“Come to gloat Jesse?”
Her words seem to have an affect on him and for a brief moment, she sees beneath the perfect mask he wears, the boy who actually loves her still even now. It's gone in an instant, replaced with the consummate actor, the one who could lie to her while he manipulated her.
“Did you really think that you ever had a chance at winning?”
“It doesn't matter what I thought Jesse,” Rachel tiredly replies.
“No it doesn't, but you should get used to the taste of defeat Rachel, you'll never make it.”
She laughs at his words and wonders how she ever thought he'd hurt her. He's just going to say all of the things that he thinks will hurt. But Rachel knows that they had given it their best and that their best was better than his. She cups his jaw and stands up on her tiptoes and kisses him. A brief, chase kiss of goodbye, at least for now, Rachel knows that sooner or later their paths will meet again.
“It didn't have to be like this, Jesse.”
She turns and walks away from him. More concerned about her friends, about Quinn and Puck than she is about him or the fact that New Directions lost.
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