Oh Trouble, Please Be KindCharacters/Pairings:
Blaine, Rachel, Finn; mentioned Blaine/Kurt, Finn/RachelRating:
through 3x18; noneWord Count:
Title and lyrics are from "Trouble" by Cat Stevens.Summary:
Blaine visits Rachel during Shiva.
I'm beat, I'm torn,
Shattered and tossed and worn,
Too shocking to see,
Too shocking to see.
- Cat Stevens
Oh Trouble, Please Be Kind
Blaine went to Rachel's house during Shiva once with Kurt, sitting quietly with her and her fathers, wishing he could find the right words as she gripped Kurt's hand, tears streaming down her face. It was a painful experience.
But here he is, the next day, walking through their open door, even though he feels wrong for doing so.
(He knows that it's tradition to leave the front door unlocked, "so that visitors can enter without knocking or ringing the doorbell, which would distract the mourners from their grief," but he still feels weird walking into someone's home unannounced.)
He rubs his right wrist, bare without his watch (he wasn't sure if it counted as jewelry, but he took it off to be safe) and walks to the living room where the three of them are sitting on the ground ("a modest way of externalizing the depth of ones internal sorrow").
Rachel is wearing the same lounge pants and shirt she was in yesterday and her fathers seem to be in the same garments as well (he guesses they're being quite orthodox with their Shiva). He nods at them, feeling awkward as he sits down next to Rachel.
The silence is stifling, but Blaine did a lot of research on this and he's not supposed to talk unless the mourners initiate, so he bears with it, consciously making sure his leg doesn't shake restlessly.
He looks across the room and Hiram has a comforting arm around Leroy's shoulders, both wearing expressions of pure sorrow that makes his heart ache in so many different ways.
(Rachel's so lucky her parents care that much about her; would his parents care like that if his dreams suddenly shattered?)
"You didn't have to come again."
Blaine turns his head to Rachel, who's now sitting cross-legged, her knees pulled tight to her chest. He's never seen her look so dejected and it breaks his heart.
"I'll come every day for you, Maria," he tells her, arm twitching to wrap around her in comfort, but he's not sure about the protocol for physical contact, if there is a rule for it. (There are a lot of rules and regulations for keeping Shiva – he can't keep track of them all.)
He hoped that would illicit a smile – she demanded that they call each other by their characters' names the week before the play so it would 'really be natural' by opening night, but it just makes her frown.
"You should be celebrating with Kurt."
He winces a little at that because yes, they have celebrated and will no doubt do so once he leaves her house, but right now, he wants to focus on her because no matter how happy he is for Kurt, he's still so sad for Rachel.
"I know you probably don't want to hear this, that Kurt's told you already, but…NYADA may not have been a given, but you're future is – it doesn't matter if along the way you go to one performing arts school or another, you're still going to end up on Broadway."
She remains silent. At least she didn't immediately kick him out for trying to be optimistic.
To his surprise though, she inches close enough so that she can rest her head on his shoulder. "This is okay, right?" she asks in a quiet voice that makes his throat close up.
He immediately wraps an arm around her waist, holding on tightly. "Of course it is."
When she starts crying, he has to bite his inner cheek hard to not join her because if she can't be optimistic, then he has to be for her, at least until she can get back on her feet – that's what friends are for, right?
He doesn't know how long he sits there for – his ass has long gone numb and he's pretty sure his left shoulder is damp with Rachel's tears – but she eventually lifts her head from his shoulder and kisses him on the cheek. "Sorry – I ruined your shirt."
Blaine shrugs his other shoulder. "It's fine – isn't that another tradition? Ruining clothes?"
Rachel ducks her head with a watery smile on her face. "Keriah – usually the clothes are ripped, it's why it's called 'the rending of garments.'" She nudges him a little. "You've done your research."
"I wanted to be prepared," he admits with a sheepish smile.
"It's nice. I appreciate it." This smile is a bit stronger and brighter, more her, which makes him happy.
He shifts on the floor, adjusting his weight and wincing when he feels pins and needles.
"You can leave if you want – sitting on the ground for that long can't be comfortable."
"I'm fine," he lies.
She nudges him again. "Go."
He sighs, slowly getting to his feet. "Okay. I'll see you tomorrow."
She opens her mouth, maybe to tell him not to bother, but after a second she closes it, nodding.
Blaine gives a small wave to Hiram and Leroy, who return it with half-smiles.
As he walks out of the house, he takes his time admiring the pictures of Rachel adjourning the walls, cataloguing her growth and accomplishments, the nerves on the back of his hands hurting because she's one of the most driven, hardworking people he knows.
When he finally opens the front door to leave, he almost walks right into Finn's broad chest.
"Oh, hey, Blaine," Finn says, a small smile on his face as he steps backwards to let Blaine through the door.
"How's she doing?" Finn asks, eyes wide in earnest as Blaine closes the door behind him.
Blaine sighs, resting his weight on the door. "Not good." Then he notices the bouquet of flowers dangling from Finn's hand – it looks like it's made up of pink hydrangeas and poppies; it's an odd looking bouquet. "Are those for Rachel?" he asks unnecessarily.
Finn brings the bouquet up, almost smacking Blaine in the face. "Yeah, uh. I heard that flowers have different meanings, so I asked Kurt to help me out. The pink ones…"
"Hydrangeas," Blaine supplies.
"Yeah, those mean perseverance. And the red ones – poppies. I remember that because of the bagel. Those mean consolation. So. Thought I'd cover my bases."
Blaine smiles, looking at the bouquet again and finding new beauty in it. "That's really thoughtful – she'll love it."
Finn grins in relief. "Awesome. You know, Kurt's home alone – Burt took my mom out for lunch."
Blaine already knew that (how could he not?), but says, "Thanks, Finn. I'll see you later.
Finn pats him on the back as Blain walks to his car, muttering, "Later." Blaine pulls out his phone and texts Kurt that he'll be on his way soon.
He takes the long way to Kurt's house, listening to happy songs to cheer himself up so that when he sees Kurt and embraces him, the grin will be genuine and full because Kurt deserves his time to celebrate just as much as Rachel deserves her time to grieve and Blaine wants to be there for both of them.