Celebrate Good Times! || Cherry


"Well, the things you sacrifice for what you love," he said easily, because he had a feeling he knew where Rachel’s heart lied, and that was with her performing career. Finn should have known losing her sometimes came with the territory. Tina for sure knew that his rehearsals cut into their Skype time.

"I don’t do any sports, no. I mean, they were fun while they lasted, but they were just time fillers. Why do that when I can dance? That’s what I really want to spend my time doing." He said surely with a smile and could almost see Finn wonder where his football friend had gone. He shrugged a bit. "That’s not to say I don’t toss a football around every now and then," he assured him.

"Finn plays football with some of the guys at his shop.  Down at the park, on Saturdays.  I guess he’ll be playing more often now, since I’ll be so busy with rehearsal."  Rachel put in.  She glanced back at him, noting the frown that crossed his face again.

"Right, yeah.  Or basketball.  You can join us if you’d like, Mike."  He shrugged, before turning his attention to his fiancee.  "Babe, we should really get going.  It’ll be late soon, and I have work in the morning…"  He trailed off.

"Oh.  Sure.  I mean, I guess I should get plenty of rest before rehearsal tomorrow."  She turned back to Mike, as Finn signaled the waiter for the bill.  "I’ll see you there, right?"  She asked Mike.

Celebrate Good Times! || Cherry


Mike nodded and tried to kept a smile up. The talk of Tina was kind of touchy, as they weren’t exactly stable at the moment, but hell, if they weren’t trying their hardest to keep this going. He knew they were right for each other. They had to be.

"Maybe," he confirmed and then decided against his better judgement and suggested something different. "But, you know, we could always all catch up before then. Who knows what might come up," he said broadly, trying not to express his opinion fully. "It sounds nice," he said and then noticed Finn’s still disconnect as he was now just fiddling with his phone.

"It’s good that you’re so…" he paused to pick the correct word. "Enthusiastic about it." There were odds that Mike could be wrong when he came to this, and a little excitement could go along way and she definitely had the drive to get this wedding this summer, so maybe it would happen, and maybe everything would be fine in their little world. Mike just couldn’t help but draw conclusions from this time of interaction, and all the time he’d seen them together before.

"She’s definitely enthusiastic."  Finn agreed, setting his phone down on the table instead of putting it away.  He’d finished his hamburger, and seemed to finally be interested in having a conversation.  "But I imagine this new role will take up a lot of her time."  A frown crossed his face for a split second, as if realizing now that the role would take up a lot of time.  Time he didn’t want to lost with her.

"So, uh, Mike.  You still doing any sports, or do you just do dancing now?"  he asked, changing the subject.  Rachel studied Finn for a minute, then looked back to Mike.  She could tell Finn was unhappy about something, she just didn’t know what.  Sometimes he was hard to read, even for her.

Celebrate Good Times! || Cherry


Mike disregarded Finn’s comment completely, because had he admitted to hearing it, he wouldn’t have held back what he wished Rachel would have understood months ago. Hell, almost everybody wished she would think about life past high school with Finn, because he’d definitely changed. Mike shrugged casually.

"We usually have music we like playing when we talk and sometimes we get carried away but…it’s not like a planned thing that we sing a duet every time we Skype." He said with a smile, remembering the time she’d had Green Day playing and it wasn’t even a matter of sounding good, but singing louder and having fun.

He couldn’t help but wonder if any of their friends still sang. It was hard to believe that they could so easily drop that portion of their lives, but by the look of it Finn already had.

Rachel had, of course, heard Finn’s dismissal of singing lately.  He’d still sing with her sometimes, usually at home.  He said he preferred listening to her sing.  She couldn’t tell if it was the same insecurity he’d had in high school, or if he truly no longer cared about singing.  She just couldn’t fathom what it felt like to not love singing the way she did.

But he was teaching her drumming, and when she sang, sitting on his lap, while he helped her drum, she still felt the way she had when she first met him.  Because they were meant to be.  She was sure of that, and nothing would ever change her mind.  Nothing.

Pushing that to the back of her mind, she returned to her conversation with Mike.  ”Really?  That’s great.  Maybe this summer, when we see everyone again at the wedding, we can all catch up.  That sounds amazing, doesn’t it?”

Celebrate Good Times! ll Cherry


It was so very “Rachel” of Rachel to announce her role before she sang, and Mike didn’t know why he expected any less than that. Immediately Rachel began her act, and yet Finn stood in his same place, eyes fixated on the screen. Mike had a feeling that grew at that moment. Previously, he believed they shouldn’t get married, for reasons on top of reasons, but now he felt the urge to tell her that.

Just the way Finn acted on stage with her, quite possibly her favorite place doing her favorite thing with her supposed favorite person who didn’t seem to fit in the equation. When they finished, after the kiss, which Mike had seen more than enough of those, it alarmed him the most that Finn pulled her off the stage. It wasn’t in a controlling way, but what he didn’t see was how he was pulling her out of that space that she loved.

Mike wasn’t an expert on Rachel Berry, but he’d known her long enough, or at least tolerated her enough, to know that much. As they approached the table he faked a smile.

"That was great. Pretty reminiscent of the Glee club, huh? You guys singing a duet." He commented casually, picking at his lasagna and swallowing a few more bites.

"Nah, man.  Glee club is so…high school, you know?"  Finn answered before Rachel could.

Rachel slid into her seat, glancing at Finn before turning back to Mike.  ”What about you?  Do you still…do duets with Tina or anything?  When you guys see each other, or on Skype or something?”

She hadn’t really been in touch with Tina.  Or most of the Glee club, for that matter.  She talked to Finn, obviously, and Kurt.  She hadn’t heard from most of them since graduation.  Occasionally she could get Quinn to reply to her emails.  She spoke to Mercedes once in a while.  But most of them were off, living their own lives.

Finn still talked to some of them, though.  They replied to him more often, anyway.

Celebrate Good Times! || Cherry


Mike watched the encounter between the two, nodding in understanding at Rachel’s comment, but it was slightly unsettling. Anybody who had ever stepped foot in McKinley, or even Lima, probably knew that singing was Rachel’s favorite thing. Even the way her eyes lit up at the mention of it showed that right now. So, why was it that her own boyfriend, no, fiance, didn’t seem to appreciate that or want to be apart of her favorite thing?

Finn had looked at him, maybe for a way out, but he couldn’t provide it. Finn used to sing all the time but now…it was obvious he was being forced by the way he trailed behind Rachel with discontent on his face.

Mike watched as Finn took the stage too, and instead of standing front and center like Rachel did (as if her flats had some kind of magnet that was always directly at the center), it looked as if he was purposely trying to blend into the background.

"Hello everybody!  My name is Rachel Berry, and this is my fiancee Finn Hudson.  We’ll be entertaining you tonight with a beautiful song.  So sit back, enjoy, and come see me in Chicago as soon as it open off-Broadway.  Thank you."

With that, the music started and Rachel began to sing.  Finn jumped in a verse later, his eyes trained more on the screen with the words, than they were on Rachel.  Rachel, however, moved around the stage, engaging the people in the restaurant effortlessly.  Except for a couple of people at the bar, most of the patrons were actually paying attention to the singers for once.  It wasn’t often that the stage was graced by somebody who hadn’t had a few too many beers.

As they reached the end of the song, Rachel moved back to Finn, who pulled her in for a kiss.  Rachel kissed him back before turning to ‘audience’ and curtsying.  She reminded everyone once again about her role in Chicago before she was pulled off the stage by Finn, who led her back to the table with Mike.

Celebrate Good Times! ll Cherry


He looked up at her carefully at her hesitation. Rachel Berry wasn’t a hesitation kind of person so when she did take that slight pause he knew it was time to take notice. He continued eating his own lasagna, not seeing really any problem with it, but he did have an open mind when trying it.

"Oh, well.." He nodded shrugged. "I guess that makes sense." He said, catching her glance at Finn, not sure what was held there. He assumed just frustration with the menu conflict. "You have to cater to everybody. And..compromise is..good." He stated halfheartedly, having a feeling there were more conflicts about the wedding than just the menu, but he wasn’t going to pry. Instead, he changed the subject.

"So, is our off Broadway lead going to perform a song for us this evening?" He asked with a fake air of importance and a teasing smile. Both of them had good reason to be happy, so, at least for tonight, his past annoyances were put on hold.

"Of course, yes!"  Rachel said excitedly, eager to both change the subject and take the spotlight.  "Finn, sing with me!"  She turned to him, eyes bright.

"But, Rach.  I’m eating."  Finn held up his burger.  His reluctance was obvious in everything about him—his voice, his eyes, his body language.  But none of that seemed apparent to Rachel, who continued to look at him imploringly.

"Come on, Finn.  You always love our duets, and that burger will be here when you get back."  She insisted.  "I think Love Change Everything is a bit out of your vocal range, but I’d really like to to do Your Song."

Finn glanced at Mike, then sighed and stood up.  ”All right.  But just one song, no more.”

"Yay!"  Rachel said gleefully.  "We’ll be right back."  She told Mike, rushing up to the empty stage and grabbing on of the microphones.  Finn followed halfheartedly.

Celebrate Good Times ll Cherry


Mike had been listening intently, at least the part about Glee club, because that would include him. That would also mean he wouldn’t be able to find a reason to avoid the situation, because Glee club was his family. Finn leaned over to him and he raised an eyebrow at his statements, Rachel’s babbling becoming the lesser voice, and Finn seeming to be disinterested in the event as a whole. Even Mike was grateful when the food arrived and she quieted.

He picked at the vegan lasagna for a moment, ate a decent sized bite and nodded in approval, not feeling the need to voice to her that. The food in itself seemed like it would be an assume, and though he knew it might spur her wedding babble again, he felt the need to ask.

"So, I assume the menu will be vegan then?" Mike asked, not to necessarily challenge them, but just to see. He took another bite and swallowed it with a swig of his drink.

Rachel watched as Mike had his first taste of vegan food, smiling when he liked it. She was always telling Finn that vegan food wasn’t that beg a deal, but he never seemed to get over his assumption that it would be terrible.

Sure, he’d make her vegan dishes, but he rarely tried them himself, preferring to make his own, non-vegan dinner as well.  Usually she ended up just making the food herself.

"Well…"  She hesitated, taking a bit of her own food as she decided how to answer his question.  "I’d like it to be, but Finn thinks a lot of people won’t like that."  She answered, looking sideways at her fiancee.  "So Kurt thinks we should make a sort of 50/50 menu."