Finn had never been bullied before, but he had been in love. He was at that very moment, totally head over heels in love with the girl currently attached to him, in fact. He hadn’t been in love before that. He’d fancied girls, he supposed - or more, girls had fancied him and he thought they were alright, but Jesus - Rae - Rae was a whole other level. This wasn’t just physical - it was so much more than that. He saw in her a kindred spirit, somebody with a spine, somebody who thought for herself and wasn’t just another sheep in the endless throng of lost, uninspired souls he would fight every day not to drown in. She was one set apart from the crowd, and she was finally his. He’d picked out this shining gem from a sea of black coals and couldn’t believe his luck.
Some people didn’t see her as the gem he did. There were people, the poor, unfortunate morons they were, who would look at Rae with hateful spite - who would try, for a few moments, to distract themselves from their empty existences by making her feel bad, to, in their own imbecilic way, try and make themselves feel superior to her. Only Finn and Rae’s friends knew how they’d always be doomed to fail in that mission. Whenever anybody looked at Rae like she was shit on their shoe, Finn would give them the same treatment - and only he’d be right. Rae was too generous a character to treat another with such malice, and Finn would try and learn from her: rise above it and ignore, but this was his favourite person in the whole world being treated this way. His instinct was to fight back, but he couldn’t exactly punch out every fucker who disrespected his girlfriend on a daily basis. The sad fact was, he’d have to punch out half of Stamford if he resolved to tread that path.
One day he had an epiphany. He stopped looking outwards so much, resolved to concentrate on Rae, on their love. The world was ugly, and it was only Rae who made any sense to him within it. His new mission wasn’t to fight back - it was to start building up their defences. He wanted to silently barricade the universe the pair were building with every experience.
Like now, for instance - it was the first day of college. Rae was bricking it. Finn wasn’t. He was looking forward to it, actually. He couldn’t wait to show Rae off. It was one of the first times they’d been out in public as a couple. He held her hand with such silent pride and tried to ignore the nauseous feeling in his stomach. He knew by now how cruel people were - and he was ready, or at least, he hoped he was, to ignore the crap out of any shit thrown at them. He kept reminding himself that Rae was strong, and tried to ignore the painful fear of not being around her to help. The thought of her standing alone, surrounded by hate - it made him go cold. He had to focus on the good, on the positive. He wanted to prove to Rae now more than ever that the only reason these people bullied her was because they didn’t know her - and they never would. Their loss.
There it was as they entered the building: the snarls, the whispers, the giggles, the looks of confusion, the insults, and Finn put his plan into action. He stooped to look at the sad fools who would never know love like he did at that moment. He pitied them with a quiet smirk, his grip on Rae’s hand tight. Instead of looking at them with burning hate, he merely glanced over them, vision glazed, knowing Rae could run circles around any of them. Rae wasn’t alone any more - she had Finn and she’d have him for as long as she saw fit. They were a united front now, Rae + 1, an unstoppable force. He let his imagination wander - envisioning a glowing bubble surrounding the pair of them, the two of them the only thing in vivid colour whilst the uneducated masses languished in the grey, where they belonged.
It seemed Rae didn’t share in this vision, something that became clear as her hand left his.
"What’s wrong?" Finn asked sharply, stung as their two linked chain was broken in front of his eyes.
His chest dipped as she made what was clearly a drummed up excuse to escape, watching her retreating form with a silent pledge.
They had their whole life ahead of them, and fuck was he going to let a bunch of Stamford imbreds threaten their relationship before it’d even begun. He just needed to get Rae on the same page somehow.
I ain’t giving up.