Disclaimer: I don't own Glee. I also don't own "Broken" by Lifehouse which is the song Finn is currently working on-so for a moment forget that the song already exists.
Giving a cursory knock, Puck poked his head into Finn's office. "I'm gonna head out man. All the cars we had appointments for are picked up. Rory's just going to finish sweeping and hang out until close. You sure you don't want to come to dinner?"
Finn pushed back from the desk, pulling off his glasses and rubbing his eyes. He hated looking at the damn spreadsheets for ordering parts. They always made him a little bit cross eyed. Unfortunately, it was part of running the business while Burt was in Congress. He sighed and said, "No man, I'm good. Just going to finish up here and wait with Rory. You never know, we could get slammed in the last hour."
Puck just shook his head at him. "You do remember we're in Lima right? If there was a car to work on we'd have it by now. But hey, it's ok. I'll just tell Q and your godson you didn't feel like coming over."
Chuckling a bit Finn stood and stretched. "Seriously dude, you should know guilt trips don't fucking work on me. Besides, I just saw you all on Sunday-it's only Tuesday."
"Whatever Frankenteen. I'm heading home to my woman. You should do the same."
Finn felt his smile slowly fade, which Puck immediately noticed. "You know what I meant man. Just um, just go home." Puck felt like an ass; he knew Finn still had feelings for Rachel even though she had left Lima and never looked back.
Finn never talked about what happened after the wedding. They had seemed so happy, none of their friends could pinpoint when it all fell apart. Finn had commuted back and forth for awhile then one day just came home and never went back. Ever since, Finn had closed himself off to most things other than work and their bowling league. Sure, he'd go out when Quinn tried to set him up with someone from her book group but he hadn't had a second date in years. Whenever Puck tried to talk to him about it he claimed he was too busy to date, but running Burt's old shop didn't take up 24 hours of his day.
"It's cool man. I'm just going to finish up here and head home and grab a beer. I have something I need to finish up there anyway. Tell Quinn and Aaron I'll see them over the weekend ok?" Finn shooed Puck from the office. "Get home before Quinn calls wanting to know why I let your dinner get cold."
"Alright. I'll see you in the morning." Puck jogged down the hallway, calling out goodnight to Rory as he passed him.
Finn sat back down behind the desk, ready to finish crunching some numbers. He put his glasses back on and focused back on the screen. The sooner he finished here the sooner he could head home. The small house on the lake had been perfect for them when they were starting out and, well for it was perfect for him now. It was close enough to town that he could easily get to work and visit friends, but remote enough to afford him some privacy that he craved. The hour flew by quickly as he placed his order for various parts and supplies. He shut down the computer and stood, swiping the hoodie off the back of his chair. Pushing his arms into it, he pulled the door to the office shut behind him.
"Rory. Time to lock it up." He called out as he saw Rory sitting behind the check in computer in the lobby. "Go home; you don't want to keep Sugar waiting." Finn still shook his head, his brain never fully did wrap around the idea of them together, but hey, to each his own.
"Night Finn. I'll see you in the morning right?" Rory asked as he let them out and locked the door to the shop from the outside.
"I'll be here, just don't know when." Finn replied as he crossed the lot to his beat up pickup. The truck still ran in great condition so Finn never saw the need to replace it.
"Wild party tonight huh?" Rory asked, tongue in cheek. He knew Finn would just go home and tune out the world for the night, but it was fun to tease him.
"Yep, strippers and everything." Finn said with a grin. "See you tomorrow Rory." With that, he turned on the radio and backed out to start the drive home.
The drive home could practically be made on auto pilot and he found himself tapping along to the beat of the song on the radio. However, when the next song started his fingers stopped tapping and his heart stumbled in his chest. Jessie's Girl. With a determined shake of the head, he began singing along. He wouldn't ever regret singing this to her, even if she didn't admit at the time that she was in love with him too. They were so young then! As the song continued he remembered the look on Rachel's face when he sang. If there was one thing he would never regret in his life it was all the times they sang together-she truly heard him then. As tethered as they were, and he still felt that pull, he knew if she just listened to one of his songs he'd written in the years since they 'd been apart she'd know what he was trying to tell her all these years later.
It still amazed him that people wanted to buy his words. After he had come home for the last time from New York, the only thing that had helped him get through the day was writing out his feelings. Well that and alcohol. During a visit Kurt had found one of his notebooks of ramblings and convinced Finn to let him try and sell one of them to a musician he knew in the city. After that, Finn was contracted by a record company and the rest was history. He wrote what he felt and hoped one day Rachel would hear something of his and come home to him.
He pulled the truck to a stop and climbed out, collecting his mail. Junk, junk, a letter from Kurt and more junk. Tucking it and the newspaper under his arm he went into the house and tossed everything but Kurt's letter on the little end table in the entryway. The table was crowded with pictures of Quinn and Puck and their little boy Aaron, his mom and Burt and a few of the whole Glee club. He ripped open the letter from Kurt, reading as he crossed to the fridge for a beer.
I hope this letter finds you well. I would have emailed but God knows you probably delete anything non work related. Blaine and I are doing fine here in the city. I love all the hustle and bustle and fashion-even the horrible people on the street who shouldn't be allowed to dress themselves. Don't people know puffy vests went out of fashion in the 80's? I swear if I find one in your closet the next time I'm home I'm burning it. Consider yourself warned.
I'm not really sure how to say this, so I'm just going to spit it out. I wanted to call, but I just couldn't bring myself to say the words. Rachel's engaged.
I know you're probably sitting there shocked. I'm sorry Finn and I want you to know you can talk to me whenever. I wish there were something more I could say-I never thought I'd see this day either.
Here when you need me,
So Rachel was getting married. Finn sat on the couch, reflecting on his feelings. Hurt, shock and an overwhelming sense of loss overcame him. Clearly, Rachel hadn't been listening to his words as he'd hoped. He should have known better-if it wasn't a showtune it probably wasn't on her iPod. Shaking his head, he grabbed the closest notebook and began writing whatever came to his mind. Tomorrow, he'd call Quinn and ask her for the number to the last girl he'd dated-whoever she was. If Rachel wanted to move on, fine. Maybe it was time he ignored that damn tether anyway. The words on the paper mocked him.
The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though I still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out
I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain, there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you
He closed the notebook and stalked out to the garage to pound his frustration out on the drums.
That same night, Rachel pulled into the driveway of her childhood home. Killing the engine on her rental car, she sat in the car and stared up at the house she hadn't been to in years. Would her dads have changed things? She hoped not, just as she hoped they weren't angry that she had called this morning and told them she was coming home but only for a night, two at the most. They hadn't pressed for details-all she said was she had to clear something up before the wedding. They had no idea that it was anything to do with Finn ,she conveniently left that part out. Taking a breath, she stepped from the car and pulled her suitcase out from the backseat as the front door opened.
"Need a hand Princess?" Her Daddy, Hiram, asked from the doorway. "If so, I'll get your dad," he joked watching her smile spread slowly.
"I think I can handle it Daddy. I'm only here for a couple days max remember?" Rachel wheeled the suitcase towards the house as she spoke.
"Well we're glad you came home for a visit before the wedding princess, but we would have been in New York in 4 days anyway." Hiram followed her into the kitchen, watching her face for clues as to why she was home.
"I know Daddy. there was just something I needed to take care of and well, coming home was the easiest way to do it." looking around the room and not seeing her dad Rachel turned and gave her Daddy a quizzical look. Where's Dad?"
"He's in the study. Big trial prep since he'll be out of the office for the wedding." He noticed her face tighten at the word wedding. "Princess, is everything ok?" taking her hand he dragged her down the hall. If anyone could get out what was bothering her it'd be Leroy.
"Actually Daddy, it's been a long day. I just want to say goodnight and we can all talk in the morning ok?" She picked up her suitcase and fled up the stairs to her room. Everything was exactly as she had left it: Finn's senior picture on the nightstand, another picture of them on the other bedside table and scattered pictures of the glee gang. She sat on her bed and pulled out her phone to text Anthony.
Made it to Lima. Should be home tomorrow night. Love you best and most.
With that, she set her phone on the nightstand and laid on the bed, not bothering to change. She slept fitfully, anxious to see Finn and get this over with.
When she woke the next morning, she quickly showered and dressed in a pair of jeans and a printed sweater and jogged downstairs. It was nine, so she knew her Dad would be at the office and Daddy at his horticulturists meeting. Grabbing her purse she left the house, hoping to find Finn at work. He'd sign the papers, she could have lunch with her dads and be back in New York by nightfall.
As she drove to the shop she began to feel nervous about seeing Finn. She didn't want to make this awkward but she needed him to sign the papers so she could move on. Parking the car outside, she took a deep breath and entered the shop.
Finn's head lifted as he heard the chimes over the door. He couldn't believe his eyes. Rachel Berry was back in Lima. He said the first thing that came to mind. "Well look who finally came home."
"We need to talk. Can we go to your office?" She had her face composed as she stared at him, not allowing a hint of emotion to show. Her own thoughts were another matter, and those she couldn't control. God he looked good.
"No can do Rach. We're booked solid through the day." He wondered what she wanted, but he wasn't at her beck and call anymore. Anticipating her next thought he said, "And I bowl tonight. Anything you want will have to wait."
"Finn, all I need is one signature on something. Five minutes, please?"
He wanted to hold her but instead held his ground. "Not now."
Closing her eyes, she counted to ten before opening them. "Fine. We've been married this long what's a few more hours." She turned on her heel and marched to the door. "I'll see you at bowling."
With that she walked out the door and back to her car while Finn stared at her. What the hell did she mean they'd been married this long? Noticing Puck staring, he cleared his throat. "Let's get back to work." He prayed the day would pass slowly since for the first time in years Finn didn't want to go bowling.
A/N: So Rachel is finally home. I wonder how bowling will go :) I love the idea of Finn as a lyricist since he wrote Pretending for her. Also, quick thanks to my own personal Groffles to my Lea-you reading first helps more than you know. Hopefully something in here gets the midapproval :)
Again, thank you always for reading and feel free to review! I always like to hear your thoughts.