Hey guys. I've got to admit, I was somewhat reluctant to post the epilogue because I'm so sad to be saying goodbye to this story. I'm going to miss it so much and I'm sad to be done. I really appreciated all your support throughout it. In this chapter we get to see some characters some of you may remember from my earlier stories. I haven't written them in almost a year, so I was very happy to get to write them again. Anyway, thanks so much for all the support. Enjoy the epilogue and please review if you want me to keep writing!
Rachel looked in the rearview mirror, noticing that their children had fallen asleep. Now that she knew they were asleep, she said what she'd been planning to say to Finn since they left New York. "We don't have to do this if you don't want to."
"I want to," Finn said. "The kids deserve to see the place we grew up, the place we met."
"I know, but after everything that happened there..." Rachel began.
"Rachel, don't worry," Finn interrupted.
"You're not nervous at all?" Rachel asked.
"I am," Finn admitted.
"Then maybe we shouldn't be doing this," Rachel said.
"We're doing it," Finn said.
Rachel knew there was no point in arguing with Finn. Once he made up his mind about things, his mind was made up. It had been twelve years since Finn was kidnapped, and they still hadn't returned to Lima - until now.
Rachel's dads had moved to New York shortly after Funny Girl opened to be closer to her. Burt and Carole were in DC for congress stuff a lot, so Finn and Rachel would often go to DC to visit them or have Burt and Carole come to New York. Then five years ago, a Senate seat had opened in New York, and since neither Senate seat in Ohio had looked like it would be open any time soon, Burt and Carole had decided to move to New York to be closer to Finn and Kurt and so Burt could run for the Senate seat. Burt had won the Senate seat, and now he and Carole were living in New York.
With their families in New York, it made it easier to not go back to Lima. Many of their friends lived in New York now anyway. Several other couples from the McKinley days had gotten married and begun families in New York - Kurt and Blaine, Santana and Brittany, Sam and Mercedes, Artie and Kitty and Ryder and Marley. Mike and Tina lived in Chicago, where Mike now worked for Joffrey, but he often had performances in New York. Puck had moved to Connecticut with Quinn shortly after retiring from the Air Force, living close enough for visits to and from New York. Jake and Unique were living in LA, but between his dance performances and her singing performances, they also came to New York from time to time.
Finn and Rachel's first daughter, ten-year-old Allie, had been born shortly after Rachel finished her run with Funny Girl. Rachel had taken some time off after Allie was born, giving birth to their twin son and daughter, Ryan and Emma, who were now eight. When the twins were one, Rachel scored another one of her dream roles - Evita. Rachel played that role for about two years before the show closed. She'd decided to take some time off from performing, and during that time, she had another daughter, Sarah, who was now four. After taking some more time off, she'd gotten the part of Maria in a revival of West Side Story - and a few months ago, she'd finally won the Tony she'd been wanting her whole life. However, she'd just left West Side Story - in three months, their fifth child would be born, another boy.
Finn had graduated from NYU with honors and gotten a job at a local high school, where he was the director of their instrumental music program. The school had five choirs, and Finn oversaw all of them and coached the competitive one, as well as teaching music classes. Finn absolutely loved teaching and he was so glad he'd discovered that while working with Mr. Schue and the glee club.
Of course, it was nice to have other people from their glee days in New York. Kurt and Blaine's townhouse was down the street from Finn and Rachel. Kurt had become one of the most well known fashion designers in New York. Blaine had played Tony in West Side Story while Rachel was Maria, just like in high school. They had a seven-year-old daughter named Tracy, and they also had boy/girl twins, Spencer and Katherine, since they'd already used the Tracy part of Hepburn and Tracy. Their twins were five years old.
The other couples living in New York all lived pretty close to Finn and Rachel as well and had found success professionally. Mercedes had just won her first grammy and Sam was the football coach and physed at the high school where Finn worked, and he would often assist Finn with the competitive show choir. They had a three-year-old son, Gabriel, and a two-year-old daughter, Alicia. Santana was a public relations agent and Brittany had taken Fondue For Two to NBC. They had two daughters, Molly, who was three, and Lily, who was one. Artie had just directed a film to the movie theatres and Kitty was a reporter for The Today Show. They had a two-year-old son named Tim and she had just found out that she was pregnant again. Marley's second album had just come out and Ryder was a learning disabilities coach. They had a three-year-old daughter named Ella and she would be giving birth to their son, who they'd decided would be named Ian, in a few weeks. Over in Connecticut, Puck was a police officer and Quinn was a real estate agent. They kept in touch with Beth, and they had a five-year-old son named Adam and a three-year-old daughter named Maddie. Mike was a choreographer at the Joffrey and Tina worked for a nonprofit, and their son Joey was born a few months ago. Unique had gender reassignment surgery that let her have kids, and she and Jake had just had their first son, Eli.
Even the people who had joined glee after Finn and Rachel graduated or were in it for a short time had remained part of the glee family. Lauren Zizes had won gold medals for wrestling in the Olympics and was living in LA as well, where she'd married another Olympic wrestler. Rory had gone back to Ireland, but he'd kept in touch with the glee crowd and came back to the US with his wife and kids from time to time. Sugar had inherited her dad's company and was married to a guy she met in college. Joe was a reverand at a church. At the ten-year reunion for the Class of 2012, Finn and Rachel had heard from their friends that Matt Rutherford was living in Lima again with his wife.
"We're almost here," Finn told Rachel.
Rachel looked over at Finn. "Okay."
"I'm not sure if I can do this," Finn admitted. The whole car ride, he'd thought that he could handle going back to Lima, but now that they were arriving, he was nervous. It was the first time he'd driven down these streets in twelve years. Things looked pretty different, but he knew this area like the back of his hand. He and Rachel and the kids would be staying at Mr. and Mrs. Schuester's house. McKinley had become a magnet school for the arts, and Mr. Schue was now principal. He was still coaching the New Directions though. Mrs. Schuester was still a guidance counselor. They not only had Daniel, but four other kids - a nine-year-old boy named Cameron, a six-year-old boy named Dylan, a two-year-old girl named Amanda and a three-month-old girl named Isabel.
"Well..." Rachel began. "I wasn't sure if this was a good idea... but you did say that you wanted to come..."
"Yeah," Finn said. "I wanted the kids to see the place where we grew up... I wanted to show them the choir room and the auditorium..."
"Are we there yet?" a voice called from the back seat.
Finn turned around and saw that his son was up. He knew this meant to stop the conversation. The kids knew as much about the kidnapping as kids could know - a bad person had hidden him away and hurt him was what he'd told them - but they didn't know all the details. When they were older, maybe they would tell the full story. But not now. "It should be soon."
"It's a long drive," Ryan complained.
"Well, you guys slept most of it," Rachel said.
"Because you made us get up early!" Ryan pouted.
Finn noticed the street name. This was the street the Schuesters live on. Finn felt his heart beating fast as he turned down the street. Rachel began rubbing Finn's thigh. She knew. She always knew. And that was one of the things Finn loved about Rachel.
Finn pulled into the Schuester's driveway as he heard another voice from the backseat. "This is it?" Emma asked.
"Yeah, this is it," Finn said, turning and seeing that Allie was up as well. "You guys had pretty good timing."
"At least we didn't have Emma throwing up on everything!" Allie said.
"Hey!" Rachel said. "I got carsick when I was her age, too." She poked Sarah's leg. "Baby girl, we're here."
Sarah opened her eyes. "We're here?"
"Yeah," Finn said, smiling at his youngest daughter.
The three older kids were already out of the car and looking around. "Where are your houses from when you were little?" Emma asked.
"We'll see them later," Finn told his daughter. He took some deep breaths as he held Rachel's hand.
"Finn! Rachel!" Finn turned and saw Mr. Schue coming out of the house. Finn had to smile as he saw his former glee teacher. "Hey!" he said, giving his teacher a hug.
"Finn, you look great," Mr. Schue said. He smiled at Rachel. "You too."
Mrs. Schuester started to come out of the house. "Will, was that them?" She looked at Finn and Rachel. "Oh my gosh! It's so great to see you! Rachel, how's that baby?"
"Oh, we're ready for him to get here," Rachel said.
"Ryan's ready to have a brother!" Allie added.
"Yeah," Finn said. "Here's our kids." The Schuesters hadn't seen the older kids in years and they'd never met Sarah before.
"Hi," Allie said to Mr. and Mrs. Schuester. "Nice to see you again!"
"You too, honey!" Mrs. Schuester said. "You and your sister look so much like your mom."
"Everyone says that they look like our mom and I look like our dad," Ryan said.
"Well, you're already taller than me so that helps you look like Dad," Allie said.
"And this must be Sarah," Mr. Schuester said.
"You Mommy and Daddy's friends?" Sarah asked.
"Yes we are," Mr. Schuester said. "We have been for a long time."
A boy with red hair came outside, and Finn knew who this was. "Is this Daniel?"
"Yeah, hi!" Daniel said, coming over. "My parents were so excited you guys are coming."
"We're excited to see you, too," Finn said. "This is Allie, and Emma, and Ryan, and Sarah."
"I'm an Emma, too," Mrs. Schuester said to Emma.
"Really?" Emma asked. Finn and Rachel shared a glance, glad to see their daughter opening up. She was always shy with new people.
"Yeah," Mrs. Schuester said.
"We've seen videos of your parents," Daniel told the Hudson kids.
"You have?" Emma asked.
"Yeah," Daniel said. "My dad says your mom and dad were the best thing that ever happened to the glee club."
"They were," Mr. Schue said.
Rachel and Finn both smiled. "Thank you!"
The night in Lima wasn't as hard as Finn was dreading. The Hudsons spent the night at the Schuesters' house. Finn and Rachel spent the evening having dinner and talking with their former teacher and counselor, while their kids played with the Schuester kids. Today, Mr. Schuester was taking the Hudson family to the school. Finn didn't have to drive by University of Lima to get to the school, which was nice. As soon as they walked in, Finn felt the memories coming back.
"Wow!" Allie said as they walked in. "Your school was so big!"
"Where are the toys?" Sarah asked.
"This isn't preschool," Finn said. "This is a big school."
"School wouldn't be fun with no toys," Sarah said.
"Well, there won't be toys in elementary school when you're done with preschool!" Ryan said.
"Really?" Sarah asked.
"Guys, don't do this," Finn sighed. He knew his kids loved each other, but they would tease each other at times, too.
Rachel poked Finn, and Finn knew this hall. Mr. Schue opened the door, and there it was. The auditorium. The place where Finn and Rachel had first really met each other. The place where they kissed for the first time. The place where they got engaged for the first time. The place where they would have gotten married if Finn had the strength to go to Lima.
"Wow," Finn managed to say. "It's like we never left."
"Yeah," Rachel added. "I miss singing on that stage with you."
"Me too," Finn said. He took Rachel's hand and walked on to the stage. The kids followed them.
"It feels so good to be up here again," Rachel said.
"Your school had a nice auditorium," Emma said.
"It does, doesn't it?" Finn asked his daughter.
"Yeah!" Ryan agreed.
"I'm having flashbacks by seeing you two up there," Mr. Schue said. "Good ones."
"I'm having good ones by being up here," Finn said.
After spending some more time in the auditorium, Mr. Schue led the Hudson family to the choir room. Since McKinley was a magnet school now, Finn expected the choir room to be completely different, but it looked exactly the same as when he and Rachel were there. Finn's eyes immediately fell on the drums. So many times, he'd played those drums for glee performances. Emma looked up at him. "Are those your old drums?"
"Yeah, they are," Finn said.
"Can I play them?" Ryan asked.
"Sure," Finn said.
"So he's a drummer like you?" Mr. Schue asked.
"He is," Finn said proudly. "I'm glad that we passed it on in some way."
"Maybe your kids will be in a glee club one day," Mr. Schue said.
"Yeah, maybe," Allie said. "I like playing the viola, so I could play it for the glee club."
"I'm going to be singing like Mommy!" Sarah declared.
"Yes you are," Rachel told her daughter.
"They're so much like both of you," Mr. Schue told Finn and Rachel. Ryan was playing the drums, while Allie and Emma were doing a drumroll on the chairs and Sarah was watching.
"They are," Rachel said. "We got lucky."
"I'm glad they got to see this place," Finn said. "I know it took me a while to get the strength to bring them here... but I'm so glad they get to see it."
"Me too," Rachel said. "I'm so proud of you, Finn."
"So am I," Mr. Schue added. "We all are."
"Thanks," Finn said. It had taken him time, but he'd returned to Lima, and his fear hadn't controlled him. Instead, he was able to revisit his happy memories there. And back in New York, he had an amazing life with Rachel, Allie, Ryan, Emma, Sarah and the little boy they had on the way. The scary parts of Finn's past was behind him, and he couldn't be happier.