My Heart is an Open Book!
Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry Fanfiction
T- Rating, likely to change to M for later chapters
Summary: 4o years after the end of the Vietnam War. While helping his parents pack up during a house move, a 16-year-old boy finds his Grandfather's journal amongst other papers and things in an old cardboard suitcase. He had never met the man but through the words on the old pages young Nick Hudson, meets his relative and learns about the man… not just the decorated solider… Finn Hudson
A/N: Thanks to every one of you for the support on my last story, I hope you enjoy this new one just as much
As always I own nothing. Except OC's and any mistakes
Thanks for reading, please leave me your thoughts in a review.
This is a Finchel story at heart so please keep reading chapter 1 is an introduction and sets the story.
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Chapter - I-
Nick Hudson was enjoying his summer holidays; before he was due to commence his junior year at Tudor Woods High in his hometown of Seattle. He'd spent some solid time with his buddies, Jack Wildershot, Marty Gregson and Bray Austin. Going bowling and catching up on their favourite call of duty video game marathons, or hanging out at the mall or the park basketball court, and as many hours as he could be paid for at his summer job in the workshop, tinkering with the engines and pumping gas, at Mr Gregson's garage.
Any spare time he had was trying to talk Marty's older sister, Melissa, into going out with him. But so far, much to his frustrations, he wasn't having any luck as apparently according to Marty, Melissa had her eye on their school's shoe in for rugby captain Clay Torkwood who would be a senior like her when school went back for the new year. So he gave up on her, and instead of following up on the girls who kept sending him friend requests and messages via face book or the ones from school who were always stopping by the garage to 'just say hi' he instead spent his time banging on his bright red drum kit with a star on the bass, or making up his own tunes on his acoustic guitar.
Nick was spending a rare relaxing day off anticipating the upcoming 4th of July long weekend, his buddies had all planned to join their families down at the foreshore for a cookout and watch the fireworks, though Nick had made it quite clear that as much as he loved his parents and two younger sisters he didn't want to seen with them in public, as it made him look 'uncool' and he didn't want to be the target of the slushy brigade or teasing once school went back. When he voiced his thoughts over dinner that night, his mom just sighed and said.
"OK honey, but just keep in mind image isn't everything sometimes other things and how you act towards people is more important. But we know you are growing up, just remember we love you and that how you act can influence Michele and Bonnie and you know how much they look up to you, and as they will be freshmen this year Dad and I hope you will keep a look out for them at school."
Nick looks across the table at his parents then his twin sisters sending the girls' a side smile that made the dimple in his right cheek stand out,
"I know Mom, but junior year is important and I want to be able to focus on my studies so I can get into a good college, I mean I know financially we as a family are pretty well off, and Dads' job with his legal company is solid. Hudson a well known name in this city, but I want to do it on my own merits and not be picked on because I like to sing or play the drums… but I promise to watch out for the girls, and try and keep all those slavering sports jocks away from them."
Will and Jenny nod at their son's words and send a smile towards the girls before continuing with their dinner.
Nick takes another look at Michele and Bonnie and suddenly realises how pretty they actually are, even though they are small in body size, just over 5'3"everything is in proportion, but he thinks (not from a creepers point of view) with their long light brown hair and cinnamon colored eyes they are growing up to be beautiful girls and vows then and there to protect them from... well as much as he can the guys out there, who just want to sleep with and use any girl with a pretty face.
Nick has never been the sort to use girls as sex objects, he is always so nervous and tongue-tied when ever he tries to talk to one, that's probably why Melissa didn't want anything to do with him. The ones his age just flat out scare him with their intense giggly nonsense and the fact they are always in groups or pairs, it is real hard to get a girl on her own to talk to, even if he didn't trip over his tongue and end up with a bad case of word vomit, thus putting said girl off and feeling extremely embarrassed into the bargain. Nick reckons he still has plenty of time to worry about girls, so he just forgets about them, and anyway none of his buddies have steady girlfriends either so he knows he isn't that much of a failure.
He worries sometimes though that he is going to be the only college freshman to still be a virgin, if his luck doesn't improve but isn't planning on throwing his virginity away, like a couple of his buddies did last year in the locker room at school, it was after the championship football game, the girl was a super hot but bitchy cheerleader who was just trying to get the top spot on her team by sleeping with as many guys as she could on a dare. The guys' got a sharp kick in the balls by Karma, when they had to visit the doctor and she ended up pregnant having no idea who the father was, then having to quit the team anyway once her coach found out.
2 weeks after July 4th, Nick comes home from the garage on a Friday afternoon, to find a moving company van unloading piles of packing boxes and rolls of bubble wrap. Wondering what the hell was going on; he makes his way inside to find his parents, also wondering why his Dad's duel cab metallic blue ford navigator was sitting in the driveway this early in the day.
"Mom? Dad? What's going on? Why are there packing boxes everywhere? Mom?" Nick hears his parents in the kitchen talking to whom Nick recognises as his Dad's boss Mr Shawcross from the law firm, once he gets closer to the kitchen.
"… Am really very appreciative that you have taken on the position Will, and I know it is extremely short notice but the unfortunate sudden passing of Bill Jackson, from the Lima office has left us as a firm with a major dilemma…"
"It's all right Oscar, I mean it will be a big change for the kids, but as the new school year hasn't started yet, Jenny and I think they should be okay obviously it will take some time… but the opportunity to be a partner is a wonderful and challenging one for my career. Nick might find it harder as he only has two years left in high school, but I'm sure once he understands what a benefit to our family this move to Lima will be he will come around. "
"Thankyou both, I just want you to know Will, that as soon as I knew about Bill you were the only one with enough experience and good sense I would trust to control the Lima practice."
"Well I … um don't really know how to thankyou for that vote of confidence Oscar, except to say you can count on me to handle it to the absolute best of my ability."
The older man shakes his head and waves his hands in front of him "No problems at all, please you are doing us a great service. Now you have the address and details of the house and the schools' in Lima don't you? I took the liberty of including the details of McKinley High school in the list as both our two eldest attended; I know it has a good reputation in the district now their crazy cheerleading coach has left to go into politics or something.
I hope you will find the house satisfactory and comfortable; Margaret and I lived in it when I first set up the Lima practice many, many years ago, and it has been very well looked after, since then by a well known and long established real estate firm, Fabray- Evans and Co. I have been in contact with them to let them know you will be moving in and they promised to give it a good going over and get it ready for you. Now is there anything else I need to tell you…? Let me think you have your air tickets if you want to fly yes? Just call the airport with the final details and you also have the credit card for gas and accommodations, if you chose to drive it takes about 35 hours plus stops. Just let me know what you decide so I can let the office in Lima know when to expect you all."
Then as he gets up from the dinning table and takes his coffee mug to the sink Oscar turns towards the door, stopping to shakes hands with Will and Jenny, again thanking them profusely for upping their family to move across the country so suddenly.
At dinner that night Will and Jenny Hudson explained to their three children what was going on, and hoped that the kids understood how much of a benefit for their dad the move would be and of course they understood that the kids would miss their friends and life here in Seattle but from the quick look the kids had at the Lima Ohio website and the McKinley high-school page, they all agreed that the town looked to be very pleasant. It was a bonus that their Uncle Chris worked at the school they'd be attending so they'd at least have their cousin Noah, who was moving into his senior year at McKinley to show them the ropes.
Will then said that "his parents were both from Lima, before they moved to New York after his Dad came home from the Vietnam War, but came back to Lima with Uncle Chris a couple of years before I was born. They were still there but Dad sort of became a recluse a few years after the war and has refused to speak or see anyone, not even Uncle Chris, Mom is the only one who can get through to him, I feel bad about not spending much time with him over the years but with moving here for college and law school then the firm and you guys, I guess the time flashed past too quick, They are both well physically, but whatever happened to Dad… lets hope by living in the same town we can repair the damaged lines of communication… he was a great dad always smiling and laughing…"
Jenny squeezed her husbands hand and leant over to press a soft loving kiss on his dimpled cheek, her own thoughts of the tall man and tiny wife who she has met only a handful of times, swirling in her head, and hoping not only for her husband's sake but their kid's, that they can somehow break down the walls that her father in law has erected around himself.
Brought back to the present and the eager anticipation of moving to a new town and how Will's comment had sparked everyone's interest, the elder Hudson's hoped the kids would give up some of their holidays to help sort through and pack up the house.
Bonnie and Michele were very excited about the move and gladly offered to help pack, and after seeing some photos' of their new home at 515 Fieldview Ave, and all the open space around it were looking forward to maybe having a pony or two as they'd always wanted a horse but they didn't have enough room in Seattle. Will told them that they had a very good chance of that happening, the girls then jumped up from their chairs and tag-teamed him by pressing thankful kisses and nearly squeezing his breath from his large body. When Will regained his breath he told his family that his Mom and Dad still lived in his Dads' childhood home on Bluebird Ave.
Nick on the other hand was in two minds, he was of course very proud of his dad and knew the move would be good for his career… but at the same time he would miss his friends and everything he'd ever known in Seattle. He went to bed that night thinking about things and wishing his mind would just shut up. He had been given the task of packing up the cellar starting tomorrow, and was hoping it would be an easy job, 'cause at this time of year it is real stuffy down there and he really doesn't want to come across any long forgotten mice mummies or other creepy stuff.
Nick was awake pretty early for a Saturday especially as he was on summer break, but then he remembered his family were moving all the way across country to Ohio and they had to get their house in Seattle packed and moved, well the contents anyway, in a couple of weeks so he and his sisters would be pretty much settled by the time the fall school term began. He could smell his moms' famous pancakes and bacon wafting up the stairs so he jumps out of his bed, and races to his on-suite bathroom, hoping idly the new house will have enough bathrooms so he doesn't have to share with the girls, as he really doesn't want them to see his early morning 'excitement' nor does he want to have to step around all their 'girly' stuff and having two sisters there is always double the amount of stuff that seem to go hand in hand with their girly tempers and dramas.
He forgoes a shower, as he knows he will most probably get sweaty and covered in dust and cobwebs down in the cellar. Glad he made sure to put his I-pod on charge last night, he makes his way down to breakfast falling down the last two stairs when his giant foot catches the end of a bundle of packing boxes, landing him on his hands and knees, face slammed against the hall mirror that had been taken down and was resting against the wall waiting to be packed. He looked at his reflection and wondered how he had grown so tall, the last time he checked he was nearly 6'3" while the girls were tiny; but then his dad was tall just topping 6'2", but Uncle Chris was only about 5' 8" and didn't look like his dad… weird. Nick shrugs his already broad shoulders.
Then he remembered what his Uncle Chris said after his first growth spurt when he had just turned twelve.
"You have inherited the Hudson genes kiddo, as well as the famous Hudson dimples and passion for music and singing, but don't ever to be afraid to let your talents be known, regardless of what other people say. Your Grand Daddy Finn told me that, and boy could he beat the drums; I remember him and your Grandma Rachel used to take any opportunity at family gatherings, and the like, to sing together. Well more like Mom would sing and Dad would play his drums and add bits of the song just to balance it all out, but boy let me tell you when Grandma Rachel sang everything stopped because she had the looks and the voice of a brunette angel. Did you know kiddo they were even the glee club at their school? Even won some competitions if I recall correctly, pretty big ones too, like state wide... But all of a sudden he stopped … and I don't think he's sung since…"
Finn and Rachel Hudson were his… well his, Bonnie and Michele's grandparents, and he made a mental note to ask his dad about it later. But that would have to wait as his stomach was about to start eating its self so picking himself up of the floor, he walked into the dinning room rubbing his knees, garnering strange looks from the girls as he had apparently interrupted a very important conversation about what color saddle blankets to buy for their ponies Rosie and Tippy, once they got them and concerned ones from his folks. But Nick shakes his head and sits in his chair instantly reaching for the plates of fluffy pancakes and bacon, practically drowning the lot with copious amounts of maple syrup and washing the lot down 10 minutes later with nearly a pint of milk.
"I've put a bundle of packing boxes and a couple of rolls of tape, in the hall to the cellar honey, if you aren't sure of anything just put it to the side and I'll check it out later, though I think pretty much every thing should be all good to go as we've not touched it for ages, we usually clear out stuff fairly regularly, I'll call you for a break a bit later on ok honey?"
"Ok Mom, just make sure you don't forget to come get me, so I don't starve to death and end up shoved in one of the boxes by mistake."
His moms giggles followed him down the hallway till he came to the cellar door, thankfully she had turned on the light so he didn't fall face first down the stairs for the second time that day like the clumsy goofball he is. Nick got himself organised plugged his head phones in his ears selected some classic rock from his fairly eclectic play lists', and got to work, singing along to a classic.
"Tommy used to work on the docks, union's been on strike
He's down on his luck, it's tough, so tough
Gina works the diner all day working for her man
She brings home her pay, for love, for love
She says, we've got to hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
We've got each other and that's a lot for love
We'll give it a shot
Woah, we're half way there
Woah, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Woah, livin' on a prayer…"
Lost in his own world with his music Nick starts his task, packing box after box of books and bits and things, every so often putting stuff that was definitely trash, into a pile in the corner, a couple of torn boxes of what looked like plates and kitchen stuff he just repacked into a new box, making sure to write on the box in big letters the words FRAGILE all over it. Another box looked to be filled with linen so he did the same with that but when he got to the bottom of it he found wrapped in an old bath towel a little brown cardboard case that looked like the one he used to keep all his matchbox toy cars in when he was real small.
Nick carefully placed the bundle on the dusty floor and gingerly unwrapped it fully, then carefully undoing the leather strap around it. He opened the lid to find what appeared to be papers, old photos and leather bound notebook. He was very interested as to what they all were, but not wanting to damage the old papers with his sweaty dirty hands. Nick used the tip of his fingernail to flip over the cover of the notebook and the first thing that caught his attention, on a lose sheet of soft pink paper, were the words written in a neat loopy hand
'Love you always Finny, yours forever Rachel xxx'- Lima, 10 October 1965
Nick couldn't believe the treasure he had found, he straight away realized these papers and notebook must have belonged to his Grandparents, and from what his dad had said last night, that was still fresh in his mind Nick knew he couldn't pack this stuff again so he carefully wrapped it all back up in the towel and raced upstairs to his room putting the precious bundle in his backpack that he would be taking with him in the car, then racing back down stairs grabbing an apple or two from the kitchen on his way past, finishing off his chores by lunchtime, and then helping his dad carry the trash out to the curb for the council to cart away, then hauling all the repacked boxes to the garage ready for the movers who were due in a couple of days.
The kids' had a combined going away party of sorts the last night before they were due to leave and all their friends that were in town had a great time taking dozens of photos and all promised to keep in touch via facebook or SKYPE.
The day of the Hudson family's big departure had arrived, it had been decided that Nick would go by car with Will and their 5 year old Border collie dog Pip, and the few boxes of precious ornaments and favorite pot plants Jenny didn't trust to the movers, and she along with Bonnie and Michele, would catch the plane. The girls would obviously arrive before them and as Chris was still on his summer break, he would pick them up from the Dayton airport and take them to the house, he had been able to collect the keys from the real estate office on Friday, so everything was good he was more than happy to leave his spare car with her for a few days. Jenny had accepted his and Jane's offer to stay with them the first night as they had no bedding or anything, until the movers arrived.
At 4am on the Tuesday, Will and Nick said goodbye to their girls and promised to stay safe on the road and promised to call a couple of times during the trip and then again when they were close to Lima. Jenny and the girls were due to fly out at 6:30 am so needed to be at the airport about an hour before. So with one last round of teary kisses and hugs from his mom and the girls, a couple of sloppy kisses from Pip and one last look( using the bright new moon to see by) at the only home he'd ever known, Nick and Will Hudson, reversed down their driveway and on to Forks Street heading south east onto interstate 90. The drive was pretty uneventful, besides having to stop every couple of hours for a rest stop and to let Pip have a toilet stop and run around.
It was just after 10am when they had stopped for gas and another stretch and some food at a busy truck stop. When Nick brought up the subject of his Hudson grandparents, because since finding the old diary and papers in the little satchel, Nick had been extremely intrigued by the whole idea of finding out about the man, who from what both his dad and Uncle Chris had said was a normally happy man. So what had happened to him … well besides the obvious fact he'd been a soldier in the Vietnam War, but was apparently happy after serving his time, then suddenly becoming a recluse and seemingly forgetting his love of music and his family.
In a nervous tone Nick speaks "Hey Dad?" as rubs the back of his neck, with his left hand, looking across the wooden picnic table at his dad, and once Will is looking at him with a concerned but puzzled look, he continues.
"Yeah buddy, something brothering you?"
"Yeah, well no, not really I've just been thinking… well you know about Granddad and Grandma Hudson, and how you hardly ever talk about them or… I mean … are you not close? Like me and the girls have never even met them, and it's… just now that we are going to be living in the same town as them I was wondering if we'd like get to visit and stuff … 'Cause when I was cleaning out the cellar I found an old case wrapped in a towel filled with old letters and what looks like a diary or something. And it got me thinking, about them you know?"
Nick takes a deep breath after he's finished speaking and nervously clears his throat thinking he has upset his dad by bringing up the past due to the older Hudson's prolonged silence.
Will copies his sons' nervous neck rub before speaking,
A small smile appears on Will's face "Is that where that lot ended up, I'd wondered what had happened to it, but Nick please understand … when my Dad came home from the war he was a mess the things he'd seen and … well you've seen doco's on TV about it so I think you understand what I mean… then after a while he seemed to be back to his old self, the fun carefree Dad Chris and I remembered, he'd started playing his drums again and singing with Mom … I don't remember too many days when she wouldn't be just doing her chores or in the garden without singing or humming. Our house was never really quiet there was always some sort of music, usually them but sometimes it was the radio or Mom's treasured record player belting out her favorite Broadway classics or Dads' rock and roll stuff."
Will's face transforms with a wistful look as he remembers the happy childhood he and Chris shared at home.
Nick is listening with rapt attention to his dad, and trying to picture him and his Uncle Chris as kids,
Will starts again, "Of course us boys' grew up and went our separate ways, as you know I went to Seattle after college and met your Mom, and Uncle Chris went down to Columbus in Ohio for college after gaining a football scholarship then met Auntie Jane… and well once we left home and got busy with our lives we just lost touch…, oh we'd still call Mom every week and tried to spend most of the important holidays in Lima. Then about 25 years ago he and Mom went to a reunion of his army unit over in Columbus, I remember speaking to him a couple of days before and how he was looking forward to catching up with his old buddies and how his old uniform surprisingly still fitted him… but something must have happened that weekend , and even Mom wouldn't say… whether she didn't know or was protecting us boys I don't know, because from then on he stopped talking to anyone except Mom, and well it seemed what ever was troubling him could only be soothed by Mom's singing…"
But maybe if you read all those papers and things you might find out what happened. You know son you are so much like Dad it is uncanny, not only in looks because that's a given as you are my son and apparently I'm a spitting image of my Dad, but I mean your mannerisms and love of music as well not to mention you talents on the football field and under the hood of a car. You never know buddy maybe you will be the one after all this time to break down the wall Dad has put around himself … and let me tell you Nick, if you can be the one to get through, you and the rest of us will be given back the most honest, brave, caring, loving, talented and special man in the entire world. That's why we named you Nicholas Finn, because from the first minute I saw you I just had a feeling deep in my gut you'd be a good strong man when you were grown just like my Dad...
Now we'd better make a move or your Mom will be worrying and blowing up my cell, wondering where we are." He stands to collect their trash while slapping Nick on the shoulder while Nick tries to untangle Pip's lead from around the table leg.
Once again on the road Nick digs out the bundle of papers and looks through them properly, finding them in chronological order, which made him smile at the organisation and he noticed the top bundle was written in the same loopy hand as the first page he found. He decided to wait to read them till he could spread them out, so instead he opened the plain bound notebook realizing this was his Granddads. In a neat hand written in blue ink with what looked like a calligraphy pen that he had used in art class last year, he read …
To my dearest Grandson Finnegan,
Now you have reached your high teens and are about to embark on the young adult leg of your education, please use this journal to document your travels', through what I sincerely hope will be a long and wonderful life, filled with the solid unwavering love and companionship of your true soul mate, happiness and music. I know you will be credit to our family name in what ever you decide to do with your life.
Nana Elizabeth - 1954
Ps: Always keep the music in your heart dear, it can guide you through the worst times and make the good times even better.
Nick smiles to himself at the words which he reckons are typical Nana words, it's exactly the sort of things his Nanny Cathy says, and then turns the page…
First day of freshman year: At McKinley High School
A/N: Should I continue?
Our Finn and Rachel will show up next chapter I promise, this one was just to introduce the story and the character of Nick Hudson and his journey back in time to find out what happened to Finn.
Please review and let me know your thoughts, I really want to know if you liked it.