Chapter 10 Part 2

In May 1992 an invitation to a 25 year reunion of Finn's unit in Vietnam arrives in the mail box of 525 Bluebird Avenue, the celebration is scheduled for the July long weekend at the Observation City Hotel and Function center in Columbus.

Opening the plain white envelope, I started to smile, MAN! It would be great to catch with the boys, as bad as the war and being away from home was, having guys' like Bluey and Jerry, made it all just that much better and the fact we were all missing our girls, well we had a common topic of conversation. Thinking I'd finally being able to introduce my Rach, to them so they could at least put a face to the name that I went on about everyday, for those two years.

I had been planning to take Rach away for an early 29th wedding anniversary weekend as well as our 52nd birthday celebrations anyway, and thinking we could do it all at the posh hotel in Columbus, and spent a lot of time trying to find a show or something special to surprise her with.

Rach was happy about the reunion as long as I was.

"I'm sure I will be ok baby I've not had any problems for a long time now, and anyway I want to treat my beautiful wife to a weekend away in a fancy hotel. Where she can be waited on and someone else can do the cleaning for a couple of days, plus I can sex her up and no one will care if we make noise or splash all the water out of the tub after a round of sexy bath fun, 'cause that's what hotels are for."

She giggles cutely "Ok honey well in that case I had better make sure my wardrobe is suitable for a weekend away, maybe I need to go shopping at that new Victoria's secret store at the mall." Rach looks at me from under her lashes and bites her bottom lip. Making me groan and wish, I had time to race her upstairs and have my dirty way with her. I was still as much in love with and turned on by her at just over fifty as I was at fourteen. And hoped nothing ever changed that. She pecked me on the cheek and ran a tiny hand down my chest and over my groin gently squeezing me, and then giggling like a naughty elf, as she made her way up stairs. Leaving me with a semi hard on and the prospect of an eight-hour shift chasing idiots, up and down the highway before I could come home and 'work' off my frustrations. However, I did have the anticipation of Rach modeling her new purchases for me later to look forward to. Therefore, with a goofy side smile and my mind awash with thoughts of thongs and skimpy bras and baby doll nighties and a naked wet Rachel. I make my way out the front door and to work.

xxxxx

I had spoken to Will on the phone, just a few days before Rach and I left for the reunion and was very pleased to hear he was doing very well in Seattle.

"Hey Will how's things buddy? Yeah we are just fine, Mom is organizing our stuff, and she has been checking things off her to do list for the last week. I told her all we need are our selves and a bathroom bag and maybe one pretty dress and a suit, as we were going to spend most of the time in our room, I booked one with a big hot tub bath for our weekend away in Columbus."

Will interrupts me with a loud "DAD, what you two get up to in the privacy of your room is your business, and anyway shouldn't you old timers be well past all of that?"

"Ha, ha, never son, your Mom is as hot and enthusiastic about sex now as she was years ago; it gets better with age you know. When you and your Jenny, have been together as long as Mom and me you will understand what I mean you will never get enough of each other; I am just glad you boys were as lucky finding your soul mates as I have been. But enough about our sex life,

I hear Will say "thank god" and we both laugh loudly continuing our conversation.

"I am excited about catching up with Bluey Waters from Australia though; he was making the trip as part of a retirement holiday to the USA with his wife. Along with Jerry Posey who is bringing his girlfriend, who he apparently met at his granddads retirement home in Lake Erie, when she moved her Mom into the room next door. You just never where love will find you, he sounded like a teenager when he called to ask if I was going.

I am also stoked that my old uniform still fits, you should be proud son that your old man is in as good condition as he was years ago and I bet I can still wind my QB's arm up for a game winning throw."

We shared another laugh when Will said "You are talking to the wrong son dad, football is Chris's thing remember" we chatted for a little while longer, about his work and his basketball games, till he said he had to go, "'cause he was taking Jenny out to dinner for their first anniversary and he didn't want to be late."

I told him to be safe, laughing at his retort of "You and Mom scared us boys you know all those years ago, with your 'goings on' so there is no way I am not going to be, but then again we are married Dad so we don't have to be safe anymore. I would say give Mom a kiss for me but well, you don't need to be told twice huh Dad. Say hi to Chris and Jane for me as well, talk to you soon, Love you."

"Bye son love you too, and I will certainly pass on the message to your Mom, though I might have make it an in depth session."

At Will's groan of feigned disgust I chuckle loudly and hang up the phone."

I was thinking how lucky Rach and I have been with our kids, both had grown into very handsome and good trustworthy men and had been lucky enough to find and fall in love with beautiful loving women who loved them with the same unending passion that he has seen in his Rach all this time. Now Chris and Jane were on the verge of becoming parents. Thus making him and Rach grandparents all was good in the world of Finn Hudson.

Rach spent as much time as she could, helping Jane while Chris was at work. He was the football coach at McKinley High, and thoroughly enjoyed his position. He had been on the cusp of a promising career with the Buckeye's, Ohio's state team, as a wide receiver, and back up QB, which was uncommon, but he was just as good in either position, a career that was unfortunately cut short, by an illegal sacking in which his knee twisted the wrong way, resulting in an inoperable break. However, as a coach, he equaled Coach Beiste in his ability to turn idiots into excellent ball players, thankfully without all the farmyard analogies, and the McKinley Titans were once again the team to beat.

xxxxx

The reunion, held at the swanky 'Observation City Hotel and Function Center' in Columbus started well, Rach and I met up with Bluey (I finally found out his real name is Ron) his wife Marie, and Jerry and Elyse. Enjoying a nice dinner and catching up on the past. The girls all seemed to get along swapping photos of children and grandchildren.

After dinner, we all separate for a bit talking about catching up tomorrow for lunch or dinner, and wander through the displays of photos and other things. Rach left me looking through a lever arch file of papers while she was on the other side of the pinup board. I see quite a few photos of the doctors and the other boys and nurses from my MASH unit, the pain in the ass motor pool sarge was in one picture standing in front of the workshop like a sentry, there was even a couple of pictures of the 'business ladies'.

Along with articles from the newspapers about the crash caused by enemy sabotage, that took out my best friend Puck and four others. I feel sad, and cannot believe how much time has passed. I smile sadly at the fact that Puck never got to know the good man Chris has grown into and the amount of personality similarities, they share.

Halfway through the next file I feel my anger start to build, and I burst into sad tears, which soon turn to angry ones, as everything from that time comes rushing back into my head like a rewinding and then fast forwarding video. As I remember, what happened in Vietnam and the protestors that attacked Rach making her lose the baby.

I flip over another couple of pages in the file, hoping to maybe see some of the positive things we did, like helping to rebuild homes or helping the orphans at Christmas time, when all of a sudden… a strangled cry escapes from my throat and has Rach rushing back to my side.

"Baby what is the matter? I am only able to point to the laminated page in front of me.

Rachel takes my shaking hand and lifts it to her mouth pressing a comforting kiss on my palm, while her eyes widen at the words printed in clear bold type.

LOCAL LIMA MAN, AND WAR HERO SAM EVANS, LAID TO REST

AFTER EMOTIONAL EULOGY FROM DEVASTATED AND, MUCH IN LOVE WIFE (Quinn Fabray).

Underneath is an article about Sam joining the army to fight in Vietnam and the land mine accident that injured him, after he had gone to take some food to a group of villagers stranded by a flooded river, another couple of lines about the things he did. Then the rest of the article seems to be all about Quinn his 'grieving widow' who is struggling to cope and bring up their son. There is also a black and white photograph of Quinn dressed in black (well Rachel assumes she is wearing black if only to look the part, being 'consoled' by the mayor and several other people of importance in town, all looking somber at the event. The blonde meanwhile is looking more annoyed than anything and wishing she were anywhere else.

Rachel is gob smacked at the words, and is unable to comprehend the impertinence of the woman. She tugs on my hand to get me away from the main hall; I am whispering my safe word "finchel, finchel, finchel" repeatedly the whole time. I still have not said a proper sentence when we arrive at our room, as Rach guides me towards the bedroom and onto the bed pulling me against her chest and running her fingers through my hair as she starts to sing.

I calm down after a few hours and kiss Rach telling her I am ok now and it was just a shock is all, but I need some fresh air, promising her I will not do anything silly but will be back in a little while.

Knowing I need the time alone she just kisses me and tells me she loves me so very much and to please, please be careful.

I send her my dimpled lopsided smile, saying I love her too and how she and the boys are my entire world, so there is nowhere else I want to be ever.

Rachel cannot settle worrying herself silly about Finn, as he is still not back and it has been three hours. She grabs her purse and the room key off the bedside table, and heads down stairs to the hotel bar, where she noticed a lot of other ex soldiers, and a very large group of suit clad and fancy dressed business people. Who from the banner hanging on one wall affirmed it was The Ohio Real Estate Industry, Sales Person's of the Year awards, thinking nothing of it she continues with her quest. Wondering if maybe Finn had gone for a drink, (he didn't drink much these days) but perhaps he had been waylaid, catching up with some old buddies, she ventured in farther. Looking around she doesn't see him… but as she gets closer to the booths at the back she sees a mop of familiar soft brown hair streaked with grey, then a most unwelcome sound that shouldn't be anywhere near who she now knows is her missing husband.

"Oh Finnilicious…, baby I have been waiting for years for this. I always knew you wanted me. Now I've finally got you on your own, we can get our sexy on, I'm not wearing any panties you know, as soon as I saw you I took them right off. Hic… You know now that I have been named as Realtor of the year for the Allen county area. I am even more popular. But for the life of me, I can't understand why you have stuck with the hobbit, she is hardly pretty… hic…"

Rachel had heard enough; her angry strides take her in no time, over to a private booth at the back of the room where she finds her husband, in an extremely inebriated state, trying and failing to push a nearly as drunk Quinn Fabray! Away from him and more particularly her hand out of his pants, her hooker red lips pressed so firmly against his jammed shut ones, the poor man was struggling to breathe.

"OH FOR FUCKS SAKE WOMAN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN, GET AWAY FROM MY HUSBAND AND LEAVE HIM ALONE."

I hear Rach yell in a voice like thunder, my head snaps up and I send her a scared drunken smile and little wave before trying to apologize

"R-Rach? B-baby I wasn..., I mean she jus… I don't… baby I'm sorry…"

Finally being able to push the blonde off my lap, I jump up, albeit extremely unsteadily and wobble over to where my tiny wife is standing at her full 5' 3", hands on her hips glaring daggers at the smirking blonde witch, now sprawled in the booth, legs wide open and her skirt up around her butt.

The anger rolling off Rachel's tiny body in tsunami sized waves is always more than enough to scare most people, and I am not ashamed to say that when Rach gets fired up she scares me shitless, drunk or not.

She turns to me, reaching down covertly zipping up my pants, and using the tip of her thumb and forefinger, removes from my pocket what I can now see as being a pair of lacy red panties, throwing them in to the other woman's face. Turning back to me and saying softly in a voice that conveys that she is not angry with me,

"Finn, honey please leave this to me and get yourself a big glass of water or black coffee to help sober you up."

As I drop my head, I feel my face burning with shame; she takes my left hand and raises it to her mouth kissing over the gold wedding band that she placed there 28 years ago. Then reaching up to kiss my lips after wiping the remains of the trashy red lipstick off, with a tissue from her purse, and whispering just loud enough to carry to the other woman,

"I love you baby you know that and I don't blame you for anything."

Before turning back to the bane of her existence, she does notice from the corner of her eye however, that her husband does not move too many inches away from her side.

"God hobbit can't you just leave us alone! Finn and I were catching up on old times…"

Rachel starts to speak in a dark tone

"Shut up! You had better fucking listen and listen good Fabray. I have had enough of your horrid lies and sluttish behavior in regards to MY HUSBAND. So I am about to lay some knowledge on you. Are you comfortable? No, well that is bad luck just shut your vile mouth and hear me or so help me god…

"WHACK" Quinn's open palm connected with Rachel's face

"WHAT THE FUCK FABRAY… Rach baby…

"YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH HOBBIT FINN SHOULD BE WITH ME AND I…"

Without saying another word, Rachel forms her hand into a fist, and lets it fly with every ounce of strength in her body, until it connects with the sneering face of the blonde. As Quinn stumbles back into the booth, her flailing arm knocks over the glasses and bottle of wine on the table, her eyes dazed, and one hand raised and pressed against her face. Rachel stands over her and in a big voice belying her tiny stature spits out her words...

I could see the minute Rach brought her arm down that she was in pain, most probably with a broken hand. But she kept going

"I am going to talk now and you WILL listen or so help me god I will hit you again, and I can promise you, you will not get up for a good long while. I have put up with your crap since high school, but because you were too busy dishing out disparaging and offensive comments to anyone you came across. You never took the time to find out what I was like, and because I was interested in being a good student, who thank you very much, graduated with a 4.o GPA and numerous awards. You deemed it necessary to belittle and abuse my friends and I for joining a club that made us happy and fulfilled. Not to mention the trashy way you kept throwing yourself at Finn. Knowing, as the fact was common knowledge since the end of freshman year that he and I were a couple. You even had the audacity to confront me when I was 7 months pregnant in front of our son, scaring him in the process when you knocked me down and accused me of cheating on my husband and lying about our much loved and wanted baby's paternity."

Fabray is slack jawed at Rach's tirade and does nothing but stare at Rach, a look of being scared shitless plastered on her over- painted face. Inside I am cheering my petite brunette love on, remembering what my dad said when I first came home all those years ago about her defending, so fiercely those she loves. I was thankful the waitress handed me a large bottle of water, when she passed, as I did not want to leave Rach alone

Taking a deep breath, she continues.

"The stress and horror that Finn has dealt with, including the tragic loss of our first baby before he went to war. Then losing a good friend in Sam Evans and after hearing, Sam's story as he lay horribly injured waiting for help as to why he joined up was because of the lies you told him. Then his best friend since kindergarten, killed in an enemy sabotage attack. As well as the horrible things, he has had to deal with in the police force. He is trying to fight the nightmares and anxiety attacks."

"Furthermore, we have worked out with medical help that YOUR NAME is the trigger for his PTSD. Even though I am under no obligation to explain myself or divulge personal details of mine and Finn's marriage. I will tell you just so you know you will never get between us. Finn and I adopted Noah Puckerman's son mere months before he died AT Noah's desperate request. As for sleeping with others and lying about a baby's paternity, that was YOU! Now for the last time leave us alone! Finn has never been interested in you and he never will be. You could only dream about having the connection with anyone, that Finn and I have, you are much too mean and self-centered."

"Oh and Quinny don't even bother to try and have me charged for assault because there are about fifty people in this room including some of your realtor friends, who witnessed YOU hit me first and as any smart person knows I was acting in self defense when I retaliated. Moreover, I have the law on my side…,"

Rach pauses for a minute to send me a smile and cup my cheek with her hand; I turn my face so I can kiss her palm.

"So I guess the long and the short of it is… "She smirks at her little joke motioning between us. "YOU are screwed. Now for the last time stay away from my Finn and if you see us in Lima make sure to cross the street or even turn the other way, because from this second onwards, you are a persona non grata to us and our family... Oh one last thing Quinny, if you continue to 'advertise your goodies', like a cheap bordello whore maybe you should get a better dye job' because what you are flashing the entire bar… well I'm sure you know what I mean.

Fabray gathers her wits and spits back motioning to me with her chin tugging her skirt down quickly "If he is that much of a mess hobbit why not leave him and let someone prettier get with him, looking at your ugly face all-day would be enough to give anyone nightmares"

Fuming, I ball my hand into a fist until I feel Rach put her hand on my forearm. "Don't even go there Fabray, Rachel is all I have ever needed or wanted in my life , her and our sons are the best thing to ever happen to me, and nothing you or anybody does is going to make me think different. You never stood a chance in hell of getting with me in high school and an even lesser chance like in never, now, so just forget it."

In a calm tone, Rach says, "If you have not figured it out by now you never will"

A loud snort of contempt from the blonde then a hiss of "You mean no one else will have your ugly loser self"

I wrap my arm around Rach's shoulders pressing a kiss on the top of her head as she leans against me, I guide her away from the bar, thankful I have sobered up somewhat so at least my mind and mouth can work in unison now.

A sneer from the booth as Fabray spits venomously, "what can she give you that I can't, I am rich, an…"

I drop my head and sigh deeply stopping midstride, I lean down to kiss Rachel's lips and run my hand down her face, looking deep into her big brown eyes, which are glistening with unshed tears. Never taking my eyes off her beautiful face, and fed up to my back teeth with this bitch's fucking crap and the way she has never had a nice word to say about anybody. I say in a dark dangerous tone,

"The answer Fabray … is LOVE, pure and simple! Rachel has loved me with her entire being since we were 14 years old and I return that love with the same unyielding passion. A steel cable tethers us that nothing, not wars, death, distance, or even this terrible PTSD that I have been troubled with for years, can ever break. There is nothing in this world that will ever make me leave her, even though she has dealt with my crap she loves me still and I am so fucking grateful to her I will spend the rest of my life trying to make up for the tears she has shed on my behalf."

With that, final word, Rach and I make our way out of the bar, looking for a cab to take us to the nearest hospital. After about 5 hours waiting in the emergency and finally being seen to by a frazzled young doctor, (It turned out Rach did indeed break her hand and was in a lot of pain obviously ) we left the hospital Rach, with a plaster cast from her mid forearm to her hand and a prescription for some strong pain killers

I felt it was my fault if I had not gone back down stairs and got drunk… Rach reached out for my hand, as always our minds on the same page.

"Please don't blame yourself baby, it was a well overdue smack down. That woman has had it coming to her for years and I guess I just had enough. Let us hope she finally got the message that you are taken, and I will not stand for her shenanigans or barefaced lies anymore... But thank you for what you said… I love you."

"I love you too baby and thank you for you."

We pressed our lips together in a tender kiss cementing the words we had just verbalized, before sitting back, snuggled together and staring out the cab windows each lost in our own thoughts

We tried to enjoy the rest of our weekend, but due to the pain Rach was in and the shame and upset, I was feeling over Rach getting hurt and seeing the pictures and articles about Sam and Puck, not to mention rehashing all those memories from high school, that talking to the blonde witch evoked. Rach and I decided to head home to Lima.

XXXXX

The aftermath of the events at the reunion cause Finn to suffer a relapse, again losing touch with his sons' and taking stress leave from the force; shutting out friends'. Like before, he has nightmares, but unfortunately, they are worse this time. He thinks it is better for the both of them if he moves into the spare bedroom at night. No matter how much Rachel begs him to stay with her. He refuses and she cries herself to sleep, sometimes waking up in the middle of the night to find Finn's arms wrapped around her and his face pressed against her chest, or his mouth latched on to her breast suckling her. Dried tear tracks evident on his face. Through her silent tears, Rachel combs her fingers through his hair and sings softly, waking up in the morning alone. Therefore, with a breaking heart she tries again to get him help. Wishing she could get some answers but every doctor she has spoken to recommends a course of medication to help calm Finn down, she knows he does not want to go down that road. She desperately wishes Sidney Freedman was still around to help but sadly, he passed away about five years ago.

He becomes reclusive and antisocial; his sudden bouts of unexplained anger scare Rachel. Which turns his guts inside out, he gets lost in the vicious circle of despair, causing him to find comfort in a whiskey bottle, and going so far as to drive to another town to buy his whiskey so the local gossips don't start spreading stories.

Rachel is at her wits end as how to help Finn and just hopes he can somehow find a way out and come back to being the happy go lucky, fun, friendly guy she knows and loves.

She had been feeling unwell, for a few weeks on and off with a fever and stomach pain, which no amount of aspirin seemed to cure. But of course, she disregarded her own issues, to try to help her husband. As before, she tried talking to him, but that usually resulted in him yelling her to leave him alone and how she should look for someone else, who wasn't prone to pansy assed fucking breakdowns, and sobbing in the corner like a 3 year old. This behavior went on for months, his alcohol consumption increased dramatically. He did calm down when she sang like always, but as soon as she stopped he was all depressed again, and she just wanted her loving, Finn back, for him, for her, for their sons.

Rachel was struggling to cope with everything, until one day she just could not take anymore she knew Finn was not mean on purpose and none of what he was going through was his fault but… He seemed to be giving up, even when Chris or Will called on the phone or Chris and Jane brought baby Christine around, to visit with them. Finn would lock himself in the basement with his whiskey, ignoring everyone, until they left and it was just him and Rach in the house.

Rachel found her husband in his basement curled into a tight ball in the corner, just staring at his drum kit, the ever-present whiskey bottle clutched against his chest.

In a soft pain filled voice she says, "Finn honey can I talk to you please?"

He just shrugged his shoulders and without even looking at her took another slug of his drink. Though If he had glanced in her direction he would have noticed how ill Rachel was looking, her hair was lank and plastered against her head her beautiful face pale and etched with deep pain and she had one little hand pressed over her lower abdomen, her already petite body looking even smaller.

"Finn can you look at me please?"

"Why? You are only going to tell me you are leaving me 'cause I'm a useless moody drunk and you don't love me anymore and I already know I'm a mess so just get it over with…"

If there was, one thing that made Rachel Hudson's anger flare up, it was hearing her big strong husband sound so defeated and expectant that she would just up and leave him. He was so lost in his own sadness and despair that he was unaware that his problems were causing Rachel to unwisely ignore her own health issues.

"FINN CHRISTOPHER HUDSON, YOU STOP WITH THAT FUCKING BULLSHIT TALK RIGHT THIS MINUTE, I AM NOT GOING TO LEAVE YOU EVER, BECAUSE I LOV… ouch, f-fiinnyy…" She then just collapses on the floor, causing Finn to scream out her name, dropping his nearly empty bottle on the floor as he scrambles to his feet and rushes across the room to Rachel's side, panic filled tears streaming down his face.

"RACH…" baby I'm sorry I… didn't mean… NO RACHEL, PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME… I-I'm so sorry baby, R-rach..."

Through his panic filled sobs, he finds the resolve to get up and find the phone calling 911, his medical training kicked into gear, by the sudden burst of adrenalin surging through his body. While he is waiting, he takes a good look at Rachel and is shocked into tears again when he sees how ill she looked.

It seemed like forever till the ambulance arrived and Finn watched on, raking his shaking hands over his scruffy bearded face and through his hair until it looked like a briar patch. He did not take his bloodshot eyes off his tiny wife, as she was strapped to the gurney. He demanded to go with her and after taking one look at him the EMT guy said it was probably a good idea as otherwise they would be pulling him out of a wrecked car.

The drive to the hospital is tension filled Finn is holding onto Rachel's tiny hand as the EMT checks her vitals and asks Finn questions, but all he manages to say is "Rachel Hudson she is 52 years old" and "please baby I'm so fucking sorry I'm a mess"

I swipe a shaking forefinger along her cheek wiping away the tear that has fallen and start to cry again when her eyelids start to flutter and a tiny just audible whisper of "finny?" escapes her lips. Finally reaching Lima Memorial Hospital, Rachel is rushed through to the emergency room, while I am left standing in the waiting room shaking like a leaf now the adrenalin rush as worn off. I pace the room, raking my shaking hands over my face and down the back of my neck, my tears silently dripping off my chin. Finally, I stumble into a hard plastic chair and proceed to rock back and forth waiting for news of my Rach. I cannot even gather my thoughts enough to call Will or Chris.

He does not know how long he has been sitting there but it felt like forever when he hears his name

"Excuse me Mr. Hudson?"

I jerk my head up at the sound, hoping it will be news about Rachel. All I can do is nod my head, stuttering out Rachel's name and trying to formulate a question.

The nurse smiles at me handing me a cup of something and saying in a kind tone, "would you like me to call anyone for you?"

I nod again and fumble with my wallet to get the card I have my son's phone numbers written on ( only because I could never remember them) and with a shaky hand passes it to the nurse. With a quiet "Thank you, our son Chris lives in Lima, but Will in Seattle needs to know what happened to their Mom."

"Of course Mr. Hudson, it should not be too much longer before someone will let you know how your wife is doing, there is a coffee machine just up the hall if you want more ok?"

"T-thank you nurse."

The nurse returns a little while later handing me back my card and telling me that Chris was on his way, and Will was trying to get the first plane out of Seattle."

Just as Chris arrives and hugs me, a doctor dressed in surgical scrubs emerges from the hallway leading to the operating theatres taking a seat next to us.

"Mr. Hudson, my name is Dr. Jarvis and I'm happy to say your wife is going to be ok, she had an infected appendix, and as it was, it was on the verge of rupturing. We are extremely lucky she collapsed in a way otherwise it might have been too late and the poison would have entered her bloodstream, it should have been seen to months ago…"

I can't listen to any more and I jump up from my chair heading towards the door.

"I-I need to see R-rach… Chrissy, please I need Mom. I send Chris a pleading look, he had been talking to the doctor who suddenly had a look of understanding on his face, and nodding as he patted Chris on the back I heard the words

"Room 325 on the 4th floor"

"Sure Dad let's go"

We don't say much in the elevator that seems to take forever, but as soon as it stops, I rush out looking both ways along the hallway till I see the arrow that points to where Rach is.

As I reach for the handle of room 325, my heart jumps to my throat when I see through the door glass my tiny wife looking even tinier lying on the bed with wires and tubes connecting her to a drip and other monitors. Reaching her bedside, I fall into the chair on the opposite side of the bed to where the monitors are.

"R-Rach baby I'm so, so sorry, I forgot about you please forgive me I love you baby please wake up and tell me you love me still I didn't mean those things I said I promise."

"Dad relax, Mom is gonna be ok, the doctor said they got her appendix out just in time, but you know how she is, if one of us are hurting she puts us first, and I guess she figured you were more important right now."

"I know Chrissy, but god if she wasn't here I'd be nothing she has been my rock since we were teenagers ya know, and I feel so bad that because of me she forgot about looking after herself…"

Chris tries to tell me again that none of it has been my fault and when Will gets here, he will say the same thing...

"Finny"

"Rach, oh god, baby I was so scared I was going to lose you"

"Baby don't be upset please, I'll be ok I promise" I stroke her cheek and taking hold of her hand tenderly press kisses over the back of it.

A weak chuckle from the bed containing my reason for living set off another flood of tears, though this time in relief as I pressed my lips gratefully against hers.

Chris came over and hugged his mom kissed her on the cheek before saying softly, "Glad you are ok Momma, I'm gonna go pick up Will from the airport so don't go anywhere till we get back ok?" a weak nod from Rach as I nodded my thanks at him, never taking my eyes off Rach.

I took a hold of Rach's left hand and pressed it to my lips, lowering it but not letting go, in a meek tone, I said, "Fuck Rach I have never been so scared in my life, and I am so damned sorry you neglected your health worrying about me."

"Finn please listen to me… Baby I am ok now that's what is important, but honey please don't blame yourself you didn't know and to be honest I hadn't thought much about it I just thought the pains I was having, were maybe a strained muscle or just cramps to do with the changes my body is going through due to menopause." She closes her eyes then snaps them open a couple of times wiggling a bit in the bed trying to get comfortable.

I can tell she is still coming out of the anesthetic and needs to sleep.

"Just sleep now baby and when you wake, the boys should be back ok? I just gonna sit here and watch you, and I don't care how creepy that looks to anyone else I just need to know you are here and ok."

"I love you Finn Hudson you know that and I am always going to be here for you no matter what happens, but yes I am a bit dopey from the drugs still so how's about you come down here and kiss me again, then I will sleep and be all refreshed when my baby boy arrives."

"I love you Rach and I promise to get better…" I am unable to finish as my tiny love pulls my neck down to her level and presses a long kiss on my mouth. Then tucking our still joined hands under her cheek she slides into slumber.

Before Rach is discharged from the hospital, she is told to take things easy, which meant no lifting or strenuous exercise for a little while, so between me, Chris and Jane, we take turns doing things for her once Will went back to Seattle after a week or so. It was great seeing him and I know how happy it made Rach to have both her boys home at the same time, a fact that helped with her recovery, but I have to admit it seemed to make me nervous I wasn't sure why.

I stopped drinking after Rach was rushed to hospital and the first night she was home, I took the half dozen or so bottles of whiskey, I had stashed about the house and tipped them all down the drain, then had a good long shower and shaved off my scruffy full beard. Then spent the night with Rach snuggled up against my chest, my arms as tight as possible around her, and for the first night in a long time slept reasonably well.

xxxxx

Time moved on as it inevitability does and I was making significant progress towards a full recovery, for which I was very thankful for, the nightmares, though still scary only occurred a couple of times a week now and with not drinking myself stupid my outbursts of temper had dwindled to almost nothing. The only aspect that hadn't changed was my reclusive behavior and the shame and embarrassment I felt especially where Chris and Will were concerned.

Rach tells me all the time that the boys… well, they're grown men now, fully understand that I haven't been myself and will continue to help in anyway they can. Though I feel like a failure in their eyes for succumbing to the horrors, and repairing the damage with them is a bit harder for me to do.

Chris tries many times, I'm positive he is tag teaming with Will even from across the country, to tell me that is not the case and understands that what I had to deal with during the war and was forced to relive at the reunion. Also, the attack on Mom (The boys knew about their sister and wanted to hunt down the bastards who took her away from their family). None of that makes me in any way weak it makes me a damn good man and he (Chris) for one is still as proud to call me Dad now as he has always been, and he knows that Will feels exactly the same way. In addition, he is honored and proud to have two brave men he can call dad, me and Noah.

Will calls every week and tries to talk about anything he thinks might takes my mind off my troubles, He tells me all about his law firm and Jenny and how he is doing in his rec league basketball games.

Rach does her bit by singing; she tries to encourage me to join her in singing our old glee songs and purposely leaving my drumsticks all around the house. She is a sneaky one my tiny wife, she has also been randomly banging on my drums when she knows I'm in another part of the house. I think she is hoping I will come and correct her then play for her. After a while, her tactics start to make a difference, not to mention I feel bad for allowing my kit to be mistreated like it is.

Slowly I feel the darkness lifting and I am able to see the sun, so to speak. Before long, I feel like the old Finn Christopher Hudson.

I caught her one day, I had just come in from mowing the yard, I enjoyed the solitude of the yard work, and also the physical aspect of the blade mower, (the boys brought me a new top of the range rotary Victa mower with a catcher, for fathers' day the other year but I like the old one best). I heard the banging from the basement so as quietly as possible, I walked to the door and stood there just watching her. A soft smile on my face at the determined look on her face, though she had to stop every so often to tuck strands of her still dark hair that had escaped her top knot due to the intense head banging she was doing behind her ear, and biting her bottom lip.

She looked lost behind the big base and the sticks held awkwardly in her little hands. I also noticed she had a country and western record playing on the turntable that was making it nearly impossible for her inexperienced drummer's ear to follow.

"It takes years of practice to be able to play those drums ya know missy, just banging on 'em like that is gonna upset the neighbors and very likely get you a noise infringement ticket not to mention hurting the feelings of the poor defenseless skins. It looks to me like you need some proper instruction, from someone who actually knows what they are talking about."

With a smug look on her still beautiful face, she watches me as I walk down the stairs and stand next to her, still seated on the stool.

"Well maybe if I could find someone who would be willing to show me what to do and how to hold these bangy things… then maybe I might improve, do you happen to know anyone like that sir?"

"Do you know I just might, you might have seen him around."

"Well what does he look like?" She then sighs dramatically tapping a forefinger against her chin "Hmm now that you mention it, I have seen a guy hanging around lately he is very tall and sexy, he also has the cutest dimples, his hands are quite large, and I am sure would know what to do… I wonder if that is him, gosh I sure hope so."

She giggles a little and swipes her thumb along the edge of her fringe moving it out of her eyes before looking up at me licking her lips.

"Do you have a contact number for him that I can call and maybe organize some, one on one tuition? I would really like to know how to handle all the equipment…"

My booming laugh at her playfulness makes me smile, so I lift her off the stool and without letting her go make myself comfortable pulling her back on to my lap, groaning slightly as she wiggles against my groin, and putting the sticks in her hands correctly, my own folding over hers and tapping out a beat on the bass.

I removed my hands and started to press little, butterfly kisses against the soft silky skin of her neck and down along her shoulder. Smirking as my actions make her breath hitch and a soft "Mmm baby" leaves her lips as she leans her head back and turns her face enough so our lips can meet in a tender kiss.

"I think you know enough now" I puff out, "how about we go upstairs and practice that kissing thing some more, as well as that other thing I been neglecting." I feel Rach smile against my lips as I move one hand up her waist, caressing her boob, instantly feeling her nipple harden so I know for damn sure she isn't wearing a bra.

Standing and lifting Rach in a bridal carry I head for the stairs pulling away slightly to look her in the eyes and whisper" Thank you baby for bringing me back"

She shrugs and simply says, "I missed you Finny, and I needed you to be back for you, remember we are Finchel and that means…

"Endgame"

"Endgame"

We both said at once. Causing us to both burst into laughter, making my way up stairs in a hurry we proceeded to spend the rest of the day and well into the evening reacquainting ourselves with each other...

xxxxx

An excited Rachel rips open the padded envelope with the Seattle post mark, one Tuesday morning in 1999 and giddily tells me over breakfast all about Will's new baby son, and shows me the photo's they sent. He and Jenny named their son Nicholas Finn, and everyday he looks more like Will did, and he already has a thing for music because he is quiet and much happier when there is music playing, and sometimes he moves his arms as if he is holding a pair of sticks.

I am pretty happy when I hear that and start to spend a lot of my free time in my soundproof basement with the door locked. Then when Rach asks me what I'm doing down there all the time I just kiss her on the mouth and send her a side grin showing up my dimples. I'm not a hundred percent ready to face the world just yet but if I take baby steps, then before long nothing will bother me and I can remove every last brick in the wall I have built between myself and my son's.

Rach just shakes her head, still as much turned on by his sexy broad physique and twinkling amber eyes even in his late 50's as she has always been. Smiling brightly when she hears seeping out through the crack under the door, his drumming and deep baritone voice singing along to his new favorite music genre which is eighties classic rock. Making herself comfortable on the step so she can hear Rachel has tears in her eyes as she listens to the words.

" I can't fight this feeling any longer

And yet I'm still afraid to let it flow

What started out as friendship

Has grown stronger

I only wish I had the strength to let it show

I tell myself that I can't hold out forever

I said there is no reason for my fear

'Cause I feel so secure when we're together

You give my life direction

You make everything so clear

And even as I wander

I'm keeping you in sight

You're a candle in the window

On a cold dark winters night

And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might…"

Tears running down her face at the knowledge that her Finn was back, Rachel Hudson made her way to the kitchen, digging out all the ingredients for batches of banana bread, sugar cookies and chocolate walnut brownies. All her husbands' favorite treats, thankful he had something to replace the dark dreams and breakdowns he had been dealing with on and off for the past 30 odd years. She couldn't wait until he was ready to tell the world that he didn't give up that easily.

xxxxx

2015:

One day in the summer of 2015, a call came into the switchboard of Fabray-Evans and Co real estate office in Lima, and was answered by the one and only Quinn Fabray. Oscar Shawcross at 'Lima Legal' was calling, and (even though he was in his mid 90's Oscar was still a very fit and sharp minded man and didn't let anyone male or female get the better of him) requesting his property at 515 Fieldview Way Lima. Be given a first-rate, house and yard cleaning and the utilities connected. In preparation for his new law office manager, Will Hudson and family who would be arriving in Lima from Seattle within the next few weeks. Once it was ready to call Chris Hudson on 555-202-005 to let him know, as the gentlemen would be collecting the keys for his sister in law Mrs. Jenny Hudson.

Hanging up on Oscar Shawcross, after taking down the details she then went about organizing with the cleaning and maintenance firm that dealt with all the manual tasks, to deal with the house on Fieldview Way.

Quinn knew Chris Hudson, by sight and reputation only. As he is about 30 years younger than her, they obviously did not mix in the same upper society circles. She had read in the local paper about his unfortunate accident that put a stop to his promising football career (well she supposed some thought it was unfortunate, the world is full of failed sports jocks, so really what was one more). And his coaching successes with the McKinley High School Titans for the past few years but apart from that, he is a stranger. Will Hudson though she doesn't know at all.

She looked forward to meeting him secretly wondering if he was anything like his father Finn (and losing herself in the memories of the super cute boy she always thought she wanted but who refused all her advances and made it obvious he wanted nothing to do with her.) She knew he had many years ago married that singing midget Rachel Berry (She conveniently forgot all the horrible things she has said and done to Finn and Rachel over the years) and even though they all live in the same town, their paths haven't crossed for many years. And really, at 75 years old she can't be bothered.

She has her money, status and fancy house on Dudley road, and if she is totally honest with herself, she is much too selfish to share anything with anyone. There is also the fact that she knew she never felt anything for the tall cute QB, but she liked pretty things and out of all the boys around, he was the cutest and the only one likely to help her gain the title of most popular couple and prom queen in high school. So why shouldn't she have him?

She hadn't forgotten the altercation, with Rachel in Columbus that year either, but chose not to admit, that it was all a result of her own behavior. For some reason the words the brunette spoke that day were stuck in her head, but just because they were there didn't mean she had to listen to them. She did feel a twinge of jealously, though when she thought of the years she wasted chasing Finn, only to be rebuffed each time and having the brunette win. As she had never felt this tether rubbish they went on about, she didn't believe it could happen… but then again Finn and Rachel Hudson had been together since high school so maybe there something to be said for soul mates. After all 50 odd years was a long time to be with the same person. Though she admittedly wouldn't be able to put up all of those problems, they said Finn had suffered with that PTSD stuff. It would have made her run a mile. Not to mention the fact that they enjoyed being parents, something Quinn had never taken to. That's what nanny's were for surely.

She and her son Jay were never close but once he found out about his real father. By recognizing his picture in an old high school thunderclap, as being nearly identical to his own he demanded she tell him the truth, then after getting a court ordered blood test done and having the proof stare him in the face, he never spoke to her again.

Shaking herself from the past and thinking maybe, she had been in the wrong a lot of the time, Quinn Fabray shrugged her age-stooped shoulders, and got on with her day calling for a takeout cappuccino with extra bitter chocolate dust.

XXXXX

"Hello? Hey, son how are you? Yeah me and Mom are fine… no I'm good Will honest."

"That's great dad, I'm happy you are both ok, and doing well… listen I've got some news, is Mom there? Can you put the phone on speaker?"

"No Mom is over at Chrissy and Jane's, why? Are you and Jenny and the kids all ok?"

"Yeah everyone is fine Dad, it's just I suppose you heard that Bill Jackson the Lima practice manager from my law firm passed away suddenly?"

"Yeah, Yeah I did he was a good guy his poor wife is completely lost and so is their daughter Becky… what does that have to do with you though?"

Well, I have been offered the chance to run the Lima office as a partner so that means Me, Jenny and the kids will be relocating to Lima in the next couple of weeks, Oscar Shawcross, has organized for us to move into the company house on Fieldview way. Jenny and the girls will most probably fly and Nick and I will drive as we've our dog to bring. I just wanted to let you both know, I think Oscar told the agency to call Chris when the house was ready so he could collect the keys and such till Jen gets there… We are all excited about the move, and with Noah only a year above our Nick and the girls in freshman year, the kids will at least have a friendly face at their new school. Shoot…, I've got to go dad, can you please let Mom know and give her a big kiss from me. We will see you all soon, I can't wait."

"Um yeah ok, Will see you soon."

I hung up the phone, suddenly nervous about seeing my family; I had unintentionally cut myself off from both boys the last few years, but the feelings of disappointment and shame I felt when they looked at me was hard to shake. I know I love them and are so very proud of the men they have grown into … and I know they don't think of me as a failure, but I can't put my finger on it…, I mean I don't even know Will's kids,… I know their names and that Nick likes music and is a drummer, but what if it is too late to connect with them? And what must Jenny think of me, a grown man too freaking scared to leave the house to even visit with his grandkids?

I still don't really go out much, besides the PTSD help line call center, Rach tried to get me to help out at the Police run youth group, I did go a few times and enjoyed myself, and as those kids didn't know me from a bar of soap they had no preconceived ideas of what I was like. I guess they were just grateful someone was there to show them how to play the drums and toss a football, which I have to say, is getting harder to do the older I get. But maybe, just maybe I can pull myself out of this self-induced separation and get to know my own flesh and blood before it really is too late...

Nodding my head firmly at my decision, I grabbed the car keys and climbed in the car for the short drive to Chris and Jane's, to tell them and Rach, Will's news.

As expected, they were all very happy, Rach was so looking forward to having all her grandkids around, Christina was at college over in Columbus, studying special needs education, but came home for term breaks and holidays. Noah was moving into his senior year; Nick would be a junior and the twins, Bonnie and Michele, freshmen. But who from all the pictures they send look just like miniature Rachel clones, except their eyes and hair are lighter brown but they are just as tiny as Rach and Nick is a spitting image of Will.

On the way home, I told Rach about my epiphany and vowed to make more of an effort to reconnect with our kids and grandkids, feeling that Nick and I might be more alike that either of us knows. With tears flooding her dark chocolate eyes Rach leans over the seat to press a deep kiss against my lips and says, "I love you Finn Hudson"

When Chris stopped by a week later and said he was going to get the keys from the realtor's office, on Friday I asked if I could go with him, as I wanted to help get things ready for Will and Jenny.

"Are you sure Dad you know that Fabray woman owns that real estate business don't you? And still spends a fair bit of time in the office."

"Yes Chrissy I know that, but she doesn't bother me anymore she means nothing to me or your Mom, everything that happened is in the past and done with. My family, the family I made with your Mom, you and Will has always been more important to me than anything that woman does or says. I have decided life is too short and I don't want to miss out on any more of my kids and grandkid's lives"

Chris beams the biggest, brightest Puckerman'esque grin he can fit on his face, wiggling his eyebrows (taking me back about 60 years when Puck used to do the same thing, ) and says "Ok then lets do this man!"

Chris picked me up at lunchtime on the Friday; before Jenny and the girls were due to arrive on Tuesday. Rach was worried that something would happen, but I reassured her with a deep kiss and a squeeze of her butt, that I would be ok, and anyway Chris was going to be with me but there was nothing that woman could do to upset me anymore.

We arrived at the office of Fabray-Evans and Co just before 1:30 pm, and Chris explained what we were there for to the receptionist, who nodded his head, asking us to take a seat for a few minutes.

"Are Jenny and girls still staying with you, till the movers arrive with their stuff Chris?" I asked and just as he was about to answer I hear…

"Well, well, well if it isn't the sexiest guy in all of Ohio sitting here in my little ole office, my word, time has been good to you Finny I've still got that bottle of wine we can shar..."

I just ignore her as Chris stands up with a scowl on his face, and says darkly. Cutting off her crap talk, I smile internally at the defeated look on her still over painted face… God you would think at 75 she would stop trying to look like she was 15 and just grow old gracefully; my thoughts wander to another 75-year-old woman who is still as beautiful now as she was at 14. But the difference is she has accepted that time changes a persons looks, and works with it, all Rach has really changed is the length of her hair, cutting it so it ends just above her shoulders.

"Excuse me Ms Fabray, my name is Chris Hudson and am here to simply collect the house keys to 515 Fieldview Way, for my brother and sister in- law, Will and Jenny Hudson, and attend to any required paperwork, on their behalf until they arrive from Seattle. So can we please get on with our business then we can be on our way, as my Dad has more important things to do today than be propositioned, by someone who should know better and who never in a million years stood a chance of getting with him."

I looked at Quinn then, noticing the look of defeat that flittered across her face, finally realizing the amount of wasted years she has spent chasing me, she nods her head, and looking straight at me softly saying in an apologetic tone.

"Of course Mr. Hudson, I apologize for my unprofessional behavior, please follow me to my office I have the file ready."

Chris and I follow her and while he signs for the keys and whatever else, he has to do. I just think about how even with all the losses of good friends and the terrible things I have dealt with including the PTSD I have suffered over the years. I still won and came out the other end stronger, because I had and still have MY soul mate, the love of my life, my Rachel, my two sons, and grandkids, and even though it was only for 5 months before she was born our Caroline. I have indeed been a very lucky man. I am going to enjoy the rest of my life remembering, the words Nana Hudson wrote in that very first journal back in 1954 that still ring true today

Always keep the music in your heart dear, it can guide you through the worst times and make the good times even better.

At times I didn't believe those words, especially during my dark days, but when I think about it a truer word has never been spoken. Apparently Nick is into music, so maybe a new Hudson duo can wow the world.

"You ok Dad? You were away for a while,"

"Hmm? Oh yeah Chrissy I'm ok just lost in the past for a bit I guess."

As we get to the door I hear "We could have been great together Finny, Prom King and Queen…"

I turn around walk back to the big fancy desk, taking a look around the sterile office that does not show any sign of personality or anything but business awards and a single piece of abstract artwork in dark colors on one wall plain white blinds on the windows. There isn't even a pot plant or family photograph on the desk, just a computer and telephone and other stationary items.

I take a deep breath and say not in anger but more in a disinterested tone. "You never even registered on my radar Quinn as anything more than a selfish nasty bitch, and even if I hadn't met and fallen in love with Rachel at 14 years of age, you and I still wouldn't have got together for the simple reason I don't like you, and until you learn to like yourself, you will never be happy, money and business awards can't keep you warm at night or give you a shoulder to cry on or love you for you, and there is no way in hell I would ever swap my life even with all the bad things that have happened to me. At the end of the day Quinn I have had love, undeniable and true and that will always mean more to me than the biggest bank balance in all the world. "

Turning again towards where Chris is smiling at me I hear in a sad voice, "I know Finn but I had to try one last time, I'm sorry for everything I've done to you and your Rachel, you two really are meant to be." I just nod my head not even turning around, fist bumping Chris as we make our way out of the office and to the car.

Xxxxx

Jenny and the girls' flight was due to land at Dayton airport about 12:30 pm and factoring in the drive back they should arrive mid afternoon. Rach, Jane, and Christina, had been busy making up the guestrooms and organising a barbeque dinner. Will and Nick as they were driving, would arrive sometime on Wednesday evening.

I admited to Rach that I was nervous, about meeting the kids but she reassured me that everything would be ok, and it was going to be just as nerve racking for them to meet us. But if I just be my handsome charming self before long it will seem like we've all known each other their whole lives.

I spend the time waiting for Chris to get back with Jenny, Michele and Bonnie sitting on the porch swing and thinking about my life idely wondering where my journals from long ago ended up, as they would be a way for my grandkids to get to know me… well maybe not the bits I wrote about me and Rach making love that might put the kids off, but the rest of it, I make a mental note to ask Rach… I am shaken from my thoughts by the sound of Chris's ruby red 4x4 pulling into the driveway and the excited chattering of the ladies of the house. I see Jane and Christina practically run down the stairs to greet the newcommers, while Rach makes herself comfy on the swing next to me and takes my large hand into her tiny one, raising it to her lips and pressing a kiss on the top over my wedding band.

"It is going to be ok baby, you have nothing to be guilty or embarressed about, you are a wonderful man and once the kids get to know you, which won't be long at all, they will love you, though not nearly as much as I do. So I have to thankyou for the wonderful life we have shared together."

With tears in my eyes I lean down my lips finding Rachel's and my right hand cupping her cheek and through our kiss tell her that if it weren't for her, I wouldn't have had a life and even with our losses and troubles there is nowhere else I could have been me. Pulling apart for air I whisper "I love you Rach thankyou for everything"

"Ahem… when you two are finished we have some people here who would like a chance to get to know you both." Chris says discreetly swiping his finger under his eyes

Rach and I look up deer in the headlight looks on our faces, and see three quarters of our family just looking at us with beaming smiles on their tear stained faces.

Chris continues "Bonnie, Michele these two randy seniors are your grandparents Hudson…, Mom Dad, Bonnie and Michele."

Rachel immediately open her arms more tears streaming down her face as the girls who could be her doubles, make their way across the porch and take turns in hugging her.

Hi Nana I'm Bonnie, and am so happy to meet you finally"

"As am I darling" Rach says in return as Michele takes her sisters place while Bonnie does the same with me then they swap

"Hi Grandad, it is good to meet you."

Through my tears all I can do is nod and hug the girls, after that Jenny gets a go and Rach is beside herself with happiness that nearly her whole family is in the one place.

Noah walks onto the porch a few minutes after, taking note of all the damp eyes and sniffles looking towards his dad in alarm, wondering what is wrong, but after a fist bump with Chris who motions with his chin over to where his cousins are squeezed on to the porch swing with their grandparents talking their ears off about everything and the names they have picked out for their ponies that Dad said we could have, and how wicked is it gonna be living just across the road from them and going to the same school and when Nick and Dad get here tomorrow ….

The rest of the evening is spent enjoying being together and as much as I have missed out on the girls lives, I am still slighly nervous, in bed later that night my beautiful wife lets me know the way she always does that there is nothing to be afraid of, and sex at our age is still enough to make me feel everything, it might not be as wild as when we were younger but it is with my Rach, so yeah…

xxxxx

Just as Will drives past by the 'WELCOME TO LIMA' sign Nick has finished reading the last page of his grandfathers journals, and openly wipes his tears. Feeling a mixed bag of emotions, and thinking his dad had been right about Finn Hudson being a hero, because even though Nick has never met the man, the words written on the pages prove everything his dad had ever said about granddad Hudson. But his underlying strength stems from a tiny brunette, who has loved him through it all and for one Nick can't wait to meet them both.

"Nick, can you text your Mom please and let her know we should be at Uncle Chris's in about 15 minutes."

"Ok Dad," Nick speedily moves his fingers over the keypad of his cell, and within a few seconds receives a reply, Pip is bouncing around in the back, excited about getting out of the car and having a good run around.

"Dad?"

"Yeah buddy"

"Should I be nervous about meeting granddad and grandma?"

"Nervous? What ever makes you say that son, Mom called last night after they got to Lima and she said Mom and Dad got on with the girls like they had always been around, and they kept asking about you. Dad was so looking forward to showing you his drum kit and was hoping you'd be able to get together and jam… though I don't know what sandwich fillings have to do with drumming, but there you go. Now we are here in Lima maybe he will be fully back to his old self I sure hope so.

"Yeah me too Dad, wow Lima is a lot smaller and cleaner than Seattle isn't it, oh man is that McKinley High? Oh dude that's Hummel's tires and lube where granddad worked."

The rest of the short trip Nick is spotting things mentioned in the journals, and as they turn down Hopewood Crescent, the Hudson men equally are ready to get out of the car and see their family.

Pulling into the driveway Will turns off the car, Nick reaches for Pip's leash attaching it to her collar and letting her out Will locks the car and as they make their way around the side of the house towards the patio, from where they can hear the splashing from the pool. Pip lets out a series of excited yips when she hears her kids.

"Hey little bro you finally made it, hey Nick how's it hanging dude."

"Hi Uncle Chris"

"Hey brother"

"Come on in, do you want anything to eat?"

"Nah I'm good man"

"Will hi honey, how are you? Did everything go ok, ooh, how are my pot plants did you remember to give them some water…?" Jenny's words are cut off by her husband's lips on her mouth."

"Oh my god what is it with Hudson's always kissing, I thought you would have seen enough of that when we were kids man" Chris chuckles

"Never don't you remember what Dad said when we teenagers? When you find your one you never stop." Will's chuckles mix with his brothers and his wife's.

"Come on man Mom and Dad are waiting to say hi".

Nick lets Pip off her lead and she straightaway jumps in the pool making Bonnie and Michele squeal and Noah laugh at her antics. The four Hudson's make their way across the deck then Jenny disappears inside after kissing and hugging her son, while the men grab a beer and a soda for Nick.

"Mom, Dad hi, this is Nicholas Finn, Nick nana and granddad Hudson"

Another round of hugs and kisses

"Hello darling it is so good to meet you" Nick is trying to hold his tears at bay at finally meeting his grandparents and in the few minutes he has been here can sense that everything he has read about the two people looking at him with tears in their own eyes was true.

Once his nana releases him he looks at his granddad and a look of immediate connection passes between them as they explode a fist bump.

"Hi granddad, I feel like I know you already" he rubs his hand over the back of his neck and says, "Hey if you aren't too busy one day soon maybe we could have a jam session I've got a new collection on CD of 80's rock and 60's rock and roll classics?"

Finn's eyes go misty as he answers with a nod and a soft "That would be boss Nick, thanks."

***XXXXX***

A/N: Well there we have it. I think I will leave it at this point as I feel it ties up with chapter one quite well.

I apologize for the mixed tense in some parts but it was a bit tricky for me, I am still getting the hang of writing in different tenses, I hope you all enjoyed it anyway. Please review and let me know your thoughts.

Please accept my thanks to every one of you who took the time to read and review with such lovely words; I honestly appreciate all of you and am so glad you enjoy my work. Till next time, take care and keep on drumming:)

Cab4five

Songs used: in parts 1 and 2

Let it be- Paul McCartney 1970 - The Beatles

Love me back to life – Richie Sambora & Jon BonJovi 2002- BonJovi

Wichita Lineman- Jimmy Webb 1968 – Glen Campbell

I'll never stop loving you – Sammy Cahn 1955 – Doris Day

Gentle on my mind – John Hartford 1968 – Glen Campbell

No Surrender - Bruce Springsteen 1984 – Bruce Springsteen

Can't fight this feeling- REO Speedwagon

* Just in case anyone is interested I also have 2 chapters of an original romance/fantasy story, posted on Fiction press titled 'The Key' (link is on my FF profile page) and I'd really appreciate some feedback on it.