Dandelions are pretty!

Summary: Can you ever truly forget your first real love? Even after years apart and they have changed from the person you remember?

A Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry fan fiction

AU – Complete one shot.

Romance/ Supernatural sort of:

T-M rating: mainly for language

A/N: Hi, I'm trying something new with this story, but it will still be Finchel endgame I promise. Please review as I'm a little nervous about how it will read to others not in my head and seeing it from my side of a computer screen. I own nothing but the plot and OC's. All known glee characters are the property of Ryan Murphy productions and Fox TV.

I started this story a couple of months ago, but annoying adult things like working for a living and house chores keep me from having real fun and spending more time with my imaginary friends in Finchel land.

I claim no ownership whatsoever over anything but the plot, and Percy the Soul-mate clerk.

**Keep on Drumming**

cab4five


Maybe I didn't treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn't love you
Quite as often as I could have
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

When Percy, the extremely frail double-centenarian in charge of room 768-5628-3 at the soul mate distribution center, looked through his magical soulascope he had to smile because the two children he had been watching since the day they were born 5 years ago had finally met. He was thrilled, that all it took was a sand castle and some pretty 'flowers', (that to keen horticulturists the world over, are in their own class of plants called Taraxacum Officinale, but to the regular person and avid home gardeners' they are simply dandelions).

He also knew he would use his very last breath if required to make sure they stayed together and enjoyed a long and happy life filled with love and all the good things. He had put a special clause in place, something that only a rare few true soul-mates ever get to experience. Also, a tether with the strength of steel that would see them through any adversity or setback the world and life will inevitably throw at them.

This is the story of his two all-time favorite charges Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry, destined to be together for the rest of their natural lives and maybe even beyond that...

But that dear readers, is a story for another day maybe...


Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry had from the first day they met in the sandpit at the Lima Kindergarten at age five, become best friends.

It all come to pass when a tiny Rachel garbed in her all-time favorite pair of purple overalls and long sleeved pink baseball T-shirt, timidly suggested to the little boy with floppy brown hair that stuck up at the back, and dressed in a blue sweat pants and a top, with a bright yellow car on the front. Who was patting down the sand in his bright red bucket, with a deep look of concentration on his face that...

"I think maybe you would like to put some flowers in the garden of your castle! Coz you know it will be more nicer for the fairies to live in if it was pretty, and um... can I make one too pwease? It could be the games room or garage maybe" Shrugging her thin shoulders shyly and extending her arm with a tiny hand clamped around a bunch of bright yellow dandelions, Rachel waits to be invited into the sand box.

Rachel watches with awe the cutest boy she has ever met , as he nods his head, deep in thought about her idea, before his dimpled face smiled at her, proudly showing off the gap in his teeth due to the very recent loss of his first tooth which resulted in a visit from the tooth fairy and who, much to his great delight left him a brand new bright shiny ½ dollar under his pillow, happily agreeing with whom he thought was the prettiest girl he had seen in forever, with dark chocolate eyes and long brown braids.

"Yeah ok, 'spose it could, flowers are cool" he then notices the 'flowers' and says excitedly "Hey I get thems flowers for my mom all tha time! she says the are the bestest flowers an' she rweally likes em."

Little Rachel just sends her new friend a big beaming smile and climbs over the edge of the sand pit, taking the boy's offered hand when he presents it along with his soft "My name is Finn Hudson I'm 5" he holds up his other hand and wiggling his fingers to show he knows how many 5 is, "wots yours?"

"Um Rachel Berry, I'm five as well my birthday was in August, an' I had a pink fairy cake."

"Mmmm I love cake… my birfday is March an' my mom made me a bumblebee one coz he is my favorit transformer." He straightens up so the picture on his sweat top is in full view and points to it. "Do ya know 'bout them Rach? They are way coool."

"Aren't they the cars that turn into robots and talk?"

"Oh man you do know em', yeah all of them well 'cept Bee he don't talk." Finn's smile was so wide and he immediately jumped up doing a little dance in delight that he had found a friend who liked the same stuff as him.

The two new friends spent the rest of that playtime talking about their favorite TV shows and happily found lots in common.

XXXXX

As they grew Finn and Rachel were always very close, almost drawn together if you will by some invisible rope or string. Finn had always been in the popular crowd. Whilst little Rachel was never what one would call popular and invited as a rite of passage like kids the world over, to her classmates birthday parties or sleepovers with her special group of girlfriends, a fact which had never really bothered her overly much as her best friend Finn was always there, and the time they spent together just being themselves catching frogs and fire flies and climbing trees and all manner of outdoor pursuits, or even just sitting together on the sofa reading a book, laughing at each other antics when they played twister or one of their favorite board games, (especially the word ones like Pictionary or scrabble and Finn would make up silly words and swear they were right, then for days afterwards use his 'words' in everyday conversation) or just sit quietly snuggled up together (she always felt more comfortable and happy, tucking her cold feet under his calves and more often than not would fall asleep resting her head on his lap or against his upper arm,) watching a movie on TV, and sharing a packet of sour patch kids (Rachel always had the red and blue, making sure to separate them before eating one color at a time, Finn just loved them and didn't worry what colors he ate when).

That special friend time was to Rachel, worth more than lolly bags or pass the parcel prizes or hearing the latest gossip and mooning over boys. In secret, she and Finn were the best of friends, enjoying once they were allowed to travel by themselves on public transport, days at the lake and movie nights and train trips into Dayton to the circus or concerts and such.

Though if Rachel were to really be honest it hurt a little (well quite a lot) that Finn always kept her at arm's length in school or when he saw his friends down town, and would go along with them when they would tease her… to be completely fair to him though, he didn't technically personally tease and belittle her but he never stopped his buddies from doing it either.

Rachel figured sadly after months of this strange behavior which seemed more obvious, towards the end of their elementary school years, that he didn't want to be her friend anymore so she left him alone, even though she was so sad and lonely. She was even more focused on her studies.

Finn was the same when he was at home on his own, he figured she didn't want him around coz she was in all the super smart classes at school and he was only in the regular ones, just telling his parents when they asked how Rachel was doing as they hadn't seen her for weeks,

"Oh, I think that she is just... um real busy with her school work and stuff... yeah that must be it..."

He always felt worse at the sad look on his mom's face when he said stuff like that coz he knew how much Rach loved his mom and versa-visa, and coz Rach didn't have a mom just two dads'.

He also knew his feelings for her have turned from best friend to something more even at their young age, but is scared to let her and everyone know because of the teasing and ridicule he knows he will on the receiving end of. He also worries that telling her he thinks he is half in love with her might ruin the best friend thing they have going on and he would rather have her as a friend than not in his life at all. At least that's what he tells himself every time someone makes her cry and then laughs. He does though in his defense distance himself from the worst offenders.

Rachel was an extremely bright student, and had always shied away from attention and being in the spotlight. Her feelings for Finn have always been very strong, but due to their young ages, her shyness, his popularity plus hot and cold attitude towards her, along with her fear of being rejected and teased even more, forced her to keep her feelings to herself only telling her parents.

Her dads have always liked Finn and are good friends with his mom Carole, and his dad Chris, whom her dad Leroy met through the police force some 25 years ago.

Things seemed to go faster downhill for them from then on because, one afternoon a couple of weeks before the end of 8th grade she turned up on his doorstep, sobbing uncontrollably and biting her bottom lip so hard she made it bleed, clasping and unclasping her tiny shaking hands continuously, telling him that her dads were moving to London in England for their work as soon as the school year finished. He was devastated and wasn't ashamed to join in her obvious devastation, by wrapping his arms around her tiny body and sobbing into her hair, just as she was doing against his chest, her hands clenched tightly around fistfuls of his T-shirt. Now he had finally admitted to himself how he felt about her there was no time left to tell her so he just kept that information to himself, cursing their bad luck.

After the Berry's left Lima, the kids kept in touch by e-mail, Facebook, and would spend time on school vacations visiting each other as much as possible. Unbeknownst to either though were the strong feelings of attraction, that hadn't yet exploded into ones of full blown love, but the seeds of it were buried just under the surface and it wouldn't take much for them sprout into life once the kids were older and they reconnected.

XXXXX

Two days into summer vacation between their freshman and sophomore year, and an hour after arriving in Lima from England. Rachel was so excited to see her best Finn after so long apart as she had something very important to tell him. She smiles widely when she finds him at the park, but frowns when she sees him with his horrible group of friends, a couple of which were older than Finn hanging all over the kiddies climbing frame and slide, totally acting like the children the equipment was designed for, and laughing hysterically about something. But she decided after a lot of deep inner monologue, it was imperative to her piece of mind not to mention her heart that she get her words out so Finn knows before she completely loses her nerve, and even though his friends were there she ignored them..., well as much as possible anyway, calling him by her favorite pet name.

"Finny?"

Which of course gains the attention of the other boys,

Rachel watches as Finn acknowledges her greeting with an unrestrained excited wave and beaming dimpled smile, thinking to herself that he is even cuter than she remembers, as he is running over and scooping her up in his strong arms, spinning her around making them both laugh and giddy with happiness at being reunited.

"Rach, hey oh man it's great to see you I've missed you heaps, you look beautiful Rach even more than before. Still haven't grown much though huh!"

Sending him a faux pout at his playful teasing about her size she just wraps her arms tighter around his waist, feeling his do the same, and takes in a deep breath, his Finn smell now with the added hint of body spray (which she decides is very sexy) making her feel at home instantly, she loses herself in memories of times spent together until his chest rumbles underneath her ear with his next lot of happy words.

"Are you home all summer? We'll have heaps of fun yeah?"

At her happy nodding, he sets her down on the ground, giving her another big bear hug and pressing his smiling lips against her cheek but at the last second she moved her head, causing his lips to land on the corner of her mouth. His lungs stopping mid breath at the contact with Rach's soft pink lips and her warm sweet breath on his face. Then suddenly remembering his friends were there, takes a good few steps away from her nervously rubbing the back of his neck and tucking his hands into his pockets.

Rachel is perplexed by this action but instead of trying to figure it out she just blurts out what she need to say in one long nervous spiel…

"I have missed you so very much libe, and think you are so very cute and special to me I can't help it and I have to tell you, I love you Finny!"

Blushing as red as a beetroot at those three little words that usually make all the difference, then suddenly reaching up on to her tippy toes and pressing a firm, full on kiss to his lips.

Only to have his friends who were obviously watching their interaction with some sort of voyeuristic perversion, burst out in loud derisive laughter. Finn just stands there speechless, a whimper leaving his throat a few minutes later when one of the guys slaps him on the back and says hatefully.

"Jeez Huddy, you sure did get the short straw man, hope you had all your shots, she is a real fuckin' loser. You'd need a bucket to cover that ugly face and even a coupla pairs of socks to shove in her mouth to stop the talkin', but even though she's a midget she could reach ya dick an' suck ya off no probs, shit man ha, ha."

The guys' walk away still laughing hysterically and quite loudly, boasting about and comparing the couple of girls all 4 of them had in 'common', and how much his car was rocking at the drive-in last weekend and the parking lot at the lake later.

"Shit we should set poor Huddy up with Avery or one of her cheerio babes, he'd need a good fuck to get rid of the image of that fugly freakinberry stuck in his potato head." Another loud burst of laughter hanging in the air along their horrible words.

Rachel burns an even deeper red from humiliation and hurt, her eyes filling with tears as she looks at Finn hoping for something..., anything..., instead Finn is just standing rooted to the spot like a tree his eyes focused on his shoe laces. Feeling even more pathetic and embarrassed, for blurting out her feelings for him in front of his friends. All Rachel can manage is a pitiful "O-oh F-Finny…" before bursting to breath stealing sobs as she runs away.

Not even noticing his friends had left, Finn just stands there frozen in position after Rachel's words for a good few minutes, until he finally gets his mind back on track and realizes what has just happened, he then immediately takes off in a fast sprint after Rach calling her name.

"Rach…, Rachel wait please, I'm sorry Rach..." but gave up after a few blocks as he had no idea which direction she even went, he tried their tree in the park but no luck, after checking out all their favourite hangouts even stopping by her motel room, but she didn't answer the door nor did her dads', he miserably made his way home, calling her cell every 5 minutes and hoping against hope that this time she would answer. But no such luck coz every time it went to voice mail, and she wouldn't reply to e-mails or FB messages.

He didn't sleep a wink that night his mind just wouldn't shut up, and from nowhere a little voice kept telling him "Hudson you know you are a giant douche and you had better hope nothing has happened to Rachel and once she calms down and talks to you again..." Yeah right if she can ever forgive me, he interrupts sadly.

He tried for days to make contact leaving hundreds of messages and finally manning up and telling her in an essay length e-mail his own feelings and his wish to be with her as a real couple too, but with her now living in England how would it work? Making sure to point out he wasn't interested in dating any other girls and would wait for her, but please just answer his calls or messages. But after a fortnight with no word whatsoever had just about given up on ever gaining her forgiveness.

As much as he was hurting by her ignoring him, he knew she must be feeling embarrassed and totally let down by his behavior, but he couldn't do anything about it, and when his parents decided to take a vacation for the rest of the summer to Australia to stay with his dad's cousin who ran a cattle ranch, so everything going on with Rachel was sort of pushed to the back of his mind… On the first night of their arrival in Australia he tried again by sending her an e-mail message that he hoped explained things...

Rach,

I'm so damn sorry for the way I acted at the park, please believe me! I am so ashamed of myself and feel so stupid, I do love you Rach, honest, and have been trying to find a way to tell you how I've felt for ages, but you were one step ahead of me like always, and when you told me at the park how you felt about me, I was just surprised is all. I hope you read my last e-mail, it says everything I feel. I've been thinking about you and me and us and have to apologize if I've ever made you feel left out or that I didn't want you around, I guess I didn't want you to tell me you didn't like me in the boyfriend way, plus I enjoyed having my ego boosted by being the most popular kid at school and just forgot about the important things that really matter in life like...YOU Rachel Berry.

Please don't forget me Rach, coz I won't ever forget you.

You will always be on my mind.

I'm yours if you still want me

Love always and forever

Finny xxx

He doesn't hear from her, whilst he is in Australia, nor once school starts back, even after his last heartfelt message so he resigns himself to being Rachel-less for the rest of his life and wondering if he'll ever see her again, but when he is feeling down like he does 5 days out of 7, he makes his way to their favorite gnarled old buckeye tree in the park, where they carved (RB+FH=BFF) inside a love heart with his brand-new pocket knife he got as a 13th birthday present, just sitting and remembering the good times they had just hanging together, and talking about all sorts of things. Remembering fondly every single one of her funny little mannerisms, like how she would tuck her hair behind her ear and swipe her thumb along her fringe or bite her lip, even the way she would measure her knee-high socks to make sure they were exact. How her all-time favorite flowers were pink tulips and he would buy as many of them as he could afford when he had enough pocket money saved, he always found a couple of bright yellow dandelions and tucked them in with the tulips knowing she would like the fact he remembered that it was dandelions that got them together, and just because it made her smile and he loved her smile.

Then through teary eyes, he laughs out loud at the memory of how she would separate the food, especially the vegetables or fruit on her plate and eat each sort very slowly, one group at a time, which used to drive her dads' crazy coz dinner times always took longer than necessary, which then made less time for their after-dinner charades or TV game show nights. He presses his hand over his heart at how she called him Finny when they were small, but when they were about 13 she started to call him 'libe' he always asked her what it meant but she never told him just gave him a soft smile and said that when the time was right he would figure it out. He never bothered to find it out though, mainly because he liked the way her voice would go all soft when she said it and it made him feel extra special.

Another favorite memory then jumps to the forefront of his mind...

They' d had a super fun day at the 4th of July carnival when they were 12, and wanted to spend some quiet, best friend time together before they had to separate coz he was going out of town to visit his extended family, for his Granddad's 80th birthday dinner. Folding his much larger hand around her tiny one, (marveling as always just how well their hands fit, sort of like jigsaw pieces) they ran off to their tree, Rachel laughing and smiling the whole time which in turn made his chuckles burst out loudly and make his insides all warm and wriggly. After a few minutes, they collapsed on their backs their breathing heavy as they calmed down.

Top of his favorite memory list is how timid and clumsy they both felt sharing their first kiss that day, but at the same time so complete and happy, before jumping up and running home their faces red and his shorts feeling much tighter than they did when he put them on in the morning.

XXXXX

Due to the lack of Rachel in his life, Finn changes his entire personality seemingly overnight, and instead of the cute, goofy, caring and respectful guy everyone knows and loves, they find themselves faced with a guy, who (using his exceptionally good teen idol looks and just over 6' tall athletic body to his full advantage) played the field and made out with lots of different girls on a regular basis, much to the dismay of his mom.

Finn wasn't interested in them as any more than a distraction which made it easy to forget their name as soon as they said it, instead calling them "sugar" or "doll-face" or some other generic clichéd name that the girls, who were mostly ditzy cheerleaders loved. He also refused to date any one girl permanently, much to their annoyance, as they all figured dating the super cute and sexy school stud, would give their cred on the school social ladder a mega boost, making all their friends jealous and guaranteeing them the prom crowns and mention in the year book in junior and senior years.

Finn felt nothing for them just going through the motions and getting cockier as time went on. But when alone in his bed at night lost himself in dreams of a tiny brunette who since they were 5 years old, had captured his heart and whom he missed so badly. Praying aloud into the darkness of his room, lit only by the soft glow from the multitude of glow in the dark stars he and Rach stuck up everywhere, one school free snow day a handful of winters ago.

"Please forgive and come back to me Rach I'm so sorry, I miss you so much and I've gotta to tell you no other girl makes me feel like you do, I love you."

Poor Percy was beside himself at the scenes he had seen through his soulascope and he openly started to cry, once he had calmed down after a harsh inner rebuke realizes Finn and Rachel would eventually find their way back, and now more than ever before was grateful he had added the special clause, knowing Rachel was in good hands for the present time. He is extremely worried though about Finn's completely different and so not him, playboy behavior.

"Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn't died
Give me, give me one more chance
To keep you satisfied…"


One day she wakes up with no knowledge of time or how she arrived in the prettily decorated room, that she instantly feels comfortable in, nor understanding what was going on, but at the same time not feeling scared. The only thing she does know for certain is that her name is Rachel. So, she just lays still searching her mind for answers but is interrupted by a soft knock on the door and before she could answer two people walk through.

"Ah finally awake I see, good morning Rachel did you sleep well?"

With a look of shock on her face, her bottom lip held captive by her teeth, she spends a few minutes just watching the tall well-dressed, perfectly groomed and in her opinion, rather cute guy, now standing at the foot of her four-poster bed his bright blue eyes watching her, an odd smile on his face. (making Rachel think he knows something that she doesn't). She moves her eyes to the right then, noticing a beautiful black haired girl with very distinctive Asian features, attired in what she now can see is the old-fashioned Gothic style of dress with high lace collar and mid-calf length skirt. The girl's entire outfit from what Rachel could see was black, the only spot of color besides the bright pink streaks in her waist length hair, was a brooch in the shape of a spider, its jeweled body the deep ruby red color of blood and pinned to her collar at the base of her throat. She indicates behind her to a wheeled cart piled high with silver domed plates and glass jugs of juice and a silver coffee pot, as well as a crystal bud vase with a single pink tulip standing proudly at its center.

"Good morning Rachel, hope you are hungry we weren't sure what you might like so we have a selection."

"Um… thank you? But without sounding rude… how do you know my name, who are you, and where am I?"

Blushing and swiping a hand through his quiff then straightening the soft blue silk cravat at his throat, the young man speaks softly.

"Please accept our apologies our names are Kurt Hummel and Tina Cohen-Chang and this…." he waves his hand around the room, "Is your home… and we are your room-mates… well at least until the wrong that put you here in this halfway world or Limbo as it sometimes called, has been righted and the one the soulmate center matched you with when you were born, realizes what he let slip away comes to find you, and figures out you and he are destined for a long and happy life filled with love."

In shock at Kurt's words Rachel grips the bedding and pulls it tight to her throat, her small hands turning white with the force, her brown eyes widening and leaking big fat tears, as she stutters out in barely a whisper. "...I-I'm d-dead? I-is this h-hell? But w-why... was I that bad...?"

His tone now high pitched with worry for her, Kurt moves closer, tenderly taking hold of one of her hands and rubbing his thumb over the back of it and says. "No Rachel, no, no! You have just been kept safe, until the time was right for you to go back, but please love, try not to worry Tina and I will be beside you all the way and as far as the rest of this town, are concerned you are a new transfer student, and Tina and I are your cousins… Well I am at any rate Tina is just my best friend and we share this house that belongs to some friends of my 'parents' "Rachel smiles nervously at Kurt's use of air quotes at the word parents… "Who with Tina's left us in charge of while they are all away on business."

Kurt then looks to Tina to continue explaining, while he moves the breakfast cart closer to Rachel's bedside, removes the lids, and cheekily helps himself to a couple of cubes of cantaloupe, a few strawberries and a handful of grapes. Sighing with delight and murmuring "Oh my gosh I love cantaloupe; I've forgotten the last time I had some."

Smiling fondly at her friend's carrying on, Tina continues in a soft tone as Rachel listens intently, her eyes wide open switching between her two new friends, every couple of minutes.

"No-one in the outside world has guessed there is anything 'other-worldly' about us, as they are all too busy with their mundane little suburban lives more worried about the price of lip gloss, tanning salons, or pizza, and staying on top of the popularity heap. Than two kids they have decided are just that little bit too weird or different for them to be bothered with.

But we are your… well I guess guardian angels… for want of a better explanation, and while on earth take on a solid form so we can assimilate into the human world, we are here to guide and look after you till you can remember everything yourself. However, we are forbidden to tell you anything, except a few basic details and what we already have, all we can say at this minute is you don't look like you did before, not that you were unattractive by any stretch of the imagination, but due to the accident your face was so badly damaged you needed intensive plastic surgery… and well you are now even more beautiful than before. We are also unsure if your personality has changed, due to the serious head trauma you suffered as before you were a quiet, timid, studious girl. But I suppose time will tell once you get to school, you will be a junior like us and we have made sure to be in all pretty much the same classes… well all except the ones we didn't like the last time we were high schooler's, like history, phys-ed and science yuck... So please don't ask us to give you any more details just know everything will be ok in the end, our best people are working to fix the mistake, we promise."

Having a hard time taking in all this information Rachel can only nod and send her 'new family' a shy smile, just watching as Kurt helps himself to more food off the cart, and from the gurgling her tummy is doing acknowledges she too is rather hungry. She reaches out for a piece of golden whole-wheat toast and starts to chew daintily as Tina continues.

"In time everything will become clear, now eat up and have a shower so we can get to school. Oh... by the way your last name is Perry, you are all registered at school and even your social security card and bank account details are organized, so you will be just like all the other girls and able to go shopping or get together and gossip about cute guys and prom and whatever... only you are much nicer! You will find clothes (thanks to Kurt's eye for fashion) and everything else in the closets in this room and bathroom just through that door."

Tina points to a white door that is slightly ajar showing Rachel a glimpse of a soft pink tiled room with a pile of pink and white towels folded neatly and stacked on a white shelf attached to the wall. Before her and Kurt leave Rachel to herself and shut the door on their way out.

Once she is fully able to compute what she has been told, she thought she should feel a little more at ease. It makes no difference whatsoever though due to the fact she simply can't remember anything at all about her previous life, and what happened to her? What sort of accident put her in this halfway world? More intriguingly who was this soul mate they spoke of and what does he need to fix?

Rachel removes the rest of the silver lids of the cart surprised to find small amounts of perfectly prepared foods, including bacon, mini pancakes, natural Swiss muesli, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, baked beans and toast. Also to her great delight a big bowl of fresh mixed fruit, so she doesn't seem ungrateful, but suddenly feeling ravenous she makes up a plate with a small scoop of everything, tucks in and thoroughly enjoys it, and once she separated the different types a larger plate of fruit, finishing up with another piece of toast and a large mug of milky coffee.

Making her way to her pretty bathroom, immediately thinking the soft pink color scheme reminds her of candyfloss, Rachel looks at herself in the mirror studying her face and trying to see something in her soft brown eyes edged with long dark lashes. Her brunette hair well down past her waist and highlighted by caramel streaks, made her look beautiful and she suddenly hears in her head the words "You are beautiful" and as she watched her reflection in the mirror and saw the way the down lights made her hair shine and her eyes twinkle she... not understanding where this sudden feeling had come from believed that she was beautiful…

But with one little problem …

She was a solid ghost!

No-one she meets that day at school can tell she is a phantom like being, and of course she has no idea what is going on.

But it is though she has things to do or tasks that were left undone and even though she is to most everyday people a solid flesh and blood person she doesn't feel complete; something is missing but she has no clue what IT is… and for some strange reason she feels a herself being pulled towards something and wants to find out what is going on. But what intrigues her the most is the sudden warm feeling she gets all over her body and the quick flash of a dimpled smile and laughter.


At lunch on the first day of his junior year Finn Hudson hears his sort of friend (coz after that business with Rach at the skate-park a couple of years ago, he was keeping his 'buddies' at arm's length) Jaxson Harvey, talking about who he reckons must be the hot new transfer chick he saw in Principal Mercer's office when he was leaving the detention office. (Finn just shakes his head at the guy wondering but not caring, what he did to get detention on the first freaking day).

He goes on to describe her smoking body adding "Man even though she is like real tiny her freaking legs go on for miles, and her ass... dude, never seen better at this school, but you shoulda been there her smile was off the radar man! … tho' she must be in all the genius classes coz she was with that freaky goth chick and the gay dude that no-one ever sees outside the library or the pansy-assed music class. Maybe she don't speak American… I ain't heard her talk..., huh well she don't need to if you get my meaning I'm damn good at sign language!" (laughing as he grabs a pair of imaginary hips and thrusts his pelvis).

Even though he wasn't close friends with the others, Finn goes along with the guys as they all bet with each other on who will be the lucky one to get in to her pants. He still hasn't seen her by the end of the second week of school, until late on the Friday afternoon when he is just leaving from underneath the bleachers at the football field. Where he had spent the last couple of hours making second base with a random girl. Whose name he forgot as soon as she said it, he thinks it was Jaymee or Molly or something, who cares anyway she thought he was cute so he figured why not. He was one of the most popular guys in school and knew he could get any girl he wanted by just winking or sending a crooked smile her way.

He was heading out the gate to the parking lot, not watching where he was going thinking about his dinner, and too busy sexting another girl on his cell... when he bumped into somebody and the instant his hand made contact with the person who was now laying sprawled on the ground, belongings in a heap all around their feet, he felt weird and light-headed.

Then once he looked down and saw it was a girl, tiny and at least a whole foot shorter than himself he realized this must be the new girl... his inner voice telling him what his eyes can already see but for some reason can't express verbally "God Hudson she is beautiful!" so instead his jock persona takes over when he says

"Jeez are you ok doll face? Hope you weren't hurt by connecting with my rock-hard six-pack, but you know if you wanted a closer look all you gotta do is ask and then we can have some naked fun, I know some great horizontal dance moves that will get your heart pumping IFYWIM. I can fit you in tomorrow, I've got last period free … well technically it's history but whatev's..."

He sends her a wink and smug, cocksure smile but as soon as the words left his lips he instantly felt like an idiot. He was paralyzed and unable to make his hand let go of the beauty in front of him. His eyes seemed to lose focus as he just stared at her milky chocolate eyes that appeared to be turning darker every second, he had an odd feeling overtake his entire body… like something inside him flipping over, not unlike the feeling he got after he'd drunk to much soda or beer on an empty stomach, or when he thought of his best friend Rach...

The angel in front of him speaks then, and to his foggy head it sounded like music…

"Oh no I'm fine thanks, but if you don't mind I'd like my arm back now please, so I can wash off the impolite and sexist slime you just dribbled all over me, I have to go." Rachel smiles at the very tall guy who she thinks instantly is extremely cute and dare she say sexy… but his slimy arrogance tells her he needs to come down off his self-important pedestal a bit, and she thinks naughtily he might be a bit of fun to play with though. Gathering her possessions, she grabs the strap of her book bag from where it fell to the ground, then walks off in the direction of the gate that leads to the parking lot.

"You do speak English…, What? Oh, yeah, sorry … but hey you didn't tell me your name and where you live so I can pick you up later for our date."

Stopping suddenly mid step she turns around, looks him square in the eyes, and as she presses a pink tipped finger against her lip, her face takes on a puzzled then an apologetic look, but when she speaks her tone is playful, teasing like.

"I didn't, did I? Oh, well, sucks for you, then doesn't it? Never mind it looks like you'll have to consult your little book of slutty floozies to knock boots with instead then, doesn't it? Though I do hope your health insurance is up to date you never what you might catch... Bye dude."

Finn can't help but think as he watches, that her smoking body dressed in tight black jeans and a long white shirt under a black waistcoat, is in his opinion is totally worth everything he has and he would still be willing to give more. Not to mention the way her beautiful long hair was moving across her back, the ends touching her butt, has him groaning loudly and unconsciously with desire, but it was more than that, it was like a door had opened in his mind and he felt a very intense familiarity.

His voice higher pitched than is normal he tries to defend himself. "But, but … hey, you know I don't go all the way, I only make out with them coz I'm bored an' I can shut out their boring talk of proms and parties, and which color looks better on their fingernails, and if ser-ese or azzuree," (Rachel nearly chokes as she stifles a giggle at the boy's mispronunciations of cerise and azure) "matches better with their bronzer, the hell does that even mean anyway? None of those girls mean anything to me, and they are only interested in who can keep em on top of the popularity heap. I'm a one-woman man, an' I'm tryin' to find her… Buuut if a beautiful smart girl like yourself wanted to go get a pizza or coffee or sumthin' maybe even go bowling, and spend time talkin'. Well, her and I could become proper friends and I wouldn't have to be bored and waste my time with ditzy chicks, now would I? … and um my name isn't dude, it's Finn, Finn Hudson"

"Oh, my bad? Ok well I wish you luck with that endeavor then, bye Finn, Finn Hudson."

Finn stands rooted to the spot just watching the tiny dark haired angel walk away from him, and makes a vow to himself to find out who she is and why he feels so strange and happy as this is the first time he has seen her. He is then reminded of the bet the other guys at school had to get her into bed and will make sure none of them succeed. As whatever this crazy feeling he has, he takes it to mean he needs to protect her.

XXXXX

As the days and weeks pass Finn makes a concerted effort to change his behavior and get closer to the new girl. Most days finding a couple of minutes for small talk, when passing in the hallway or while she is waiting after school for her friends,

"Hi, how's things"

"Yeah good Finn, Finn thanks for asking"

"Bit cold this morning huh, needed my woolly hat ha, ha"

"Yes it was, I was glad to have my scarf and mittens as well."

"Hi Finn, Finn"

"Hi..."

He always smiles at the teasing way she calls him Finn, Finn during their conversations if they could be called conversations but it was something and he did get to look into her eyes when they spoke. He was very thankful he had the same lunch period as her, so that time in the cafeteria, is always spent watching her and her small group of friends from afar, and getting lost in daydreams of another tiny brunette with big dark eyes and wide smile. Every time he is near the new girl he gets a weird feeling inside and his heart feels tight, almost like something is tugging on it.

He isn't bothered in the least when the guys started forgetting to call him on game nights or bugging him to crash the latest chick sleepover party or hang out at the lake slugging back booze they swiped from their parents' cocktail cabinets' or talked the drunks outside the pool hall into buying for them. He was also rapt, when his interest in other girls stopped being high on his list of priorities, falling from a ten to zero instantaneously, likewise totally snubbing the cheerleaders' and their constant pestering for dates. Even their slutty offers for him to slide in for a 'home run', didn't interest him in the slightest, (that was something he is proud to say he hasn't done yet, because even with his playboy ways he wants it to be special, and only one girl is worth it! Providing of course he ever sees her again). Which prompts them to call him all sorts of nasty names and how he was losing his cred as McKinley's super cool stud.

He is more than grateful that they are leaving him alone as he decided, (finally) that sort of life isn't him at all, so he just offers them a shoulder shrug and a barely there wry smile followed by a few words uttered in a bored tone.

"There's more to life than making out, or seeing how many people you can fuck in a week ya know, and anyway with the way you girls offer it about so freely and give it up to any guy in school just coz he asks, or even smiles at you. Just to up your cred on the social ladder, doesn't make you nice or popular in a good way it just makes you a nasty skank, and I'm totally not interested in a ticket to ride the McKinley bike club's express to the VD clinic. It would be too much like buying cheap used knockoffs in a reject store, I want top shelf designer now not sub-basement bargains, so thanks but no thanks I'll wait till the real quality comes along!"

He spends all his spare time in the school library and stays in on weekends to study like mad. Mentally kicking himself when he realized just how much time he has wasted being a dick and hoping like crazy he has enough time left this year to get his grades up for senior year so he has a good shot at a decent college. He had always been a fairly average student, but just not the past couple of years, his teachers all obviously agreed and wrote the same sort of comments on his report cards, which disappointed his mom and dad. Most worded along the same lines as… 'Finn is a bright student however, he could do better if he was to apply himself more and participate fully in class discussions and complete all sections of written assignments and research projects).

His parents keep asking him if he needed to talk about anything as they instantly noticed the change in him and were hoping he had been in touch with Rach as this was how he used to be when his best friend was around encouraging him to study. When he told them sadly that no he still hadn't heard from her but wanted to get organized and give himself a good chance for college, and so Rach would also be pleased with his efforts when she did come back. His mom just nodded and hugged him, her pretty face a mask of sadness telling him she and dad loved, and were very proud of him for making the change, and are positive Rach would be as well, but not to give up on her coming back just yet.

Something that is totally freaking Finn out, are the nightmares he started to have the very first night he met (well literally knocked off her feet) the new girl, the thing is though, they aren't your standard run of the mill creepy assed ones that cause him to wake up screaming and breathing heavy, covered with sweat, and damn near throttling his self with his sheets scared out of his freaking mind.

No-no-no... these are, well how can he put it… he feels peaceful and contented and they make him just well... happy and bring to the surface those 'other sort' of proper grown up feelings, and images of dark hair flowing over his naked chest like a silk robe, warm honey skin contrasting beautifully with his lighter coloring, and the scent of vanilla and strawberries, and they all involve his childhood best friend. Then to cement the images in his brain, his right-hand slides down his firm chest and over his toned abs and happy trail, his fist closes around his rock-hard dick, and each long stroke up and down makes him smile, after a while the only sounds escaping his lips are soft moans, then as he removes his sticky hand from his sleep pants a long drawn out whisper of "Rraaaccchhh, oh baby so good" followed immediately by a deep satisfied sigh then nothing but soft contented peaceful snores.

But once he wakes up the next morning things are the same, the hell if he knows what is going on he hasn't heard from Rachel Berry since the other summer and has been hoping every day for some contact from her in answer to the multitude of messages he still sends, but sadly came to the conclusion that once she moved away she didn't want anything to do with him anymore, even though she told him she loved him and he acted like a mega, grade-A fucking jackass… but in his defense, he was shocked into speechlessness, coz it was what he had wanted to hear her say for months and the same three words had been sitting on the tip of his tongue forever, trying to find the right time to let her know he felt the same but once his friends started laughing and saying such shitty things he lost his nerve and played along keeping up his image as king of the 'cool' group and acting like a dick, (in hindsight, that was something he really needed to work on).

It was also his excuse for his overnight transformation into McKinley's resident teenage Lothario, and making out with every girl at school who showed interest.

But not one of them compared in any way to Rach.

But in a freaky way (good freaky just to make a point) this new girl somehow reminds him of her, and he agreed 100% with all the other slobbering idiots that this girl is absolutely, fucking gorgeous, though for some strange reason Finn keeps comparing the two. He always thought (his) Rach was beautiful and is having a hard time deciding which girl is more beautiful, and after days of intense in-depth contemplation's and exhaustive incognito observation and the rising number of X rated dreams, involving both girls, decides they are equally as beautiful, though he should say his Rach beats the new girl by a smidgen, and the only obvious difference he can see, is this new girl has a more outspoken personality and self-confidence than his Rach.

He tries to get the new girl on her own to again try and apologize, as well as find out her name and basically just talk to her. Most … well… all his free time is spent following her and her two friends, the pretty Asian chick who is attractive in a scary way, what with her old style black clothing, and the well-dressed super trendy guy that looks like he should be in a fashion advert for the local GAP store or something, and the couple of girls he knows are into music as he has seen and heard them all sing at assemblies ( secretly wishing the others would stop so just the new girl's voice was the only one as it was so good). He was a little worried that they might think he was some sort of creepy stalker or weirdo pervert and report him to Principal Mercer, but he wanted..., no needed to find out when the new girl would be on her own. He finally gets a chance when he comes across her in the library (happy to admit he had been spending more and more time there studying, and hoping to catch a glimpse of her beautiful face) the second to last period of the Wednesday before the 4-day thanksgiving break when he was returning a book about ancient civilizations for a world history class report.

She was curled up in one of the few comfy club chairs in the 'nerdy cave for loser dweebs' and geeks''. Well called that by his 'friends' anyway, much to his disgust as he loves science and since he pulled his head out of his ass and started to be the studious Finn he used to be, he has found renewed interest in most of his subjects.

The part of the library she was in, which to everyone else with a proper functioning brain and an interest in getting a good education, was called the 'Science and Mathematics reference section'.

Not often frequented by the 'cooler' echelons of the McKinley high student body. Finn seriously doubted they even knew what to do with a book other than to make a bonfire in the trash cans in the school yards out of hours, or rip out the pages and make spit balls. Or where the library was even located, and feels ashamed every time he thinks about the Finn he used to be.

He thought she looked super adorable with her pink framed glasses perched on the end of her nose and one tiny hand clamped around a pen topped with a pink flower which he recognizes instantly as a tulip, her other hand busily flicking the pages of her book back and forwards as she studiously took notes, every now and then raising it to her mouth to wet the tip of a slender forefinger with her pink tongue. Only halting in her task to take a drink from the travel mug on the little table next to her.

Gathering up his courage Finn takes the seat on the opposite side of the table and clears his throat making sure this time he acted like his real grown up self, and only said his name once.

He gave a little nervous wave and shy side smile as he said "Ahem… Um hi again… Not sure if you remember me but Er... my name is Finn Hudson, and I was hoping I could talk to you and well, at least apologize and you know like, find out your name… and a bit more about you… and um... why I feel such a strong sense of connection whenever I'm around you. I promise that isn't just a line and I'm not going to proposition you, but can I just say I'm not the guy you met before anymore... you know chasing all the girls. So, do you mind?"

She looks at him questioningly blinking a couple of times before she takes off her glasses and puts them on her notebook before speaking softly. "As far as I know there is no law forbidding you to talk to me, and if you promise to never again speak to me like I am one of your cheap floozies with a sex quota to fill, then I suppose I can grant you an audience, and I have heard of you Finn Hudson."

She smiles at him then and he thinks his heart is gonna stop and jump out of his chest and land in her lap on top of her book.

"T-thank you for you know giving me a chance… I promise really… just thank you… so can you tell me your name?"

Sending her a small nervous smile and lifting one hand to rub his neck he looks at her face and again notices how beautiful she is. Suddenly an image of his best girl Rach floods his mind and again he gets the feeling that he should know this girl.

"Yes well I suppose I can, it's not a state secret or anything, it's Rachel Perry. I'm a junior and I transferred to Lima and McKinley High from Texas, I live with my cousin Kurt and friend Tina and if you are really lucky one day I may give you my cell number but unfortunately for you that day isn't this one as I've a class to get to, so happy thanksgiving Finn, Finn Hudson have a nice break and maybe I'll see you next week, bye."

Finn doesn't know when she packed up her stuff but suddenly she was on her feet and walking away from him. Not wanting to let the chance for more conversation escape, he jumps up like a flash and follows her catching up just as she reached the library door. His mind spinning at her words...

"Rach wait up please, can I walk you to class please?"

"Won't it make you late for your own?" she asked her eyes finding his and silently asking him to say it doesn't matter. Her face colored to a soft pink at the nickname making her smile hopefully and again Finn thought her eyes changed from light to dark brown. Weird...

"Um no, I've a double free actually and I was planning on spending it in the library anyway, working on my history assignment, but a few minutes walking you to class won't make a difference, I want you to get to know the real Finn Christopher Hudson… So, um can I please?" the pleading little boy look complete with cute dimple popping side smile he sends her has Rachel melting inside from a sudden jolt of familiarity.

Biting her lip and brushing some loose hair behind her ear Rachel nods and looks down at her shoes suddenly shy, but at the same time highly intrigued by this very cute guy paying her attention, which is making her feel odd... almost like she should know him but until the day he knocked her over she'd never seen him before. She makes a mental note to question Kurt and Tina more when she gets home and hopes her questioning isn't deemed a secret like quite a few of the things she has asked about lately... Come to think of it though, her friends only seem to withhold the answers to her questions about the very boy standing in front of her waiting for permission to walk her to a class she has been doing perfectly well on her own for nearly two months now.

She and Finn didn't say much as the walk to her class wasn't very long, it wasn't however an uncomfortable silence either, both feeling at ease with the others presence, but the second they turned into the hallway by the cafeteria Rachel is suddenly covered in an icy cold shower of sticky bubble-gum smelling icy slush.

Looking horrified at Rachel's tiny figure covered in blue muck Finn turns on the coven of witches masquerading as cheerleaders and group of jocks standing by with looks of achievement on their moronic faces and their hands filled with now empty mega jumbo slushy cups.

His voice a low hard growl Finn glares daggers at Jaxson Harvey, who appears to be the leader and spits his words "What the fuck… what's wrong with you why did you throw that shit at Rachel huh?"

Finn's angry tone makes Rachel jump slightly which causes her to slip, but before she lands on the floor she is picked up and pressed against Finn's firm chest and a strange image rushes into her head of being in this position before, his soft musky scent permeating his clothes mixing with a stronger scent of body spray that smells vaguely familiar, not to mention sexy. She spends a few enjoyable minutes in his strong arms, trying to get her mind around what is going on until a hostile tone breaks into her subconscious and she hears the awful words directed at her.

Jaxson, stands up to his full height which is still shorter than Finn's 6'3" and says in a lazy drawl "Well Finnocent, if you hadn't just up and dumped all your cool friends and smokin' popular chicks, an' decided to join the freaky loser brigade and spend all your time in fuckin' 'nerdsville' with the stuck up virginal princess goody two-shoes there, who thinks she is better than us just coz she's in all the brainy suck up classes, we wouldn't have to teach you a lesson. So, if you don't want this to happen on a regular basis, dump the hobbit an' come back to the right side you don't belong with her sort you are just a jock an' we havta stick together an' show the loser dweebs who rules this school, face it Hudson no one from fucking McKinley in nowhere Lima, ever gets outa here you know that's a fact man!"

Rachel struggles to get out of Finn's hold albeit reluctantly, (trying to ignore how very intimate and comforting, as well as strangely familiar it felt, feeling her face heat up and her insides tingle). Once her feet touch the floor, she faces her tormentors which now she has a good look is most of the cheerleaders and a good number of the sports jocks.

Her voice belying her tiny size Rachel lets the others have it. Finn is silently cheering on his new friend but at the same time he is stuck again by an extremely strong sense of recognition as the way she is standing there, her hands clamped on her hips and her little face scowling at the crowd of slushy throwers. Is just like how his Rach would act when she wanted to make a point or do something her dads said she couldn't.

"How dare you throw that vile, disgusting crap at me, I've done nothing to deserve it nor from what I can understand has Finny, and if he has chosen to rid himself of mindless floozies and pretend friends and try to better himself so he can be someone when he leaves school and makes it out of this town. You have no right to try and hold him back he has a perfectly good mind of his own, and as for my being a suck up because I'm in the 'brainy classes', you are either too stupid to understand or just uninterested, I'd suspect both… but… well, we aren't here to discuss your obvious shortcomings. My showing interest in and attending my lessons, makes me smart enough to know that spending my time gaining a good education instead of wasting it with frivolous and dangerous activities like seeing how many guys I can sleep with in a week or what color nail polish looks best with my fake spray tan..."

Stopping to take a quick breath and not giving her scowling tormentors a chance at a returning salvo Rachel continues with her fierce but truthful speech, not honestly expecting any of them to pay heed to a single word, or even understand what she was saying. But she was wound up with righteous anger now and nothing was going to stop her till she was done.

"My education will benefit me more in the long run so do your worst with that damn slushy shit because it won't stop me from being just who I am nor will it make me cease to be a friend to Finn Hudson. I will never apologize for being me and if you don't like that well TOUGH SHIT! Build a freaking bridge and get over it, providing you can understand the instructions… maybe you could ask at the hardware store if they have some with step by step pictures instead.

Though I do hope you all have a top shelf health insurance plan for when you catch something nasty which causes your tiny peckers to fall off, or you are in the market for prams and maternity clothes. I will be interested to see how your so-called popularity will help you then."

Finn defends his new friend from the oncoming group of angry kids by moving in front of her, gently pushing her tiny body behind his large solid one, and sending the other kids a hard glare, the words leaving his lips sounding more like a hiss than actual speech.

"I don't care about being in the 'cool popular group' anymore! All it did was make me a grade-A asshole, and if you idiots have a problem with me not being part of that anymore then FUCKING BRING IT! But take this as your one and only warning if any of you go anywhere near Rach again you will be sorry, I'm not gonna let status or school cred get in the way of my friends again, It happened once and I lost the best friend I'd had since kindergarten, and the only girl who had or ever will have my heart, and as for being a loser, that may be so but for the first time in 2 years, I feel like my old self and it's all thanks to Rachel taking a chance on me, so like I said do your worst to me but if Rach is bothered again, or her locker or even backpack is touched you will ALL wish your parents had spent an extra couple of dollars and brought better quality condoms, it woulda saved the world from havin' to listen to you lot dribbling such mindless crap, and breathing air that people who would be useful to society could use! So now we are done here!"

By now there is quite a crowd of spectators waiting for some sort of action, Jaxson notices them from the corner of his eye and takes the opportunity to up his cred on the cool meter and dislodge Finn Hudson, the standing king of the heap (so much for loyalty huh), he sets a sneer on his face and stands up to Finn.

"Shit Hudson are you still hung up on that freaky knee sock wearing, cry-baby midget from that day in the park? She's probably still sulking wherever it is hobbits go. Screw you man that was fuckin' ages ago, and anyway you should be thankin' me, all she woulda done was drag your ass down to loser hell. But I gotta say dude your new piece of ass there is mighty fine and it would be a real treat for HER if she'd give us cool guys a chance at tappin' that, but ya know she is still takin' you away from us popular kids dude, and you know the herd doesn't like it when one of our own changes sides."

Jaxson then runs a hand through his mop of blond hair and gives the simpering blonde cheerio hanging off his arm looking at him with panty wetting awe, a wink and a hard squeeze of her butt, the action making her squeal like a preforming seal and has Rachel rolling her eyes at the trashiness of it all.

Sighing heavily Finn takes a deep breath expelling it slowly with every step he takes closer to his once friend, standing up again to his impressive height and squaring his broad shoulders Finn is about to speak when he feels a hand on his arm.

Rachel can sense due to his tightly clenched fist and body language, Finn is likely to lash out and thump the living daylights out of the other boy, and not wanting him to get into trouble, she puts her hand lightly on his tense forearm, feeling him instantly freeze, but at the same time she gets an image in her head of herself in the exact same position, only the setting is a sandpit… it takes a couple of minutes until Finn speaks again this time as he reaches for her hand.

"Like I said you guys or your skanky girls go anywhere and I mean anywhere near Rachel you will be sorry!"

With that last warning Finn takes a tighter hold of Rachel's hand and without letting go of it reaches for her bag and pushing his way through the crowd of scowling onlookers, makes his way along the hallway. Through the blood still pounding through his ears from his dissipating adrenaline rush, he hears her name being called by who he knows are her friends Kurt and Tina, as they race towards them Finn sees them at the end of the hallway the extra bag Tina is carrying bouncing against her side. Thankful to see them Rachel calms down slightly but continues to keep a tight hold of Finn's hand with both of her own.

"Rachel my god what happened are you ok? Come quickly I've a change of clothes and hair products." Tina says worriedly tugging on Rachel's hand.

Poor Finn was at a loss to know what to do for a few seconds, now his rage had cooled down, but before Tina dragged Rachel away to the bathroom he tightened his hold and gently tugged on her tiny hand making her look at him.

Briefly turning to her friend Rachel whispers "Thanks Tina, but the bathroom can wait a little bit, I just need a few minutes with Finn please." Her brown eyes focus on Finn again.

"I'm so sorry Rach, but they won't ever do that again, and I promise I am serious about getting to know you and forgetting those idiots they were never real friends anyway, but go with Tina now, and hopefully we can catch up later to talk more yeah?"

Rachel sends a wide smile his way in thanks but this time there was something behind the smile, that if he'd been looking at Kurt or Tina, Finn Hudson would have seen and perhaps understood the happy look of gratitude on their faces.

"I would like that very much libe, and thanks, but you need to get back to your study I'll be ok I promise, Tina is here now, but I'll see you when school starts back OK? Meet me by locker 514 at 7:30 am sharp... but till then, here I think that day is this one after all."

Finn is just standing there grinning like a little kid at Christmas, because staring at from the small square of paper and written in beautiful pink ink is the single word Rachel* the numbers 555-505-515 underneath. Finn rubs his hand through his hair then nods his head, clutching the treasured paper tenderly to his chest like it was made from gold leaf and likely to fly away if he so much as breathes on it. His brown eyes soft and smile tender as he watches as Tina leads Rachel away to the bathroom down the hall, and the frazzled overworked janitor is heard wheeling his cart towards he and Kurt.

Mr Knightly, complains loudly at the sticky mess splashed all over the wall and floor. "Damn mess why can't the school get rid of the stupid drink it's crap, the damn kids that chuck the stuff should clean it up then see how they like it! This is the last time I swear Principal Mercer is gonna hear about this! Should cut them kids from their sport teams, then they'd see how cool the stuff is then! 'Specially when they're bench sitters and polishin' the helmets at the championship game..."

Finn turns towards Kurt to find him grinning like a fool and when he motions for Finn to follow him back towards the library, all Kurt says at his puzzled look is "We need to talk about Rachel and what else are you going to do to fix … I mean get to know her better...?"

The fuddled response from Finn, making it hard for Kurt to hold back his laughter.

"W-ha do you mean fix things? Wait what… Do I know her?"

A very deep breath and loud sigh leaves Finn's lips, before his face takes on a goofy love struck look still clutching the paper in his hand, taking one last look at it this time paying more attention and thinking out loud, "Oh man their writing is practically the same, my Rach always used to put that little star thingy after her name too." Before carefully folding it and tucking it into his wallet, sighing again as he tucks his wallet into the back pocket of his jeans.

His voice had a soft and dreamy quality to it, very unlike the guy who just moments ago, was threatening to take on the entire varsity population single handed in defense of a girl he has only 'recently' met.

"Oh man, I want to … know her I mean so bad! She is so beautiful and for some weird reason she reminds me of my best friend Rachel Berry when I was younger… it was super odd though she called me Finny and only my Rach and my mom ever called me that. But what is even more weird is my Rach was the only one ever to call me libe, an' even when I begged her to tell me what it meant she'd just say that when it was time I'd figure it out..., well you know what Kurt? I think it's time I ask Mr. Google. Man, they have so much the same but unless something really bad happened to my Rach how could there be two huh?"

Taking a deep breath and running his hands through his hair Finn speaks again, while Kurt happily smiles and nods his head in agreement at Finn's revelations.

"Even her name is close I mean Berry and Perry it's like they didn't use enough glue to stick on the bottom bump and it fell off the B or something, an' when she was in my arms it was just like… an' she smelt just like my Rach too all sweet like vanilla and strawberries... Oh, man they are different but at the same time so much alike it's freaking me out a little… god I wish I could have some sort of contact with my Rach even if it was just a 'GET LOST & STOP BOTHERING ME FINN HUDSON! Kind of letter at least I'd know she read my novel length e-mails and gazillion text and e-mail messages and is ok and know that I do love her... I-I mean obviously, I'd prefer a 'Hi Finny, I really miss you and knew all along that you loved me' kinda letterbut man I..."

Finn is little put off by the way Kurt smiles so wide and brightly and thinks his face is likely to split in half, but does as the smaller boy tells him and follows him to the library, the entire time searching his mind for another time he might have met Rachel Perry, trying but failing as the only images that comes to mind are of his Rachel Berry from the first day of kindergarten when she offered him advice on how to decorate his sandcastle, up until that time two years ago in the park when he was an honest to god grade-A jerk to her, something he has regretted ever since!


Thankfully Tina had chosen one of the less frequented bathrooms near the administration offices, so she and Rachel wouldn't be disturbed while she cleaned herself up. Filling the basin with warm water, Tina helped rinse her hair just enough to get the worst of the slushy out then removed her blouse, pulling on a dark colored T-shirt.

"Tina can I please ask a question?

Smiling at her friend immediately knowing what and who it would be about. "Of course Rachel... as long as it isn't about Finn Hudson!"

Tina can't hold in her giggles at the deep pout and foot stamping from her friend, Rachel turns to Tina and with both hands clamped on her hips she sends a dark glare her way, which only makes her friend laugh more.

"Arghhh… sigh… Tiinnaaa please… how can I figure things out if you and Kurt won't tell me anything huh? Ever since he knocked me over in the parking lot I've had these weird feelings and dreams... it's almost like I should know Finn, and every time he is close by I get a weird fluttery feeling in my chest... and private parts, like just now when he held me in his arms it felt comfortable and so right … you know he is very handsome and sexy but how can I have these feelings when I don't even know him huh?"

"Sigh… Rachel I want to help you really I do, but Kurt and I told you already we are forbidden to tell you anything, but if you are having dreams and familiar feelings…" Then more to herself Tina says "Oh, what does it matter, it is Finchel endgame anyway Percy should be happy… Ok Rachel, I will tell you one thing alright? You knew OF each other before… So, just you know..., spend more time with him, like if he was to ask you out on a date to… oh I don't know, maybe the park or somewhere... he is a cutie pie and deep down… well I 'spose not so deep but he is a very nice guy, and is perfect boyfriend material especially now he has stopped being a popularity chasing man whore. He is more like he used to be, and it's obvious he really likes you, so when you are alone focus on those thoughts and I promise the answers will come to you in time."

Tina's answer seemed to placate Rachel for the time being. She spent the rest of the afternoon lost in her own mind and wondering why she felt so strange whenever she was near the tall handsome, dimpled Finn Hudson. Searching her memory banks for any information about the boy but other than the fleeting glimpses she has already had nothing else comes to mind, so huffing in annoyance she focused instead on her economics lesson, which if she was being honest today was even more boring than watching cockroaches' racing over sticky paper. So instead she was back to happily thinking about Finn...

XXXXX

"Dude slow down man, what's the rush I've got a double free" Glancing over his shoulder Kurt sent Finn a look and says "Do you want to find out about Rachel or not? If so hurry your giant butt, because you will need to be sitting down for what you are about to hear, not to mention the fact I want privacy Finn."

Finn sends a fearful look to Kurt who just continues to smile knowingly at the tall boy, nodding his head and ushering him out of the hallway. Even though he and Tina were forbidden to tell Rachel too much about her past and Finn Hudson, there were no such restrictions on them having a quiet word in the ear of the boy in question. Because from what Finn had just disclosed he was still as much in love with Rachel now, as he was two years ago even though he had been too concerned with popularity then to tell the tiny girl what was in his heart, but had thankfully, (making Kurt's job just that little bit easier admitted in his thoughts, that Kurt could read) through his facial expressions and body language that he was being honest and more than prepared to right the wrongs in the burgeoning love story that was Finchel. The fact that both these two kids were starting to figure things out, Kurt knew would make Percy smile and hoped he was watching through his magical soulascope which he was proud to say was the old man's own invention.

Finding the library empty but still choosing the most secluded chairs tucked right back in the encyclopaedia section Kurt motions for Finn to take a seat and then move his own chair in as close as possible, slightly unnerving Finn at the very little space between them.

"We haven't yet been formally introduced, so I'm going to fix that right this instant." He holds out a slim hand which Finn takes automatically. "Hello Finn my name is Kurt Hummel and along with my friend Tina Coen-Chang are guardian angels."

Smiling again at the bewildered look on Finn's face, Kurt continues

"We have been sent to earth to look after the one and only Rachel Berry, until the mistake that sent her into Limbo has been properly rectified, and with whom, if my information is correct you were once very close to..."

He relaxes into his chair, watching as a myriad of emotions flitter across Finn Hudson's dare he say extremely handsome face. (absentmindedly rubbing the small tattoo of a canary on his wrist, and wishing he was still human so he could indulge in a little romance, not with the boy sitting opposite him of course even though he can't deny Finn Hudson is one mighty fine example of American manhood! But because anyone could see his heart was elsewhere. But he had met a very long time ago an extremely charming boy with dark hair and the most beautiful singing voice who was the epitome of a dapper fellow and looked very dashing indeed when wearing his much-favoured bow ties and fedora, who with every look from his dark brown eyes sent his heart a fluttering...) He stays silent, just giving Finn a few minutes to absorb what he has just said, and losing himself a little in the past until a strangled cry calls him back to the present.

"R-Rach… my Rach is dead…?"

Then before Kurt can do or say anything in answer, Finn seems to just deflate in his chair his eyes have gone dark and twin tear tracks make their way down his cheeks. Kurt is unsure what to do now, as in all his time doing what he does he has never had a person so young breakdown like this. Fully appreciating at that instant why Percy put the special clause in place, because if he knows nothing else, Kurt is positive the tether between this guy and the tiny brunette is still, even after 2 years apart. Is one made from the finest Dwarven Mithril braided into a ribbon so delicate and nearly identical to silver to the untrained human eye, but at the same time stronger than dragon scales or indeed the human equivalent of steel, and firmly anchored at both ends to each other's hearts.

"B-but-but what happened to my Rach and w-why does Rachel Perry remind me of her in so many ways huh? Tell me Kurt where is my Rach please...".

"Ok, I will tell you all I know I promise, but I'm thinking your house will be better, your parents aren't home for another few hours, and I really don't want to upset your Mom she was always very fond of Rachel..."

Finn not apparently hearing Kurt's words about his family or even the slightest bit curious how Kurt knows his family's timetable jumps up from his chair, nods robotically as he rubs his fist over his eyes to dry the wetness and grabs the strap of his backpack slinging it over his left shoulder marches determinedly to the door, urging Kurt with frenzied hand movements to hurry up.

"Hold on a sec I just need to text Tina and tell her where I am." His fingers flying over the keys the message making him smile.

Gone with F to his house to explain about R,

his mind tells me he is still in love with her, and knows he made a mistake that day

How is R? Has she any idea yet, ask her about the word libe it apparently was her special name for him besides Finny,

C U soon :)

Within minutes he has received a reply,

She keeps having flashes of memory and odd feels when F is around and thinks she should know him.

She went all dreamy when telling me being in his arms felt right and familiar.

I'm sure Percy won't get mad if we help a little, they are still so right 4 each other.

Yes, will ask about libe.

CU later

Finn walked at speed to the parking lot and was standing by his blue ford truck waiting for Kurt, drumming his fingers on the hood distractedly trying to get his head around what Kurt had just told him.

The two guys didn't say much on the drive to the Hudson house other than Kurt pointing out where he, Tina and Rachel lived which was just one street away and the exact same one that the Berry's lived in...

Once inside his house Finn takes his backpack upstairs to his room after yelling at Kurt from the landing "Grab a soda from the fridge or put the coffee on or whatever you want dude"

"Thanks Finn, Mmmm maybe a nice cup of Earl Grey, Oohh yummy sugar cookies too. Whilst Kurt is busying himself making tea, he looks around the neat homely kitchen and spots on the fridge door a photograph of a tiny girl dressed in purple overalls with long dark braids, her smile bright and happy standing next to a taller messy haired boy proudly showing off the gap in his front teeth, showing off a three-story sand castle decorated with yellow flowers and leaves and such. On closer inspection Kurt notices the kids have their hands entwined, he turns it over quickly in case Finn came back and growled at him for being an over inquisitive sticky nose, as he read the words, written in a childish uneven misspelt scrawl, he could feel his smile getting bigger.

' Rach mi besst frend eva, RB+FH' and underneath the words were a squiggly love heart and some numbers that looked like a date though it was a little difficult to readbut Kurt thought it said septemba-95'.

Hearing Finn on the stairs Kurt put the picture back in the exact spot, quickly opening the fridge and grabbing the first carton of milk he put his hand on, and was just finishing pouring it into his tea, scrunching his nose when he noticed it was a non-fat one ( he always thought tea tasted better with real milk) and picking a cookie from the jar, when Finn came into the kitchen grabbing a soda and motioning Kurt to the living room, anxious to hear what the guy had to tell him about his Rach.

Making himself comfy on the sofa Kurt sipped his tea, watching as Finn just sort of perched on the edge of his oversized recliner chair, his hands running tracks through his soft looking brown hair, noticing how his handsome face was showing off a soft five o'clock shadow and caramel eyes were focused intently and unblinking on his own blue ones.

"Please feel free to correct me if I have any details wrong and to add anything I miss OK?" At Finn's nod Kurt continues. "You and Rachel Berry were the best of friends since you met in kindergarten at age five yes?"

Again, with the nodding but this time a soft smile of recollection covers Finn's face, making the dimple in his right cheek pop out, his eyes moving from Kurt's face to the dresser on the other side of the room, turning his head to follow Finn's gaze, Kurt can see an enlarged photo he assumes was taken around the same time as the one on the fridge as the kids appear to be of a similar age and wearing the same sort of clothes, this time they were sitting at a table holding pencils and practising what looked like writing their names.

His voice soft with the hint of a laugh Finn says "Yeah, Rach asked… well more like told me that my sandcastle would be more inviting to the fairies if it had some flowers to decorate it..." chuckling a little more at the memory."

Kurt smiles, taking another sip of his tea and continues. "Ok well from then till the last year or so of grade school..., well you were there so I don't need to rehash all that but do you remember the day when she found you in the park and told you what was in her heart, and your 'friends' overheard?"

Finn's head drops in shame he doesn't say anything just nods.

"Yes well... after that incident at the park Rachel rushed back to the hotel she and her dads were staying at, and after stumbling through an explanation of sorts, littered with breath stealing sobs, what happened. She demanded they take her back to London on the very next flight which of course they did, they only ever wanted to make her happy and by the way had always liked you very much. But... it turned out the only flight they could get at such short notice, was one with an airline who shall we say didn't have the best track record for plane safety. So, when the plane went down over the ocean during bad weather sadly Hiram and Leroy along with many of the other passengers and crew, didn't make it and were lost at sea. Rachel survived but was badly injured.

Percy made sure the plan he had put in place when the you two were born was acted upon immediately, and Rachel was placed in Limbo. As he knew without her fathers' she would need someone to love and care for her, and the situation offered you the perfect chance when you were ready to step up and make sure Rachel knows how deep your feelings for her are and to help her over the loss of her fathers'.

"W-what a-are you t-tryin' to tell me Kurt… that Rachel Perry is MY Rachel Berry? … why doesn't she remember me then, I-I mean I know I was a dick to her at the park but I explained it all to her in a novel length e-mail and..."

Finn jumps up from the chair and starts to pace the room mumbling incoherently until Kurt's soothing tone gains his attentions and he slows down a little.

"Finn, Finn please calm down a minute before you wear a hole in your Mom's favorite rug, and I'll explain."

Retaking his seat Finn nods and apologizes. "Sorry man please go on"

"Thank you, well normally when a baby is born Percy who is our boss if you like, he is the one in charge of the soul mate distribution center which deals with the solitary task of matching soul mates, and in very rare cases spots something special in two babies that he can tell has the potential to become something magical and so pure their relationship can withstand whatever the world and life can throw at it. You and Rachel Berry are in that elite group and along with your eventual lifelong match he put a special clause in place, which was … That in the event of something life threatening happening to either one, instead of passing over to the angel department and in effect dying! The person would instead be placed in a halfway world or Limbo in which to all intense and purpose would be a normal living person in real time but without the memories of their life before whatever accident caused their current state. Sometimes also due to the severity of their injuries, they need extensive surgeries to repair the damage, their personality also can change after surgery or upon wakening, again depending on the injuries received, which is what happened in your Rachel's case. She never received any of the letters or messages you sent, combined like I said with no recollection of her life before honestly didn't know how you felt, then there was that first meeting in the parking lot at school where you acted like a stuck-up jerk, you were lucky she didn't slap your face or knee you in your privates, but something about you intrigued her as well. Are you following Finn?"

"Y-yeah I think so... so what you're saying is that MY Rach is Rachel Perry but with a new face and personality?"

Smiling at Kurt's happy nod Finn smiles widely his mood suddenly brighter.

"S-so my Rach didn't die and still lives in her old house but you and Tina are angels and are looking after her till I get my head outta my ass, and step up and show her that being popular and king of the social heap is not important and that I've been in love with her all this time, and the reason I feel weird and have strange dreams which FYI all involve MY Rach, and every time I get near Rachel things feel familiar… That's why she called me libe… hang on a sec Kurt I'll be back."

Jumping up at the speed of light Finn races upstairs, returning within minutes holding his open laptop, then plopping himself next to Kurt on the sofa brings up the google home page and typing in 4 letters, scrolling through a few entries with a frown on his face, when he came to the one he was searching for his look suddenly changing to a soft goofy one, which was Kurt's tell he had found the entry he wanted.

His voice barely a whisper he says "Kurt look man 'libe' is a Yiddish word meaning love! Her daddy Hiram was Jewish... Oh man she has loved me since we were 13 and showed me all the time and I-I didn't always let her know how I felt, 'specially when we were in public... but Kurt I did and do love her man... b-but if she doesn't remember me how do I get my Rach back and without her dads' she will be heartbroken they were her whole world..."

Not afraid to cry in front of his new friend Finn slumps back in his seat and drops his face into his cupped hands his large body shaking gently with his sobs.

Patting him on the shoulder Kurt talks soothingly to Finn and after a few minutes asks him what he intends to do now he knows what happened to his Rachel.

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind


Tina was happily chatting to Rachel while she was in the shower cleaning off properly after the disgusting slushy attack at school. She and Kurt had exchanged a couple more text messages so she was now up to speed on everything and the two were now trying to help Finchel get together without breaking any of the guardian angel rules.

"Sooo Rachel, what do you think of Finn Hudson, he is dreamy, soo tall and his strong muscular body, I'd imagine would feel so strong and safe if one was to be held by him... and don't get me started on those dimples sigh..."

"OOOHHHH Tina it was absolutely wonderful and it felt so right being in his arms I didn't want to leave, but I had to tell those idiots off, how dare they try and make him feel bad by not hanging out with them and wanting instead to do well at school so he is better than just a jock. You know, I have been approached by most of those horrible boys for a date… well not so much as a proper request to spend time getting to know each other and finding similar topics to talk about. Because I don't think they would know how to properly treat a girl on a date or even how to spell the word, and the only conversation would be how quick he could talk her out of her panties, and 'trust me babe it's all good' as an answer to the question of contraception."

Tina smiles and as the water is turned off she hands her friend a towel for her hair, and walks into the bedroom giving Rachel privacy. Raising her voice, very keen to continue the Finnversation Tina asks, "So do you think Finn might know how to treat a girl properly? You know think of a nicer place than the back-seat of his truck then a trip through the drive through at the local burger place?"

A scandalised "Tina!" echoes from the bathroom followed soon after a towel clad Rachel. "Of course he would, I think he'd take extra effort to make a girl happy 'specially as he isn't that macho sex crazed jerk he was trying to be. He's sweet and nice and I just wish I could place where I know him from, I can always sense when his is nearby though. I thought it was just nerves being in a new school and the reason why… but it only ever happens with him, and every time my heart flutters like something is tugging on it.

I think he would take me to the park after picking me up right at the time he said and would have a picnic basket packed with my favorite foods, that he has taken the time over a series of conversations either texting or verbally, to find out what I like and we would sit under a nice big shady tree talking about all manner of things each taking turns to listen and take in what the other was saying… and I would lean against his shoulder feeling extremely comfortable and happy and being the gentleman I know he is, he would offer me his jacket if the weather was to turn chilly…sigh"

Tina is trying to control her glee at Rachel's words as she seems to forget she was talking about a hypothetical date instead making it sound like it was hers. "Well he does sounds very nice, anyway I'll leave you to it while I go and start dinner Kurt should be home soon and as it is Wednesday will more than likely be wanting his tofu stir-fry, I just hope he doesn't expect me to make the god-awful tofu turkey for thanksgiving tomorrow, ugh that is horrible muck! I'd rather have a spam sandwich if tofu is the only other choice."

Rachel's giggles make her smile a bit more as she makes her way down stairs to the kitchen, hoping that when Rachel finally finds out what happened to her and fully remembers what part Finn played in her life she will still be just as happy. Tina frowns slightly at the thought, because it means her and Kurt must leave and be given another assignment, they always enjoyed the jobs where they mixed with young people as it takes them back to their own youth, but at the same time envious because ones like Finn and Rachel will get their happy ending whilst her and Kurt were denied theirs.

But for now, Finchel are more important and of all their assignments over the past 100 or so years this one is the most deserving of a happy ending, after all it was written in the stars that Finchel is endgame! And Percy is never wrong regardless of what his unimaginative and anti-romantic, quill and parchment stacking assistant Ruben thinks. Tina knows he is just jealous due to his unrequited infatuation for the big boss's great niece which was still laughed about behind poor Ruben's back to this day.

XXXXX

Once Finn has got over the shock of hearing what had happened to Rachel Berry and how Rachel Perry came to be here he is more determined than ever to right the wrongs he feels he had a hand in setting in motion that day in the park.

About 10am the day after thanksgiving he calls Rachel up on the phone, hoping she will accept his request to go on a date, waiting with bated breath for her to answer, he thinks about everything Kurt told him.

"Hello this is Rachel Perry speaking"

"Hi Rach it's Finn Hudson, how are you?"

Her tone all soft and nervous like has Finn smiling widely, "I'm good thanks Finn, Finn how are you, did you have a nice thanksgiving?"

"Yeah it was good thanks, tho I reckon I ate to much like always, ha, ha … What about you did you guys do anything special?"

"We had a lovely day thank you, I helped Kurt make a tofu turkey and even carved a can of spam into a little model of a turkey for Tina and like you think I ate too much, I can't remember when I had so much fun in the kitchen. But I am positive I will not be eating tofu turkey ever again, it tasted like cardboard, I much prefer the real thing. So, um… was there something you wanted to talk about or you need help with?""

"Um no not really, I er… well yes there is actually, I'm calling because I wanted to ask, whether you'd like to go on a date with me on Sunday? I thought a picnic in the park would be nice, it shouldn't be too cold, I'll bring the food... you know salads and some turkey and cranberry sandwiches and even some mixed fruit salad, I will pick you up at 11am sharp, so what do you say would you enjoy that Rach?"

"That sounds wonderful Finny thank you, and seeing as you haven chosen all my favorites, I'll bake something extra special for desert I think you might enjoy some sugar cookies and choc/walnut brownies or banana bread yes?"

"Oh man you know me so well Rach and I can't wait, thank you for saying yes see you on the dot of 11 just make sure to wear something warm just in case yeah?"

"Ok I'll be waiting have a good day libe."

"Yeah you too Rach"

A loud "YES, YES, YES, YES!" is heard from the top of the stairs which has Carole Hudson rushing up from the laundry room to find what has her son so vocal.

"Finn, honey, are you alright?"

In the middle of doing a happy touchdown dance of sorts, and hugging his cell phone to his chest, Finn looks up at his mom's questioning voice, and sending her the biggest dimpled grin he can manage, then before she knows what is happening her very much taller son has lifted her up in his arms and is spinning on the spot, the action causing loud giggles of surprise to leave her smiling lips and deeper chuckles (which she is sad to say she hasn't heard from her son for 2 years) bursting forth from Finn's mouth and forcing his dimples out of hiding, which in turn makes her smile even wider, his obvious happiness rubbing off. His words rush from his throat in one long excited stream.

"Everything is perfect Mom I have a date with Rach tomorrow and I'm gonna do everything right this time so she can get outta this limbo place and come back proper but she will be sad coz her Dads' are dead, but I will step up and be the man she needs me to be, she wasn't really gone at all … an' Kurt said she has been having memories of me and stuff but didn't know what to do about it, an' she is been living in her old house all this time well since school went back anyway..."

Her mind buzzing with Finn's fast faced ramble she speaks slowly trying to get her head around, and calm her racing heart at her son's words, "Finn, Finn, slow down and explain what you are talking about you have lost me honey. Did you say Rachel; your best friend Rachel Berry is here in Lima and her dads are gone? Come sit Finny and tell me slowly what is going on and if your Dad and I can help"

Nodding his head in happiness, his face flushed with excitement Finn sits on the edge of his bed next to his mom, and after taking a series of deep breathes calmly tells her all Kurt told him. Her caramel eyes widening with shock and surprize then finally going soft and teary at the look on her son's face.

XXXXX

Kurt and Tina had told him to take it slow and not expect her to remember everything straight away, as once her memories came back the loss of her dads would more than likely set her back, and nobody wanted the same thing to happen again coz they couldn't guarantee Percy's plan would work a second time and she could be lost forever. They said she had been wording her questions about him and the thoughts and feelings she had been experiencing so they sounded more like statements, trying to get around their embargo of giving her a direct answer but had figured out that he was the one she was supposed to be with.

Kurt and Tina had a meeting with Finn and Mr and Mrs Hudson, while Rachel was at her regular after school glee club session. The elder Hudson's were terribly shocked and saddened to hear of their good friends' deaths and promised to look out for Rachel once she knew of everything and was back to herself. They then remembered the conversation where Hiram and Leroy Berry asked them to be guardians of their beloved daughter, never thinking in a thousand years they'd need to put that into place, and had always wondered why the Berry's had shut off all contact so suddenly, now though after Kurt and Tina's explanation everything was perfectly clear.

However, they understood Rachel was obviously still needing to know more, especially about the plane crash that put her in this limbo state and the loss of her parents and the fact that the house she is living in is in reality her childhood home, also about that fact her parents had written a new will just before they went to England and in the event of their passing while Rachel was a minor, all their considerable fortune and the house in Lima would be signed over to Rachel with Chris and Carole Hudson being nominated as her guardians until she was of age.

Finn doesn't want to rush Rach into getting her memories back, but at the same time is doing all he can to help, by making sure he shows or tells her about things that he knows she used to like.

XXXXX

"Ding -dong…"

"I'll get it it'll be Finn, right on time like he said."

Opening the front door Rachel couldn't keep her smile to herself she was so very excited to be going out with Finn, and was feeling very special.

After their very pleasant picnic in the park which was truly a picture as the trees were all displaying their fall colors of red and yellow majestically, where he gushed (not untruthfully either, as her sweet treats always had him drooling) over her baking with every mouthful watching her face intently for signs of recognition and a couple of times saw a flash of something in her eyes, which made them turn into the dark chocolate he was used to and would always loose himself in. He then suggested a walk, telling her their destination was his all-time favorite spot to hide away from things or people that bothered him, or when he just wanted some alone time. Arriving at their tree he sat on the dip in the gnarled bumpy roots making sure to sit close to where she could see the carving of their initials. He pretended he was hungry and started to riffle around in the backpack looking for another sugar cookie when he heard a sharp intake of breath and little sob. Looking up he saw Rach running her tiny fingers over the markings deep in the tree bark then she turned her head to lock her eyes on his, and in answer all he did was nod and motion his hand slowly between them confirming her unspoken question with a soft smile. Sending him a hesitant smile back she then wiggled closer to his large warm body wrapping her jacket closer around her little body and resting her head on his shoulder. Finn couldn't speak even if he wanted to, he instead pulled his extra jacket from the bag, wrapping it around her shoulders then wound his arm around her and pressed his face into her strawberry scented hair. They sat quietly for a good 30 minutes until the wind picked up speed, clutching at them with frosty fingers causing them to shiver.

"Hey Rach it's getting cold, do you want to go and find somewhere to get a hot drink?"

"Mmmm yes that would be lovely Finny, I have had a wonderful time thank you for this and I'm slowly starting to remember how close we were, but I still have quite a few gaps but I have decided that I want to be your very best friend and hope that you want the same, but I need you to be very patient Finn"

Tilting her face up to look at him, his voice earnest and eyes soft he says "Rach, I lost you once before and I have not been my true self without you so you have my solemn promise that I will protect you in any way I can and just be your friend until you are ready to be my Rach again and this time you don't have to worry about me not standing up for you, I know it is probably too soon to say, but I want you to know my feelings for you were always there, they never went away and are just as, if not stronger now than they were before, and can I just apologize for anything I've ever done to make you think I didn't want or care about you. I guess I was just too immature and worried about staying popular to be honest with you about how I felt… but Rach please believe me I don't care about that anymore honest, I just want and need to be around you in any way you will let me."

Her dark eyes moist with unshed tears, and feeling the emotion in Finn's words, Rach starts to speak her hand now wrapped around Finn's large one in her lap. "O-oh Finny, I knew from that first time in the parking lot there was more to you than that conceited womanising jerk, but couldn't put my finger on it. Tina told me we knew of each other before, and the more time I spend with you the more I want to remember, and the fact you are prepared to stand up to the bullies like you did the other day at school, makes me feel more comfortable every time we are together, thank you. Now libe how about we go and get that hot chocolate hmm?

"You got it babe" standing up Finn picks up the backpack and slings it over his shoulder his other hand reaching out for Rach to take sending her a soft smile and guiding her over the tangled roots, back on to the path to the parking lot. He wanted to get her out of the bitingly cold wind and now threatening rain.

Nearly to the parking lot Rachel sees the kid's playground and in an excited squeal says "Oh Finn have we time to go there? I love the swings and the playground is empty so no one can growl"

Laughing out loud at her childish happiness Finn just nods and takes her hand as they walk over the gravel path telling her sit on the swing as he pushes her, and for the next 15 minutes or so they have a ball. She had always loved the park and play equipment, always boasting how she could fit through the slippery dip tubes and he couldn't coz he was such a giant.

They had just jumped off the climbing frame, their happy laughter echoing off the empty playground, and as they are making their way to Finn's blue truck they were confronted by a group of drunken kids led by Jaxson Harvey with a brunette cheerleader, hanging off his arm this time. (Rachel rolled her eyes at the girl thinking "My gosh doesn't she ever wear anything but that uniform").

"Heeeyy Huddy, you finally gonna tap that huh? I gotta hand it ya dude she was too much like hard work an' I don't like to havta try too hard just for a fuck, but come to think of it she looks just like that pocket hobbit from before, jeez man, you sure did get the short straw hope you had all your shots, bet she is a real fuckin' looser too tho'. A coupla pairs of socks to shove in her mouth would stop all the talkin', but even though she's a midget she could reach ya dick an' suck ya off no probs, shit man ha, ha."

Turning to his sniggering cohorts Jaxson continues,

"Shit we should set poor Huddy up with one of the cheerio babes, he'd need a good easy fuck to get rid of the image of that fugly freakinberry stuck in his potato head. Turning slightly to his girl and slurs, Wadda ya reckon doll any of your cheerio chicks be interested? 'sidering she is so much like tha' Berry midget, she might even be open to lady love probly runs in the family the dads' being gay an' all ha, ha."

The girl just giggles against his bicep and shrugs her shoulders.

Another loud burst of laughter echoing in the still air along their horrible words.

In the blink of an eye Finn lunges at the blond guy and has him on the hard ground, pounding his iron fist into Jaxson's dazed face with no remorse spitting out his words all over him.

"I told you asshole to keep your filthy mouth shut and not talk about Rach like that, you have no fucking clue about anything, an' I'm tryin' to figure out whether you are hard of hearing or just too fucking stupid to understand plain English..."

Panting with anger and effort Finn hits the guy again.

But a scared cry of his name has himdistracted momentarily, Finn doesn't see Jaxson's buddy stagger towards them and raise his foot ready to kick him in the side.

"Finny watch out…, oh let me go you Neanderthal, don't you dare touch him I'm warning you leave him alone... oh so help me..."

"OUCH you bitch…"

Free from the guy's tighter than necessary hold and smirking victoriously at the pain she caused him by kicking him in the shin. Rachel walks towards Finn, her voice now takes on a harder quality, she refuses to look at him but says "Finn come on let's go that enough, you need to clean up."

Something in her face and short tone of voice, tells Finn she has had a jolt of memory and he knows he needs to get her home so with a final push against Jaxson's chest, he rises from the ground and reaches for Rach who runs straight into his waiting arms which then fold around her like a warm safe secure blanket. He wastes no time in scooping her up and walking briskly to his truck completely ignoring the whispers and slurred curses from the other kids. As he unlocks the passenger door one handed he tries to make eye contact with Rach to gauge her level of distress and how much more she remembers. He tenderly places her now shaking body on the seat removes then tucks his overlarge jacket around her before he snaps her seatbelt into place, and taking the chance to press a soft kiss on her forehead before locking the door and racing around to his side, as he starts the engine he looks at her and asks gently.

"Are you ok Rach? Do you need me to take you to the hospital? I'm really sorry you had to see me loose it like that but that guy just gets my temper boiling, I promised I'd..."

"No I'm fine Finn thankyou I'd just like to go home please and be 'alone' I need to try and get my head around everything that has happened today and what I have remembered, but I have had a wonderful day thanks, it has meant a lot to me that you have been trying so hard and have been honest with me, you know that's all I've ever asked of you..."

His voice choked with emotion and guilt his quiet "Oh Rach I'm so damned sorry for everything, but if you want or need to talk to me or Mom or even just hang out and watch a movie please call me, I swear Rach I'm here for you however you want me I'm not going anywhere but without trying to scare you force anything on you I, have to tell you that I really do love you honestly!"

"I know Finn but please appreciate that I have all these feelings and emotions and memories all swirling around in my brain I need some peace and quiet to sort everything out and I know now you care for me very much and on some level, I feel like I should love you but until things settle can we please just be friends?"

"Of course babe, whatever you want. I'm just so happy to have you back"

10 minutes later Finn pulls up outside Rachel's house and turning in his seat to face her, he takes her hand rubbing his thumb over her palm and with a tender voice says. "Thanks Rach for coming out with me today it meant a lot and I hope we can get together again real soon, but would it be alright if I kissed you? I-I mean I'll understand if you say no... I just need to know for sure my Rach is back..."

Even though her mind was swirling with a truckload of different thoughts and feelings, Rachel couldn't help the tiny giggle that left her lips and anyway she was totally unable to say no, as it had been on her mind for weeks, she instead undid her seatbelt slid along the seat closer to Finn, putting her hands on either side of his flushed face says in a whisper. "You can kiss me if you want"

Thinking all his Christmas's, birthdays, lottery wins and world implosion's had all come at once, all Finn can do at that statement is lower his head till his lips were a breath away from Rachel's plump pink ones and say "I want to" then lean in at the exact second she did, their eyes shut and as their lips touched in the most perfect tender kiss in the history of kisses his heart did a quadruple flip in his chest and he suddenly felt like it was on one end of a pulley being wound closer and closer on a one way ride towards Rach's. The kiss only lasted for a few seconds but it was absolutely freaking fantastic.

"Bye libe I'll talk to you soon I promise and anyway I'll see you at school tomorrow 'k?" still smiling at Finn's dazed look she giggles a little and nudges him in the ribs with her elbow.

Shaken from his dream world he answers "Um yeah, yeah sure Rach can I pick you up? I will be here coz I know you like to get there early to sort your stuff and all… just as… you know… coz friends do that kinda stuff an' all… you know lifts to school and maybe buying a large chi tea with extra nutmeg" sending a half smile and a cute shoulder shrug hoping she will allow him to pick her up.

"Sounds good Finny I'll be waiting at 7:30 bye."

**xxxx**

Saying a quick hello and requesting softly for Kurt and Tina to leave her alone for a bit. Rachel races up the stairs, stopping in front of her closed bedroom door, turning around and for the first time since she 'woke up' knows what the rainbow in the golden frame hanging on the door opposite hers mean and why she has always felt so comfortable in this house.

She walks the couple of steps and gently lifts the frame off, opens her door then closing and immediately locking it behind her. This time as she walks farther into the bright cheery room she has a proper look around the space, smiling through the tears that suddenly appear in her eyes and slide slowly down her cheeks. She can see in her mind everything and can pin point the exact moment she was given by Finn for her 11th birthday, the little pink teddy bear holding a pink tulip, also the picture of the statue of liberty that has always hung on the wall over her desk that was a gift from her daddies the year they went to New York for New Year's celebrations when she was 10. Her eyes then land on the box frame that has always been on a shelf near her window that is filled with sea shells and some feathers and other beachy stuff that she collected the summer that her family and Finn's went on a holiday to California when she was 8.

Suddenly feeling very tired Rachel climbs onto her bed and under her quilt, lays on her back, resting the picture frame on her bent knees. She reaches up for the little toy bunny from the shelf above her bed and as she tenderly runs a shaky finger over the number 1 on its white shirt cuddling it to her chest, and for a few moments looks at the rainbow remembering everything about her dads and the story they told her about she came to be theirs. Her tears are now full on, gently putting the frame on the floor she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. Clearing her mind of the afternoon's dramatic events and the last thing she sees before she falls asleep, are the smiling faces of her Daddies as they hand her a little fluffy pink rabbit with #1 on its white t-shirt.

Later when she woke up she wrote down the snippets of dreams she'd had, though to anyone else that might read the words it looked more like, a list of short sentences or wild ideas, but to Rachel Barbra Berry it was her life!

"Oh Hiram, look dear, our baby girl is trying to walk, my word she is so very clever."

"That's it Rachie, walk to Papa, look he has your Bubba bunny. Can you walk to Papa? Hiram is the camera on? This is a milestone."

"Papa bubba me?"

"What a smart cookie you are, you walked all the way by yourself, Papa and Daddy are so very proud, my cousin can't boast about her Stefan being the most advanced baby anymore."

Hiram and Leroy Berry smile emotionally at their tiny 12-month-old daughter, which in turn causes her smile to widen even more and her big brown eyes to crinkle as she claps her hands in happiness. Before taking another few tottering steps then falling heavily on her thickly diapered bottom and landing on top of her fluffy toy bunny, the action making her giggle.

"Daddy can I have a new backpack for kindergarden pwease? Can it have a ninja turtle or a twansfomor on it? Them cars that change is supa cool I like Optimus pwime.

"Hi my name is Finn and I'm five…"

"I think maybe you would like to put some flowers on top and in the garden of your castle, coz you know it will be more nicer for the fairies to live in if it was pretty,"

"Rachie darling, Daddy and I want to give you this rainbow and tell you what it symbolises and what it means to us.

"Rach, seeing as we are gonna be best friends for eva, I reckon we should leave some sort of memory on our favorite tree for posturers sacks, what do you say? We can use my fancy new pen-knife to carve our initials' in our tree."

"Oh Finny you are too cute but I think you meant to say for posterity's sake, but I agree it is a good idea that way neither of us can ever forget about the other one…"

"Libe"

"Rach can you please tell me what Libe means, it is driving me crazy trying to figure it out, I mean I like it…"

"Finny I can't tell you, but when the time is right you will work it out for yourself you are very clever you know, just remember I mean it always!"

"Wadda mean you are moving to England Rach? Why can't you stay with us huh?"

"Oh Finny I don't want to leave you are my only friend in the entire world, what will I do without you."

"I love you Finn!"

"Jeez Huddy you sure did get the short straw hope you had all your shots, bet she is a real fuckin' looser too tho'. A coupla pairs of socks to shove in her mouth would stop all the talkin', but even though she's a midget she could reach ya dick an' suck ya off no probs, shit man ha, ha"

"Daddies I want to go back to London right now, I can't stay here a minute longer knowing he doesn't feel the same."

"Daddy, Papa, where are you? I'm scared please come and get me, Daddy…"

"So beautiful, but such a tragic loss for someone so young."

"Ah finally awake I see, good morning Rachel did you sleep well?"

"...I-I'm d-dead? I-is this h-hell? But w-why... was I that bad...?"

"We are your… well I guess guardian angels…."

"Until your soul-mate comes and finds you,"

"I promise you Rach I'm here for you, in any way you will let me."

"I love you Rach"

Not sure what time it was, Rachel rolls over to take a bleary-eyed look at her bedside clock, noticing the time as 1:30am, her grumbling tummy the reason she woke up so early, she climbs out of bed and after quickly changing into her pyjamas means to head to the kitchen down stairs, hoping Kurt or Tina left her some dinner, but on her way past the room she now knew to be her dads' bedroom she instead took a detour, slowly opening the door and instantly feeling them all around her everything was as it was before they went to England dust covers on most of the larger furniture pieces, but she swore she could still smell her Papa Leroy's cologne, that always made her think of carnations and mixed spice, and looking at the dresser could still see the clothes brush Daddy Hiram used to run over his suit every day. Her hunger suddenly forgotten she instead climbs into their king size bed after dragging a quilt from the hope chest at the foot of it, and trying but failing to wipe the now torrent of hot tears running down her cheeks and dripping off her chin she cries herself to sleep. Wishing with everything she has, that the best parents in the world were here with her.

The next thing that registers is a knock on the door and a soft call of her name telling her it was 6:45 and if she wanted she could stay home from school, but Finn will be here soon.

"Oh… Um thanks Tina but I'm ok really, but I'll be down very soon ok?"

"Ok Rachel if your sure, Kurt made pancakes, I'll try and save you some that's if he hasn't eaten them all in the short time I've been up here."

Giggling a little at her friend's words, Rachel gets out of bed and makes her way to her own room and her pink tiled bathroom laughing wetly at the memory of what Finn said when she showed him her newly redecorated bathroom.

"Gosh Rach it looks like someone ate too much cotton candy and threw up everywhere or something it's so girly in here."

"Oh yuck! That imagery is so gross and disgusting Finn Hudson… but you are funny…giggle… and of course it is 'girly' as you so typically boyishly put it… because, and just in case you haven't noticed I am in fact a girl… but anyway I love it I think it is me!"

"Morning Kurt, please tell me you didn't eat all the pancakes? I'm starving and there had better be maple syrup!"

"Morning Rachel, are you ok?"

"Yes… well at least I will be once everything settles down in my head, but at least now I know what happened to me, and why I've felt so comfortable both in this house and in Finn's company. Speaking of which I'd better hurry or he will be here hanging off the doorbell. But I just want to say thank you to both of you for being here and helping me and really wish you could stay as I have a strong feeling we could have been great friends and maybe I could have talked you in to joining glee club."

Rachel helps herself to her breakfast and as she eats, Kurt watches her face and reads her mind searching for any signs that she might have trouble accepting all this new information and glut of memories. Knowing but still wanting to hear it from her own lips. "Can I ask what brought everything back? Or is it too soon to talk about it?"

"No it's ok really, I guess it was a combination of things… As you know from the first-time Finn bumped into me I have felt like I should know him, and that I was searching for something but obviously had no idea what. Then after he and I became friends and after that disgusting slushy incident, little things started to jog my memories, you know the smell of his cologne, the way he called me Rach, how safe and secure I felt in his arms, and then the picnic yesterday when he confirmed that it was us from before that carved our initials in the tree at the park, and how he explained his reasoning behind what he did or didn't do that day when I expressed my feelings for him, and how he promised to stand by my side from then on and that he loved me … But what made everything flood back was the way that nasty boy started to say such horrible things and Finny… the real one that I'd always known was inside, came out and defended Rachel Berry… well I guess me… and took him to the ground, punching his lights out. Then after he carried me to the car, he asked if he could kiss me…" Happy clapping and a deep sigh from Tina brought Rachel back as did the ringing of the doorbell, which Kurt jumped up to answer the two guys' voices reaching the girls in the kitchen. Tina watching in a romantic sort of daze, as Rachel blushed and smoothed her hair down, straightening her sweat top and checking her makeup quickly in the shiny surface of the kettle.

The minute he walked in the room Finn's cinnamon eyes found and locked on to Rachel, his voice soft as he says "Morning Rach, you look beautiful, and as promised Miss Berry one large chi tea with extra nutmeg…" realising Tina was there as well Finn drags his eyes from Rachel to send the other girl a soft smile and a head nod in thanks for looking out for Rachel, Kurt had told him a few minutes ago that Rachel had remembered everything so to be gentle.

"Mom wanted to know if you were up to coming over for dinner as she and dad really want to be there for you… no rush whenever you are ready but she does want you to know they love you. Now have you got everything you need and ready to go to school babe?"

With tears threatening to fall at the sincerity of Finn's words regarding his mom's feelings all Rachel can do is nod and send him a beaming smile, grabbing her backpack from the floor walks over to him and leaning up on her tippy toes presses her lips against his in a soft kiss. Stepping back briefly and taking his hand she says "If you are by my side, I've got all I need and I'm ready for anything libe."

XXXXX

Percy was beside himself with happiness at the scene in Lima Ohio and knew without any shadow of a doubt that Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry would be ok! He shuffled his feet in his version of dance that his advanced age made nearly impossible but just to show Ruben who was still after all these years stacking quills and parchment, that real soulmates do exist and are worth fighting for. Then as he walks away he sings along to the music that only he can hear

"At the mirror you fix your hair and put your makeup on
You're insecure about what clothes to wear
I can't see nothing wrong

To me you look so beautiful when you can't make up your mind
It's half past eight, it's getting late
It's OK, take your time

Standing here my hands in my pockets
Like I have a thousand times
Thinking back it took one breath
One word to change my life

The first time I saw you it felt like coming home
If I never told you I just want you to know
You had me from hello"

A/N: Please review, thanks for reading I hope you all enjoyed the story. Till next time take care and **keep on drumming**

Lyrics used: Always on my mind- Elvis Presley

You had me from hello-Bon Jovi