What kind of fool am I?

Summary: Is it really living and being in control of your own life when you have people directing said life minute by minute? Because now you have everything you have ever wanted! Maybe a dream will bring the past back and help you see what you have been missing.

Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry fan fiction

M rating:

Romance/slight angst: Complete AU one-shot

Flashbacks are in italics.

A/N: I'd just like to thank every single person who read or reviewed my stories in 2016 and hope 2017 brings you all the best of everything. I really appreciate your support and have really enjoyed taking you along on my visit into the world that is Finchel Fanfiction.

I hope you enjoy this new one just as much.

**Keep on Drumming**

For my dear friend lefthandedrn, a birthday gift I hope you have a wonderful day. xxx


SaturdayNight:

"Sometimes my life feels like one long fall from grace

I chase my dreams, and I was getting weary from the chase

I've held an angel's hand and I've felt the devil's bite, yeah

Now I take my regrets and burn them down

The futures looking bright

Let's light it up

We'll light this party up

We'll light this party up

You better buckle up

Give you a kiss for luck

Love is the deepest cut

We'll light this party up.…"

Picking up a towel from the base of the drum stand and wiping his face and neck, before taking a large swallow of his favorite beer (well favorite since he went to Australia and was amused by the XXXX's on the can, but also really enjoyed the light taste) "Thanks for coming out today I hope you enjoyed the show, me and the guys have had a blast"

Amid the screams and whistles, and the numerous flowers, pairs of underpants and lacy bras being thrown at him, Finnegan blushes darkly, his dimples shyly popping out as he smiles with embaressment, as he pulls a red thong panty off his face, bows then attempts to quieten down the large over excited crowd of mostly women so he can speak.

"Man, you've been a great audience and I can't thank you enough for all your fantastic support and buying my CD's and t-shirts 'n stuff, so as a thankyou 20 lucky ladies have won the chance to join me on the party boat to help celebrate my birthday. The winners who were picked at random will have been given a special gold bird stamp on their ticket so make sure you check them closely, just remember you must be 21 or over and photo ID will be requested before entry to the boat is allowed."

At the loud chorus of "Aw" and "Not fair" and tear filled cries Finnegan smiles, showing off his dimples and says, "Now calm down you ladies I can't on good conscious have underage girls near the bar, it isn't the right way to do things, I look forward to seeing you there. Take care and thanks again."


From her hiding place in the closet of the fancy ocean cruiser cabin, which due to the presence of the over-sized duffle bag is rather cramped, the woman watches the sleeping man, one whom she had always likened to Michelangelo's David, with fascination. His muscular chest rising in a rhythm she knows only too well, his face with its straight nose and a smattering of freckles across the bridge, every now and then twitching with his dreams, full lips partly open allowing a thin line of drool to escape, the tell-tale marks on his pillow shining in the moonlight, streaming in through the large picture window above his head. His long fingered right hand, moving up from its place at his side to rest at the top of his thigh, reminding her of the prize that is hidden by his boxers.

Her dark eyes are then drawn to the tattoo marking his broad chest the detail of which, from her poorly lit position is unclear and she wonders what inspired him to get it, but knows the answer must wait, as her mind is more intent on carrying out her 'mission'. She curses silently at the duffle bag and slowly using her foot, pushes it out the closet door which is open just enough for her to slip through. Stopping for just a moment once she reaches the side of the king-sized bed to take a longer look at the man, smiling at the way his handsome face is relaxed in slumber making him look like the cute, naive teenager she once knew instead of the grown, world wise man of 25 he is now. His tattoo now she is up close is more evident and she smiles at the tiny image inked just over his heart.

She can't help but smile widely and stifle a giggle at the thought of the man he has become, still attached to his childhood hero when she notices that his sleep shorts are printed with his favorite childhood cartoon character, the silent bumblebee from transformers.

So, before she can talk herself out of it she leans down and presses her lips against his, and whispers "Happy birthday Finn." A soft sigh leaving her mouth at the contact, causing her breath to puff over his face, the sudden jerk of her head making a length of hair escape from her loose bun and fall over his cheek. Causing him to twitch his nose and bring his left hand out from under his pillow to his face, and brush away the irritation.

She jumps back in fear that he'd rouse, but instead he just smiles in his sleep causing the dimple in his right cheek to show through the (dare she say sexy) scruff covering the lower half of his face. When she is certain he isn't going to wake up, emboldened by being so close and already having had the chance to kiss him once she bends to again press her lips to his. Then placing on his night stand, after pressing her glossy lips to it, a small note card.

The woman then makes her way to the door of the cabin suddenly pausing with a slim hand on the door handle, she turns to take one last look at the man who from the time she first met him has captivated, but at the same time been the one love of her life…


"Knock, knock, rise and shine Huddy, it's 'nother bee-utiful day in paradise, got your chat up lines ready? Man! there are by Sammy's reckoning, about 150 chicks and quite a few dudes as well, waiting on shore to interview the world's hottest panty wetting super star, the one and only Finnegan… well, a couple for you I 'spose, the rest must be waiting for the Puckerone, PA and best friend extraordinaire!"

A loud groan… followed by the barely audible "Go away Puck I'm not in'erested, how many times do I gotta tell you, I just wanna sleep man…" is heard from the depths of the bed as the visitor makes his way into the room, cursing as he trips over the duffle bag with McKINLEY HS TITANS, stamped on either side, that he swears was in the closet last night. Shaking his head at his friend for wanting to hang onto his small-town life before stardom made him every woman's first choice for their toy-boy or baby daddy.

"Fuck it all Huddy get up man!… it's seriously time you got some intense lovin' dude, this monk thing you got goin' on is starting to make me look bad, you got an image to keep up with man, the chicks want to think they have a chance at getting' wit ya, not thinkin' that some mousey little brunette librarian or Sunday school teacher has got a leash around ya dick, an' you're ready to settle down with a couple of kids an' a dog in suburbia where you are the president of the freaking PTA or some other lame shit."

A series of mumbled curses leave Finn Hudson's mouth as he rolls over trying to go back to sleep and get more of his dream, but instead of a face all he can get is a waft of vanilla… and the feel of soft lips on his that tasted like strawberry…

Knowing he wasn't going to be allowed the luxury of more sleep, he instead lays still with his eyes closed and thinks that Puck's words are the truth and if he could find a girl like that then he would happily give up this rock star life in a heartbeat and settle down, happy to mow the grass on Saturday's, have cook-outs with his kids friends' who are having a camp-out in the back yard, and helping them with their kites and go-carts, and honestly enjoy wandering for hours around the home improvement shops' and garden centers' coz his wife wanted some new tiles in the bathroom or plants for the garden. A sudden image rushes into his mind, of him and a tiny brunette doing exactly that…

After more nagging and what feels like a barrel of cold water thrown over his head, Finn jumps up in shock and glares at the man just sitting in the bedside chair flipping a small card around in his fingers smirking at him like he has just invented some new fantastic sex position and posted a 'how to' video on the internet which has gone viral.

Realising he wasn't going to be allowed any more peace and quiet, Finn sits up running one hand through his wet hair, the other scratching his chest, pausing for a few seconds to gently rub his fingers over his tattoo, before his hand runs down his lean body disappearing under his boxers and palming away his morning wood, ( a problem, which if he thinks about it hasn't arisen for a long, long time) his body's current situation not helped at all by his dream. His tone heavy with annoyance as he asks, "So why are you grinning like a fucking doofus for anyway Puckerman?"

"I was just gonna ask if you have been keepin' secrets from your old buddy the Puckerone Huddy, coz I don't remember seein' this here card last night, I mean we were together enjoying your party and the ample in every way hot chicks, which I gotta tell ya man were just perfect," his words accentuated by a sly smirk and eyebrow wiggle, making Finn roll his eyes and sigh in annoyance. "I was just wondering which one of 'em was the model for ya booby cake 'n did ya like get to test ' em out like in a parade or sumthin? Till ya piked out and said ya needed your beauty sleep, so where did this come from huh? You get an extra little secret birthday surprise or what man?"

"What the fuck are you gibbering about man? You know we were together downstairs till near dawn and I came back here by myself, so your guess is as good as mine unless it belongs to that blonde chick you were hanging all over what was her name…? An' she got the cabin numbers wrong …"

Sending Finn, a sly wink followed by an eyebrow wiggle and grin Puck says, "Her name is Quinn, fucktard and it can't be her coz she only just left my cabin after another couple of rounds with the master." He brings the card closer to his nose and inhales deeply, "anyway I know for a fact it's not hers, coz she don't smell sweet and innocent like pansy assed vanilla and strawberry. She was covered in the essence of Puckerone ha, ha"

Scrunching his nose at the imagery, but more annoyed that yet again Puck is making fun of him. "Give me that you prick!" Jumping out of bed Finn lunges sideways, his impressive 6'3" solid body surprisingly agile, and Puck not expecting the sudden move drops the card in surprise, then scoots out of his chair and races to the door cursing as he again trips over the duffle bag.

A strange look on his face as he shrugs his shoulders in disinterest, before adding "Whatev's man just be ready to go in 20!" Slamming the door on his way out he shakes his head then runs a hand through his mohawk, wondering what the hell happened to Finn in the space of a few hours to make him all soppy and seemingly interested in a chick without even knowing who the hell she is. But all thoughts of strange late-night visitors and magically appearing cards, vanish from his mind as he reaches the bottom deck making sure the smaller charter yacht is ready to go for when Finn finally gets his giant ass down stairs. While he waits, he pulls his phone from his pocket and scrolls through his address book smirking at the new addition under Q, and starts to type.

'Q had a gr8 time last nite hope u did 2, would really like 2 catch up again, call me? 3 Puck.'

XXXXX

As he was getting dressed Finn was thinking more about his dream visitor whom he was 100% certain was a woman…, but wondering if she was a dream and not just the after effects of the party and the redhead that was hanging all over him. He is positive he left her downstairs after passing her off to the sound guy and got to his cabin alone. Surely, he would have noticed someone else in the tiny shower with him, he doesn't think he was that drunk.

Coz it sure felt real and the feeling of lips on his that left the lingering taste of strawberries, and what felt like hair falling on his cheek, stirring something in the dark corners of his memory vault made him think it was really was, he hoped it was anyway. But did she have anything to do with the note card, that left no clue as to her identity? The only thing on the card was the imprint of a set of pink lips smelling faintly of strawberries. Shaking his head in confusion and making one last check of his cabin Finn grabbed his duffle bag and made his way to where Puck was waiting, but he had made sure to hide the card in his wallet underneath the foil packet, that had been in the same spot since high school and was well and truly past its expiry date.

Smirking to himself that if Puck knew of his real sexual status he would probably keel over with a heart attack, because apart from his last two years in high school and freshman year of college, with the girl who was his everything… until he dumped her once he was spotted and signed to his record company the summer before he was a college sophomore. Which was the crazy beginning of a merry-go- round of tours with killer concert dates, public appearances' and talk shows as well as all night studio jamming sessions, and large numbers of girls all vying for his 'attentions' he hasn't had sex since…, well that he cares to remember anyway, coz if he doesn't think about it, it didn't happen right!

The press always make a song and dance about every woman that is photographed with him, even if they catch him talking to his neighbour or the mail delivery person, or going through the car-wash, or even the supermarket when he is buying stuff like toilet paper, toothpaste or deodorant. The stories that surface are incredible, his poor mom doesn't know what to do besides stop reading magazines or watching TV. Tho if he is honest the urge just hasn't been high on his list of things to do and whatever spare time he does manage to squeeze in is usually spent sleeping.

"Jeez, about fuckin' time Hudson, come on Steele is waiting man!"

The loud yell shakes him from his ponderings as Puck walks over and slaps him on the back, urging him to walk faster. Once on the deck of the smaller boat Finn just stops, and turns to face Puck who didn't notice him and collides face to chest with him, the impact causing him to drop his cell to the floor. Cursing as he steps back Puck rapidly twigs there is something odd about Finn and wonders if the stupid card he found on his side table has anything to do with his friend's strange behaviour. He is just about to voice his question when Finn cuts him off.

"What's the rush man all these press people ever want to know is which super model I'm sleeping with, have I secretly married my sound guy and going to adopt a baby from overseas, or am I keeping a secret family in Australia, you know how much that sort of crap upsets my Mom dude, an' I've about had enough and have seriously been thinking of taking a break for a long time…. No, you know what! That time is now, matter of fact that's what you're gonna say at this damn press thingy, I don't care what excuse you come up with but I'm done with this rock-star life, being told where to go and what to do with whoever will get the most attention 24/7, 6 years is fucking long enough, I've got plenty of money saved and invested, now I want a real life and to put my degree to proper use… I'm going home! Hey Steele can you take me along the coast a bit so I can miss the media circus man?"

Turning at the sound of his name the tall suntanned ex-navy Steele, smiles his blindingly white grin and nods his sun-streaked blond head. "Sure, thing Finn, whatever you want man, how does San Diego in a couple of hours' or so sound, you want I should take Puck back to Long Beach first tho?"

Smiling at the skipper Finn just nods his head and takes a deep breath, digging his cell from his pocket and dialling, "…Yeah hi I'd like to organize a car please… no, no not a limo just a sedan or something, to go to LAX from the jetty in San Diego in about 4 hours I'll call again to confirm my exact arrival time … yes I'll pay by card, name is Hudson… thanks so much have a nice day." Next, he brings up his internet browser and after a few minutes has booked a seat on the next flight to Dayton Ohio, a hotel room and a seat on the first train to Lima tomorrow.

Another deep breath of relief at his new plan, he makes himself comfy on the deck chair laying back and closing his eyes, and through the fog of oncoming sleep he can hear Puck cursing him to the moon and back for making such a sudden decision.

"How the fucking hell am I gonna explain that you wanna take a break and get back to fucking nature in some backwards little hic town and chase down random night visitors who leave weird picture cards or whatever the fuck it is you want to do Hudson huh?"

Sighing deeply Finn opens his eyes and levels Puck with a hard look before saying. "Puckerman I don't have to explain myself to anyone, you are paid extremely well to be my Personal Assistant, a job, which if I remember correctly includes dealing with the press and company execs among other things, so please just deal with it. I'm not under contract anymore, and no shows had been signed off on, so no one can sue me. Please just handle this last thing and leave me in peace."

When he speaks again his tone is much softer

"Oh, and Puck, thanks for everything dude, you've been a great friend, I'd be more than happy to be a referee for any future employers BTW, an' I'm real sorry for putting you on the spot like this man … I've had fun an' all… but it's time I went home I hope you can understand."

Feeling like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders, Finn finally relaxes and falls asleep trying hard to revisit the dream he had this morning, but again, apart from the scent of vanilla and strawberries he had nothing so instead he let his mind just do its thing.

Flashback:

"Ok, Honey I'll leave you to it have a good day, I'll see you after work I should be home by 10 but I'll leave you some dinner in the fridge ok!"

"Bye Mom hope you don't have too much drama on your shift tonight. I promise I'll be fine and lock the doors."

"Hi yeah, um my name is Finn Hudson and um today is my first day." He stands at the end of the lady's desk nervously running his right hand through his hair and over his neck, waiting for her to organise herself.

"Oh, yes hello dear, I'm Mrs Webber from student services I have all your paperwork here somewhere…" Finn watches with an amused smile on his face the lady shuffles through the piles of papers littering her desk. "Oh, yes here it is, ok now your locker is number 125 on the second floor and here …"

She passes over a sheet of printed paper.

"Is your timetable for the semester, now I have asked one of our best students who has quite a lot of the same classes as yourself to show you around for the first few days till you get your bearings so to speak will that be OK?"

He just nods and before he can say thank you there is a light knock at the door, "Good morning Mrs Webber, I understand you need my help with a new student?"

"Oh, Rachel dear, hello thank you for being so prompt and yes I'd appreciate it if you could show Finnegan here around for a little bit he has just joined us here at McKinley."

Looking up at the tall boy Rachel is instantly reminded of the famous 'David', (Though if she were to really study both from an artistic angle, she is positive the new guy would hold her attentions far longer leading up to a far more intense personal study), suddenly feeling somewhat flustered thinking of the new boy in the same naked state as Mr Michelangelo's beautiful statue.

"Hi I'm Berry Rachel, Rachel… I mean Rachel Berry, so shall we go and get your books and things sorted? Goodbye Mrs Webber have a nice day."

Once the kids were in the hallway he gently touches his hand to Rachel's shoulder, instantly feeling a weird static charge sting his skin at the connection, and saying softly…

"Hey Rachel thanks for showing me around I really appreciate you taking the time, but can I just tell you that I prefer to be called Finn. I only get my full name if I'm in trouble or I'm talking to my Nanna."

Feeling more relaxed a burst of laughter escapes Rachel mouth as she blushes and nods her brunette head at the same time, he is instantly captivated by the sound which he likens to a silver wind chime and wonders if she can sing. "I understand completely my dads are the same. Now which floor is your locker on? I would assume it is the second floor that's where the sophomore ones are normally located."

"Um yeah it's number erm…125, man this is a big school, heaps bigger than my old school in Montana it's a bit scary…"

"Well maybe if you join some clubs or after school groups your transition will be easier, if you are sports minded the football team from what I have heard could do with some players that can actually play the game and not spend all their time groping the nasty but perfect cheerleaders, or running around like headless turkeys at thanksgiving… I know the glee club is always looking for more kids… righty-o here we are, locker 215 you've got your combination I 'spose?"

At his nod, Rachel smiles at him, moves a couple of lockers down and starts to gather her own things He spends the few minutes checking his timetable and emptying his back pack of the things he didn't need for his first two classes which were English and chemistry. His mind rewinding to the tone Rachel used when she spoke about the cheerleaders, and he got the impression the ones here were the same as the ones at his old school, who thought they were better than the rest of the world... he has always played football and thinks he might try out 'specially if the team is as bad as Rachel inferred it was, plus it is a way of keeping fit, but glee club, now that interested him more!…

"The bell is about to go Finn, so we should get to class I don't like to be late you see, I strive to keep my attendance record pristine I have English first with Mr DeGroote in room 76 then Chemistry with Ms Bosley in lab 4, do you have the same?"

As they walked the hallway Finn continued to recite his timetable to the girl next to him,

"Yeah, yeah then after recess um… math, history, 1st lunch, then science and economics."

Slightly distracted by the way Rachel would smile at him every few minutes. His inner voice loud in his head telling him Rachel was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen outside super models and movie stars, but after sneaking another glance just as they got to the first class, decided that Rachel has a natural beauty, not one made from 50 layers of makeup and plastic surgery, he much prefers Rach's look and wonders if she has a boyfriend, coz someone that beautiful and nice should have guys clambering over themselves for the privilege to date her. He notices the looks from the other kids as they walk to class some guys nodding or making a fist bump motion in his direction and looking at Rachel, but quite a few girls sending Rachel nasty glares then winking at him wondering what that was all about he focuses his attention back on Rachel when she says softly.

"It seems we have all the same, today anyway, I always sit towards the front only so I can hear all of the lesson without being interrupted by the ones who don't want to be here, but you sit where ever you want Finn."

"Nah it's cool the front is good, means I don't have to get my glasses out the board is close enough. So, what have you guys been workin' on so far, this term Rach?" he asked as they found a couple of seats in the front row and sat down, unpacking their stuff.

Blushing at the soft inflection he purposely added to her condensed name Rachel lost her composure for a second and just looked at him, her eyes locking onto his and when he sent her a side smile that showed up the gorgeous dimple in his cheek her heart flipped over and she forgot what they were even talking about till a voice broke into her private musings…

"Hey there sexy new guy, I'm Lexxi, head cheerleader, so why don't you like, come up back with us good looking popular kids and like 'not' listen to this boring crap then after I can show you the bleachers and take that studly super-hot body of yours for a test drive all the way to home plate and heaven if you know what I mean…"

He drags his eyes from Rachel's after a minute at the annoying nasally voice, attached the body sprawled across his desk pressing her breasts in his face. His eyebrows dipping in an annoyed frown at the interruption, when he notices the instant change in Rachel 'specially the way she bent her head causing her long brunette hair to make a curtain over her face, almost like she was trying to hide, also the way her tiny hand folded tightly around her pen.

As he moves back in his seat and putting a good few inches of space between him and the girl, his tone is abrupt and cold when he says, "Yeah, I'm good right here thanks Lonnie, I really like English and the company down here is just perfect, and it's the wrong season for baseball so no!

"It's Lexxi..."

"Miss Morgenstern, please take your seat you never know, today just might be the day you actually listen to me and learn something, guaranteeing I keep my job for at least another month."

A few kids laugh out loud causing Lexxi to turn the same color red as her cheer uniform and send daggers from her light blue eyes to every kid she passes as she stomps her way to the back of the class.

He and Rachel both stifle the laugh that is threatening to erupt as Mr DeGroote regains control of his class and takes attendance.

Turning to his new friend, he sends her a wink and a wide smile, he takes hold of her hand over the top of their work books and squeezes it gently, and is rewarded with the most breathtaking beautiful smile he has ever been the recipient of and quickly decides he wants to be the only one to make her smile like that.


About 10 minutes before their arrival at Long beach Steele wakes Finn up and says "Hey man go into the cabin so them Paps' can't see you, we'll only be here just long enough for Puck to get off and then we'll head for San Diego."

Finn holds up his closed fist for a bump in thanks and stands up grabbing his duffle bag as he goes, he glances over at Puck sitting on the side of the boat looking like someone stole his last packet of sour patch kids or worse his supply of Trojans, and talking to himself.

"Hey Puck"

His friend looks up at his name, and Finn can tell he would rather be anywhere else at the minute, than 10 minutes away from having to tell the world that 'Finnegan' is stepping away from the spotlight.

"Just say I am having trouble with my throat and taking an extended vacation overseas to give it a rest, but make sure to say I appreciate all the fans and everyone who has brought my CD's and hope they know I have enjoyed sharing the music with them over the years. Oh, and I hope things go well for you too dude, both with that Quinn chick if that's who you want and job wise. Tho' I've one more favor to ask man, could you organize to pack up my apartment and ship my stuff home to my Mom's? You know her address I'll decide what to do with the place in a bit, but just don't let the press hounds find out please, probably a good idea to use a fake name too just in case."

"Shit Huddy, way to make a guy feel like a pussy, FUCK! I'm gonna miss seeing your goofy face every day and picking up the left-over chicks… but now I come to think of it you never took advantage of the babe buffet, did you? But I get where you're coming from dude, sometimes I wish I'd done something after high school instead of following in my old man's footsteps and… yeah, well you know what I mean, I just hope you won't forget me when you're living the life in small town USA."

"Puck of course not! I promise when I finally find my place in the world again I'll let you know, you will just have to swear on all your 'special artistic exercise' DVD's that no one finds out where I am coz I don't want my Mom bothered by girls camping on our front porch and later I'll want my kids to lead normal lives."

"Wow my special grown up movies' now we are talking major shit, that is one promise I'd never break ha, ha… but seriously Finn, I promise man, now go hide your lanky ass before some sharp-eyed gossip hound spots you…, I really hope you find her buddy you deserve it." The two men hugged as guys do with a fair bit of back slapping and one final fist bump.

Finn watched through the small window of the cabin as Puck stepped off the boat and was instantly bombarded by the press, he just hoped they would take his explanation and just leave it be. The next couple of hours was relaxing, the time spent talking to Steele and some more time napping had him very relaxed and more than ready for the next part of the 'New, Old, Finn story,' finally docking in San Diego about 3:45pm, Finn thanked him for going out of his way to help him out. He was pleased to see a normal looking black sedan waiting in the parking lot, so making sure he had his cap pulled low over his face and dark sunglasses on he waves goodbye to Steele and walks up to the car, ready for the 2 hour or so drive back up the coast to LA. He had timed it perfectly he would only have about a 20-minute wait for his flight.

Thankful no one gave him any more than a passing glance as he made his way through the crowded airport. Finn, once finally settled in his seat let out a series of deep breaths feeling so much more like the old Finn Hudson from before his world and life went crazy. The only thing he wanted now was to sit down with his mom, making up for not being there to help around the house, enjoy her cooking and find out what his old friends are up to, that's if they (meaning HER) still want anything to do with him after the way he just up and left without so much as a note or even a text message. She has always been in the back of his mind, and if he is honest with himself still in his heart hence the tattoo.

"Thanks man have a good day" Finn waves off the cab driver who dropped him at the curb of 1520 Wildhart Lane in Lima Ohio about 10:am and hoping his mom was home Finn hurried to the front porch pressing the door-bell three times in quick succession. While he was waiting, he looked around, frowning deeply when he noticed a few chores that need doing and felt bad that he hadn't been home as often as he should have, knowing how hard his mom worked doing the long nightshifts at the hospital still. Wondering why she still worked when he was always sending her money, but he knew deep down she enjoyed her job and wasn't ready to give it up and rely on his money she had never liked taking handouts or charity and taught him to be the same growing up.

He rang the doorbell again, thinking he could just use his key but he wanted to surprise her, finally after a few more minutes he hears footsteps and the minute the door is opened his drops his bag at his feet and scoops his mom into the tightest hug he can without squishing her, his eyes wet with the emotion that had been building up inside him since he made the decision to up and leave the rock star life.

"F-Finny? Baby is it really you? You're here! … oh, my goodness look at you…" Through her tears, Carole Hudson wiggles out of his strong arms but making sure she doesn't lose contact with her son she instead wraps both her hands around one of his and allowing him to move away just enough to pick up his bag, leads him inside. The instant Finn is over the threshold he feels like the last six years have been a dream and he is still the same kid who has just returned from a football game or a glee competition they travelled interstate to win …


"I'm glad I was able to help you out Mrs. Morgenstern, yes I'm sure your grandchildren will love them, someone from my staff will call when your delivery arrives…, yes that's right…, I'm sure… goodbye and have a nice day."

Sighing at the woman's uninteresting nattering about her grand kiddies and how her daughter is trying to find work now her twins are now in the 1st grade. She hangs up the phone, yawns and rubs her tired eyes with her hands hoping the day goes quickly, because due to her hectic weekend all she wants to do is go home and sleep, when suddenly she is alerted to a visitor by a soft knock on her office door.

"Hello, are you free baby girl?" Looking up in surprise at the familiar voice her face breaks into a full-on beam as she takes in the two men standing there with matching wide smiles and open arms as she jumps out of her chair.

"Papa, Daddy, oh my what a surprise, what are you two doing here? Are you alright…? I mean you're not that young anymore…"

Both men shaking their heads at the concern in their daughter's voice and at the insinuation they are past it and ready for the old folk's home.

"Calm down sweet-pea we are both fine and still fit and healthy, and really 57 isn't that old surely? We wanted to see you so we have taken an extra-long weekend and were hoping to spend it with our beautiful, successful daughter in good old Lima. Now it must be time you had a coffee break yes? Then we will let you get back to work and meet you at for dinner tonight at bread-sticks, how does that sound hmm?"

Smiling still at Rachel's wide eyed smile Hiram then adds nervously but enquiringly at the same time "Oh… is it ok if we stay with you at the house? It's just we didn't book a hotel on such short notice but if you have company… we will get a room somewhere I'm sure."

"Sigh…Daddy you know very well I don't have 'live in company' and haven't had since… anyway what a silly question of course it is, I wouldn't have you stay anywhere else it is still your house after all, now did you say something about coffee, because I haven't had my kick start for the day yet plus I could kill for a Danish, I'll meet you at 'Café Nix' in about 15 minutes ok? Oooh, and Daddies, try and get a table near the fish pond it is always so much more relaxing there. I've got a couple of things to do then I'm all yours, my staff can manage perfectly well without me for a bit."

"Alright darling we'll see you in a little while."

Both men hugged and kissed their daughter before making their way out of the book store smiling like they do every time they see the pink sign hanging over the door,

*Berry'd in words 'n all that Jazz*

As always feeling so very proud of their Rachel…they just wish she could find, or in her case reconnect with 'that' someone special, to share her life outside of store hours with, and be happy. They walked along the sidewalk, chatting as they noticed the changes in town, when they heard their names being called from across the street.

"Mr. Berry? … Hiram, Leroy, is that you?

Looking around they spot the owner of the voice, so grabbing his husband's hand Leroy immediately stepped off the sidewalk and into the street, paying no attention to the traffic, but jumping suddenly when a loud horn blast sounded from a disgruntled driver, followed by a mouthful of language, more common in New York than they'd expect to hear in small town Lima Ohio, alerted him to his dangerous actions. Sending the driver an apologetic wave Hiram guides Leroy quickly to the sidewalk and safety.

His voice slightly higher with happiness Leroy gushes, "Carole Hudson, my dear how wonderful to see you it has been far too long." Hiram is just standing there, his smile wide as he waits his turn to embrace their old friend.

Carole has tears in her dark eyes and her strong hugs showed how much she had missed the two. "You two look wonderful, are you in town for work or…"

"Carole, you are looking as beautiful as ever how have you been, and thank you, we are only here for a few days, as we took some extra time to come visit with our baby girl and see her at work in her very successful store. OHHH! I have a great idea why don't we catch up for dinner tomorrow night at the 'Asian Experience' we'll book a table for 4 for say 6:30pm? It will be our treat for old times' sake? I'm sure Rachel would love to catch up, you two were always very close. We'll ask her over coffee… Oh goodness speaking of which I'm sorry Carole we must dash as we are meeting our girl. It was lovely to see you, can't wait till tomorrow night bye dear."

"Better make it for 5 Hiram if that's ok because my Finn is home for good now, that won't be a problem for Rachel, will it?"

Smiling widely, his dark eyes sparkling with excitement at Carole's snippet of information Leroy says, "Of course, not Carole it's time those two sorted out their past and got back together or moved on, they are perfect for each other. Anyway, we must dash see you both tomorrow night!"

With one last hug and happy wave over their shoulders Hiram and Leroy Berry continued to the café, ready to impart some wonderful news upon their daughter. They discussed about telling Rachel that Finn was in town in the few minutes till they arrived at the café, but decided not to say anything about the extra dinner guest and trusted Carole would do the same, they just prayed Rachel would forgive them for meddling in her affairs, but they had always loved Finn and were nearly as devastated as Rachel when they split up.

Xxxx

"Finn, Finny, where are you? Finny honey I've got something to tell you FINNIGAN CHRISTOPHER HUDSON…" Carole makes her way further into her cosy home and still calling for her son, dumping her purse and the couple of plastic carry bags on the kitchen counter. Just about to head down to the basement following the thumping drum beats vibrating through the floor, in search of her only child, instead colliding with him at the top of the stairs.

"Oof…"

Wrapping his hands around his mom's upper arms Finn tries to calm her down so he can find out what has her so animated "Mom chill what happened did you smash the car?

Carole pulls away from Finn, slaps her hands on her hips and levels him with a harsh glare. "HUMPH… Excuse me? Mr. run over the mailman on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the street! "No! I did not smash the car"

Her voice is suddenly bubbly ready to burst from her throat, making Finn think of a bottle of champagne.

"It is much, much better than that."

Finn can't help smiling at his mom's obvious excitement and as he guides her to a seat at the breakfast bar, giving her a few minutes to compose herself, but her excitement is too much and her words rush from her mouth before she is even sat down.

"I ran into Hiram and Leroy Berry down town, and they invited us to dinner tomorrow night…It's been so long since we caught up I'm really looking forward to it. Aren't you baby, you always did get on very well with them."

She smiled at Finn as she watched his face change from happy to worried, smirking internally that she had decided not to inform her son of the other person that would be joining them for dinner. The only girlfriend Finn had ever had that she as a mother could ever tolerate and be proud to call her daughter in law, and thinks it is high time her Finn got his act together and find Rachel again so she can enjoy her (that goes without saying) beautiful grandbabies while she is still young and fit enough. Though she is a little worried that neither of the kids will appreciate their parents' meddling, both herself and Mr's Berry know how unhappy their only children have been these past years and want to help all they can.


Rachel had taken extra care with her appearance for their dinner with Carole Hudson, deciding on a pair of jeans tucked into calf length boots, and a lace top, deciding to leave her long hair out she just gently curled the ends, basic make-up and finishing off with a squirt of her favorite perfume, she was feeling pretty and ready to go. She was excited about dinner and catching up with Carole so, when Rachel and her dads are shown by Mai-Ling the hostess at 'Asian Experience' to table 6 she suddenly goes all quiet and shy, which is the exact opposite of how she was just moments ago, happily chatting her dad's ears off with all the local gossip and happenings that they didn't get chance to hear yesterday, which instantly alerted her dads' that she was not outwardly happy to be there. However, her happiness is 100% genuine when she greets Carole with a tight hug and a kiss on her cheek. Then after her dads' have had their turn to greet their old friend again, Carole turns to the three Berry's and says,

"Hiram, Leroy Rachel… you remember my Finny? He is back home now just being one of us regular people."

Reaching across the table to shake Finn's hand Hiram starts, "Yes of course, how are you son? You know I… well both of us (he indicates between himself and Leroy) have followed your career and have every CD you put out there, not too many folks from Lima or indeed Ohio are as famous, and we are proud to be some of the few, lucky enough to say honestly that they knew you before the exhilarating rock star life took you away to the world stage. I'm sure your dear mother is very happy to have you home..."

Finn is just nodding politely at Hiram's happy chatter and automatically shaking his and Leroy hands', not really hearing the men's words, instead his attention had been kidnapped from the moment she stepped out from behind the men he had always got on with very well, and had one day hoped he would call Dad…, by the most beautiful woman he has ever seen (and after being in the public eye for so long he has met a lot). But cursing himself and wondering how he could have left her and is in awe of how she is so much more beautiful than he remembers.

Finn swallowed the nervous lump of emotion that suddenly clogged his throat and running a hand through his hair, stuttered out a soft "R-Rach… H-hi…"

Glancing at the man sitting opposite her Rachel says in a soft voice, but one filled with a hidden note that Finn instantly caught as being wounded.

"Hello Finn, can I just second my daddy's words by saying welcome home and I'm sure your mom is extremely happy now you are away from the self-indulgent and somewhat dangerous life of a world-famous rock star, I just hope it gave you everything you always wanted!" She then offers him a tiny closed mouth smile that didn't reach her eyes.

Neither Finn or Rachel notice the sad faces of their parents or the way Hiram and Leroy both reach for Carole's hand giving it a comforting squeeze, the three were hoping that their kids would rekindle the wonderful friendship they'd had before but obviously, the hurt inflicted on Rachel 6 years ago, was still affecting her. All three exchanging a look that if put into words would say, "Everything will work out we just have to be patient, neither are going anywhere and we all know how deep the feelings run."

Her eyes then falling to her fancy printed menu Rachel attempts to focus on the words but hard as she tries, all she can see is the man who promised as a junior in high school, to love her for the rest of their lives and who, even after he up and left her without a single word or any since she still loves with everything she has. Trying to put all those memories away in the locked box in her mind so she can focus on catching up with her dads' and Finn's mom Carole, whom she had always loved as her own. But as usual when she is close to Finn he takes total control of her mind and she turns to mush. So, fighting the wild urge to just throw herself across the table, recalling the visual she had of him asleep on the boat, with his sexy as hell tattoo on show, and demand he make love to her right then and there. She takes a deep breath, brushes a wayward length of hair behind her ear, takes a long draught from her water glass. Before exchanging it for her recently poured glass of wine, taking a large drink to calm her nerves and give her some 'Dutch' courage, she puts on a happy face and says

"Mmm there is so much choice it is hard to decide, so I'll just go with my usual, spring rolls, prawn chop-suey and fried rice, then some fried ice cream and lycees in syrup followed by some ginger tea please, now if you will excuse me I need the ladies room, I won't be long."

"Are you alright Rachel dear?" Carole's concerned tone has Rachel just nodding as one hand reaches up to cover her mouth, then walking quickly towards the bathrooms.

The minute she disappears through the doorway Finn jumps up "Mom can you order me my usual and another beer please?" Then turning to Mr's Berry and saying softly "I'm just gonna check on Rach if that's ok?"

"Of course, son, just call us if you need to, I'm sure she will be ok, she's probably just surprized to see you h…"

Cutting of Leroy's words Finn nods his head as he walks off. Thankfully the bathrooms were right out back of the building and private, and as he got within a few feet he could distinctly hear soft sobs and sniffing. In a tender voice, he calls out the one name he hadn't spoken out loud since becoming popular.

"Rachel…R-Rach… it's Finn, are you ok? Do you want me to get Dads' or Mom? Rach please talk to me, I'm really worried about you."

Getting no response, he slumps down on an upturned beer crate and rakes his hands through his hair, cups the back of his neck, closes his eyes and lets out a deep sigh. Only to have them spring wide open the instant his ears hear…

"Why Finn? Why now are you suddenly worried about me? I obviously wasn't important or special enough for you to be honest with me and tell me face to face or even the coward's way out, by a text message, that you wanted to break up so you could be a rock star."

Finn's face crumples with emotion when Rachel forms her fingers into air quotes at her last words …

"Do you know how I found out that you'd even left Lima Finn… huh do you?"

Not giving the man a minute to answer even if he could get his brain and tongue working in unison.

"Well I'll tell you, shall I? I had to hear it from that bitch Lexxi Morgenstern, who was boasting at the Lima Bean, and making sure I heard instead of serving tables, like she was being paid to do. That she had a wild night of 'like really great sex' when she slept with you at your record company signing party. How do you think I felt Finn Hudson, huh? That I had no clue what my 'boyfriend' was doing, or with whom…, and the babies..."

Unable to say anymore, she drops her head low causing her long dark hair to fall around her face, Rachel walks away her arms wrapped around her middle hoping to get inside before she completely breaks apart. But at the same time hoping to hear Finn explain his actions, and tell her he knew it was her that kissed him the night of his birthday on the party boat and that he loved her and wanted to do it again and rekindle what they had, or tell her straight he is no longer in love with her, or even interested and she was just his 'high school girlfriend'. If that is his answer, it will more than likely kill her but she needs to know so she can, once and for all seal the Finchel box up tight and move on.

Just as she reaches the door to the restaurant she is stopped by a warm hand exerting a gentle pressure on her shoulder, and the tender utterance of her name. The tender action and proximity to him had her legs unsteady and her mind all foggy.

"Rach… please… wait, I don't know where to start with my apology, or how to make it up to you for the way I just walked out on what we had, but please believe me I still…"

He is interrupted by a tearful

"Believe what Finn? That you didn't forget me and still love me, or that you were only using me as a bit of fun, so you didn't look like a naïve kid from small town Ohio amongst all those beautiful sexy starlets and music groupies? I mean how would I even compare to them… just me being a short plain Jewish girl, with to quote the popular kids namely the nasty cheerleaders led by that bed hopping bitch Lexxi, 'Berry with no tits and the body of a 12-year-old that gets her clothes at Target's unisex kiddi section'…, Well I'm sorry Mr. Hudson but I'm not in the mood to hear it, you have had six, do you hear me SIX years but no, the slutty groupies and the parties were obviously more important…"

This time she doesn't give him chance to stop her, and her belief in his lack of feeling for her cemented by the way he didn't try again to stop her. She pushes open the door and makes it to the table brushing of the concerned looks from her dads and Carole. "I'm sorry, but I will have to take a rain-check on dinner I'm not feeling well at all, it was lovely to see you Carole and I hope we can catch up soon maybe for coffee? Daddy, Papa, you have your key?"

At their nod, all three adults stand up to hug her, Carole presses a soft kiss on her cheek, giving her an extra tight mom hug.

Outside, the cold night air gives Rachel's swirling emotions a chance to calm as she walks the short distance to the cab stand, thankful to see one waiting she climbs in and within 20 minutes is home, and under her massaging shower trying to relax her tense body, drying off afterwards she catches sight of her naked body in the full-length mirror and the small love heart with the fancy F inked just under her left breast. Finally tucked up in her bed and clutching a stuffed teddy bear wearing a t-shirt with the words, Rach's Finny bear 4 eva and the minute her brunette head touches her soft pink pillow her eyes close damming the constant flow of tears, only allowing a slow trickle to escape and slide down her cheek. Before a soft sad smile of remembrance takes over her face and she loses herself in the past and the boy that she has been in love with since meeting him, and who was hers… until he wasn't...


Finn returns to the table just in time to see Rachel's back disappear out the restaurant's glass door. He slumps into his seat and takes a long drink of his beer, signalling the waitress for another. Draining the glass, he notices his mom and Mr Berry's watching him with identical looks of sadness. He swallows heavily and takes a smaller drink from his newly delivered beer, waiting until the waitress is gone, before another long drink and a throat clearing he starts to speak.

"Rach is mad at me and I don't blame her one little bit, but she won't even give me a chance to speak…, everything happened so fast and she was away in Columbus at that week-long workshop and then I lost my phone… but I…still… god… I'm sorry Mom, Mr Berry's I need to go, I promise I'll not bother Rach tonight, but can you please tell her that I'm just so damn sorry and want to make it up to her, and maybe when she's had a couple of days to get over the shock of seeing me again she might want to talk to me and hear me out. But I really need her to know… sigh… that I still love her, I had just got wrapped up in my life in the spotlight… but, please, get her to listen to you and tell her that I never ever slept with Lexxi Morgenstern! And what did she mean about babies? … s-she never said…" Dropping his head into his hands Finn stands there wondering if he should go after Rachel and find out what she meant or let her go till she is ready to hear him out.

Leroy stands up and wraps one arm around Finn's shoulders, his normal courtroom display of controlled body language and commanding tone of voice softening considerably. "Of course, son, I know she will come around, because she has always held onto the belief that your feelings for her have stayed as strong as hers for you, and I speak for both myself and Hiram, when I say that we promise to help you out, as long as you are sincere and are prepared to wait till she is satisfied you mean what you say."

Nodding at Leroy's words, Finn says in a voice sounding much less miserable than before. "Thank you both for understanding and not threatening to beat me to a pulp for hurting you daughter, I can't say sorry enough but please believe me Mr Berry's Rachel is and always has been the only girl I've ever met that took my heart and to this day has never given it back and I don't want anyone else… but if she is with someone I won't get in the way and just accept that it is my fault…" Just know all those women I have been photographed 'with' at parties and dinners, and had things written about in magazines and the like were all arranged by my management group and their hired paparazzi. All I want to do now is put that life behind me and put my teaching degree to work and settle down, with Rach if she still wants me but if not… well I'm still not going anywhere."

Taking a deep breath and about to continue Finn is interrupted by Hiram who is now standing in front of him his eyes moist as he says.

"Finn please calm a minute, Rachel is as much in love with you now as she was 6 years ago, and has been the one in every relationship she has had, not that there have been a lot you understand, but she's the one to break it off even though he was a perfectly nice guy, for one simple reason… he just wasn't you! Now like Leroy said just give her time to get used to the fact you are back in Lima and take things slowly, we will be back in Cincinnati in a couple of days, but are there if you need us as is your dear Mother I'm sure. But please stop stressing about babies there are none, I have no idea what she meant by that. But we are keeping our fingers crossed as we would like grandbabies sooner rather than later while we are still young enough to enjoy and keep up with them, and any child of yours and Rachel's would be beautiful and smart giving us both a reason to brag to our sisters about whose grandbabies are the prettiest and most advanced."

Not having any more to say but happy in the knowledge that Rachel's dads are on his side, so he can just focus on getting Rachel to talk to him. He just gives his mom a kiss on the cheek and a tight hug doing the same for Hiram and Leroy then makes his way out of the restaurant. His mind all over the place Finn thinks a walk in the cool night air might help him clear it, and figure out what to say to Rachel when he does sees her. 10 minutes of walking finds him at the Lima Park and playground, the place instantly bringing back in full color and stereo sound, memories of when his life was simple and he was in love with a girl and was over the moon the night she'd agreed to be his…

Flashback:

The evening had been great he and Rachel had been out with a few friends, celebrating one of their birthdays at the bowling alley, and on the way home he drove by the Lima park and found a quiet spot to park his truck motioning to his friend once he had jumped out, to follow him and then jumping up onto the tray smiling at Rach as she tried to climb up.

"Hang on a sec Rach an' I'll help you"

He jumps over the side and wrapping his hands around her middle lifts her up, surprised at how tiny she really is as his fingers just about touch over her tummy. Her soft vanilla scent wafts over him in the cool night air and imprints on his brain.

"Rach, I have a very important question to ask you."

He nervously clears his throat after he makes himself comfy on the tray of his truck, and much to Rachel's surprise gently tugging her a bit closer so she was within kissing distance, coz if she gave him the answer he was hoping for, he wouldn't waste another minute before he kissed her. He cleared his throat, took hold of her hands, and like always amazed at the size difference, but at the same time loved how perfectly her tiny one fitted with his large one, then locking his caramel eyes on her dark brown ones asks hopefully.

"Rachel Berry will you please accept this and agree to be my girlfriend?"

He fumbles a little with the tiny clasp on the little velvet box and once it is open, proudly presents her with a shining golden bird charm on a delicate chain bracelet.

Smiling shyly, he watches as Rachel squeals a little and presses her hands over her mouth, her brown eyes even wider as she says "Oh, Finn it is beautiful…"

"Yeah you like it? So, is that a yes? You'll be my girlfriend?"

"What a silly question, Of course Finn Hudson I'd be very happy to accept. Now can you please kiss me before my lips fall off from frustration, I've been waiting for ever to get the chance to taste your lips, and now I can I don't want to waste any more time, because next time that trashy Lexxi Morgenstern brags in the cafeteria line that she has been making out with you under the bleachers, and after the urge to slap the smirk of her overly made up face goes away, her words will instead make me burst into gales of laughter… and I'll know it was just wishful thinking on her part right?… But enough about her you are mine and therefore I have every right to be the only girl you will be kissing so let's make up for lost time, shall we? Pucker up Mr Hudson those lips are mine!"

"Oh, man Rach thank you, you have made me the happiest guy in the entire world and just for the record I have never kissed or even thought about kissing any other girl but you since that first day we met."

Smiling and nodding her head, happy in the knowledge that the boy she had wanted since the first time she laid eyes on him, felt the same. Rachel leans closer and presses her sweet strawberry flavored lips to his and it is like the world suddenly tilted sideways because it was everything he had imagined it to be and then some, his heart was pounding in his chest and he swore it was making his truck shake, not to mention his dick was rock hard the instant their lips connected. He was just about to deepen the kiss, when suddenly, his lap was filled with his girlfriend (god, those two words sounded like music to his ears). It was as though she was trying to get under his skin with the way she was pressing her body hard against his, her hands combing through the hair at the back of his head then rubbing her thumbs against his skin.

"I knew it… there is no comparison!"

"Mmm… what do you mean Finn? Wait are you comparing kissing me to someone else? … do you mean to tell me that you have in fact kissed that harpy Lexxi…" Rachel tries to pull away from Finn's hold, sad that their special moment has been tainted by the thoughts of that vicious cow having her overly botoxed lips on Finn's first.

Worried she might renege on being his girl he hurriedly corrects himself.

"Babe please, I'm sorry, I just meant that even if I was to kiss every single girl in Ohio which I don't ever want to do BTW." He shivers at the thought and with a look of disgust on his face adding a nose scrunch for added emphasis he says softly. "I wouldn't get the same feeling of flying and floating and tingling and complete and utter peacefulness all at once. So, in answer to your question Rach, No! I have never kissed or been kissed by any other female besides my Mom and Nana… oh, wait there is another, oh man she is good at it too, she is so beautiful her lips taste like strawberries and they are the softest and sweetest things I've ever tasted, and she is the only one I plan on kissing … well for as long as she'll let me anyway, maybe you know her."

He then cups Rachel's face in his hands rubbing his thumbs across her cheeks, wiping away the few tears that are falling slowly.

In a whisper, Rachel answers, "You are so special to me Finn Hudson and I would like nothing more than to keep you with me always, so please kiss me again."

Not needing to be told twice he presses his lips against Rachel's and the instant their mouths connect a deep happy sigh leaves their throats and floats away on the early evening air.

XXXX

Finn suddenly gets a jolt of memory as the scent of Rachel's soft vanilla perfume reaches his brain through the years, and swiping his tongue over his lips can somehow taste her soft strawberry flavored lips. Eager to keep the image in his head a little longer he scrambles to retrieve his wallet from his back pocket and pulls out the little pink card, sliding it under his nose he takes a deep breath, and is now positive that the girl from the boat after his birthday, was Rachel. But how did she know he was there? Taking a seat on a bench in the park and concentrating on the image the card brings up, then from the corner of his eye he notices the edge of a piece of paper that was obviously underneath the card. Carefully pulling it out, an unmanly squeak is expelled at the same time as a shot of cold air is inhaled causing him to choke a little before he takes a deep breath and exhales in a cloud of mist, before it dissipates into the night air.

Because staring at him from 8 years ago, is a photograph of a petite brunette with a white satin robe draped loosely around her beautiful tanned shoulders, open at the front showing him a tantalising view of her beautiful pink tipped boobs and slim body, her long hair wet from her recent shower pulled over one shoulder.

Finn blushes hotly, instantly knowing exactly when and where this photo was taken and why she was showering, as recorded by the time stamp at 1:30pm on a school day, and the fact she was unaware he took it. Made it his favourite photo of Rachel for several reasons but mainly because she was totally 100% natural and at peace with the world.

Shaken from his past by the buzzing of his cell alerting him to a new message, he stands up to dig his phone from his pocket and swipes a finger over the screen to read it.

Gone with Hiram and Leroy to the country club for a drink, won't be too late.

Are you ok honey?

Everything will work out just give it time, she does love you, she was just surprised to see you.

Love you baby,

Mom xxx

As he types a response Finn smiles at his mom's long winded way of text talking, he is suddenly reminded of the way Rach never sent a text with abbreviations and feels a sharp stab of pain in his heart. But is grateful his mom and Rachel's dads are leaving him to sort things out by himself, though he wonders how he can get Rach to listen to him if she won't let him speak. Deciding there is nothing more he can do tonight 'specially wandering around the park in the dark, he looks at his watch and wondering where the last 90 minutes went, he makes his way along the path to the fancy wrought iron gates. Shrugs into his jacket a bit deeper as the fall wind is now quite cold, and with brisk steps he turns right along Station Street towards home, the 25-minute walk giving him time to get his mind and body parts in order.

Once home he climbs into the shower and as the hot water and 'Old Spice' body wash seems to calm his dizzying thoughts, he starts to put a plan in place that he names, 'Get Rach back' not caring if it sounds childish, because his plan is simple and really doesn't need a high-brow secret code type name it just needs to say what he means.

Once finished in the shower and with just a towel wrapped low around his hips Finn goes downstairs and suddenly extra hungry remembering he missed out on his Chinese food, hunts through the deep freeze for something to eat, finding a chicken korma and rice, puts it in the microwave, cursing as he can't read the heating directions on the box without his glasses, he shrugs his shoulders and presses the 5-minute cook button then goes back upstairs to get dressed.

a little while later he is sitting on the sofa with a tray balanced on his lap Finn watches the last half hour or so one of his favorite Steve McQueen movies, The Great Escape on TV, enjoying his dinner and another beer or two, just thinking how much he has missed this life and even though he has only been back just shy of a month, he thinks he will start sending his CV to the Lima Education board on Monday and hope something comes up. It was hard work doing most of his degree on-line then trying to squeeze in the required practical teaching sessions, but he did it and even if it took him a little longer than normal it was so totally worth it cos teaching, specifically English is something he has always wanted to do.

Just as he pulls himself off the sofa to get a hot chocolate before heading to bed his cell rings, the caller display flashing Puck. Smiling wide he answers happily, putting the call on speaker so he can continue with his hot chocolate without spilling boiling milk all over himself and his mom's nice kitchen.

"Hey man how's things?"

"Huddy, shit, it's good to hear your voice how are ya doin' bro?"

"Good man, ya know just chillin' and getting used to being home with no one to tell me who to be or where to go, I'm lovin it so what's up Puck?"

"Yeah? Well good onya bro, just lettin' ya know I finally got time and packed up your apartment, and the moving van left this afternoon, so should be in Lima tomorrow sometime, I gave them your number… and um…"

Finn pauses his drink making when he notices something in his friend's tone. "Puck, is something up with you man?"

A deep sigh precedes the soft "I was just um wondering if you'd, like mind, if I came to visit for a bit…, you know I mean I would stay at a hotel or something but I need to get away from the company … well more like my old man he has been on my ass an' bitchin at me since you left blaming me for every little fucking thing that has gone wrong, but seriously Finn I've had enough and want to try something different maybe I can pump gas or even be a bus driver for the oldies center, at least till I can figure shit out…"

"Hey, Puck course you can, my mom would love to have you. When were, you thinking of coming out?"

"How does whenever the movers van arrive sound?"

Nearly dropping the milk pan in shock, he says "Shit Puckerman, that was fast how did you manage that, is the company run by babes or what man?" Laughing happily at his buddy's way of getting things done Finn finishes with his drink, puts the pan in the sink and fills it with cold water, picks up his cell and makes his way upstairs to his room, making sure to leave the hall light on for when his mom comes home.

"Ha, ha, no but the second guy that was 'sposed to go had an emergency at home or sumthin' and thinking on my feet I offered the driver to help him unload and co-drive, if he let me go with him we just swung by my place so I could pack some stuff, which took no time at all, I had nothing much, not like your place mementos and shit, an' it got me thinking ya know I mean I'm 29 next birthday and have nuthin' to show for it ya know?... so anyways I offered to buy his food for the trip and a coupla cases of beer and a bottle of Jack afterwards, the good ole Puckerman charm worked a treat bro."

"Shit Puck way to go man, that sounds like you… but yeah no probs just let me know when you are like an hour away, I'll let mom know what's going in the morning and… oh man! I can't wait to see you dude, just hope you didn't spill too many beans about me, coz I don't want my Mom bothered by nosey press-hounds or ditzy chicks camping on our porch or nothin'. So far no one seems to recognise me as being all over the TV which I'm more than thankful for, but I spose word will get out once I start workin."

"Relax Huddy I kept quiet just like I promised, anyway man I'll let you go get your beauty sleep, your gonna need lots of it if you plan on keeping up with me, I hope there is a bar or sumthin' there, coz when da Puckmiester is in da house the chicks won't know what's hit 'em… and erm speaking of ladies… Have you found your girl yet or what?"

Letting a deep sad sigh escape Finn shakes his head then says softly "Yeah I found her and she is as beautiful as ever… but she doesn't want anything to do with me at the minute, but that's long story and not one I wanna talk about right now."

"Ah, ok I get it Finn, anyway I'll go now and catch you tomorrow buddy … don't stress everything will work out. Thanks again man." Puck disconnects the call.

His friend's call leaves Finn with an overflowing mind for the second time that evening, so instead of trying to figure things out he digs out a pair of bumblebee sleep pants, makes himself comfy in his king-sized bed, and wrapping the soft warm bedding around his naked shoulders, closes his eyes and sleepily lets the video tape in his mind play back…

Flashback:

"Rach baby, can't you give me a hint please… it's not like we're getting married …at least not for a few years yet well, unless you talk me into eloping, which FYI you wouldn't have to try too hard. But on a more important note at the minute, if I don't get the right flowers for your courgette, I'll be in the dog house and well, it's our last year and I want you to be prom queen so yeah I gotta get it perfect."

A sudden burst of giggles escape Rachel's mouth, forcing her to stand still just watching him for a few minutes with a dazed look on her face.

He, not understanding how the talk of flowers for a school dance could make her laugh so much, he just watches her face for a minute or two a deep frown and pout forming on his own.

Her breath finally returns and she speaks. "It's not courgette baby it's corsage… a courgette is a vegetable, but ok I'll tell you, my dress is silver, so any color will do. just pick whatever you like, you know I will love your choice."

Rachel suddenly sobers and feels bad that she was laughing at him when all he was doing was trying to make her happy, so she moves closer to him and wrapping her arms around his neck jumps up and wraps her legs around his waist, her quick actions making him stumble a little, but at the same time his hands cup her bottom and he presses her body closer.

Pressing her mouth against his in a show of apology Rach says a little breathlessly. "I'm sorry baby but you are just too cute and I love you even more for wanting to make our last school dance extra special, but Finn, you don't need to worry because as long as I attend this event with you by my side I don't really care if I'm crowned prom queen or not, because as long as you love me I'll always feel like a queen, and as for asking you to elope one day it will happen because there is no other man in this whole wide world that I will ever want."

He has never been able to understand how this tiny woman has, from their first meeting affected him so much, if the truth was told he fell for her that first day in the student services office. Finally, believing the words his mom said back in his sophomore year about the move to Lima Ohio being a new chapter in the Hudson's story book.

"Oh Rach, god I love you, so what do you do you think about trying that thing with our lips again, you know that always leads to that other thing where you scream my name out really loud…"

"I thought you'd never ask, please love me baby"

"Always Rach."

The second the words leave his mouth they are replaced by warm, soft strawberry flavored ones that excite the hell outta him and make him think he is on top of the world and that he can do or be anything. So, he answers in the only way he knows by pressing his tongue against his girl's bottom lip and his request is granted, which precedes the speedy removal of each other's clothing and within minutes he has his girl on his bed surrounded by a cage made from his arms.

Taking a breath before he passes out his eyes make contact with his girl's, dark and wide with love and the desperate need to have him as close as humanly possible, so with one more tender kiss on her forehead, his right-hand slides down their bodies and cups her secret place, eliciting a soft moan and an even softer

"Finn baby please…"

He replaces his hand with what she is asking for and the instant his hard length is deep inside her, his mind is focused on only her and how much he loves her.

As their bodies meld and move in their own special dance he can't think of anything but pleasing her, his long thick length sliding in and out, forcing moans and whispered words of love to escape into the air. Nearing his peak, he moves her soft silky legs further over his hips which changes the angle, giving him a chance to make his thrusts harder and longer. Panting heavily, he bends his neck so he can press his mouth against hers, smiling into the kiss when she gently nips at his bottom lip and wraps her arms around his shoulders tighter.

Rachel suddenly flips them over, so she is on top and moving her hips in her favorite figure eight movement, as she leans back resting her hands on his thighs he sits up as much as he can so he can take her nipple into his mouth. As he sucks the hard bud he feels himself about to cum, moving his right hand from her hip and finding her little button he whispers he is close and asks her to come with him, giving her what she is asking for when her moans, head shake and closed eyes tell him she isn't there yet, he then rubs her clit at the same time as she lifts and drops her hips grinding against his hand for a few minutes before letting out a loud scream of his name and joining him in their release, before collapsing against his chest her heart pounding in time with his, followed a few minutes later by her soft teary words.

"I love you Finn Hudson, and I never ever want to be without you."

His own breath ragged and eyes moist he answers her in the only way he can, by tenderly cupping her sweaty face in his shaking hand, tucking her messy hair behind her ear, then pressing a soft kiss on her forehead, then her nose and lips before locking his eyes on hers and in more of a breath than words says. "You won't ever have to worry about that baby, coz I promise to always be here for you."


8am Monday morning Finds Rachel at her desk, sipping from her first coffee for the day, going through the new order paperwork before faxing it through to her supplier. She is engrossed in the cooking titles, when her desk phone rings, causing her to smile at the name flashing on the console

"Hello Kurt, how are you? Yeah, I'm good thanks just busy you know… Yes, I know I haven't forgotten, Mercy is one of my best friends too you know, Well, that sounds fine… yes ok I'll see you next Friday … Of course, I'll wear something adult… not an animal print or knee sock in sight I promise, but just so you know Mr Hummel, I'll not dress like a sad clown hooker either… Oh, Kurt you know there are no decent guys in this town that have more than 2 brain cells…, well ones that I want to see me, and anyway the evening is for celebrating Mercedes's 25th birthday not trying to set me up with the first guy that smiles…, sigh I know Kurt, but I promise I'm ok being a single pringle… look I have to go I'll see you all at the club at 8 yeah? Bye love."

As she puts the phone down she thinks about the sort of guys she likes, and as always, her mind moves to tall, dimpled, well built, super handsome sexy ones that have the most beautiful singing voice that every time she hears it makes her melt inside, and who has the ability to send her to the stratosphere of panty wetting desire and make her heart beat in triple time … but at the same time the only one to shatter her heart. As much as she wants to believe Finn is sorry and his desire to reclaim their friendship is real, she is scared, scared that if she lets him in and he leaves again she will never recover, she knows she sounds like a desperate silly fool but no other man she has ever met has affected her this way and she desperately wants his words about making it up to her and being friends to be true. She also knows that as an adult she needs to at least hear him out and take it from there, but before she can think on it anymore she is called to the front counter.


"Finn, honey do you think you can follow me to the garage and bring me home? my car is due for a service and I need to go to the store as well now we have an extra house guest I want to stock up on meat and manly foods." Carole looks up from her breakfast when she sees Finn wander into the kitchen rubbing a hand through his messy bed hair, blindly reaching for a mug and the carafe of coffee from the fancy percolator he gave her a couple of Christmas's ago.

"Um yeah Mom course, but, you don't have to pay for the extra food Mom I'll buy it, and I know Puck wants to put his resume out and about now he has decided to stay in Lima. I've got a pile of my own I want to take to the different schools so I'll leave you at the market while Puck and I go do our thing then by the time we finish you should be done, but if not Puck can always pick up your car when he's finished, how does that sound? What time do you need to go?"

"Well my car is booked in for 9:30 so I figured we leave about 9 all should work out, thankyou baby. What sort of work can Noah do other than PA things? It's just I remember seeing a notice on the garage when I booked my car in that they were looking for a general hand and the local TV station manager was looking for an assistant, at least they were a couple of weeks ago, I'm assuming PA work would be the same at a TV station as it is for a music star."

"That sounds cool Mom thanks, I'll let him know when he comes down." Finn then busies himself with preparing his own breakfast and a few minutes later sits down at the table opposite his mom.

Her voice questioning Carole wraps her hands around her coffee mug and broaches the question that has been on her mind all weekend "Finny?"

Answering her through a mouthful of fried eggs and bacon "Yeah Mom"

"I was just um… wondering what you were going to do about Rachel… I mean I don't want to pry and get in your way but if I can help in anyway, by maybe talking to her or catching up over lunch… I mean we do get together every month or so, but now…"

Swallowing his mouthful and washing it down with a slurp of coffee he says "Thanks Mom, but I have been trying to come up with some ideas since Friday night about getting her to at least listen to me, and I know I really hurt her when I just left without a word, but Mom I don't know what to do other than kidnap her and make her to listen, but you know I'd never force her to do anything, I just feel so stupid … she is still so beautiful and I can't believe I could just let her go like that. I did think about leaving a bunch of her favorite carnations with a note but I don't know…"

Sending her baby boy, a sad smile across the table Carole just nods her head but thrilling inside that he knows he made a mistake and is trying to right the wrong, and thinks she might just have to drop into Rachel's book store. "Well honey I think the flowers would be a great idea maybe ask her to meet you for a coffee somewhere, with no pressure so you can talk and try and rebuild your friendship … I mean you did spend nearly a whole year building that friendship, I know she isn't seeing anyone, and her dads said that she built her book store up from nothing by sheer determination, to take her mind off things. So, if you want some free advice from someone who has lived a while and knows a bit about love and loss, take things slow and just show her by doing little things, that even after all those years as a famous popular heart throb that you are still the same cute goofy kid that she fell for."

"Thanks Mom, and I promise I'll not let her down I can only hope she will let me apologise …."

"Mornin' Mrs H, Huddy, so what's the plan for today man?"

"Good morning Noah, help yourself dear to whatever you want to eat and there is coffee in the machine."

Finishing her breakfast Carole gets up from the table, ruffling her hands over her Finn's hair and pressing a kiss to his cheek, she loads her dishes in the dishwasher and turns to go back upstairs, "Oh Noah if you've any laundry just leave it on the machine and I'll put it through dear, you too Finny but make sure you check the pockets. I gave Finn a couple of names of businesses I heard were looking for staff Noah good luck with your job-hunting boys."

"Thanks Mrs H, that's cool but you don't have to do my laundry, I can do it later there isn't that much."

Waving at Noah's response Carole continues up the stairs leaving the guys alone.

"Mom said the garage is looking for staff as well as the local TV station manager who needs an assistant, so good luck man."

XXXXX

The first week Puck was in Lima had gone well, things had settled a bit more Puck was now the assistant for Dom De`Lazlo down at WOHN TV, and at Carole's request was still living with her and Finn, but in the studio flat over the garage. Finn was apparently just what the principal of West Lima Elementary school was looking for and he had been offered the permanent position as 6th grade teacher, to start in the new term.

On one of their regular catch up phone calls Finn had asked Leroy and Hiram if Rachel's phone number had changed and had she said anything to them. He had delivered a bunch of flowers to her house on the Monday after the dinner fiasco, with a note to say hi, and he hopes one day soon she might like to catch up for coffee and a chat, he added his cell number and e-mail address and ended it with a hand drawn smiley heart emoji. She made his heart thump harder in his chest when she answered the next afternoon with a simple text message that said 'Thank you for the flowers, they are beautiful '.

The next week dawned cold and wet, so Finn figured it was a good a day as any to sort through his boxes of school stuff and make sure his resources were all up to date and would follow the guidelines and lesson plans set down by the Ohio Teaching board, he was thankful he had done his training online through the Lima University, meaning he didn't have to worry about retraining. By lunchtime he had compiled a list of new books and posters and other bits and things he wanted so he decided to go down town and check out what he could buy, then what he couldn't get in Lima he would take a trip over to Dayton or Columbus to get. He pushed open the heavy glass door of Lima's only book store that he knew was Rachel's and made his way to the back wall where he could see a sign indicating the educational books and resources. Digging in his pocket for the list he made and on his way past the kiddie book section he grabs a shopper trolley from the stand, thinking with his luck he would drop everything on the floor in a mad heap and humiliate himself in front of Rach. Keeping one eye on the shelves in front of him and his other on the door to his left, of what he assumed by the star and words R Berry to be Rach's office and if possible he wanted to see her and maybe have a conversation, she hadn't answered any of the text messages he sent on a bi- daily basis besides the one thanking him for the flowers, so until he knew whether she was still really angry with him he wasn't going to push his luck. He does catch a glimpse of Rachel a few times while he is looking for supplies but each time she seemed to be busy with a customer or on the phone but as he is leaving he looks over the young female cashiers head and makes eye contact with her and it is all he can do to stop himself from dumping his purchases and picking her up and running out of the store to find a private place to firstly, kiss the hell out of her and secondly to explain why he did what he did 6 years ago… but instead he just sends her a soft smile and a head nod, before picking up his bags and slowly walking out the door turning just as gets over the threshold to try and get one last look at her, she was still there her bottom lip held hostage by her teeth. Internally cursing himself backwards from Sunday for the pain he knows he put her through, and he just prays that she will grant him the opportunity to explain.

XXXX

"Come on Huddy let's get to going man I'm in the mood for a night on the town, and letting the Lima ladies know that the Puckerone is in town and looking for lurve, do I look ok?"

Puck runs his hand through his mohawk as he yells for Finn from the living room, thankful Carole wasn't home so he didn't sound like he was leading Finn astray, cos he has figured out since he has been in Lima that even though Finn was a 25 year old world-famous music star, he was deep down still, just a nice small town guy who loved his momma and knew she was proud of him, the exact opposite to his own family…

"Jeez Puck hold on to ya dick man, I'm nearly ready, but ya know you won't have much trouble finding some company Lima isn't known for being high on the list of choices for 'The Bachelor TV show', so any new blood will be welcomed with open arms and legs, probably before you've finished saying your name, but just don't tell the chicks who I am please! All I'm looking for is a quiet night, blending into the background and enjoying a few drinks."

Rolling his eyes at his friend Puck just nods and grabs his leather jacket from the chair and shrugs it on just as Finn reaches the bottom stair, and wonders aloud how Finn is going to stay unnoticed.

"I um don't know how to tell ya Huddy but I don't think you will be able to just blend into the background dude, being like you are a giant an' all, but looking as sharp as that, not to mention those whiskers you're rocking, and if I wasn't 100% straight up for the ladies I'd be wanting to tap that."

Shaking his head at the sight of Finn dressed in a smooth grey, open collared shirt, tucked into his well-fitting black jeans and leather bomber jacket left open, dark aviator glasses hooked into the pocket of his shirt, and his favorite (a souvenir from his first tour to Australia) shiny black crocodile leather boots, finishing off the outfit he looked like he was straight off a modelling shoot.

He laughs again as Finn just blushes a deep shade of pink before running his hands through his hair. "Come on dude let's go find you some company a'fore I need to call a service for ya, … tho just out of curiosity man, what happened to the chick from the boat what was her name? You seemed pretty taken with her."

Puck shrugs his shoulders and exhales an audible sigh, and saying somewhat defeatedly "Yeah well, apparently, she wasn't looking for anything more than a one night stand and was dared into it by her friends, but when I thought about it afterwards she kept calling me Finn and she was so happy being with me. I didn't think anything of it at the time, coz we was both drinkin' a lot and havin' a boss time you understand, but when she told me by text before blockin' my number the next day, that coz I wasn't you like she thought, I wasn't worth seeing again and that she didn't think I could find my way outta a beer box and then to finish off said my hawke was childish and stupid, I figured she was tryin' to get into your boxers so yeah, but hey just think, now more ladies will get a chance to experience the magic that is the Puckerone lurve machine so all's good man…"

"Aw shit, I'm really sorry man, but you know I wasn't interested don't ya? Well movin' to Lima will be good for you man, and you will find someone nice who will like the hawke! So enough of this BFF shit let's get you out there, the cab should be here in a bit. I haven't been to this club before but it should be cool.

About 8:15 Finn and Puck walk through the doors of 'Don't Stop bar/restaurant and Dance club' finding a couple of stools at the end of the bar, immediately ordering a couple of beers and pepperoni pizzas. While their food was being made they just watched the crowd making sure not to (well Finn was at any rate) make eye contact with the women who kept looking their way and whisper yelling over the music that wasn't that Finn Hudson? Puck on the other hand was quite happily smiling and winking at as many women as he could, every now and then running his hand through his hair.

The music changed just as their pizza arrived, to a classic 80's REO Speedwagon song and had Finn bobbing his head along with the lyrics and air drumming when his hands were free, and when he wasn't chewing, he was softly singing along with the music, looking around the club Finn recognised a few people by sight and had been spoken to by a few old class mates on their way to the bathrooms and outdoor seating area.

"Oh, man I spy a honey over there so Ima gonna go and introduce myself, you be ok Huddy?"

"Yeah course man I'm having a ball, just let me know if you gonna be leavin' with company,"

"That's the plan buddy, ha, ha catch ya later man." Waving Puck off with a hearty laugh Finn signals for another beer and while he is waiting he hears a voice that he could recognise anywhere, spinning around on his stool his eyes zero in on the source and in that instant every ounce of air in his body rushes out in a loud exhale, making him suddenly feel light headed, and due to the blood, all rushing south at warp speed, his jeans painfully restricting. Without making a conscious decision his feet are suddenly taking him towards a table on the other side of the room, where he instantly locks eyes with a vision in a tight-fitting silver dress that stops mid-thigh, showing off in all their tanned glory a pair of legs that go on forever and ending in a pair of high heeled shoes…

"R-Rach…?"


"Happy birthday Cedes gosh you look absolutely beautiful, am I to assume correctly that is a Hummel design?" Rachel wraps her arms around her friend Mercedes when she meets the birthday girl, Kurt, Catrina and Lara, outside 'Don't Stop bar/restaurant and Dance club'just after 8pm.

"You know it girl, and it is apparently a one-off special, that caused our boy to miss hours of beauty sleep to get finished, 'cause and I quote. 'Now the boring, simple minded, plaid and stripe, chain store wearing unfashionable masses, that make up the populace of our dusty little town can at least see what haute couturelooks like, even if they have no idea how to pronounce it or understand that every day of your life is an opportunity for fashion."

"Well I can't disagree with him on that observation" Rachel says, keeping to herself, her thoughts about certain people who can seriously rock stripes and plaid and when they add a puffy vest to the look … well the words SEXY AS HELL describe him to a tee! …

The four friends laugh happily at Mercedes's words and the smug look on Kurt's face, as she and Rachel each loop one arm through Kurt's that he has theatrically offered and both lean up to press a kiss on his cheeks, while Catrina and Lara snap photos by the reams, before walking through the double doors of the club. Their happy giggles lost amid the thumping music beats and noise of the many patrons all having a good time. Rachel spots a table to the side of the dancefloor on the other side of the bar, and even though she is of tiny stature she deftly makes her way through the bustle of folks in many variations of popular moves, crowding the dancefloor.

Kurt, and Catrina disappear to the bar to get drinks, while Rachel and Lara, keep Mercedes laughing with their latest snippets of gossip from their work places, mutual acquaintances, and latest dates, while Mercedes in-between bouts of giggles told her own tales from her Insurance company office, suddenly blushing as much as her dark skin would allow and going all shy when she spoke of a guy named Daven from her office, that she'd been out for coffee with a couple of times and who wanted to take her to dinner. The other girls squealed like kids and Rachel was giddily clapping her hands when Kurt arrived back with a small tray filled with shot glasses, a little bowl of lime wedges and a salt shaker, as well as the all-important bottle of Patron. Catrina right behind him with her own tray of assorted cocktails.

"Woohoo Happy Birthday Cedes, finally the baby of the group has made it to a quarter of a century!" Kurt chirps as he pours the shots then on his count of three, they do the 'lick-sip-suck' thing and down the shots before a mouthful of their cocktail and laughing at each other's funny faces, before another shot of tequila. Rachel being the smallest in body size is always the first to feel the effects of alcohol and by the time she has downed three shots and finished her vodka cocktail, she is quite tiddly and decides she wants to dance, so she stands up, her high heeled shoes making her a little unsteady on her feet as she stands trying to pull her dress down past her privates, making her way to the dance-floor and losing herself in the music not even reacting when a pair of hands fold around her waist and start to grind against her from behind, she just turns in the guy's arms and pushes him away to arm's length, smiling and laughing happily at the way he keeps trying to pull her back in. Shaking her head at him she just spins out with the music and moves closer towards their table where Kurt and the others are dancing in their seats and waving at her encouragingly. Her focus is lost though when she hears a voice that with every syllable sends her libido into a tail spin and makes her thankful she is a woman.

"R-Rach…?"

A loud collective gasp of surprise from the occupants of the table before Kurt pipes up and says, "Well, well, well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes Finn Hudson, all that time in the public eye has been good to you it seems, your wardrobe certainly says so, very, very hot by the way." He quickly brings his hands up to fan his face, glad his boyfriend Seth isn't there to see him swooning all over god's gift to mankind.

Finn looks away from Rachel just long enough to send his friends a shy dimple producing smile "O-oh, hi guys, didn't see you there."

Finn doesn't notice the knowing smirk shared between the 4 as they know all too well, that once Finn laid his melted caramel orbs, on their tiny friend the government could decree it a national holiday for run around naked, with a tea cosy and bunny ears on your head, while playing hop-scotch day and he wouldn't even notice.

Finn is nervously running his hand through his hair and watching Rachel from the corner of his eye as he greets his old friends, before shyly leaning in to give Mercedes a hug and a quick peck on the cheek after he notices the plastic crown atop her head that spells out in blinking lights 'Birthday Girl'. Just as he moves his body and eyes back to Rachel she stumbles a little and he quickly reaches out a hand which instead of touching her arm ends up around her middle and both instantly feel a shock of electricity.

Time seems to stop, well for those formally known as Finchel anyway, Rachel's big brown eyes lock on Finn's and they just stare at each other till the earth starts to move again, due to Puck's sudden appearance and excited chatter.

"Huddy, man this place rocks I thought you said there was no talent around this town, man I've already got a dozen numbers from ladies who want to ride the Puckerone lurve machine, ha, ha… Well hello there what's your name babe"

Thankful for Puck's arrival and sudden interest in Catrina, as well as the others heading for the dance floor Finn gently takes hold of Rachel's elbow and leans down so his mouth is level with her ear and whispers. "Rachel, can we please go somewhere and talk?"

Feeling bold from the tequila and cocktails Rachel nods her head, releasing the scent of apples from her loose brunette curls, and turns to make her way through the tables and out to the garden area by the bathrooms. On the short walk out the back, Rachel tries very hard to ignore the feelings seeing Finn ignites, but at the same time feeling a little silly that he had got to her by the few random text messages and funny pictures he had e-mailed to her in the past week not to mention the fact she felt like a schoolgirl with a crush when she arrived home to find the bunch of her favorite pink and white carnations with the note, then seeing him in her store looking through the education section.

She is finding it harder and harder to stop her thoughts from focusing on him and cringes every time her little internal voice tells her she should just put on her big girls pants and hear him out. She tries to talk back and tell her freeloading mind twin that she needs time… but is she that much of a masochist that she can just see him and not want him?

Finn sits down on the only available seat which as it happens is a wooden bench, indicating with a soft smile and head nod for Rachel to do the same, his insides are churning with nerves hoping she won't up and leave before hearing him out or notice the bulge in his pants.

"You look beautiful Rach-el can I tell you that?" At her nod, he sends her a dimple popping smile and thrills inside at the audible gasp that leaves her throat. "Will you please let me explain now why I did what I did, coz I really need you to hear me out and let me apologise… can you do that?"

Again, with the head nodding Rachel sits down, turning her body towards Finn's, folding her hands in her lap and waiting for him to speak, though every time he made a sound she was doing all she could to stop herself jumping his bones like she wanted to do at the restaurant the other night.

Not knowing where her words are coming from Rachel can't help herself when she blurts "Alright Finn but first please just let me say you are looking very cute right now."

She then drops her eyes to her lap and sucks her bottom lip into her mouth with her teeth. Therefore, not seeing the blush and wide happy, full double dimpled smile on Finn's face.

He clears his throat and softly says. "Thanks Rach, Well, I just want you to know that I know I was a major jerk and had my head so full of my own self- importance that when that talent agent saw me at one of our battle of the band competitions in college, and offered me on the spot representation with his agency, as well as a contract for record deals and travelling shows, well I was shocked and surprised and wanted more than anything to do it, and wanted to speak to you about it but you were on that workshop for college and some prick had stolen my phone and my truck. I know I could have called from another phone or even Facebooked you, but Joe…, he was the agent, said there was no time, as we had to be in Florida for a show at Disney world by the next afternoon…"

"I understand that things happened very fast Finn, and I hope you know I am very proud of you… but surely you had some time, since then to yourself and could have called me or even told your Mom what was going on who would have called me, but to hear it from Lexxi Morgenstern… b-but before we go any further please just be honest with me Finn Hudson and tell me truthfully did you or did you not sleep with her?"

Finn's gasp and sudden standing and pacing, then slumping back on the bench and shaking his head whilst running his hands agitatedly through his hair, was making Rachel worry that maybe it was true, until a soft "Rach please…"

But before Finn can answer fully, Mercedes and Kurt interrupt them by stumbling through the doorway singing along to the song currently playing, sloshing their drinks all over them and the floor.

"Rachie, there you are come on it's time to get our dance on an' then we are goin' to rock this joint with some hot fashion and karaoke… we gots you a nu drinks so come on gurl lets go,"

"But guys I'm talking to Finn and I'd like to finish our conversation, I'll be there in a minute ok?"

"Na-Ah tis mi birthday little diva an' I wants to sing wit you, you have waited this long to chat with Finnster another couple of minutes won't make much difference so come on…"

Rachel sends Finn a look that is begging him to say he wants to her stay and talk, so when he shakes his head and says with a laugh, "Tis cool Rach, Cedes and Kurt need you more go, have fun sing me a song huh?"

She stands, quickly swallowing the new drink in one go stumbling slightly, then looks sadly at Finn, nods her head and walks away Kurt and Mercedes nattering in her ear. Finn follows straight away groaning with desire as he watches her body moving so sexily in her tiny dress and with the high heels, her long dark hair in a swathe down to her waist. It is a wonder she hasn't caused a riot, like that time in high school when their glee club did a Brittany Spears number and everything went crazy.

"You pick first Cedes, Rachie and me will sing backup and jus' sway in the background K?"

Finn watched as Mercedes raced over to the Karaoke booth and flipped through the song list while Kurt and Rachel, headed for the bar and more drinks. He followed and found his seat ordering another drink as well, then sat and watched Rachel the whole time, he didn't even hear the words Mercedes was singing. All he could hear and see was Rachel, moving sensually in the background and her beautiful voice sounding better than he remembered. He is again reminded of a beautiful song bird, which was the inspiration for his tattoo.

For her part, Rachel is equally mad with her friends for dragging her away just as she and Finn were going to talk, and at him for not trying to stop her. But the little voice in her head pipes up and says "Be fair girl he didn't know you guys had planned this night out and most probably didn't want to get in the way of that, and the man is obviously trying to make it up to you, so cut him some slack and just enjoy the night, you look smokin' and he has 'noticed, so… that should be a strong indication he still has feelings for you. Plus, have you noticed how you're in-sync with your color scheme without even knowing?"

Puck wanders back with a giant smile on his face and plops next to Finn ordering a drink, Finn fist bumps him after a play by play of the last 15 minutes happy for his friend but not really keen to hear details about Catrina, who he has known since high school but is happy for his buddy nonetheless. In the time, he was talking to Puck he lost track of what was going on, up on the stage till he heard a familiar beat and a song, he knew was special. Ignoring Pucks continuous babble, Finn stands up and muscles his way through the crowd to stand at the bottom of the stage looking up at the woman swaying to the music, her eyes wet with tears. Her beautiful voice strong and full of meaning but by the time she reaches the 2nd verse starting to fill with emotion and rising more at the last line. Finn can't help but get choked up when the words.

"I'm everything I am, because you loved me"

Unable to take the emotion in her face and voice, due to the guilt swirling around his body Finn spins on his heel and orders a couple of shots of scotch and swallows them quickly, then removes himself from the bar, finding a quiet spot out the back in the garden and slouching against the wall he curls his body up as small as possible, (but when a man is nearly 6'4" it isn't an easy thing to do) he could hear the applause, albeit muted cheers and wolf whistles for Rachel when she had finally finished. Lost in the past again he doesn't hear the clicking of heels on the concrete tiles and whispered endearments from the amorous couple deciding that his piece of wall was suitable for their needs, until the distinct sound of a zipper being undone and the ardent cries of

"Oh, so, so hot, what is my name baby? Say it, it turns me on more…ooohhhh yes." Followed by a series of grunts and moans in a deeper manly tone.

Finn was trying to get up from his spot as well as keep his ears and eyes covered, he was not interested in watching or indeed hearing a live action porn movie. So, keeping his head turned and as stealthily as a man of his height and known clumsiness was able, he made his way along the garden bed wall and was relieved to find the door to the bathrooms, thankful it was the gents, he splashes cold water over his face and tries to get his mind back on track, and put part 2 of his 'get Rach back plan' into operation. He arrived back at the bar and ordered another double scotch on the rocks his eyes flitting all over the dim bar looking for Rachel finding her at the table with the others knocking back more shots. Deciding that he was going to tell her everything he is like a man on a mission as he strides towards them grabbing a chair from the table next door, ignoring the "Hey what the hell?" and squeezing it as close to Rachel as possible then plopping down on it and resting his arm across the back of Rachel's chair, his fingers immediately tangling in her hair and saying. "Hi guys hope you don't mind me joining you, Man, this place is cool huh! Do you come here often?"

Nodding at the answers and the chatter of his rather drunk friends, he just slowly sipped his drink taking in everything about the beautiful woman sitting next to him and much to his relief and thanks she wasn't trying to get away, instead unless it was his imagination, seemed to move a bit closer bringing one hand down to rest on her thigh close enough to 'accidently' bump his thigh with her pinkie finger every time she moved her hand. Finn chanced a glance at her and as his eyes meshed with her big brown ones, he saw what he had been hoping to see there all the time … that she still did have feelings for him.

So, taking charge of the situation and without trying to act like an arrogant jerk he leans down so his mouth is just centimetres from Rachel's ear, at the same time as he takes and squeezes her hand, whispers in her ear noting the way she shivers a little and her face takes on the most beautiful flush of color he has ever seen.

"Will you dance with me please Rach?"

He feels her head nodding so he stands up still holding her hand and leads her to the dancefloor, neither party hearing the comments spoken by their friends, finding a spot where thankfully it is less crowded and the music has changed to something more his style.

He places one hand on her waist and still holding her other pulls her gently against his chest not saying anything just savouring the closeness and the feel of the woman in his arms.

"Rach?"

"Hmm"

"I'm sorry you know that, don't you?"

She nods her head against his chest and tightens her hold around his neck drawing their bodies as close as possible whilst dancing, well not so much dancing per se, more like just a slow shuffle in a circle.

"Thank you, I promise to make it up to you … I want to make it right Rach, I have missed you so freaking much and don't want to be without you any longer, but if you are with someone then I will step back… o-or maybe I won't and instead punch his lights out…, and warn him away from my girl … coz we are endgame. Yeah, yeah that will work just wondering tho is he bigger than me? Doesn't matter I'll fight him anyway mmphh…"

The reason his words are suddenly stolen and he out of breath is because there is a pair of soft lips attached to his and like, stealing all his air. Finally, after eons his eyes open and he can breathe, and to his delight the first thing he can see once his eyes focus is Rachel, and the soft smile and blush on her face, her eyes alight with a passion he'd never thought he'd see again especially after the other night at dinner, she opens her puffy lips and speaks.

"Finn Hudson just shut up and kiss me before I change my mind, and as this is just the first step to forgiveness tell junior to calm down, now isn't the time for him be up" at those words Finn blushes and sends Rachel a shy smile that does nothing to dampen her passion for this adorkable man who doesn't seem to have changed from the sweet goofy kid she met at school, and the image she had of him asleep on the boat again rushes into her mind and she feels her anger and sadness lift and decides then and there to make sure he doesn't leave her again. She suddenly giggles at his words about fighting any guys that show an interest in her and he doesn't care how big they are, she knows from experience that he would honor his words and take on the entire football team.

The instant Rachel slammed her mouth over Finn's to halt his adorable rambling, she knew she couldn't stay angry at him, the kiss was just like a light had been turned on inside her and she instantly felt at home and exactly where she should be. She knows they have a lot to talk about and that it will be painful but she has always known when Finn was being honest and even through the fog of imbibed alcohol, she felt that same magic electrical current that she first felt that day in high school, and wants it again badly. She can't deny time has made any difference to the depths of feelings they have for each other.

Finn closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, before cupping the back of Rachel's head with one hand and pressing it into his chest while his other is wrapped around her back tenderly. His voice a whisper "T-Thankyou Rach,"

Lifting her head Rachel feels her eyes moisten at the look on his face just nodding and looping her arms around his neck, he knowing what she wanted immediately pressed his lips on hers this time though the kiss was softer, but filled with as much feeling as is possible.

When they are forced apart due to a lack of air, noticing the music has changed to a fast dance number, she lets go of Finn's neck and keeping a tight grip on his hand leads him out of the club. Pressing a finger over his mouth as she digs in her little purse for her cell pressing a few buttons then popping it back in.

Finn and Rachel make their way along the sidewalk, not speaking just saving all their words for later, Finn doesn't care where they are going just that he is with Rachel and she is now obviously ready to listen.

"Um Rach can we stop somewhere and grab a coffee and some supper? I'm feeling a bit peckish". Giving Rachel a sheepish smile and unable to help the fact that even though it is nearly 10.30pm he is hungry and needs to soak up the booze and stay awake to get his mind organised for the things he needs to tell her.

Smiling again, (wondering where all the smiles have come from) Rachel says happily, "Oh, sure Finn, that sounds like a great idea, I have to admit I'm feeling the need for a coffee myself, the Lima Bean is open late Friday and Saturday's now."

Just as the pair reach the corner they are forced to walk closer to the road as a crowd of people all in fancy dress come barrelling along, singing and laughing, albeit terribly off key and slurred. Finn and Rachel stop next to a mail box to let them pass when suddenly Finn is grabbed by a woman dressed as a baby doll, though her barely there costume leaned more towards the slutty side than the cute, laughing at the woman's clumsiness he soon changes his mind when she starts to knead his chest with her talon like fingernails and rub her center up and down his thigh, saying in a very loud drunken voice.

"OMG, I knew you'd come back, but why take so long we've missed you Finnykins" before standing up a little straighter to press her mouth against his and make kissing motions.

Even though he is used to being recognized by overzealous fans now was not the time, and his decision to put his alter ego, Finnegan the rock star in the back of his closet and be just regular Finn Hudson, so he could get his girl back and settle down, was being infringed upon by this drunken woman. Who by dressing the way she was and her actions obviously had no shame! All Finn can do is push her off and move around her group of friends, then still feeling the booze in his system he asks harshly, "Do I know you?" He looks to Rachel to give him a clue, but she is gone…

The woman giggles then bats her eye lashes at him and trying to make her voice sound sexy she giggles again and says, "It's Lexxi Finny, Lexxi Morgenstern, we should go and get a drink for old times' sake, wadda ya reckon hun?"

"WHAT! Oh, for the last time woman, I'm not interested in you now and never have been, just leave me alone!"

He figured the presence and actions of her old adversary must have been what made Rachel leave, and knew that if he didn't sort out his shit and clear the air he would lose Rachel for ever, so hailing the first cab he sees and asking to be taken to 620 Rosewood Lane. Spending most of the 10-minute journey cursing the woman who since his first day at McKinley High has been after him and putting Rach down. As soon as the cab stops at Rachel's he throws a handful of $10 bills over the front seat, not caring at all that he has probably paid the guy enough to take him to Dayton. He races up the driveway and raps his knuckles hard on the front door, pressing the bell as well.

"Rach please open the door, I promise you there is nothing going on with me and that skanky Leonie, I was never interested in her at school and certainly not now… please Rach open the door babe, so we can talk properly? Otherwise your neighbors are gonna be callin' the cops thinking you have a stalker or sumthin' Rach come on please…"

Pressing the bell a few more times and not hearing any movement behind the door, Finn sits on the doormat and drops his head hard against the door cursing at the pain it caused. Every few minutes he knocks on the door and calls out finally digging his cell phone from his pocket and pressing the number 2 on his speed dial hoping Rachel will answer he jumps a little when a soft,

"Hi you've reached Rachel, I'm unavailable right now, so please leave a message after the beep and I'll get back to you as soon as I can, thanks for your call" sighing at the message Finn takes a deep breath and tries to think of something useful to say before the service cut out.

"Rach hi it's me… well I spose you know that by my voice, I know why you left but please there is nothing going on with me and that Lani girl, please Rachel I promise just talk to m…" He swears again when he is cut off instead he presses the doorbell again and pressing his mouth against the door frame says loudly, "Well I'm just gonna sit here till you talk to me and I don't care if I get frostblight, and turn into a, really very sorry giant ice block I'll wait for as long as it takes, tho this cold weather will probably freeze my bits off, but I don't care it will be worth it, please Rach just talk to me."

Making himself as comfortable as possible on the hard-wooden floor Finn zips his leather jacket closed and flips up the collar then scrunching his body as much as possible into the door frame he sits quietly for a few minutes before he starts to sing

"I wonder who she's seeing tonight
Is she really going out with him
He's not her type
And doing all the things
She used to do with me
Well, I'd say something to her
But I get so jealous
When I think of her loving someone else

And I can't think why we ever let go
We must have been crazy
Tell me what kind of fool am I
To just let go, to just let go like that
What kind of fool am I, to lose you

She was cold sometimes
But she made me feel alive
She was such a spoiled baby
But baby she could love
And she loved me like nobody
Ever will again

I thought we'd be together
When the world ran down
When the curtains fell
And the lights came up
But the gods or whatever
Make the world go 'round
Shuffled when they should've cut

Tell me
What kind of fool am I
To just let go, to just let go like that
What kind of fool am I
To lose you

Did it come too easy to the two of us
Did we go to wrong to ever make it right
Were we too busy checking out the left hand
That we didn't see the right
Tell me
What kind of fool am I
To just let go, to just let go like that
What kind of fool am I

Oh, baby please, Oh, baby please come back
I meant to say in time
Baby we can work it out
But I never meant to say goodbye
Tell me
What kind of fool am I
What kind of fool am I
What kind of fool am I
To lose you…"

Lost in his thoughts Finn doesn't notice the door opening until the back of his head lands with a hard thump on the tiled entry hall floor.

"Ow, mother fuc…" rubbing the back of his head as he opens his eyes at a soft giggle, he sees Rachel one tiny hand extended ready to help him up, looking down at him with teary eyes but at the same time a tender smile on her beautiful face. "Rachel I'm sorry but honest I never…"

His apology halted for the few seconds it took for him to get off the floor and for Rachel to lead him further into the house, which he was happy to see hadn't changed in the time he'd been away, the photos of him and Rachel from their senior prom and high school graduation along with various others taken on random occasions still hanging on the hallway wall in the same places. Finally walking into the living room, where a cosy fire is burning in the fire place and music that sounded very much like the set list from their nationals win in senior year playing softly, and on the coffee table, a tray filled with two mugs of what smelt like hot chocolate and a plate of banana bread and sugar cookies as well as some croissants filled with ham and cheese.

"Sit down Finn and eat then we will talk, and can I just say that song was beautiful your voice has gotten better over the years I've missed hearing you sing, I can understand why you were so popular, although I've always known you were very talented. Now eat and warm up because I'd not want to be held responsible for your bits freezing off due to frost blight which I've heard recently is even more severe than frost-bite."

Finn just nods at the fun dig in Rachel's soft voice and reaches up to unzip his jacket sliding it off his shoulders and hanging it over the back of the lounge chair, removing his boots and putting them in the entry-hall. Then sitting in the other chair and reaching out to take the mug of hot chocolate and a croissant moaning with delight at the first taste of creamy cheese and ham. A good 15 minutes is spent just enjoying the food and hot drink before Rachel gathers the dirty dishes and takes them through to the kitchen Finn follows to get another hot chocolate at Rachel's invitation. He just watches her as she stacks the dishwasher and puts the leftover food away, noticing how she is trying not to look at him and wondering why.

"Oh, man Rach, thank you for the supper it was as good as I remember , but um… can I ask why you won't look at me, I mean I'm trying to apologize and if you are now ready to listen I want to tell you everything, but I'd really like to see your eyes they are so beautiful and I've always thought I could read you better when I looked in your eyes."

Instead of speaking Rachel nods her head and turns back towards the living room, leaving Finn standing there, lost as to why she now won't speak either, letting out a frustrated huff he follows and sits back in his chair, looking at the woman who is studying the hem of her shirt, which was in fact one of his T-shirts from McKinley. He doesn't know what to do so he looks around seeing that the drapes are new as was the carpet, just as he is about to say something a black cat jumps onto his lap and starts to knead making itself comfortable, but paying no heed to the fact its claws are dangerously close to Finn junior. He was trying to move enough so he could sit without wincing every five minutes he glanced at Rachel who was trying to hold back a laugh.

"Um Rach your cat is going to do me an injury can I put it on the floor please?"

"Oh Finn, don't be a sissy, and Pumkin is a she by the way, she gets offended by negative gender talk you know, but she won't hurt you she is just welcoming you, see she has heard all about you and thinks if you are tough enough to stand her welcome then you are ok and she will allow you to stay and perhaps date her momma, she will settle in a minute, see she must like you. It's just like with horses and dogs you know if they can sense you are afraid they won't be calm but if you be nice to them all is good, and my little Pumkin likes a soft scratch under her chin and behind her ears. So now you have been feed and passed Pumkin's initial test you are good to go, so please explain what has been going on with you since you were obviously not near either a computer or cell phone to send an e-mail or even a post card. I lost count of the number of letters and emails I wrote but never sent after the first 100 were returned to sender"

At that statement, she lifts her head and locks her eyes on his seeing in his soft caramel depths what she has been hoping was still there.

"Aw Rach please, I said I was sorry I just got lost in the rock star life but you have to believe me that I didn't really forget you I couldn't, and I know it was you who kissed me on the boat on the night of my birthday, I still don't know how you managed that but I'm glad you did coz, you were the reason I decided to give up the life of 'Finnegan' and go back to being plain old Finn Hudson and it wasn't until dinner the other week after you left that I'd realised it, it felt like it was a dream but then a dream doesn't smell like vanilla and strawberries and make my heart race and Finny junior to wake up after so long. Like I said earlier everything happened so fast, that by the time I knew what was going on I was in England doing a series of concerts with other groups and then in the studio before another whirlwind tour of Australia and a bunch of live concerts all over the west coast and Canada. I really have no excuse for basically abandoning you other than to say my head was filled with all the stories and promises that Joe told me, but to be honest I'd had enough after about 2 years and wanted to quit that life and focus on my teaching studies, but I was tied into contracts for shows and record deals, and if I broke the contracts I'd be in major legal trouble so I was just going through the motions, and yes I did spend time with a couple of women, the longest was 2 months but I didn't feel anything, I couldn't even tell you their names, coz they weren't important."

Taking a deep breath hoping Rachel will say something, Finn reaches for his hot chocolate, Pumkin didn't move, until the loud buzzing of Finn's cell disturbed her which in retaliation caused her to stab him with all four feet's claws in her hurry to get away, Trying not to curse he answers the call, his breathing ragged with the pain "H-hey Puck… Oh yeah I'm real sorry man but Rach and me needed to talk…, not sure , no Mom's working the night shift, Ok yeah I'll catch you later , have fun… sure man bye."

Tucking his cell back in his shirt pocket Finn looks over at Rachel and sends her a soft smile and motioning to his cell says, "Sorry that was Puck, I mean Noah Puckerman he was my best friend and PA, he moved to Lima the other week and is now the PA of the station manager down at WOHN, he was the one with me tonight."

"Ah, Mr mohawk, from what I could see Catrina seemed to enjoy his company. Now back to us, you never did answer my question back at the bar, about you and Lexxi…"

Jumping up from his chair Finn kneels at Rachel's feet and reaches out to take her hand in his, locking his eyes on hers he says firmly "Rach I promise I have never slept with that girl at school or any time since, I told you I have had two sort of girlfriends and yes we did share a bed but I always used protection and I have to say neither girl was anything to write home about nor do I remember it as any more than the physical act of release, no feelings were shared on my part at least."

"But the babies?"

Rachel's tone was rising in pitch the more she spoke and Finn could tell it wouldn't be long before her big brown eyes were flooded with tears. "She was telling everyone that you and she slept together and not long after found out she was pregnant and kept implying that the baby was yours and then it was twins I had no idea what was going on and I was so angry, she has always been on my case then to tell me that she had been intimate with my boyfriend it was all too much Finn Hudson I love you so much but she … and then you at dinner…" Within seconds Finn is sat on the sofa, his arms wrapped around a teary Rachel and trying to soothe her.

"Baby girl please calm down I have no idea which babies you are talking about, but I promise you I have never slept with that woman so I am 200% certain I never fathered her kids, I don't suppose she even knows. The only woman I would ever want to go down that road with is you Rachel Barbra Berry, though I'd much prefer if your name was Rachel Hudson, but that is down the road a bit, I need to know first off that you forgive me for my stupid dumb ass douche bag, childish behaviour and are willing to take chance on me, because I love you Rach, so, so much and hope with everything I have that you still feel the same. Because now that I'm back home in Lima and have a job lined up at West Lima Elementary school, I'm not going anywhere, and I would really like it if you would go on a date with me … I mean I would really like you to be my girlfriend but I will take whatever I can get and if you are with another guy then well… like I said before I will fight him for you I don't care how much bigger than me he is…"

"Oh Finn, I don't really think there is anybody bigger than you,…well that I'd want to spend time with anyway, I was hoping you'd know it was me on the boat I managed to get on board the party boat as part of the catering company's extra staff through a friend of mine from college who's Uncle was in charge and she asked me initially unaware, that I knew Finnegan the famous rock star was in fact Finn Hudson from Lima Ohio. But ok I will take a chance on you and I might even agree to go on a date with you seeing as you have made the grade according to Pumkin and I know my Dad's like you and I do love your Mom. BUT I'm warning you Finn if you ever even entertain the thought of making a decision that should be discussed between the both of us, because it will affect us being together for the rest of our lives then that will be the end of Finchel take-2, I'm serious Finn I can't go through this again, I love you and always have and I want to grow old with you by my side and…"

With tears in his eyes Finn scoops Rachel onto his lap and proceeds to join his mouth to hers kissing away the pain from the past six years and vowing to never make her question his love for her again.


3 years later:

"I now pronounce you man and wife you may now kiss the bride."

'Me kissy Dadda"

"Wan' kiss too"

Turning away from the celebrant at the sound of two excited in unison voices, with wide happy smiles on their faces, the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Finn Hudson bend down to each scoop into their arms one of their 2-year-old twin daughters, Anna-Louise and Emily-Jane Hudson. Pressing noisy kisses all over their plump rosy cheeks, the little girls giggled and clapped their hands squashing their tiny bouquets of mixed pink and white carnations, then deciding they'd had enough squirmed until Finn and Rachel put them on the floor, and straightened their soft pink dresses and tried to neaten their hair which Rachel had left loose with just a circlet of flowers, knowing her daughters who were more like their father in regards of being able to just throw on anything and they would look cute. The little ones took off up the aisle till they reached their grandparents and at the top of their voices started to tell a teary Hiram, Leroy and Carole "Momma look pwretty, huh?"

Amid sighs and soft whispers of "Aw how cute", "they are so beautiful", "Just like Finchel", "Just perfect."

Finn lent down to press his lips against Rachel's cheek then whispered "I love you Mrs. Hudson and we did so good, now we really are complete." Another kiss on her mouth he stands up only to be brought back down to her level by her slender hand around his neck.

Her big dark eyes filled with happy tears ready to fall she kisses him tenderly on the mouth, and like he did before puts her mouth next to his ear giggling a little at the way he shivers when her breath touches his skin. "Not yet baby but we will be in about 8 months when baby boy Hudson arrives, and before you ask… yes, I'm positive this new little bug is a boy I've a sixth sense you know, now Mr. Hudson shall we go and save our parents and enjoy our party? Oh, and one more thing I love you Finny for always and forever!"

His own tears falling gently, all Finn can do is pick Rachel up in a bridal carry pressing his lips again against hers and through his kisses tell her how much he loves her and give his thanks for the gifts she has given him. "Finchel has always been endgame babe" they carry on up the aisle smiling at their friends and families. Their level of happiness is off the charts, Rachel snuggled in her man's arms and his right hand rubbing tenderly over her lower abdomen, thanking his lucky stars or the universe that this woman is his, now and forever.

Finchel is forever!

~The End~

A/N: ~ Story title and song lyrics belong to Rick Springfield, one of my all-time favourite Australian singers, I make no claim to it in any way. Give it a listen I'm sure you'll love it ~