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A/N: Hope you all enjoy the epilogue for Protecting my one, Thanks again for all the reads, and kind words in your reviews, I appreciate it greatly.

So, until next time take care and Keep on drumming.


Epilogue 10yrs later 2026

Looking back, If I was asked to write a story about my life, I couldn't be any happier with the way it turned out.

After college Finn was accepted into Fire Department of New York, and exceled in all aspects of Fire and EMT training. Then, at graduation, he was named ROOKIE OF THE YEAR and given his special award at a ceremony at the FDNY training school with the Mayor of New York and other Dignitaries.

I could tell he was proud of his efforts and dedication to his training, but also humbled to be thought the best when there were lots of other guys he knew were just as professional and compassionate as he was. I couldn't be any prouder of him if I'd tried and was sat watching him receive his awards, happy tears pouring down my face clutching hands with Carole, our Dads' and brothers' clapping and cheering, beaming at him so brightly knowing he'd never want to be anywhere else.

Finn was lucky to be based at a Fire House about 5 blocks from home, and thoroughly enjoyed his work.

He had been involved in a couple of heart-breaking situations over the years but most of his days were filled with favourable outcomes. After he had been at the station for about two years, he was asked by his chief to pose with some other guys for the Fire Fighters, Hero of the Month Calendar.

After the photo shoot, a national magazine requested a little bit of a background story on the guys who posed. Finn told the reporter about his life in Lima Ohio growing up with only his Mom, because his dad had died in the army when he was a baby, how he joined his school's glee club as a junior and helped them win the National Show Choir competition in his senior year of high school. His college years as a three season, championship winning quarterback, even about the band him and his buddies put together.

But he really started living, when he met a tiny brunette with the voice of an angel at 17, and has been very happily married to her for seven years next June, excitedly awaiting the birth of their first child.

He laughs a bit when the reporter asked what his wife thought about him posing half naked, he blushes as he remembers when he mentioned the request to Rachel and she told him she thought it was a great idea, all the women who buy a Calendar will be jealous, because of her brave and super sexy husband, he blushed when he said she told him to remember all the money raised from the sales, goes towards new equipment and some community projects, so maybe I should pose for all 12 months instead of just Mr June.

The magazine also included a few photos, one of Finn in full football kit, one of him and Rachel standing on the stage kissing after their glee club won nationals and one of him in just his uniform pants and boots on the back of a fire truck his helmet pulled low over his face with his left hand, showing his dimples, his bare chest dripping with water, and holding a tiny puppy in his right hand.

xxxx

From the moment, I first heard Rachel sing I knew she was destined for a bigger and brighter stage than the one at William McKinley High school in Lima Ohio.

So, when a popular magazine The Women's Day, did a feature and a photo shoot on the nominees for the Tony awards being televised soon, I was over the moon and so very proud of her. especially when she was nominated as a favourite for the award.

The reporter started with the very first role Rachel performed. She was happy to provide the details of Fanny Brice, the role she landed after her audition, in her senior year at NYADA. Being chosen from hundreds of others for the iconic role her idol Barbra made famous on film. Rachel's role was in a revival and as soon as the 3-month run was finished. Her life wasn't the same, after college great roles seemed to fall into her lap, she was so busy but able to keep a healthy balance between her career and personal life.

The first few years were very busy with some fantastic reviews earning her, her first Tony award by the time she was twenty-four. Before leaving to have baby, Christopher and returning to the stage when Chris was two, to perform in her current role as Maria in West Side Story. She was so thankful for the audiences that have supported her over the years but so happy to be stepping down to focus on her most favourite role in the world, that of Mother to her wonderful little boy and the precious little bundle, that will be joining their family in three months. The photos that were included were of Rachel on stage as Fanny Brice and one of her as Maria, as well as one from our honeymoon in Hawaii where she and I are trying to paddle a sailing boat, but spent more time laughing and trying not to tip the little boat over.

The night of the Tony awards was here and I was keeping everything I could crossed, that my beautiful wife Rachel would be called up to receive the award.

"And the winner of the 2026 Tony Award goes to…"

xxxx

In a small apartment in Lima Ohio, a TV in a corner of the living room, is droning on about some awards show that held no interest to the person lounging on the small two-seater couch, idly flipping through a current Women's Day magazine, brought at the supermarket that takes up the apartment occupants day time hours, before returning at the end of the day to her little apartment, with a cat as the only company, not really paying any attention to the magazine or the monotonous voice, on the TV until the words…

"And the winner of the 2026 Tony Award goes to… Rachel Hudson for her outstanding portrayal of Maria in West Side Story."

The camera pans to the crowd and zooms in on a tiny brunette being helped to her feet, hugged and kissed on the cheek by a very tall whisky eyed, dark haired man. The brunette walks towards the stage through the audience who are mostly on their feet clapping. The camera takes a side shot clearly showing a rounded belly, proudly accentuated by the body hugging material of the light blue floor length gown. She stands behind the microphone and as she is handed the award, her brown eyes glisten with tears, she looks at the camera, and with a shaky voice, begins her acceptance speech.

"Oh my, I was not expecting this, but I can't take all the credit. I couldn't do what I do without my fantastic cast members, the brilliant direction from my very dear friend and best musical director in the world, Mercedes Evans, my wonderful choreographer Brittany Abrams, my fabulous fashion designer, who incidentally designed and made my gown for this evening Kurt Hummel - Anderson, all my parents for the love and encouragement they have given me my entire life. And the last but the most meaningful to me my wonderful loving husband Finn and our beautiful 3-year-old son."

She waves at the camera and blows a kiss "Hi baby mommy loves you." The cheers and applause force Rachel to stop talking for a minute or two.

"Thank you all, but before I go I wanted to let you all know I am stepping away from the stage for a while as Finn and I have another special production in the works."

As she is speaking her left hand is rubbing over her prominent stomach,

"The result will be on show in about 3 months' time".

More cheering and shouts of 'Congratulations."

"I would just like to say to any young people trying to break into this business, never give up, don't ever listen to anyone who tells you, you will fail, and blames you for the way their life has gone, or you aren't pretty enough and spends huge amounts of time, bullying or humiliating you. But most importantly, Don't Stop Believing in yourself or your dreams and abilities. Know that you can make it out of your small town or the social clique your peers expect of you, just always be yourself.I thank every one of you who has seen Funny Girl or West Side Story and sincerely hoped you all enjoyed it as much as I did, goodbye and thank you again."

She walks off the stage and is met at her seat by the tall handsome man with a beaming dimpled smile shining through the tears streaming down his face, he wraps his arms around her and mouths 'I Love You', the camera clearly capturing the look of absolute undeniable love and devotion on his face, which is mirrored on hers, as she reaches her hand up to hold his cheek so she can kiss his lips softly, he places his left hand over hers, his gold wedding band glinting in the auditorium lights.

Loud emotional sobs from the apartment dweller in Lima Ohio are heard only by the old fat cat, who lifts its head to gaze drowsily at the disturbing interruption to its nap, before curling deeper into its basket on the floor next to the TV.

Tears falling like a river, down the face of the woman, who after 15 years, 3 of which were spent trying to split the man and petite brunette apart and attempting to remove her from his world in two unprovoked life-threatening attacks, which thankfully proved to be futile as their connection was made only stronger. Her irrational behaviour, after a decade of therapy, and months of incarceration as a teenager, and never allowing herself to find that special someone to share a deep connection with. Even the three babies conceived in one-night stands, after she convinced herself they were his only to be adopted out when she realised the truth. Too much time wasted on a one sided, fantasy life that was never going to be brought to any semblance of reality. Her efforts only affecting herself leaving her with a promise of a lonely, single unfulfilled future, and far too much jealous energy expended, hating the tiny brunette for simply just being genuinely and honestly loved by the tall popular quarterback...

Finn Hudson was meant for her…

It was destiny that brought them together, never to be separated,

They had each found their one.

THE END

A/N: Thanks again, for taking the time to read, please leave your thoughts in a review.

Please keep a look out for the sequel 'I wanted it to be me' which is in the process of being rewritten. I own nothing but the plot and any OC characters.

cab4five